There are many reasons companies look to increase market share. An obvious end goal is to gain more customers and drive revenue. But there are other benefits, from brand awareness to improving buying power with vendors.
Yet it takes more than understanding your total addressable market to grow market share. From product saturation to overall market reach, there are many measures of success you must account for.
Read on to learn how to increase market share and be a long-term market leader in your industry.
To increase market share, gain agreement on your market strategy.
When building a great product or service, it’s easy to let your market strategy fall by the wayside. Perhaps you feel you’ll gain market share based on the strength of your offering alone. Or maybe you trust that customer engagement and word of mouth will be enough to grow your presence.
Great products and strong customer relationships never hurt any organization. If anything, they’re prerequisites if you’re to be a permanent fixture in your market. The real differentiator is having a clear strategy to drive you forward.
Gaining and maintaining market share requires coordination and focus throughout an organization. That’s why it’s critical for senior leadership to have a strategy that’s clear and well-communicated.
To achieve this, leadership must define a plan of action—and gain alignment on it. Areas of discussion include:
- What target segments the company wants to pursue
- Why the company wants to pursue these groups
- How long it’ll take to acquire this business
- The deliverables each department will be accountable for
Once you build your strategy, take steps to ensure everyone throughout the org is clear on it. Incorporate it into your next all-hands meeting. Ask department heads to cover key deliverables during a team outing. The goal is to make sure everyone has clarity about the roles and responsibilities needed to see this strategy through.
Understand the behavioral needs of your departments.
Each department plays a unique part in the larger market strategy. To leverage the strengths of these teams, it’s important to understand the different ways in which they behave.
Start by paying attention to the behavioral drives and needs of the employees on these teams. In doing so, you can determine how best to communicate with and ultimately lead them.
Let’s explore this idea by looking at three distinct departments, each with its own behavioral needs and strengths.
Your salespeople are your frontline when looking to increase market share. They’re often the first touchpoint customers have with your business. As such, they’re an integral part of growing your customer base and developing your footprint in the industry.
Those in sales interact with plenty of prospects over the course of the workday. They also face more than their fair share of rejection. Thus, your top performers tend to be individuals who are quick to connect with people and extremely risk-tolerant.
When looking to develop your market presence, look to replicate the success of your top performers. That may mean expanding your sales team by hiring BDRs with similar behavioral profiles. Or it may mean providing additional training and development paths for lower-performing reps.
Another option is to develop incentives for your existing sales team that reflect your market expansion plan. Say your strategy involves gaining as many new customers as possible. You may consider basing commissions off on quantity of deals closed. In doing so, you reward and reinforce behaviors that further your strategic goals.
Aligning your sales team is especially crucial when exploring a new business model. For example, you may decide to shift from product selling to solution selling. To ensure a smooth transition, see to it that everyone shares the same incentives and behavioral habits.
Business intelligence and marketing analytics
Whereas sales involves connecting with people and dealing with conflict, other teams may not rely on these skills at all.
Take business intelligence, for instance. Employees in BI gather and analyze data to help other departments track and improve their performance. Because BI touches so many parts of the organization, scalability becomes a critical part of long-term success. To make sure it can deliver this insight at scale, BI invests heavily in systems like Salesforce and Tableau.
Likewise, marketing analysts rely on data to inform market decisions. These individuals might help the product side of the organization determine pricing and packaging for a new offering. They might also research competitors and come up with stronger advertising tactics. As with BI, these analysts rely on strong systems and careful documentation to function.
Consider the link between these two teams: structure and detail. When looking to get the most from these teams, make sure you’re hiring people suited for detailed, process-oriented work. (Of the 17 PI Reference Profiles, Operators, Guardians, Craftsmen, and Specialists are best suited for this.)
Product managers ensure product deadlines are met and timelines are adhered to. They also face a difficult balancing act—especially in orgs seeking more market share.
On the one hand, product managers look to innovate and push the company forward. On the other hand, they can’t rock the boat too much. Otherwise, they risk alienating their existing market audience.
Great product managers take into account not only the need to innovate—but also the need for a stable offering. Using market insights, they provide calculated improvements to existing products. They also predict how these changes may impact teams like sales and branding.
From a behavioral standpoint, that means companies need product managers who are fast-paced and idea-seeking, yet also highly detailed. (Strategists, Analyzers, Controllers, and Scholars are all great fits.)
Reinforce your organizational culture.
To obtain a high market share, it’s also important to have a culture that reflects your market goals.
This starts at the very top of the organization. When senior leadership decides on a market strategy, they should exercise scope by focusing on those market goals.
Execs shouldn’t ask their employees to explore or test opportunities that lie outside the target market. If anything, they should lead by example for the rest of the org and stay laser-focused on the mission at hand.
Certain executives may struggle with this—especially those who love to innovate and try new things. (In PI terms, these are typically your Mavericks, Captains, Venturers, and Persuaders.) So it’s important for them to make a conscious effort to always keep a reasonable goal post in mind.
Conquer your market with these tips.
Whether you’re a small business or an international organization, take advantage of these tips to increase your standing in the market. It may take time, but the loyal customer base you’ll be able to cultivate will pay dividends in the long-run.