INSIGHTS

Want to grow? Time to change your mindset.

Of course, every tech company wants to grow. Not necessarily in the same way—some are expanding their products, some are growing new customers or markets, some are changing their revenue models—but everyone wants to evolve some way.

But growing isn’t easy; there are always barriers. One of the biggest ones we see is in mindset. It’s very easy to focus just on past successes or current skills and channels. Sometimes this can make you blind to the opportunities right in front of you. For example, we often see clients bound by the limitations of their category: “this is how these services are always sold”. But if the category doesn’t match your ambition, maybe it’s the category that needs to change. Maybe you need to create a new one for an emerging need.

Tech companies are also working in a space that becomes more competitive and more diverse all the time; every company is now a tech company. This means you have to be much clearer about what your USP is. You need to be able to articulate it in a consistent, punchy way—and in a way that makes sense to your buyers, your current ones and your future ones. 

One of thethings we champion at Paal15 is having an entrepreneurial mindset. Thismeans having the hunger to do things differently and pivot towards opportunities,even if this means building or changing to do it. It’s not just something we askof our customers—we also expect it of ourselves.  

We’ve been thinking about the next iteration of Paal15: how the market, our clients and our skills and services have evolved, and what that means for our own growth. Our client base has expanded into not just resellers of technology, but those who build their own; these throw up completely different challenges and ambitions. For example, we now do a lot more work with OEMs.They’ve entered into a certain market or category and now need to think about where they go to grow and how they position in that place. It’s totally different from our SI or hyperscaler clients who are trying to strengthen their ties in an existing ecosystem. We need to understand and deliver to them in a different way. And we extend this responsibility to everyone in our team, from our consultants to our content writers, designers and marketeers.

Entrepreneurs need to do a range of things that can help inspire a change in mindset. Here are three of them:

1. Rethink the space you play.

Sometimes, the market can evolve around you. Competitors start to offer something bigger and the temptation is just to “do as they do”. A more effective strategy might be to look instead at what has changed for your customer. How different is their business to five years ago? What’s on the cards for them in the next five? And how can you play into that space.

2. Use your ecosystem

AsI said before, the tech space is becoming much more crowded. But you can see this as an opportunity rather than a threat. Sometimes smaller solutions can create complexity and integration problems that you can help to solve. Sometimes they can provide partnership routes into new customers—or opportunities for expanding your own offering. Keep an open mind and explore opportunities when you see them.

3. Win hearts and minds

In the start-up world, convincing investors of your value is part of the gig. But established companies can also extend this kind of thinking across their whole go-to-market. This means bringing internal stakeholders, partners, analysts, and both new and existing customers on the journey with you. So, if you’re launching new positioning, you need to get your team behind it: recognise the work that has been done before and ask them to contribute. You also need to test this positioning with an external party and be open to critique. Getting the right people and partners on your side will be vital to success.

If growth is on your agenda, I see an entrepreneurial mindset as a key factor in making this work. This means challenging your assumptions and what you have done before, but also validating what you propose with knowledgeable allies and market experts. 

Growing means, in some way or another, changing. Business leaders need to be able to champion and enable these changes. They need to capitalise on opportunities when they arise. And above all, they need to be willing to take pragmatic steps to reach them.

Speak to Paal15 about growing your tech business.

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When is it time to reposition?

When you want to achieve your next phase of growth.

Leaders in tech have a healthy business—and are ambitious. In order to keep growing, they often need help defining (or redefining) positioning for that next phase.

There are two main “growth angles” we see: companies that want to accelerate an existing growth trajectory, and those that want to transform to achieve new types of growth.

Accelerate

To reach their aggressive growth targets, LAB3 needed to align their DNA with the enterprise customers they were after.  New positioning (fear less, achieve more) and a customer-centric solution model were key to winning top Growth Partner awards across Deloitte, Microsoft, and CRN.

Transform

Pure Storage wanted to transform from a multi-billion dollar hardware seller to a recurring business based on services. By repositioning them as a next-gen storage platform, they were able to embrace a cloud-driven, more flexible commercial model and are setup for future growth.

Compete

Incentro needed to change the way they sell to meet the growing needs of customers. We helped them develop positioning and value propositions around the hot topic of today: data. Clear customer benefit messaging shows customers what’s possible and makes Incentro more competitive.

My company has a good story. Our positioning is solid.

MAKE YOUR MARK

What to consider when (re)defining market positioning and value propositions

The need to answer who you are with a solid overarching value proposition

Your differentiators / why would customers choose you over others

Goals (at least qualitative, ideally quantitative too)

What you do today and what is your future vision, your growth ambition

Audience breakdown with relevant messages per segment

Giving customers an idea of what to expect, a process you will follow

Routes to market and short / long-term tactical options

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We’ve created a methodology to help tech customers set up the right foundation for growth.

our method

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Foundation.

Market positioning & value propositions

Power more growth and bigger goals.

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2-5 weeks: Foundation.

Market positioning & value propositions

Create the foundation for success. Distil your challenges into a set of goals and accelerate reaching those aims with our tangible strategic and go-to-market frameworks.

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Build up.

Narrative & creative messaging

Inspire audiences old and new.

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6-8 weeks: Build up.

Narrative &creative messaging

Communicate your story consistently and inspire internal and external audiences with the right tools, combining narrative and compelling visuals.

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Launch.

Hands-on go-to-market

Accelerate time to value. Now.

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8-12 weeks: Launch.

Hands-on go-to-market

Accelerate time to value with audience-specific materials based on your goals, from campaigns, to internal education, and demand generation.

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