Go to Market Strategies and Tactics

Go to Market Strategy – Sales & Marketing Tactics

Go to Market Strategy Templates

An organization’s go to market strategy should address how customers will be acquired, on-boarded, retained and up-sold. It should also address how each account will be expanded to penetrate other users, departments, functions and business units.

The go to market strategy should be constructed to meet or exceed the company’s goals and objectives.  The specific go to market strategies will provide a framework to guide go to market tactics – the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly activities required to achieve the strategies and fulfill objectives.

A well-constructed go to market strategy provides a blueprint for delivering a product or service to market and forces the organization to think through sales, marketing, development, partners, services and support.

Of course the best go to market strategies are useless unless they produce the desired business outcomes.  And, there is always the constant requirement to do more with less, meaning every resource must be optimized, all the time.  Fortunately, numerous proven marketing and sales planning templates have been developed that can be leveraged to develop one’s go to market strategy and flawlessly guide the go to market tactics.

Often it is necessary to conduct an assessment of where an organization is before developing its GTM strategy.  Be sure to ask the right questions and use a quantitative framework to document current state and future state.

Specifically, spend some time asking and answering:

  1. Where are you now? What is the current state of the business?
  2. Where do you want to be? What is the desired state for the business?
  3. What has to happen?  Is it incremental or transformational?  How much will it cost and how long will it take?

Go to market tactics are a series of actions that lead to the implementation of a specific go-to-market strategy. Marketing tactics are the activities that B2B marketers perform every day. These may include creating content, executing events, posting or responding on social media, sending emails, pulling lists, PPC, SEM, coordinating with the sales team, etc.

Efficient and effective go to market plans connect the organization’s strategy to customer acquisition and retention.  Go to market strategy and tactics must address the areas in which an organization should compete and how and when a sales team has a high probability of winning.  The keys to successful go to market strategy and tactics are:

  1.  Identifying target customers with a high propensity to purchase
  2. Crafting value propositions tailored to personas involved in the buying process
  3. Ensuring customers realize the value perceived during the purchase process

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Go to Market Strategy Examples

Go to Market Strategy examples have been created (by a CMO with decades of experience spanning Fortune 1000 companies and Startups) for B2B companies to document their go to market strategy, create the fundamental GTM building blocks (differentiation, value drivers, sales messaging), develop integrated marketing campaigns to create marketing qualified leads and to design and implement a demand management system to convert marketing leads to qualified sales opportunities.

Go to Market Strategies & Insights

Pragmatic, actionable, how-to posts, written by a CMO about GTM Strategy, Marketings Plans, Marketing Process, Marketing Techniques, Sales & Marketing Strategy, Technology Trends and B2B Market Research.  B2B Marketing insights are shared based on years of developing and executing go to market strategy at public and private companies, advising portfolio companies and teaching at the executive MBA level.

A Sales Messaging Framework to Support Customer Conversations

Developing a sales messaging framework is critical for sales and marketing to have effective meaningful and relevant conversations with prospective customers. Doing so focuses go-to-market resources and expedites customer acquisition. Many companies devote the time and effort necessary to build a messaging framework that produces a unique selling proposition, tag line and boilerplate. While this…

Persona Lite is a Tool For Your Guerrilla Marketing Toolkit

A Persona Lite is a tool for your guerrilla marketing toolkit that should be added now and applied whenever time and money prevent a Traditional Persona or Provisional Persona from being developed. Personas serve as the “True North” when building a solution (defining user experience and functionality) or selling a solution (determining what information needs…

B2B Marketing Strategies Must Account for Lag Time

B2B marketing strategies must account for the lag time between lead generation, lead management and the direct sales process. Otherwise, the organization risks missing the forecast each and every quarter. The concept of a lag factor is generally understood but for some reason the time it takes to conceive integrated demand planning, the execution of campaigns, and the…

What are the Most Effective Enterprise Sales Tools

The most effective enterprise sales tools are those that are meaningful and relevant to the customer target audience at “their moment in time”.   Understanding this moment in time requires a vendor to understand the customer’s buying process, the personas involved in the purchase decision and their specific motivation, needs and objectives. A vendor’s sales cycle…

Creating a Predictable Revenue Stream via an Optimized Sales Process

An optimized Sales Process is fundamental to creating a predictable revenue stream. Regardless of whether an organization is experiencing high-growth or pressure exists in meeting payroll, a predictable, sustained revenue stream enables an organization to execute its go-to-market plan and focus on operational excellence. An optimized Sales Process facilitates scaling the organization — a critical component…

The Fundamentals of Go to Market Strategy

Too often companies focus on symptoms instead of nailing the fundamentals of Go to Market Strategy.  For instance, When the Sales Pipeline Management Report Reveals a Gap knee jerk reactions include hiring a sales guy, updating the sales presentation or holding a webcast.  It’s possible that each of the aforementioned tactics might be appropriate, however,…

Go to Market Strategy – Market Opportunity

Each new fiscal year requires an operating plan and that should underpin an organization’s go to market strategy – market opportunity.  The tone for that annual plan is highly influenced by the revenue expectations and that in turn drives profitability, dictates expenses and impacts different marketing strategies. In large corporations the annual planning process tends…

Marketing Resources – Target Account Profile, Qualification Matrix and Lead Scoring

Best practices in efficient and effective B2B Sales requires the right marketing resources – target account profile, qualification matrix and lead scoring. It’s been said that the first step to achieve a goal is to set one.  While all organizations set revenue goals, it’s surprising how many can’t paint a visible, detailed picture of their…

A Best-in-Class Demand Management System

The best-run Marketing and Sales groups  use a best-in-class demand management system to ensure a healthy and sustained sales pipeline of qualified sales opportunities that convert to closed won/deals at a velocity and volume that consistently meets or exceed sales targets, each and every quarter. A best-in-class demand management platform includes: Database — the ability…

Framework for Developing a Disruptive Sales Pitch

It’s effective to start with a framework for developing a disruptive sales pitch and in the book, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson describe the SAFE-BOLD Framework and how to embrace it when building a teaching pitch.  The SAFE-BOLD diagram was created by Neil Rackham and KPMG a tool for helping companies…

Sales & Marketing Plays – Four Quadrant

With any team sport, a team’s success is directly correlated to the quality of the Sales & Marketing Plays in the playbook and the flawless execution against those plays.  While the terms “play and sales playbook” or “sales and marketing playbook” have been thrown about in conversation, beneath the surface, it’s clear that not everyone…

Event Marketing – How to Plan an Event

This post, Event Marketing – How to Plan an Event, reveals a managed, repeatable process for selecting, designing, developing and executing successful marketing events. A recent study by Forrester Research reveals that B2B marketing budgets will rise 6% in 2014 and represent 4% of company revenue. Prior to 2008, Forrester notes that marketing budgets ranged between…

Use Case and Product Differentiation

Most organizations set their sales and marketing teams up for failure from day one by building a product or solution out of context–a poor, weak or nonexistent use case and product differentiation.  Context meaning the real world environment (business problem or use case) that the product or solution was specifically built to solve.  Ideally, the…

Go-to-Market Strategy – Defining the Target Market

A company’s go-to-market strategy is flawed from the start if defining the target market was step one.  If the target market is not clearly defined (based on use cases), and there is no compelling messaging, companies will struggle with execution, resulting in high turnover, low close ratios and finger pointing between sales, marketing and development.…

Go to Market Strategy – Must Do’s for Demand Generation and Demand Management

To execute an efficient and effective go-to-market strategy, there are certain must do’s for Demand Generation and Demand Management initiatives.  To facilitate the process, it’s important to assess current organizational capabilities, document the desired state and, as a best practice, leverage the Capability Maturity Model framework. Most organizations usually repeat the following process: Execute a…

Sales and Marketing Quick Reference Card

It’s so obviously useful, but most companies do not provide their teams with a sales and marketing quick reference card to guide conversations with prospects and customers. A Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card (QRC) is a one-pager that summarizes the company’s unique selling proposition, the solution’s positioning, the target opportunity areas, discovery questions and objection…

This image illustrates the Market Maturity that is used in the development of a Go-to-Market Strategy Template

Go to Market Strategies & Tactics – Market Maturity

Successful go to market strategies are based on the relative market, technology and competitors.  The available market, served market and target market not only need to be quantified but the markets adoption of the technology needs to be documented and managed.  The technology adoption curve or market adoption curve provides a useful way to break down the market into five homogeneous market segments: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards.

Innovators typically represent the first 2.5% of the market and are the first step to concur in any go to market penetration strategy.  Innovators are the first individuals or organizations that adopt the newest technology. By definition, innovators are willing to take risks as the perceived benefits or being first outweigh the costs and the chance of failure is understood.

Early Adopters are the next set of adopters and they represent 13.5% of the market.  Early adopters also invest early on in new technologies, not as technologists, but to address their concrete problems.   Often times, early adopters are key influencers in a market and are considered thought leaders.  Innovators prove that the technology works but it is the early adopters that figure out how to apply the technology efficiently and effectively.

The Early Majority represents 34% of the market and when combined with Innovators and Early Adopters this represents 50% of the available market.  It takes the Early Majority much more time to adopt (as short as 5 years and as long as 10 years).

The Late Majority represents another 34% of the market.  This segment is much more of a Missouri state of mind – Show me.   This segment approaches technology with a high degree of skepticism and will only adopt after the majority has adopted.

Laggards represent 16% of the market and many industries never penetrate this segment.  The sentiment in this group is that the old way works and that the new way will create more work, it won’t work and that will create more work.  This group has an aversion to change-agents and tend to be older and clock-pinchers.

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Go to Market Strategies & Tactics – Competitive Differentiation

Product, solution or services differentiation is the process of distinguishing a product, solution or service from similar offerings or substitutes, to make it more attractive to the served target market.

Product, solution or services differentiation is a marketing strategy whereby a company attempts to make their product, solution or service unique stand out from competitors. At its core, product, solution or service differentiation means that some feature, physical attribute, capability or substantive difference exists.

The presence of differentiation is not enough for a company to pin it’s go to market stregy on to be successful. The differentiation has to be received to be important to the end-user. More often than not, engineers and developers will point to the latest technology or being able to do something faster, better or cheaper but at the end of the day it will have no impact unless the people in the buying process perceive that differentiation to be important.

And, once differentiation is established that buyers value, there is one more hoop to jump through – credibility. Even if a company can communicate something that is important to an individual in the customer buying process, it will not resonate unless it is believable. Just because words are on a web page or typed in a brochure or white paper do not make them truths. Usually, credibility will come from a peer, subject matter expert, analyst, third party study etc.

Differentiation comes in three primary forms:

  • Comparative – other vendors have provide this feature, function, capability or benefit but they do it differently
  • Holistic – the vendor does not provide the feature, function, capability or benefit directly but the vendor’s partner ecosystem provides the differentiation.
  • Unique – the vendor provides the feature, function, capability based on something on it can do – no other organization currently does it.

As a company develops its g to market tactics, it’s a best practice to complete a competitive differentiation worksheet to identify the differentiation that is meaningful and relevant to the market and the difficulty to deliver it.

Download a proven process and PowerPoint template that includes examples of how to create go to market building blocks >>