The last 20 years have seen seismic changes in how buyers buy and how B2B companies market, sell, and deliver value. The primary driver of these changes is of course the digitization of everything –learning, buying, marketing, selling, servicing, events, remote work, and communication.
This environment of instant information, lower-cost customization, and personalized experiences has increased expectations.
Both buyers and the employees of B2B companies have taken center stage, forcing a positive change in the way companies must create value in order to grow. To put it bluntly, if a buyer doesn’t like the way you interact with them, they will go somewhere else, and if the employee can’t connect the dots from the work they do to positive company and customer outcomes, they will also go somewhere else.
The Source of Go-to-Market Complexity
There was a time when we could simplify Go-to-Market teams into Sales and Marketing.
However, as the sophistication and needs of buyers have evolved and businesses have invested in larger teams, with more specialized roles and resources, the concept of planning and executing a Go-to-Market strategy has also evolved. For example, the idea that you can simply measure the success of your marketing organization via the pipeline they generate is fine for a top-line goal. However, when the skills and expectations of a highly specialized demand generation marketer are very different from the skills and expectations of a brand marketer, trying to pinpoint an issue can be a challenge. Should we fail to meet our pipeline expectations in a quarter, we often ask ourselves, “Do we have a brand or positioning problem, or are we just not reaching the right people at the right time?”
The specialization that has allowed us to drive better experiences for our customers has also made it more difficult to predict and diagnose issues.
In addition to the complications within departments, the number of departments that now have a significant stake in the customer experience has also increased.
Product, Marketing, Sales, Customer teams, and their supporting staff of RevOps and Enablement all have the ability to change customer perception.
People will renew or not renew a product because of product issues, because they felt they were sold something incorrectly, because it was difficult for them to implement, or because the support staff did not meet expectations.
This further complicates the issue of pinpointing the reason behind a business challenge you may be experiencing.
For example, if you start to see your expansion revenue decline, it could be because of a product issue, a messaging and positioning issue, an issue with the audience you are attracting, an issue with how you are selling, or an issue with how you are supporting the customer once they sign; even a combination of several of these challenges.
The final layer of complexity exists in the extensive number of tools and solutions available in the Go-to-Market space. With so many products available, it can be overwhelming for a leader to decide which tools they should invest their budget and time into integrating into their teams and processes.
What is to be done?
We believe the unification of the GTM functions (Marketing, Sales, Success, Service,RevOps, Enablement, and Product) under a GTM process (not an org chart) will allow B2B companies to execute more strategically, outmaneuver their competitors, expand their markets, and drive customer lifetime value to new heights.
This is what used to be called “organizing around the customer”!
A New Definition for Go-to-Market
Fundamentally, Go-to-Market (GTM) is the strategies and processes by which you bring a revenue-generating aspect of your business to the right buyers and continue to deliver on their expectations to ensure they remain your customers for as long as is appropriate.
It is important to remember that GTM does not live in isolation, and in fact, is the operating system that connects and drives the three critical components of business transformation; namely strategy, planning, and execution. When strategy and planning are disconnected from your GTM, you will start to experience breakdowns between teams, either with disconnected processes, misaligned investments, or poor execution that could lead you to the conclusion that you made the wrong bets. Let’s start with what Go-to-Market is not, which helps drive home the definition.
Go-to-Market is NOT
- A one-and-done. It cannot be “cracked” at an executive offsite.
- A strategy or a project
- Just how you do sales or how you do marketing
- An iterative and transformation process for your businesS
- Repeatable and scalable, and helps you answer billion-dollar questions like: when can we scale our business?
- A unifying force for your business
The 6 Types of Go-to-Market
Most organizations have more than one GTM type, and they absolutely have more than one Go-to-Market Motion.
Go-to-Market “types” in this context refer to the many different ways you can bring your products and services to the market. Each one of these approaches requires its own strategy and investment to ensure efficient growth.
Depending on your approach, your growth levers are going to change, and therefore, how you pull on these levers will need to be refined. For example, spending significant resources on content and lead generation activities when you have a niche marketplace that demands an outbound motion is likely to increase your Cost of Acquisition (CAC) and not deliver the results you expect.
Even if your company is using only one type of GTM – “Inbound” for example –you most likely have multiple GTM Motions. A GTM Motion is a grouped set of products and segments that must be sold and serviced differently than another grouped set of products and segments. The most common example of this is when you see a company set up a different GTM Motion to serve an SMB or velocity segment vs. that of an enterprise segment. Why? Because the needs of the buyer and the requirements placed upon the GTM teams are so different that they cannot be successful when assigned to the same resources.
We’ll dig deeper into each type of GTM motion in future posts.
Karthiga “Karthi” Ratnam is the Director of Go To Market for Go To Market Partners, a leading GTM analyst. She builds customized GTM strategies for companies to grow revenue and market share. Ratnam is responsible for designing & running enablement programs that demonstrate the value proposition of GTM Partners’ services.