As part of our series on Buyer Enablement, we explore how a go-to-market strategy and team closes the buyer experience loop. Other posts in this series includes:
A Go-To-Market Strategy (GTM Strategy) is an internally-generated, actionable blueprint that outlines how a particular business will reach its target customers, while striking an appropriate balance in pricing and distribution.
“A go-to-market strategy (GTM strategy) is an action plan that specifies how a company will reach target customers and achieve competitive advantage.” - TechTarget
GTM Strategies are increasing in popularity and impact, not just for their application in discovering the latest B2B buyer trends, but also for their success in aligning all stakeholders when it comes to following timelines, meeting deadlines, and processing outcomes effectively.
“Implement the right sales enablement technology to gain insights into seller behavior, such as searches, views, shares, and downloads. With this newfound visibility, you can analyze the data to inform your larger strategy.” - Enable Us
The main difference between a GTM strategy approach and traditional B2B marketing lies in a targeted plan for how the company will promote and sell its products and services to its customers. This includes identifying the target customer segment, determining the appropriate sales channels and pricing strategies, and implementing targeted marketing efforts to reach the desired market.
There is also more emphasis on integrating marketing with sales, implementation, and customer success - providing a holistic approach to offering a new product or service.
A traditional marketing approach, on the other hand, is more broad-based and may not be as closely tied to a specific plan for selling products or services. Rather, the focus is promoting the corporate brand or larger suite of products and services.
Think of the TV show Mad Men of the 1960’s, where they relied on poster board presentations to strategize how to present their products through giant billboards, brochures, direct mailing, catchphrases inserted directly on product packaging, and radio/television advertisements for the bulk of their marketing. Casting a wide net to drive demand versus a specific plan to targeted audience.
Moreover, while other cross-functional teams may be informed of the marketing strategy, the approach may be less integrated cross-functionally.
The overall purpose of employing a GTM Strategy is to place all of your company’s moving parts in lockstep, not just with one another, but with buyers and their B2B journey as well. As we’ve mentioned before, streamlining the buyer journey remains the top priority, and ensuring the various components of your go-to-market strategy are functioning properly is a fundamental step toward achieving that goal.
To better understand what comprises a successful go-to-market strategy, let’s take a look at its key components.
This is a vital first step, as it presents the defining moment for your market and comprises the base upon which your business will be built.
This is where you formulate your value proposition. What is the intended innovation, service, or feature that your company offers and why should other businesses be interested in purchasing it. Does it help them identify and/or overcome a problem more quickly/efficiently than their current methods? Does it solve recurring problems and/or identify hidden pain points?
What delivery method is best-suited to meet the specific needs of each individual customer? Is it a seamless and efficient channel? Is it a path that can be scaled up easily or altered?
Are you using favorable messaging that reaches a large and relevant audience? Does this messaging position your company as an industry leader by emphasizing the value of the specialized content being offered? And the big question, does it promote sales growth?
What is the basic cost of your products/services? Do you offer price adjustments to match competitors serving overlapping customer groups? Are there discounts available for bulk orders or longer initial contract periods? Are your price points in line with market trends?
To better understand the inner workings of the marketing cycle, let’s break down the different roles each department plays.
They are responsible for the overall product strategy, product delivery, and outcomes for the company. They set timelines and target dates, while understanding revenue goals for their product(s). As the overall conductor for the product, they are privy to all major developments in other departments as they relate to meeting company objectives, compliance, and best practices.
Since product marketers typically report to marketing, they are charged with identifying buyer personas, analyzing competitors, and developing the product messaging and positioning. Marketing colleagues use this data to identify key channels and programs to generate qualified leads. Through these efforts, they can positively position the product to key buyer personas for a smooth entry into the market or to drive market share.
The goal is for the entire sales organization, whether focused on outbound, inside, or field sales, to connect with prospective buyers through a mutually beneficial and transparent process. They develop tailored buyer experiences for potential clients, such as with personalized digital sales rooms or account based marketing.
Hybrid team members capable of both selling and providing structural support to the sales team. Specialists in presenting customization or deployment options for specific companies or organizations. Can offer advice on when and when not to seek automation or outsourcing, for example.
Deploying solutions to the customers while ensuring deadlines are met for products, services, and transactions. They identify potential deployment barriers and resolve issues before problems spread to other departments. They also generate momentum for the sales force and protect services to clients.
Providing the necessary training/coaching to new users that is instrumental in shaping the B2B buyer experience. Using data collected from other departments, as well as successful transactions themselves, they work to streamline and encourage user adoption. By creating awareness of new features/products, and upselling where appropriate, this helps guarantee customer retention and recurring revenue.
The traditional B2B sales process is often a segmented one, in which each component, for the most part, runs independently of the others. This siloed model exposes vulnerabilities to both B2B buyers and digital platforms looking to enhance the buyer experience. With such potential disconnects in the sales cycle, you risk losing out on big opportunities.
A go-to-market strategy, however, emphasizes collective action and provides tools to maintain communication and collaboration from the onset of a business lead to the conclusion of its transaction. Where the B2B sales process can, in some cases, be viewed as a simple sales environment, the go-to-market model extends beyond, acting as a cohesive ecosystem that flourishes as a whole.
Buyer Enablement platforms are designed with the specific objective of creating a unique B2B buyer experience in which all relevant parties have the potential for equal participation, with access to tools and resources that help their end of the transaction link seamlessly to the others.
In this sense, Buyer Enablement is about closing the gaps that persist in traditional marketing and sales models by fine-tuning the purchasing loop in order to increase sales growth and benefit its wide variety of 21st century users.
By expanding and combining the strengths of sales enablement and the go to market philosophy to the capabilities provided by buyer enablement platforms, solutions like those offered by Enable Us thrive in their ability to holistically align go to market with the buyer’s journey, creating a streamlined, fast, and effective B2B transaction experience.
“It is very easy to build a great product and then wait for people to buy it, but it does not work that way. Nobody cares about technology on its own; it must solve problems.” - Forbes Technology Council
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