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Tech companies & commerce

As Force21, that is our playing field. We help IT companies with their commerce. Whether it is new technology, or the “older” technology companies, we often see the same thing.

Indeed, these companies have grown primarily because of their knowledge of technology, and the lack of that knowledge among their customers. That is also usually the 1st USP these companies tell us when we ask about this. The technological know-how they have.

Aside from wondering what unique point of differentiation that is, it’s also not the foundation on which you hang your go-to-market (read: commercial growth). Where this may have worked 10 to 20 years ago, because demand was high and supply was lower, it doesn’t work now. There are many more similar providers. Your potential customers are also more interested in how IT can support their growth than in the technology behind it.

Your go-to market

Go-to-market? What do I need that for? Actually that’s simple, think of your go-to-market as your commercial plan for new business, for your growth. Your go-to-market is related to your ambitions as an entrepreneur, as a business. How, and how fast do you want to grow? What suits you as a business, what types of businesses are they, and where can they be found? In an industry, a region, characteristics or a combination?

For a technology company, these are fundamental questions and choices, because on them you can much better explain the applicability, the value of your knowledge and technology. And on that you can then much better put your customer value in your market.

After that, how you approach those markets again depends on your services, your organisation and access to that market. You basically have two choices:

1. Direct approach

Approaching a market segment independently and directly is especially beneficial if your value to these organizations is high and this market is easily approachable. Your services must fit, and as an organization you are able to design the commercial approach for this yourself.

Focus is the most important thing. Focus on types of customers, a target audience, topic or region. From that focus, you can claim a position in your target market. You do this by continuously explaining your value to that group of companies. Here the interplay between your portfolio managers, your marketing and sales is very important. They must understand, translate and communicate this value.

By consistently claiming a knowledge position in your target audience with relevant content, you connect with them. Attract their attention. Relevant content is primarily focused on the developments of your target audience and how you can then add value to them. Not how unique you are, because that is irrelevant. Continuous relevance and value sharing leads to generating interest, conversations, sales opportunities and deals.

2. Indirect approach

Opening or expanding your position in a target market through partners can be very successful. It is important that the character of the target audience fits, but also that your portfolio and delivery are suitable for partner sales.

Partner marketing is similar to the direct approach for bringing in new partners. With a big difference in your value proposition. You are actually selling two values, the one for your partner and the one for his customers. The big difference is in actually having partners on board. Because partner commerce really begins.

In fact, in your growth with partners, you depend on the commercial success of your partners. And you can only indirectly influence that. In this go-to-market, encouragement and support for your partners are especially important. You do this through flawless delivery, and commercial support through a partner proposition, marketing and sales support and a sophisticated communications approach.

A “partner go-to-market” is completely different from a direct approach. Over all the pitfalls and opportunities this presents, we have written a white paper.

Which go-to-market is best for you cannot be said unequivocally. The choice of a direct or indirect approach, or a combination thereof, is fundamental, though. For example, you don’t do an indirect approach “on the side. That leads to half-hearted results and also a lot of frustration among your partners and your own organisation.

So make very deliberate choices, fine-tune the content and structure of your go-to-market approach beforehand, and give it time. Look at the development, the traction of your approach rather than immediately focusing on the deals that are or are not there at the beginning. Be patient.

Your go-to-market scan

Want to know which market approach suits you as a Tech company? Let us a 1st scan done for your organisation, clients and portfolio.

With that, we can give you sound advice on what we think is the best direction to take to realise your growth ambitions.

If you want to know more about this topic, we have published more articles and white papers on the subject, or contact me at thijs@force21.eu


Do you want to know more or have a talk? Plan a call with Thijs van Hofwegen, the founder of Force21.

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