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Breeding butterflies: how to create high-impact accelerated growth

In their early stages, B2B businesses achieve their growth goals through a series of deals made through personal connections or some form of networking with partners and investors in the business. In B2C the process may have involved some initial trial customers. This is great as it allows for adjustments and adaptations on product-market fit, potential tweaks on the brand, and other adjustments needed to ‘go-to-market’.

Yet most ventures fail precisely on that next ‘go-to-market’ stage, and the main reason why they fail is that founders and leaders don’t evolve their approach and transform the business to be able to ‘go-to-market’ successfully. Or in the words of George Westerman - Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy - 'you can make a caterpillar run faster, but creating butterflies needs a transformation process'.

A successful 'go-to-market' can only be done through ‘high impact’, which is the combination of the right 'go-to-market' model, implemented by highly skilled people with the time dedicated to implementing it.

  • The ‘go-to-market’ model is the framework - when we work with businesses on 'go-to-market' processes we use one we devised over the years - but any venture can develop their own model according to the specifics of their business case. Regardless, you really need a model to help you.

  • The second thing you need is extremely talented people. You can hire them - if you believe highly skilled people will be attracted to your new venture and if you have the time (and knowledge) to hire them. Or you can rent them from a services provider or agency. The most important thing is not to fall into the mistake of believing an intern or junior can help with tasks that require highly specialised people with the ability to transform the organisation. Interns can help 'make the caterpillar run faster', but to transform into 'go-to-market' you’ll need skill and experience. You need at least the same quality of 'go-to-market' talent your competitors have access to.

  • Finally, whether the talent is ‘bought’ or ‘rented’, you actually need them to spend time at your business offices, so they can gain a deep understanding of the product and organisation.

These three combined create high impact on the 'go-to-market' process, delivering accelerated growth for the business.  

Fail at one of them, and the best you’ll get is a really fast caterpillar.

– Nuno Santos, Managing Director

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