Time to Review Your Go-to-Market Model?

At this point, most firms have completed their financial plan for the new year. As financial plans take root, these three areas of strategic inquiry will inform leaders about the need for business model refinement or redesign in the new year:

  1. How are your clients/customers changing? In other words, who are your clients today, who will they be in the new year, what do they expect from you, and what will be different for them in the new year. Most businesses seek to attract new clients each year, and some clients may leave the firm. Your next new client will be different than the one who moves on in terms of expectations, anticipation of what you will deliver, and alternatives explored before selecting your service or product. Consumer preferences ebb and flow, but rarely decline. This reality highlights the need for leaders to delve deeper into their inquiry about changing client characteristics as input to assessing go-to-market model efficacy in the new year.
  2. How are your team members changing? Like the client/customer change line of inquiry, who are your employees today, and who will they be in the new year? How are they changing and how are their expectations of your firm evolving? What is the employee experience they expect, and what is your employee value proposition (the answer to the question: why work for our company?). What will be different in the new year? Understanding and anticipating what matters to team members today and tomorrow may surface gaps in your existing business model before they become chasms.
  3. How are your competitors changing? Who are your key competitors today and how do you anticipate that will change in the new year? How do you anticipate your competitors approach (go-to-market model) will change in the new year? What will these changes mean to your company? Is this the time to pre-emptively refine your client engagement approach?

There are many more areas of strategic inquiry – technology, operations, suppliers, process, and pricing as examples. But shifting conditions influencing clients, team members and competitors are three top priority areas of inquiry in terms of their implications on your company’s business model in the new year. Why?

Go-to-market business models have a finite shelf life. Operating conditions are continually evolving. The faster the pace of evolution in operating conditions, the sooner business models can become obsolete.

It is the exception rather than the rule that a business can succeed in the long run through a static business model. This may sound obvious, but many companies still operate the same go-to-market business model they operated during the Y2K era. Preparation for the new year may be the perfect time to revisit your company’s go-to-market operating model.