Create Your Sales Roadmap
How do you decide where to start testing and selling your product? This week, we’ll take the next step in our journey From Potential to Pitch and create a sales roadmap, with regional and global considerations.
Potential for a Motorcycle Bra is All Over the Map
Albert is rolling along with his new idea for a motorcycle bra, a device he invented to protect and decorate sports bikes. In my role helping Albert bring his new product to market, the next logical step I suggested was to consider where—geographically—this innovation should be sold.
As a motorcyclist with thousands of miles under his saddle, Albert designed his motorcycle bra to address a pesky problem: bug splats and road dirt. “Bug strikes and the like,” as Albert’s patent filings read, may be more problematic in some regions than others. Bad for riders in those states, but good for a regional approach for his sales strategy. Breaking down motorcycle sales by state also provided actionable information.
My regional investigation showed Albert that the largest motorcycle markets in the U.S. are in California, Ohio and Florida.
Top 10 State Motorcycle Markets*
|STATE||U.S. MARKET SHARE %|
*Estimated using NPN Market Facts Supplement from the period of my market research.
While it is difficult to predict regional impact, the data indicated that test marketing in one or more of these states would be a good idea. Where to go? There are hundreds of bike shows, rallies, and conferences scheduled throughout the country. Picking those within these target states makes good sense.
Now, let’s talk numbers. If Albert’s bike bra was able to enter only the regional markets represented by these 10 states, the unit potential would fall to approximately half of the U.S. market. (Last time we estimated this market at 250,000 sport bikes sold each year along with 880,000 existing sports motorcycles owned by potential customers.) Therefore, sales in these top 10 states represented approximately 125,000 units per year in addition to the 420,000 units already home in the garage.
Mapping Out Foreign Markets
I encouraged Albert to look beyond the U.S. border. While his patent provided only U.S. protection, I helped him understand that statistics related to foreign markets provide potential bargaining tools.
When negotiating licensing with a worldwide producer or distributor, I often find that knowing about the potential revenue from foreign markets sweetens the pot in my client’s favor.
The world market for motorcycles is approximately 28 million with China manufacturing roughly 17 million units, approximately 48% of global output. Export markets for the Chinese bikes include 200 countries, primarily Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Notably, Chinese sales to the European and U.S. markets were about 9 million motorcycles at the time of our study.
For an interested licensee, the huge foreign market potential represented substantial profits for Albert.
Today’s lesson: Consider a regional approach for your sales roadmap. Targeting only high-potential areas could yield better mileage. And don’t overlook international opportunities.
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About the Author
Will Jacques is President of Emanus, a consulting firm that works with entrepreneurs, early-stage, and small-/medium-sized businesses.