Part Two of our Roadmap to New Revenue Series focuses on Sector Expansion

Sector specialization is a big deal.

We’ve all seen mediocre companies win contracts over better companies for the sole reason that they had more industry-specific experience. It’s no wonder the idea of sector expansion is tempting to companies looking to grow.

Unfortunately, most companies that try fall down. Sector expansion is tough, and a failed attempt to cross sectors can use up valuable resources and bring a strong brand into question by previously loyal clients.

The big question is how to move into a new sector without losing your shirt?
The answer is Growth Path’s Five Step Approach to Sector Expansion

Step One: Choose an industry where you have existing prospects

The reality is that, if you don’t have any existing prospects in an industry, you probably don’t know enough about it to attempt the move. Perhaps geographical expansion makes more sense.

Step Two: If you have existing prospects, schedule customer advisory meetings

You have to understand your prospects’ pain points and what they need before you go to market. Try to meet with a minimum of five prospects to make sure you get enough perspectives. When you can accurately anticipate their answers, you know you’re on the right track and are ready for the next step.

Step Three: List your transferrable experience

Now that you understand your prospects’ pain points, align each point with relevant experiences. Your goal is to find similar situations that your prospects will relate to and so they trust your expertise.

Step Four: Research company structures

We often forget that companies in different sectors may have different structures too. E.g. in manufacturing you likely deal with product managers, but in a technology based sector you could be dealing with a CIO/CTO. This requires a totally different approach so do your research!

Step Five: Embrace vertical selling

Vertical selling is a great strategy to employ when crossing sectors. This refers to finding new clients that are advocates at different levels of the same organization. Particularly mid-and senior level executives who understand the overall financial and strategic benefits you bring to their business.

The trick is to turn these clients into advocates and champions. Collect testimonials and write case studies. You may have to start at the small end of the wedge, but in time, these clients can become flagship clients that will impress your prospects and help you cement your place in the industry.

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