The much-discussed economic outlook continues to be a moving target, requiring business leaders the world over to look for ways to keep sales momentum up even as demand is down.

An AlixPartners survey in mid-2021 showed one approach being taken by companies was to look at how their sales channels could be optimized to be more efficient. Now, against a worsening economic backdrop, that optimization effort is turning to revenue growth.

Finding opportunities

In business-to-business (B2B) sales, an often-overlooked area for revenue growth is the mid-market. The high face value of strategic and enterprise accounts is where energy and efforts often coalesce, but the scalable potential of the mid-market customer segment could be a greater source of revenue growth.

At the same time, the go-to-market approach for the mid-market segment can lack a strategy for winning new business and growing existing relationships, give too much time to customer service, and mean limited support to grow revenue.

We analyzed a broad swath of companies operating in media, technology, and information services and identified three models that successfully optimized the sales activity for growing mid-market revenue. The models – and variations on their design – have the potential to work in any B2B commercial function.

Mid-market models

While some universally common themes are at play in effective mid-market sales approaches – such as simple segmentation – three different strategies are used by different businesses, all finding revenue potential in this segment through different routes:

  • Key Customer Growth Accelerator: An upsell and cross-sell approach to moving mid-market customers up to enterprise-segment
  • Target Customer Specialists: A nurture and grow strategy where core customers are identified and grouped together for more focused attention
  • Mass Market Incubator: A more broadly based way of developing spend in the mid-market, while creating business development roles to add new logos and expand share of wallet

Effective design 

As well as identifying the effective go-to-market approaches for mid-market sales, we have developed key design principles to create a go-to-market structure that works within an organization and harnesses the skills of commercial team members. 

These include:

  • Positioning a new approach for growth
  • Ways to minimize revenue risk
  • Driving customer satisfaction through touchpoint structure changes
  • Giving clarity to new and changed responsibilities
  • Getting cultural alignment
  • Creating a career path to help incentivize positive sales activities

You can find a full outline of the models that can be used to better target revenue growth in the mid-market and details of the design principles we have seen deliver impactful results in our new briefing, Maximizing the Mid-Market: a responsive B2B commercial strategy for revenue growth in economic headwinds, available for download below.