What is a Go-To-Market strategy, and how exactly do you define one for your company?
A go-to-market strategy is one of the most important tools for any business, sales team, and marketing group. It’s essentially a multi-faceted roadmap, defining how you’re going to reach your audience, separate yourself from your competition, and make a profit.
Though it might seem simple, creating an effective go-to-market strategy isn’t something most companies can do overnight. It takes time and effort to break your go-to-market plan down into simple, easy-to-follow steps. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
To successfully launch and sell a new product or service, you need a plan. Without the right strategy, it’s difficult to know whether you’re pursuing the right target market, sales strategy, or pricing structure. You might even discover too late that you’re launching a new product in an already oversaturated market, making profitability almost impossible.
A go-to-market strategy (GTM) is a solution that helps you to minimize these issues. Essentially, it’s a plan for positioning your product or service for launch. With a go-to-market strategy, you define your ideal customer, coordinate your messaging, and empower your sales team.
The right go-to-market strategy should act as a crucial roadmap for all members of your team. It will measure the potential of your solution’s success based on market research and competitive data. Plus, it should help you bring your product to market, with minimal issues.
Developing a good go-to-market strategy can take time and effort. You’ll need to design buyer persona’s, ensure you’re positioning yourself effectively against competitors, and leverage the right tactics to achieve sales goals. While there’s a lot of effort involved, a go-to-market strategy is a valuable resource. It can help:
One point worth noting is there are different ways to approach a go-to-market strategy.
The most common options include sales-led GTM strategies, and product-led GTM strategies. With a sales-led strategy, you use marketing campaigns to generate demand for a product, capturing leads to pass onto your sales teams, who then reach out to prospects.
In a product-led strategy, your product acts as your primary salesperson, providing so much value that your customers are convinced to buy something. This is common in the software market, where companies offer free versions of their items to engage and convert customers.
Though the focus of your GTM plan can vary, a good strategy should always include a few core factors. Primarily, it needs to:
Creating a go-to-market strategy can be complex, as it requires significant research and extensive planning. While there are templates out there to help business owners, you’ll still need to invest in collecting the right amount of data to guide your strategy.
Here are some of the key steps involved in creating a go-to-market plan.
First, you’ll need to define exactly who your ideal customer, or target audience is. Creating buyer personas can help you to better understand your customer’s pain points, goals, and reasons for buying your product or service. A good customer profile should provide insights into demographic data about your customers, their behaviors, and the challenges they face.
You can use a variety of tools to build your profile, from surveys collected from existing customers, to reviews, and testimonials left by clients. Extensive competitor research can also be helpful here, as your competitors are likely to have similar customers to you.
Developing a good go-to-market strategy is all about determining how you can position your product or service in the existing market. To do this, you need to understand which competitors are already operating in your space, and what benefits they can offer.
Research some of the top competitors in your space, paying attention to their unique selling points, their target audience, and their messaging. You may also want to look at the pricing structure used by your competitors, to determine how you should position your own product from a financial perspective.
It’s also worth researching the market you serve in general, as macro and micro trends in any industry can have a significant impact on your launch.
After you’ve defined your ideal customer and your competitors, it’s time to start thinking about the unique values you can bring to the market. A value matrix, which breaks down the pain points and goals of each buyer persona, can help here.
Create a chart with a persona in one column, and list the pain points these individuals face daily. Next, use another column to highlight the way your company resolves these pain points. Finally, use your insights to start crafting messaging for your marketing and sales strategy.
Effective product messaging should communicate the value of your solutions to your ICP in a way that resonates with their pain points. Learn as much as you can about the language your customers use when interacting with your industry, to ensure your messaging resonates with them.
Once you have your messaging strategy, and all the research you need into your buyer personas, the next step is planning how you’re going to interact with prospects throughout the buyer journey. Depending on your industry, the buyer’s journey for your product could be simple or complex. Usually, it involves the following stages:
With your buyer journey mapped out, you’ll need to determine how to go to market with your product or solution. In other words, how are customers going to get whatever you’re selling?
There are a few different options available here. For instance, you could use a self-serve model, where customers are empowered to purchase their own solutions from a website or marketplace. Some companies use the “inside sales model” where a prospect is nurtured by a sales rep to close a deal. This is common for products with a large purchase price or long-term subscription contract.
Alternatively, you could consider partnering with other companies and professionals for sales. For instance, you could use the channel model to partner with other companies who sell products on your behalf, and deliver them to customers.
Now you know how you’re going to be serving your customers, you need to start filling your sales pipeline with potential leads. This process is known as “demand generation”. It can involve the use of both inbound and outbound marketing and sales strategies.
With inbound strategies, you’ll focus on using marketing methods like content marketing, social media, and paid ads to draw attention to your company, and pull leads to you. Setting measurable goals for your inbound marketing efforts is crucial, as it will help you to determine what methods are really working for your brand.
When developing an inbound strategy, you’ll need to think about how you can create content that nurtures customers through the entire sales funnel. This could mean investing in SEO strategies like keyword research and backlinking to attract customers at the top of the buyer funnel.
It could also mean experimenting with various types of content, from infographics and case studies, to webinars, videos, and podcasts, to nurture and educate your leads.
With outbound strategies, your focus is on reaching out to your customers, and making them aware of your company. For instance, when salespeople invest in cold calling strategies, or sending cold emails to prospects, they’re leveraging outbound methods.
Once you’ve defined exactly how you’re going to take your product to market, and how you’re going to connect with your customers, you have all the tools you need in place for a go-to-market strategy.
However, it’s worth noting that your plan to connect with and nurture your audience may change over time. Gathering insights from your GTM efforts can help to boost the success of your future product launches and campaigns. With this in mind, establish a feedback loop between your marketing, sales, and product development teams.
Make sure all of your employees know how to monitor important metrics, from customer engagement and retention to conversion rates, and prospecting performance.
Creating a go-to-market strategy from scratch can be a daunting prospect. That’s particularly true if it’s your first time launching a new product or service. However, if you can learn how to master your GTM strategy, and fill it with the right data, the results can be phenomenal.
The right go-to-market strategy includes all of the information your sales and marketing teams need to thrive in their roles. Plus, it can help you to gather useful insights to feed back to your product development team.
If you need help developing your own go-to-market strategy, check out our monthly CXO Games to learn from some of the brightest minds in GTM today!