Teaching a Salesforce to Think Market Share

May 13th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

Since January of this year, I have been working with a company to assist them in transitioning their sales force from an opportunity selling organization to one that is focused on acquiring market share within strategic verticals and accounts.

Definition of Opportunity Selling: Product focused across new and existing markets often driven by the introduction of new products to a market condition or a favorable combination of circumstances.

Definition of Market Share Selling: Identifying total dollar amount of potential sales to all customers within a given market and measuring sales success against the percentage of penetration into a market with current and new products.

Opportunity selling has been effective for my client as a means of revenue growth and market share acquisition. The success has been based on selling a new product into new markets based on a technology advantage for a product that has had significant customer demand. The challenge the company faces is that the adoption of this product is maturing partly on account of the current economic conditions as well as a lose of technology advantage. This has resulted in slowing revenue growth which in turn has impacted profitability. Due to the change in market conditions my client needs to adjust its sales model to measure sales success based on a market share model. Introducing market share growth involves combining the market research with the strategic selling approach of the sales channel.

Below is an example of the transition that is taking place with my customer:

A sales rep has closed a new account with a specific product; this product represents 10% of the overall spend on the products my client carries as determined by a market model analysis. After the completion of the sale, the rep starts the opportunity selling by looking for a new customer to position the product that has the greatest market demand. In the new market share model the objective is to get the rep thinking about how to acquire 100% market share of this customer’s spend. In order to get the rep feeling comfortable with the market share approach, the information provided by marketing has to be relevant to the customer and easy for the sales rep to understand.

Topics: Sales Consulting