The Other Question About Sales We SHOULD ALWAYS Have The Answer

Strategic decision makers within organizations; sales, sales trainers, marketers and market researchers should always have the answer to this question: "Why do our competitors have the market share they do?"

I realize this question seems a bit askew because we always approach the sales problem from the perspective of: "How can we increase our sales?"

Well, we are really trying to solve the same problem of sales maximization by seeking variable solutions asking different questions. Why do this? Because when the question is asked in the manner of "why do our competitors have share?" it leads to different solutions. Very important solutions for this different lens.


  • "How can we increase share?" - The primary solution to this question usually is solved with tactical elements: Increase reps, advertising, promotional spend

Now approach the same problem by asking the question in an alternate way:

  • "Why do our competitors have the market share they do?” - The solutions may be different and focused on what could be competitive adjustments: Alter our competitive messaging, product positioning, patient fulfillment and retention strategies, supply chain tactics

As you see its brings about a different set of solutions to layer in with the core strategies than when we simply ask, "how can we increase share?”

You remain on the same path of solving the strategic imperative of any organization which is maximization of brand share, by diversifying the right viable options.

The mechanism to achieve this broader set of robust solutions is actually quite simple… ask the questions. Why are their sales where they are? What's their structure, targets, counter-message, sales force motivation, organizational priorities?

How much human and financial resources are spent yearly always asking the same questions internally and from your customers about your brand and how to improve it when the greatest resistance to your brands success is someone else constantly working to blunt maximization. I'll bet the time and spend isn't even close but…. It should be. Now, this isn't meant to downgrade the efforts to understand customer and internal opinions on brand maximization and growth, it's imperative, but think of it this way, perhaps the focus on competition shouldn’t ride in the backseat nor drive the car but maybe sit in passenger seat.

Here's a simple approach to getting on the path and gaining the robust and diverse solutions for evaluation

Three easy steps :

  1. Ask yourself and your internal colleagues, what do we need to know about our competitors. This would be information that’s not available in the public domain and can only be gathered via interviews with sources having access to the information.

  • One warning: Check yourself. Many organizations rely on their internal knowledge, which may be correct, wholly or partially but is it really vetted objectively? That’s important, get a vetted objective assessment.

  1. Find out why they have the share they do.

  • This is done by having a competitive assessment of the target organization to assess critical data inclusive of; size, structure, sales targets, competitive messaging, patient fulfillment strategies, motivation among many other topics. Get your key questions answered

  1. Just do it.

  • Any resources from a time and financial perspective will be more than well spent. Leadership always appreciates someone who delivers understanding and solutions to overcome the main resistance (competition) to their brands sales maximization. Remember, they are evaluated primarily on organizational profitability and the main road to that end is maximized sales.

Step forward and step up in 2019. Do it!

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