Important Tactics to Include in your Business's Go-To-Market Strategy
Building a go-to-market strategy plan for your company is the first step to bringing your product or service to the market. Developing this blueprint is crucial to the success of your business, so knowing what these plans should include is a must. The important tactics to include in your business’s go-to-market strategy include:
- Defining the target market
- Specifying the use case
- Clearly articulating differentiation
- Summarizingvalue drivers
- Establishing the plays to run
The target market is an extremely tight definition of potential companies (and users) that would find tremendous economic value in the solution that your company offers.
A company needs to tightly define their target market to optimize its go-to-market resources. Documenting the target market is not a cut and paste from an analyst firms report on a mega market segment like big data, analytics or SaaS. That would be a macro-market or total market opportunity.
The total market must be refined down to the served market. The served market only incudes those companies that have a business problem that your solution provides significant economic value to. Next, it’s important to incorporate limitations on distribution channels, language, geography and vertical industries to arrive at a target market.
A company’s go-to-market strategy and execution is doomed from the start when the target market is too loose or big. The reality is that a broad focus will:
- Dilute go-to-market resources
- Yield generic messaging that is confusing
- Result in unproductive sales engagements
- Be the seed for disharmony between sales and marketing
- Negatively impact financial performance.
Specific Use Case
The specific use caseshould be the reason why a company creates its offering. It is a description of the business problem that is specific and inclusive. The use case should include:
- Steps or workflow
- Specific interactions
- The people or roles affected
- Theenvironment or functions impacted (directly or indirectly).
Including all of these factors will ensure that the process significantly impacts revenue, expenses, profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction and or brand value.
There is no substitute for experience. Understanding and solving for a specific use case is best approached by acquiring first-hand knowledge and that requires day-to-day experience in the trenches. It’s crucial to include not only a strategic but also an operational perspective to provide a holistic solution. The analysis has to be representative of the target market and not just the needs of a prospect with the promise to pay.
The use case is the foundation for the entire go-to-market strategy and execution. Inaccuracies or mistakes defining the use case will compound to devastate a company.
Many company’s struggle to document their differentiation. Most often, companies reduce differentiation to a table of features and functions with technical measures that attempt to show superiority. However, in most markets, features and functions are not meaningful to drive a company to make a purchase decision now. In addition, the features and functions do not align to the individuals involved in the customer buying process and that results in a stalled sale or no sale.
Differentiation can take several forms:
Unique differentiation is the most impactful as it summarizes what a company does that no other company can do and must be tightly aligned to the use case. Comparative differentiation means that other companies offer similar capabilities but the approach to providing it is different. Holistic differentiation is something that a company does not offer directly but is offered through the eco-system (partners, integrators, etc.) provided by the solution.
Companies may offer any or all of the various types of differentiation but the key point to remember is that the differentiation aligns with the use case and that everyone in the organization understands and can articulate both.
Value drivers are whatconnect a company’s solution to a customer’s business problem, in a manner that resonates with the pivotal players involved in the customer’s buyer process. To be effective, value drivers must be meaningful and relevant to their audience.
In general, value drivers are constructed to resonate with the key personas in the customer buying process. Value drivers are typically crafted at a strategic and operational level and may span multiple functional areas within a company (IT, sales, marketing, finance, etc.).
Effective value drivers communicate what is important, why it is important, how your company does it better, economic value and why it is imperative to act now. Value drivers sit within and support the company’s unique selling proposition but are specific to personas. This allows for messaging that cuts through the clutter.
Simply stated, Plays are the integrated go-to-market actions and behaviors that a company pursues with the belief that it is the best approach and fastest path to acquiring customers.In other words, your best foot forward.
Like in sports, plays are part of a game plan. With a company, the use case is the backdrop to identify the companies that will have a high propensity to purchase. The game plan summarizes how to most effectively approach these companies based on use case fit, differentiation and value driver relevance. The plays are the synchronized steps that marketing and sales execute to increase the probability of success.
By running the same play numerous times, an organization gets very efficient and effective – assuming the plays are well articulated and there is a closed loop process to incorporate feedback. In addition, a company becomes quite astute at weeding out weak opportunities so that scarce resources can be applied to the best sales opportunities.