In the first of three blogs, Bob Dackiw, business growth advisor at the Business Growth Hub, explores the importance of developing a solid route-to-market, considers some of the different options open to businesses and explains how getting it right can mean a huge boost to sales.
Your route-to-market is how you sell your product and how you plan your sales. It's one of the most important things to get right because if you don't sell in a way that appeals to and suits your customers, they simply won't buy your product.
Before investing in a new website, e-portal, call centre or integrated CRM system, a company needs to address some basic route-to-market strategy questions:
- Who are your target customers, and how do you want to do business with them?
- What are your limitations in channel expansion?
- Are their boundaries in terms of what your customers, distributors, and salespeople will accept from you?
- Do you really want to replace the field sales force and your distributors with a Web channel? Or do you want to use the Web to support and improve the effectiveness of the field sales and partners?
- What do you want to achieve in terms of growth goals?
A successful route-to-market strategy entails putting together a solid plan that will help you to achieve a high top- and bottom-line growth, with real gains in market share and competitive advantage, as well as superior customer retention and loyalty.
But a route-to-market strategy cannot deliver any serious results unless it significantly upgrades and enhances the experiences that customers have with your organisation.
Tailored business support
This is something that the Hub is already helping businesses to achieve. Take Legacy Telecom, a company that specialise in providing telecom equipment for existing telephone systems and voice networks.
The company centres their core business model on providing value-based telecom units to users who didn’t want to purchase high-end products at high prices. Their success has been based on a cost model, but to continue to grow, they recognised the need to up-sell, define their USPs and target market and develop a sales strategy based on sourcing new supplies and products from Chinese manufacturers.
We conducted a full review of the business and highlighted new ways in which they could identify these markets. We also worked closely with employees to help them understand the company’s mission, vision, and values and specifically how this affects what they offer to their clients.
We also worked on promoting the quality of their product and services, providing them with access to networking opportunities and events, and helping them secure new supply channels overseas.
And the result? An immediate increase in sales of £850,000 and the creation of two new jobs.
Developing overseas markets
There was also an international angle to the work we’ve completed with Aluminium Access Products, which manufacture the Tallescope, a telescopic aluminium work platform. The company’s management had recognised new opportunities to significantly grow the business but needed help taking advantage of them.
We created a package of support that began with strategic planning to develop robust growth plans, particularly in China, Korea, and Vietnam. This also included liaison with the international trade team to help the business find the agents and distributors they needed to be able to work effectively in these areas.
The company has also used the Hub to gain a better understanding of how to use social media, particularly LinkedIn and Facebook, to promote themselves abroad.
The support also ensured they are now more aware of the potential pitfalls of doing business overseas, and their new found confidence and expertise in doing business with foreign companies has already seen them acquire a new business in China.
So to recap, a route-to-market strategy should help you to reach and serve the:
- Right customers,
- In the right markets,
- Through the right channels,
- With the right products,
- And the right value proposition.
Its purpose is to create a powerful total customer experience that will attract, win, and retain the most desirable customers, while at the same time driving high sales and market growth, and at the lowest possible cost.
Part two covers some of the essential ways in which you can make this happen.