Let’s say you’re in good standing in the market. But good isn’t enough. You want great. You want to reach markets you haven’t tapped and meet goals you may not have even thought possible. The good news is, you really can think about $1B. Zendesk’s Sharon Prosser, VP Worldwide SMB Sales & XDR, and Astha Malik, VP GTM Strategy, Planning, and Enablement share some guiding principles about how their company has grown and enriched many markets.

The X-Factors

If you can nail your target markets, an understanding of your real customers, product positioning, your customer acquisition strategy, deal motion, customer success, and your employee programs down you will be able to forge ahead. This means asking questions like: Are you going to expand geographically or target an industry segment? Do you have the right messaging in place for all markets? How are you engaging people in different contexts?

You may find that certain things translate from the market you’re in to the markets you want to reach. And you might find that you have more than you know. By owning your place and your identity and embracing your people, you can go for it.

#1 Create a narrative for growth

Creating a story for success will give you a purpose to inspire your strategy, and the strategy will lead to an annual focus, which will manifest in tangible outputs. In addition to your narrative, you’ll need to build measures to show this dream is coming to fruition. Know what you need to meet in order to know you’re going where you need to be going. Stories aren’t always straightforward.

#2 Organize and galvanize your team

We all know that not everyone can do everything. If your people are working for the same customers, some segments get lost. Move your sales teams into different areas of focus and get them to need each other. With their own realms, your teams can enrich each area. You don’t have to do it all at once, but in one way or another, you can’t grow without this ownership.

#3 Invest in people

Your people are the lifeblood of your organization. Specialized hires help with new markets and segments, but the people with institutional knowledge are your bedrock. Invest in long-standing employees and reward them for agility and excite them about movement. With this combined army you’ll have a motivated foundation and a firm reach.

#4 Be real with your strengths and ownable territory

Every industry segment is big. It’s humbling to identify what you can own and where you’re already thriving. If you choose fertile soil, you can carve out a place and grow “big.” Sow the seeds that you know how to foster. When you branch out, do it in alignment with your strengths and intention.

#5 Be strong in principle

A guiding principle allows you to remain reliable in any area. Zendesk is committed to a “beautifully simple solution,” which informs their products and approach, and they are known for being straightforward. This means they have a reliable backbone. You might not be for everyone, but if you stand for something, you’ll find someone, and someone, and someone, who will stay.

#6 Be flexible in execution

People can become very attached to the things they’re working on and teams need to take pride in their jobs. Remind your people of your principles and give them a north star. Motivate them to be excited about a larger purpose, grounded in your guiding beliefs, so they feel like their work is more of a series of moving parts than a standalone project.

Key Takeaways:

  • What got you this far will get your farther
  • Invest “BIG” in people
  • Specialize and focus your execution
  • Always come back to the customer


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