Think Like a Cell Phone Provider and Expand your Coverage

October 5th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

I have been working with a technology company on strategies to expand revenue by focusing sales campaigns on vertical and market segments. This company is at a point in their development where they need to accelerate sales by acquiring market share to meet the expectations the owners had when they started the company. To achieve the sales targets they need to expand the sales campaign by improving coverage within vertical segments.

When I met with the client I wanted to create a mental image of what expanding market share looks like so I used the cellular retail business as an example. If you want to buy a cell phone in Canada you do not have to drive more than 2km from your home to get access to a retailer. The square footage and store type will change depending on the location, as well as foot traffic and ownership structure of the store, but they all sell the same product. The cellular industry knows that if you want market share you need geographic coverage for distribution; you measure your results of each store allowing you to manage cost structure and plans for adding more stores.

I will use the restaurant industry in Calgary as an example of how approaching vertical and market segment selling is similar to cell phone companies opening stores. The first step is to assume the entire industry of 2400 eating and drinking places is the market opportunity and you are measuring your market share against the adoption of the product by the 2400 eating and drink establishments. Determine what segment would be considered a tier 1, a tier 2 and tier 3 segment in the restaurant vertical similar to how a cell company rates real estate locations in helping them determine how much money they want to spend on a store. Information that is easy to access like geographic region, employees, and cuisine types allow you to determine market segments or real estate value. The next step is to tele-market into each of these market segments similar to a cell phone carrier putting a store in the strip mall close to your home. Tools like email marketing and mail drops are used to drive the activity required to determine if the segment is going to deliver the revenue.

If you want to have success in achieving market share growth you need to think like a cell phone provider – they know they require geographic coverage to grow market share. If you are selling a B2B product you need coverage in multiple verticals and segments within the vertical to achieve your desired sales targets.

Topics: Business Intelligence