Strategy Formulation

Concretizing a growth strategy

In this whitepaper, Axholmen presents a comprehensive approach to developing actionable growth strategies for B2B companies. We emphasize transforming theoretical strategies into concrete actions, focusing on leveraging customer, market, and expert insights. These insights are crucial in identifying viable growth opportunities in existing markets, new customer bases, and attractive new markets.

Authors: Erik Mokvist



For business-to-business companies with the ambition to grow, a growth strategy is usually developed based on a point-of-departure analysis combined with customer and market insights. Answering questions such as what growth pockets are available, should focus be on existing products in existing markets, should growth be achieved through existing or new customers, what new markets are most attractive, etc. can be helpful when formulating a growth strategy and concluding on strategic levers. However, to make the plan successful, actions need to be concretely defined and planned. Without converting a theoretical strategy into doable actions, limited positive effects can be expected.

Gather input and conclude growth levers

To conclude growth levers and set a growth strategy, there are several aspects to consider. Firstly, a lot of valuable information is already known in the organization. As an example, sales representatives are at the front line of meeting customers, and daily gather key insights from existing, lost, and prospective customers. Axholmen’s experience is that, if interviewed effectively, sales representatives can precisely articulate the actual demand for products, add-ons, services, and packaging per market and region. Being close to the business allows them to assess and quantify the revenue potential per existing and prospective customer. In addition, they often have clear ideas of how to capture the value.

Secondly, interviews with existing, lost, and prospective customers can yield additional insights, such as pain points in the sales process, perceived value of the offerings, and emerging needs in the market.

Combining the specific input from sales representatives with the unfiltered insights from customer interviews, the strategy can be formulated. These tend to be the most valuable sources but can also be complemented and triangulated with additional sources, such as data on current performance, other internal data, market research, and niche industry expert interviews. Once the strategy is formulated, the growth levers can be concluded and used by the Sales organization.

In order for the strategy to be executable, it needs to be further concretized, the growth potential has to be expressed in additional revenues, and the strategy must be followed up to assess whether it was successfully executed or not.

Concretizing it

When initial analyses are concluded and overall targets are set, a concrete growth plan is needed, with specific activities. A plan per market or business unit simplifies the execution, including a game plan and revenue potential per key customer or prospect. The growth levers concluded above can serve as input and inspiration to develop customer specific game plans. The table below illustrates how activities per market and per key customer build up the growth plan. Even though it will be based on assumptions and the actual outcome will differ from the assumptions, it will support the strategy execution.

Illustrative growth strategy plan for Market X – strategic customers

The above strategic plan works as a feasible action list for the Sales representatives in their respective markets and time could be focused on moving strategic customers forward in the sales funnel, while working more reactively with other non-strategic customers. The exercise of developing the list of strategic customers per market also verifies and validates if the growth ambition is realistic or if more actions are needed to meet the expectations.

Given the list above, it is also possible to concretize what product enhancements that are required as enablers to win certain revenues at certain profits and probabilities, which can be fed into the product roadmap.

What is required to realize the growth strategy?

To achieve the necessary effort and skills to proactively execute the strategic plan, either the Sales representatives’ focus should shift from less efficient sales to more strategic sales, or additional capabilities and capacity need to be developed. Given the game plans in the strategic plan, in combination with handling non-strategic customers reactively, it is possible to define the capacity need based on what is required to be done.

Illustrative recruitment plan per role and market compared to increased revenue ambitions

If recruitment and other investments are to be approved at the same time as the strategic plan is set per market, a business case-driven decision approach is simple given a clear growth potential for each market.

Final remarks

By concretizing the growth strategy into actionable game plans per customer, the success rate to achieve targeted growth becomes significantly higher. Additionally, the possibility to follow-up on the strategy increases, which enables further improvements of the plan, if needed.

Axholmen has 15 years with extensive strategy development experience from projects delivered worldwide in multiple industries

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20 years experience from creating P&L results through spend reduction, efficiency improvements, operating model revisions, re-design & dimensioning of organizations, working capital efficiency improvements and pricing optimization in large- and medium-sized companies in a diverse blend of industries, both in consulting and line responsible roles.

Erik Mokvist, Partner


+46 70 749 14 95


About Axholmen

Axholmen in short

Axholmen was founded in 2007 with the idea of providing a modern Swedish alternative to the global management consultancy firms. We are focused on profitability improvements that are delivered in close cooperation with our clients and with pragmatism as a core value

What we do

We have succeeded in building a large client base among leading Swedish, Scandinavian and Global companies as well as attracting and retaining top talent. We have accomplished this by delivering concrete results in strategic projects combined with a way of working in smaller, more senior teams, together with our client. Our clients describe us as both strategic and concrete by stating our ability to help them in finding the right solution to their most complex challenges and ensure that the solution is implemented and results are achieved

 Who we are

Axholmen has a strong team of experienced management consultants that all share the idea that modern consulting services are justified by the actual results and financial value created. We are willing to share the commercial risk and tie a large portion of our fees to that the agreed results are achieved

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