Getting ready for export growth – part 2

Updated: Jun 9

This is the second in a series of blogs focusing on a client’s preparation for significant growth as they prepare to launch their solution internationally.

To recap:

This is a tech company who are widely recognised in New Zealand for their professional expertise in cyber security. About four years ago they started to productise their IP into a SaaS-based solution and over that period have steadily expanded their client base across public and private sector businesses in New Zealand. They have bootstrapped this development thus far.

The first blog outlined the key activities undertaken on their journey and covered the period from March 2021 through to November 2022. It documented what we refer to as their “getting fit for purpose” phase.

This second blog covers the period from December 2021 through to June 2022 and documents “building their business case for international growth”.

We kicked off this phase with the leadership team undertaking an updated 9Boxes benchmark and completing a second Strategic Marketing Assessment.

Highlights from this work were:

  • An improvement in their overall score from 48% to 66%, highlighting the progress they had made during the “fit for purpose phase”, a

  • Most notably, a significant change in the ambitions the leadership had for the potential of their business

We concluded they had the attitude and aptitude to take their elegant solution to the global market where demand potential was growing at an ACGR of 30% despite the COVID 19 pandemic.

They have a clearer vision of their Operating Market and the Positioning of their solution and armed with these we assisted them to develop a go-to-market model based on a partner ecosystem sales play. This go-to-market model has evolved into their business case for international expansion. We kicked off a deep dive to prioritise the key ‘jobs to be done’ to capitalise on their opportunity, including:

  • Documenting value propositions for each potential key stakeholder

  • Planning 3 key pilot sites with international potential and developed more client testimonials and case studies to demonstrate their service levels

  • Undertaking demand validation research to quantify the size of the global opportunity

  • Broadening the competitor analysis including Product-Market-Price comparisons for each of the offshore markets they are targeting

  • Engaging an experienced VCFO to review their current financial systems and reporting and to advise on implementing a financial modelling tool that enabled them to plug in sales and cost variables to simulate what impact they would have on their revenue/cashflow and specifically if they might require additional funding during the initial 3-year growth horizon

The business case focused on a range of decision points, including:

  • Which geographies they would target, in what order and using what decision criteria

  • A test of their preferred go-to-market model

  • Establishing in-country staffing requirements and hiring timeframes

  • Establish the likely financial cost of operations for years 1-3

  • Estimated time to first order

  • # of sales per year to achieve break-even/profitability

Next up is the development of a robust Channel Partner Framework for partner engagement and to scope out the detailed requirements for this program to be effective across all 5 phases - Planning, Prospecting, Recruiting, Activation and Growth.

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