Published in


Autopilot buying: How brands (big or small) can cement or break prevailing choices of customers for sales growth?

Close to 95% of purchase decisions are made by customers in autopilot mode in routine categories and sometimes even in complex B2B categories. This is why you see the dominance of large brands. SMB/Challenger & Start-up businesses have to disrupt this autopilot if they want to drive sales. How do SMB & Challenger businesses create a switch from established businesses? and how do established businesses maintain autopilot?

Read timestamps wise points covered in the video presentation, and at the end, watch a 30-minutes video presentation with case studies of both making and breaking autopilot.

Most common sales growth problems faced by SMB brands, businesses and start-ups

“One or two brands/businesses corner all the sales in the category”.

“We have been investing in advertising and distribution, but it is not reflecting in sales.”

“How do we make our small budget work harder, and what will create a switch from the large brand”?

What businesses don’t realise is that most of the purchase decision made by customers are in autopilot mode.

Small brands & business have to break this autopilot mode, which favours large companies to drive sales. But how can customers be jolted out of sleepwalking into the large brands/companies?

Now let’s look at the large businesses side.

Large brands & business have market share because customers are in autopilot mode purchasing their brand/from their business. But how can they continue to maintain autopilot behaviour? How to create and break autopilot to drive sales growth?

Key ideas & Timestamp wise areas discussed in the video:

00:00​: The common practice of copying sales growth strategies of large firms by SMBs/Start-ups and vice versa does not work

00:45: Cases of how sales growth problems manifest differently for small and large firms. The tasks are different, and it requires a unique approach by both.

03:05: Introducing the idea of selective attention and how it plays out in the market. The problems of big business and brands commanding all the attention and small brands/business getting lost

05:31: Presentation title introduction — How to make and break autopilot depending on which side of the table you are in.

05:57: How sales growth is achieved — Task for SMBs/ Start-ups — Creating switch, acquire customers. The task for large business — maintaining loyalty. For both type of businesses, how to achieve continuous growth by expanding into adjacencies and sweating existing equity

08:59: Agenda — How to make and break autopilot depending on which side of the table you are in. The checklist for SMBs/ Startups to break autopilot and large firms to maintain autopilot. StratSprint skin-in-the game engagement methodology and growth diagnostic approach

09:57: Connecting sales growth to customer decision making, the two type of customer decision making- System- I, System — II, Customer goal orientation and the common mistake which SMBs make of mimicking the large brand

13:41: The foundation of making and breaking Autopilot- Stability in the environment and disruption which breaks the autopilot

14:15: How SMBs, Challenger and Start-ups businesses can win, case examples. Some of the parameters to disrupt like — change in environment (COVID), Customer struggling moments not solved by large brands, over-served and underserved segment, customer life stage etc. The concept of Triggering & Amplifying using salespeople and marketing. Connecting to System 1 and System2 and the idea of pattern disrupt

Case studies:

1. How a small toilet soap brand found a unique unserved opportunity to fight the autopilot choice

2. How a small insurance player started connecting at opportunities which the large brands missed

3. The classic Fogg Vs. Axe in which Fogg beat a much bigger well-resourced brand (StartSprint did not do this work, and it is just for reference)

22:47: How large firms can maintain leadership, case examples. Techniques such as — maintaining emotional saliency, reinforcing trust, moving beyond the product, eliminating pain points in the customer value chain, overserved and underserved segments, innovating on the business model, new business channels etc.

Case studies:

1. How a large healthcare brand leveraged its equity to expand into the fast-growing weight loss segment- an adjacent opportunity. The method through which pain points were identified and quantified in the customer value chain and how a product was developed to solve the pain points of customers

2. How Maruti Suzuki India goes beyond the product into service centres (StartSprint did not do this work, and it is just for reference)

28:41: StratSprint Revenue/opportunity diagnostic. The low-cost growth opportunity diagnostics before the larger engagement.

Types of engagement — workshops, sprints & consulting.

Link to book a free initial sales growth call:

Check out the 30-mins video presentation

Want to see a 30 mins video of how to ‘Do More Sales With Less’ — Click this link

Link to watch the video:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Subash Franklin

Founder- StratSprint Consulting | Increasing sales and cutting costs for companies by implementing Automated Sales Machine