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Growth Strategy: How to Win?

In our last post we discussed the decision of where to play to generate a desired level of growth. Today we look at how to win where we decided to play as the next definition the Growth Strategy must make.

Can We Win?

It is very tempting to start the definition of how to win with our own offering: the list of products and services we sell and deliver today. But this will lead us to address problems we believe customers have just because our offering could solve them.

Instead, one must start with the customer and work backwards from there. This also implies that one must determine how to win for every single Target Market Segment (TMS) they plan to address as TMS can vary widely in technology adoption stage, strategic priorities, compliance, and engagement models.

A Disruptor’s innovative offering might already be in the mainstream market for startups, but still sit in the early-market for enterprise customers. Publicly traded companies must meet stricter compliance and governance rules compared to privately held SMBs. Customers in the banking industry are subject to banking regulation customers in other industries are not.

So, to define how to win the Disruptor must work backwards from the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) within the TMS and determine:

  1. What does it take to have Product Market Fit?

  2. What is the appropriate Go-to-Market Model?

  3. In case they plan to work with partners, what are the criteria for Ecosystem Fit?

  4. What is the value stage they will offer to the TMS (commodity, product, solution, or strategic alliance)?

In Disruption Selling we use a Maturity Model to answer these questions.

For every TMS we first analyze the adoption stage the market is in. The TMS’ adoption stage determines the required Offering Maturity Level. Assessing the current level informs whether the Offering already meets the TMS’ expectations or whether there is a gap the Disruptor must close.

The Offering Maturity level must be matched by the Disruptor’s Organization Maturity and also here assessing the current level informs whether there is a gap they must close.

Preparing to Win

For TMS for which the Disruptor lacks Offering or Organization Maturity they must define the required improvements, allocate ownership of these improvements within their organization, and determine a realistic timeline for achieving them.

For example, they will assign ownership for achieving Go-to-Market Fit (Level 2) to Account Management and for achieving Ecosystem Fit (Level 3) to Partner Management.

Allocating Resources

The planned Offering Maturity Levels define the setup of the Portfolio Teams the TMS are assigned to,  e.g., only if the Disruptor already has Go-to-Market Fit (Offering Maturity Level 2) and plans to establish Ecosystem Fit (Level 3) they will assign Partner Managers to the Portfolio Team in charge of the TMS.

As a result the Growth Strategy defines a total number of headcount by roles as input for the Sales and Marketing Plan to further refine it.


By now the Growth Strategy has defined

  1. The aspired overall growth rate;

  2. The TAM and the TMS to address;

  3. The overall Go-to-Market motion; and

  4. The total resources by role allocated to the TMS

as input for the Sales and Marketing Plan.

Next, the Sales and Marketing Plan must translate these parameters into

  1. Actionable sales and marketing activities;

  2. Key metrics for managing execution; and

  3. Monitoring and reviews of execution.

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