Daniel Douglass

Megatrends to Accelerate and Scale in ’17

While 2016 was a great year, it was challenging for startups. 2016 saw a dip in funding and many of us only reached about 75% of growth goals. Now that we can add populist uprisings to major advances in AI, this year promises a wild ride too. Here are 4 megatrends to help you thrive in ’17:

#1. Zombies are Loose 

Growth was sluggish the last few years and we’ll continue to see a lot of the same in ’17. This is due to macroeconomic trends like zombie firms and slow productivity. The downside is longer sales cycles and less attention on startups. The bright side (just like in zombie movies) is the competition is moving slower and you are nimble. To get out of the doldrums, we recommend running sprints + install common language. Redhat got hyper-focused last year with just smarter meetings and common communication. Clients got involved too. They now have greater sales by doing the right work the first time. The Dutch have recognized this trend, and we now have a bonafide prince in our corner!

#2. Freedom is Rising 

The “gig economy” will be 40% of the workforce by 2020. Full-time staff at established firms had more autonomy in 2016 than ever before. This has huge upside. According to Cornell, autonomous teams out-scale their command + control peers by 4x and still, 75% of staff crave more autonomy. Is this the employee benefit you were looking for? We took an agile approach to project management and embrace shared purpose with clients. This aligns every resource in our franchise toward customer priorities.

#3. B2B “Big Insight” Will Bloom 

Information is not knowledge. But this year as we see more big data transform into insight. Customers have always wanted depth and mastery of their domains. This is why infographics and data visualization are so popular. They provide a signal in the growing noise to give business people a better grip on the dynamic market. Here are the 3 ways to use insight:

a – Distill. Summarize relevant insight or convert client data into an original perspective.

b – Diagnose. Disruptive solutions often need science to anchor or backup mainstream adoption. Diagnostics, audits and customer studies do this well.

c – Direct. Like conductors or movie makers, the best startup business developers coordinate stakeholders and resources. Learn to use a whiteboard and put together delicious contracts.

#4. The #Platformized Will Thrive 

Marketplaces like LinkedIn, Springest, and Bol.com, will grow. Non-technical ones too. The secret to these platforms is how they serve different parties at the same time. A partner of ours does this with IT recruiting. Their value is in being a good candidate finder and client broker. Keeping these reciprocal systems going is the same recipe trees use to survive. Because platforms connect, consume, solve problems and compensate, they are anti-fragile. It’s why the biggest startups are platforms, including the ones you didn’t know about. It’s why 5 of the biggest companies in the world are platforms.

If you aren’t making these trends work for you in ’17, you can be sure they are working against you.

The Scale-Up Group is a modern sales training franchise. Located in Amsterdam at WeWork Metropool, we help startups become scale-ups. We offer easy-to-practice commercial skills + techniques. In an agile world of data, bots, information, and change, commercial frontline leaders make the difference. This is not your Opa’s sales training. Either steal our stuff or come learn with us. Because you’re either buying or selling.

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