March 9, 2023
The Ultimate Selling Role
In this edition we go deep on how to identify the best companies where you should land your next killer role whether you are looking or not.
Companies which are killing it in the market and whose domination of their space will give you all the wind in your back that you need to crush it.
Before we get started – if you’re an Enterprise Sales Leader who wants to teach their reps how to close Mega Deals (7-8 figures), send me a message on LinkedIn with the phrase MDS TEAMS and we will be in touch to fill you in on my new program for enterprise teams. Excited to tell you about it.
The Ultimate Selling Role
There’s a lot of talk in the Enterprise Sellers Community (apply here) about managing our careers.
A few members have been laid off and are asking, “What company in what space should I work at next?”
Here’s a thread from last week:
The more I thought about it, the idea deserved much more than a post, it inspired this whole newsletter.
“What company should I work at next?”
There are two reasons to aim high when looking for your next role:
- Great companies are more likely to grow (even during downturns)
- Great companies have momentum that help you sell more
But how do you spot the winners? How do you know which companies have lots of upside for sellers?
The greatest secret I have found in identifying killer companies to work for is almost never talked about. It’s a secret right in front of our eyes.
I’ve been in love with the concept of Category Kings ever since I read Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets , by Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney.
The book defines Category Kings as companies that create, develop, and/or dominate new categories of products or services.
The concept is important to us as sellers because Category Kings outperform competitors by miles. How many miles? Check out this quote from the book:
Our original research showed Category Kings soak up 76% of the market cap of the entire category, leaving competitors fighting over the remaining 24%.
That’s an unfair advantage.
And that could set us up as sellers for outsized success.
So let’s jump into how to identify Category Kings in spaces we want to sell to.
Here’s where ChatGPT can help us big time.
So ChatGPT pulled out the criteria to be a Category King from the book:
- Owns the most valuable and enduring brand in the category
- Dominates mindshare, the awareness and consideration of customers and prospects
- Has the largest market share and scale
- Sets the standards and defines the rules of the category
- Delivers the most value to customers, at the best price and experience
But that short list of Category Kings doesn’t really help us if we are SaaS sellers.
So let’s go deeper:
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Don’t see your space on the above screenshot?
Ask ChatGPT directly about your industry.
Clearly, it’s up for debate as to the exactness of which player is the Category King or the definition of a category. For example, sales enablement means many things to many players, so there are probably subcategories to consider, but these ChatGPT prompts are really powerful and can help you hone in on winners in seconds.
To find the real gems we need to understand how category kings are established. The Play Bigger authors found that there is a category lifecycle where categories are defined, developed and ultimately dominated by a category king.
In the early days of a new category there are a relatively larger number of players trying to solve the new problem (the Define phase). Over a few years one of them begins to gain such momentum they start absorbing a higher share of the market (the Develop phase) until competitors begin to be acquired or close shop, crowning the dominant player as Category King.
The top players in the race are category contenders. These are companies who are in contention to take the category king position but haven’t broken away from the pack yet.
The Play Bigger authors did the research and found that the highest growth period was the 2-5 year period before these companies traversed the lifecycle and met the criteria of category kings. While still category contenders these companies grew by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52.8% – which far outpaced their growth once they had achieved category king status, after which they grew on average of ‘only’ 22.46% CAGR.
What this means for enterprise sellers is that just like great investors, if we can identify companies as they are hitting their stride toward market domination, there are a number of things going for them, all of which will add wind to our sails in our selling efforts and increase the likelihood that we will sell a ton more.
Remember the old saying, “Territory, timing and talent – these will determine your success as a seller”? This is all about timing. Certainly you will need talent and the right territory, but if you can spot a likely category contender on its way through the category lifecycle, you could be climbing onto an unstoppable freight train.
So let’s get into finding category contenders that are right for you.
Here is the list from the authors of Play Bigger (excerpt below).
Here is an excellent graphic representation of the list of category contenders.
And below are examples of how you can use ChatGPT to search for category contenders in any space you choose.
Category kings create, develop and dominate new categories of products or services.
They eventually take over 76% of the market cap of their category.
Category contenders may be even better because they experience higher growth during the years just before becoming the category king.
Selling for a category king or contender ensures you will have multiple benefits working to help you sell more.
Find your category kings or contenders by using ChatGPT prompts.
Until the next edition, happy selling.
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