When the Growing gets tough

Charting your path to value creating growth :- Time to Re-engage with, Not Retreat from, Emerging Markets

Case Study : Going for Growth

There are three truths about revenue growth. Over time, it is imperative. Across all industries, it is possible. And experience shows that it is perilous.


In the current environment of uncertainty and financial constraint, too many companies have looked to their go-to-market functions—sales, marketing, pricing, branding, and customer insight—for savings, not growth.


“A rocket attempting to escape earth’s gravity must achieve a speed of 25,000 mph, or it will fall back to earth. This escape velocity is non-negotiable. Companies attempting to achieve breakout, value-creating growth often fight their own gravitational pull: stagnant demand, weak ideas, capability gaps, cultural inertia, and sceptical investors. “



One early decision in any growth strategy involves prioritizing revenue growth relative to other value drivers. Leaders who skip this step will struggle to align their teams when risk/return trade-offs come into relief across growth scenarios. Leadership opinions often diverge with regard to how much growth is wise, necessary, or possible. Too often, a mechanical extrapolation of the past defeats breakout growth before it can begin, or the company identifies a stretch target so disconnected from reality that executives, managers, and workers never seriously embrace it. Properly grounding the growth aspiration requires a brutally honest view of the current business’s baseline growth, absent heroic action. It also requires a common view of the aspirational rate of growth and of the gap between the two. This view must be both empirical (forward analytical estimates, value modelling, and competitor and trend observations) and emotional (a spectacular view from the summit).


Your company can ignore the potential benefits of the Go-to-Market Revolution, but it can’t avoid the perils of failing to take part. The gap between capability leaders and laggards is growing.

If you are prepared to be a zealot for growth, here is a sample sequence of actions and best practices to consider.

  • Start with vision and ambition. Does your company currently have the vision to transform your go-to-market capabilities? Do you have the ambition to increase your top line 10 or 20 percent beyond current projections in the next few years? A necessary first step is helping your leadership team understand the opportunities inherent in the Go-to-Market Revolution.

  • Undertake a quick initial diagnostic step. Map how your customers’ purchase pathways have changed. Assess your commercial capabilities: marketing, pricing, sales, branding, and insight. Determine where you stand compared with best-in-class competitors and identify which commercial functions offer the greatest near-term opportunity.

  • Tailor a series of programs to build capabilities and improve performance simultaneously. For example, start with a high-impact pricing initiative. Some leading companies we know have begun with a pricing program that added tens of millions of dollars to the bottom line. Simultaneously, the programs have funded development of new pricing tools and capabilities, such as sophisticated discounting, mobile technologies, and advanced analytics.

  • With initial success in place, expand your efforts rapidly. For example, launch a program that boosts marketing effectiveness—such as a brand advocacy campaign. Then launch another—such as a sales-activation initiative—to equip your sales force with a technical arsenal of twenty-first-century tools. 

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