It’s more than a product launch, but slightly less than an entire business model.
It’s a unique, product specific, customer focused go-to-market strategy. And it’s a crucial feature of any successful B2B business.
Yet if it’s so important, why are so many rendered unsuccessful? GTM motions can fail for a variety of reasons. From poorly thought out plans to unidentified buyer personas, a small crack in the foundation can lead to the crumbling of the entire structure.
So how do you create a foolproof GTM strategy? Read on.
What is a GTM Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy, more than anything, is a plan. Specifically, it’s a plan that maps out the way a company introduces a new product or service to the market. When I say it’s a plan, it’s not just a broad outline. Rather, it identifies the specific factors that will impact the way a product is received, such as target audience, marketing plan, and sales strategy.
One of the main goals of a GTM strategy is to ensure a competitive edge. You wouldn’t want to introduce a product without knowing how it will fit into the market — the risk of failure would be too high. Your GTM strategy is your blueprint, and your assurance that your product release goes as smoothly as possible.
What Goes Into an Effective GTM Strategy?
Every company and product is different, so every GTM strategy should be unique. That being said, there are a few key things every effective plan should have in order to ensure success.
- Experience And Skilled Talent: You need a team that gets it. And by “it” I mean the core mission of your company and where the new product/service fits into that message.
- Accurate Data Intelligence: Data is incredibly important when it comes to identifying market trends and understanding pricing and distribution models of your product.
- Integrative, Effective Digital Tools: When it comes to your GTM strategy, and any kind of product launch, you need integrative automation tools to help execute and measure results across the channels that matter most.
What’s Broke? 4 Steps To Fix Your Failed GTM Strategy
Basic marketing and sales strategies no longer make the cut when it comes to modern go-to-market motions. An effective strategy requires a team to dive deeper, using data insights to gain a deep and holistic understanding of your customers and the market at large.
So, where do GTM motions usually go wrong and what steps should you take to remedy the situation? Let’s review.
1. Refine Your Ideal Customer Profile
A good GTM strategy starts with an understanding of not just who your customer is, but how they operate, what they care about, when they care about it, and how an organization’s product or service can help. Determining who your ideal customer is will take going deeper than just firmographic information.
Take Atlatl Software, a ZoomInfo customer that was trying to capture customers in an unestablished market. Their Director of Sales, Zac Cooper explains the importance of refining ICPs for a successful GTM motion.
“At traditional SaaS software sales organizations, you have your list of accounts, you have your buyer personas, and you’re trying to create opportunities,” Cooper said. “But because we were essentially creating a new market, the business development strategy within Atlatl had to be very strategic and consultative.”
“We needed market intelligence that could go beyond traditional firmographic data points to pinpoint our Total Addressable Market (TAM). We support the manufacturing industry, sure – but specifically, we’re supporting high-growth organizations. What does that mean? Companies north of a billion in revenue that are growing aggressively through acquisition, introducing new products to the market, and whose sales organization have grown a least 20% in size, year-over-year.”
2. Foster Alignment with Stakeholders
“Before we made the aforementioned pivot toward refining our ICP, we had issues,” Cooper explained. “Even though we knew penetrating a market meant we could not necessarily follow traditional processes to create top of the funnel demand,” Cooper continued. “Although, we certainly tried. Two years in, I took a step back to examine the analytics from sales outreach, which yielded just 2% percent conversion rate.”
While it sounds like fluff, perhaps the most important part of a GTM strategy is gaining alignment between stakeholders across the organization. Brainstorming sessions can’t happen in silos; otherwise, a GTM motion will quickly halt, as commitments and cohesiveness in execution is derailed before launch date.
Think we’re overstating this? Think again. Misalignment can disrupt even the most foundational elements of your efforts, including:
- Production and distribution timeline
- Marketing and sales tactics
- Pricing and distribution models
And look, resource allocation at the outset of developing your GTM motion is a scary proposition. Success here isn’t a given, but opinions about what it takes to achieve objectives certainly will be expressed, anyway. As for the flip side, strong alignment benefits your GTM strategy both in the short and long term.
Case in point, Atlatl worked with ZoomInfo to refine its ICP, and conversion rates improved by 400% — from 1.8% to nearly 10%. But the decision to do so only came because of the sound alignment the team had in place, even when there wasn’t a clear path, which again helps both in the here and now, as well as maintaining success.
“Re-creating our ICP not only helped us find a path to high-value prospects,” Cooper said. “We were able to open up roads that otherwise didn’t exist. Beyond the conversion rate, we realized upwards of 40% additional capital in terms of bottom line cost efficiencies. Seriously, upwards of 40%!
That’s a significant percentage that gives me the opportunity to invest budget in resources that will accelerate our sales cycle. For instance, instead of having to hire junior business development representatives to handle account mapping and appointment setting, I can hire Enterprise Account Executives knowing full well we have a solution that can support a targeted sales strategy.”
3. Refine Engagement Strategy
The focus of your GTM motion shouldn’t be solely on acquisitions. Rather, companies need to prioritize engagement. And engagement only comes through an understanding of who your buyer really is, what they care about, and most importantly, why.
“While my experiences initially lent me to believe that a VP of Sales or VP of Engineering was our buyer persona, we had seen a shift,” Cooper said. “Instead, Chief Experience Officer, Chief Digital Officer, and other obscure titles were the stakeholders driving purchasing decisions.”
This not-so-small monkey wrench is not exclusive to Atlatl’s GTM motion. Markets are constantly evolving, and who you need to engage will likely differ over time. Generating engagement thus requires a GTM motion that positions your brand as a partner in the journey.
Put simply, brands should actively seek customer participation in the evolution of their mission, rather than just be a recipient of the end result. Why? Because customers have a lot of options these days. It’s not necessarily the product, but the experience that will decide why they choose to buy and who they choose to buy from.
4. Re-evaluate Channels
You should always be tracking lead sources and determining which channels they come from. This helps with budgeting because you can then direct resources towards the channels that produce the most and/or best leads.
When it comes to B2B GTM motions, the three channels to focus on are typically
- Inbound Marketing: 59% of marketers agree that inbound prospects result in the highest quality leads for sales teams. Yet inbound leads don’t just magically appear. Rather, they are enticed through long-term content marketing strategies from the company website, blog, and email nurture campaigns.
- Outbound Prospecting: While not as likely to convert as inbound, outbound prospecting can result in quicker wins and provide more opportunity to build out a qualified pipeline. The goal of outbound prospecting is to create outreach to un-engaged prospects through things like cold calling and email sequencing.
- Advertising: An important metric to keep in the back of your mind when thinking about advertising is ROAS (return on ad spending). Things like SEM, re-targeting content, social media, and trade shows are great channels to advertise both your product and overall brand.
GTM Motions are Always Fluid
Here at ZoomInfo, we know that a successful GTM motion should be repeatable, adaptable, and efficient. We recognize that business is always changing, and that the right message to the right person at the right time is what makes the difference between a deal won and a deal lost.