Strategic Selling: Defining the Opportunity Gap

February 23rd, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

In an earlier blog I wrote about building a Vertical Fingerprint; this is a process that helps identify how companies are solving business challenges in their current operating environment.  The next step in the strategic vertical selling process is to focus on the “opportunity gap”.   The opportunity gap is the driver for the adoption of new products within a company; the drivers are motivated by the company’s desire to reduce costs and/or improve productivity.  In the book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, by Steven Gary Blank, he does a good job of describing the opportunity gap as the following:

·         A New Product in an Existing Market – The driver is technology advancements that create a market opportunity.

·         A New Product in a New Market – Leveraging technology to create a new market; I like to refer to this as the Non-Conventional Vertical Fingerprint. 

·         A New Product Attempting to Re-segment an Existing Market with Low Cost – A company needs to be well funded to achieve this goal.

·         A New Product Attempting to Re-segment an Existing Market as a Niche – In this case the target market for the niche can be non-conventional or conventional.

In order to be successful in strategic vertical selling, a company needs to commit the time, resources, and money to identify the vertical fingerprint— conventional or non-conventional.  When you have developed the vertical fingerprint your next step is identify the opportunity gap.  Strategic selling is a long-term commitment to a vertical and accounts within that vertical; if you are not willing to commit the time, do not begin the process as it will only cost you money and not deliver the desired results.  

Topics: Business Intelligence