Developing global go-to-market strategies to push technology services, especially managed services sales, frequently leads to a complex and resource-consuming development process, all too often with disappointing results. The best approach is a clearly structured, “fast-track” method that encourages teamwork, which has been proven to result in new ideas and strategies, and in some cases, increased sales. Today I will be discussing how to create a successful go-to-market strategy using Wincor Nixdorf as a case study example as a company who benefitted from our method.
Typical challenges of creating successful
To optimize your go-to-market strategies, you have to address four major areas of concern:
- Improving your understanding of different markets and identifying promising targets.
- Prioritizing these targets, taking into account local needs and insights, as well as global standards and HQ-related requirements.
- Setting up a successful strategy with blueprints to set priorities and align local and global goals.
- Gaining the support of all your internal stakeholders. e.g., sales and delivery, both on a local and global level.
Common approaches and shortcomings
When it comes to developing a strategy, you have the option of two different approaches you can follow, both of which have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Implementing a somewhat global top-down strategy project, which will usually lead to fast high-level results. The downsides are that local insights tend not to be fully utilized, and local acceptance is rather weak.
- Implementing a multi-local, bottom-up focused strategy project will generally lead to a better fit with regional markets. However, this approach not only takes more resources, but also lacks global focus and misses many standardization benefits.
While both approaches are common, in many cases they may not yield the desired results. Additionally, common approaches don’t always leave enough room for made-to-measure strategies that are customized for your business. Therefore, these common approaches can lead to ordinary strategies that are often executed by other competitors, and your company may fail to shape the global and local markets for managed services.
A 4 step approach to a successful strategy
Our proposed four-step, workshop-based approach offers a proven and fresh methodology to develop a successful go-to-market strategy for technology services.
Step 1: Market Situations – Practical data collection and pre-structuring of markets
The first step is to screen and collect existing data for selecting focus markets, and then develop an encouraging pre-structure of market situations. Based upon this structure, we then interview and engage with the workshop participants. One attendant, Richard Schlauri, vice president of Global Outsourcing & Managed Services at Wincor Nixdorf states, "In our case, the market perspective proposed by Infront really pushed us to change our view of both our clients as well as our competitors."
Step 2: Market Workshops – Full-day workshops at selected markets
To facilitate and gather market insights, we utilize an energizing tool: a 3D “situation desk.” Using a collaborative approach that gives us a cross-divisional perspective, we can then analyze the market and identify the strategies of competitors, significant industry trends, and potential partners. This consolidated view also reveals promising targets, which we can prioritize by evaluating potentials against expected benefits.
"We implemented this approach for selected markets, ranging from relatively mature European and North American markets to developing ones in Southeast Asia,” Schlauri says. “The innovative approach brought all our relevant people, local market experts, and required internal partners, as well as sales representatives of key accounts, together at one desk. This facilitated an intensive discussion, which led to an inspiring and shared view on the market in the end."
Step 3: Results Consolidation – Developing a plan of action
After having conducted the local go-to-market workshops, overlapping global growth patterns are identified, checked against portfolio planning, and aligned with the company’s overall strategy. Based upon these results, we then define focus markets and develop a made-to-measure action strategy on both a local and global level.
Step 4: Blueprint-driven implementation
As clear communication is an important part of the successful implementation of this plan, we realign the strategy with both the priority focus markets as well as non-prioritized regions using a consolidated form of the “situation desk.” To accelerate implementation, we create managed service blueprints for the prioritized core services to be targeted.
This concentrated approach ensures a very resource-efficient development and go-to-market strategy for your business. This format, which involves relevant partners and utilizes an innovative tool to achieve one shared market perspective, leads to clear commitments and a better chance of successful strategy implementation.
Following this approach, our clients efficiently achieved significant results in the following areas:
- Improved understanding of local markets and singularities as well as growth drivers, leading to innovative perspectives (e.g., concerning competition, partners, and targets).
- Realistic results by using brainpower, instead of PowerPoint or Excel with abstract data.
- Local and global HQ alignment and accepted prioritization.
- Focused and phased go-to-market strategies on global and local levels as well as extended sales funnels with new leads and opportunities.
- Cross-divisional commitment, real involvement, and momentum.
Unless internal stakeholders are fully committed, it is impossible to convince existing and prospective customers. Schlauri concludes, "By conducting the local workshops, we achieved a much higher level of commitment and created required momentum to push our services.”
By leaving behind common processes and following a fresh, clearly structured approach, a go-to-market success of managed services can be facilitated. Beyond this, project experiences reveal that an innovative and easy-to-follow process leads to an even more important success factor: momentum by real commitment.
About the Author
Thomas Sindemann is Managing Partner of Infront Consulting & Management, an independent consultancy, located in Hamburg, Germany. Thomas has years of experience in distribution and marketing from working at a leading manufacturer of consumer goods and also as a Management Consultant with a major international consulting firm. With this foundation of extensive business experience, he is able to offer clients expert support in repositioning technology and service providers in their respective markets – as well as help them execute strategies until a client’s transformation is complete. Keep the conversation with Thomas going. He may be reached at [email protected]