We talk about go-to-market strategy a lot at ID because it’s at the core of what we do: driving growth through smarter go-to-market programs.
But let’s be honest: go-to-market (GTM) is a very large topic that encompasses many things. And lately, GTM is apparently the new black; it seems to be the favorite catch phrase of revtech platforms and consultants (with AI-everything and metaverse coming on strong).
Side Rant: Whenever I see the hype cycle accelerating around a phrase or a concept, I find it super useful to reconnect with the foundational basics. Doing this helps to separate the aspirational overhyped stuff from the genuinely consequential stuff that is actually pushing our field forward.
So if you’ve ever been confused by the topic of GTM, don’t feel embarrassed about it. Many revenue executives don’t fully know what GTM actually encompasses. It’s no crime.
What people often mean when they say GTM…
When someone says go-to-market in a discussion, they’re often using it to mean “sales” or “how we sell” or “who we sell to” or “how we create demand” or “how we launch products”… and those are all partly true. But GTM is much deeper and holistic than that.
We’re sharing this blog article to give you a simple, straightforward definition that you can use with your internal stakeholders who share the responsibility for driving growth at your company (executives, product, marketing, SDR/BDR, sales, customer success).
A simple definition of go-to-market
Your GTM strategy is typically a key pillar of your corporate strategy. It’s the cross-functional action plan that specifies how your company will achieve its growth goals by reaching, engaging and converting its best customers in ways that create competitive advantage.
Your go-to-market is a guiding and aligning force
An effective GTM strategy considers and guides a company’s actions across the entire, end-to-end customer journey – not just initial product launch, or just demand creation or just sales. In fact, the purpose of your GTM strategy is to provide a blueprint for how your entire company will create profitable customer relationships in the right market segments by taking into account such factors as market trends, product market fit, ideal client profile and audience targeting, value proposition, positioning, messaging, pricing, lifetime customer value, demand creation, sales channels, and post-sale customer experience.
When done correctly, your GTM strategy is extremely difficult to copy or execute by a competitor, because it leverages your company’s unique understanding of the market opportunity, value proposition, brand, point of view, discrete set of capabilities and offerings, customer experience, and integrated, cross-functional growth program. It is unique to you.
Your GTM should act as a unifying force that focuses and aligns your company’s products, people, and investments to target, win, retain and grow customer relationships that create unique value and differentiated experiences.
Say it even more simply…
A great GTM strategy shows where and how your company wins. It helps you align and orchestrate the following:
- the right products
- for the right customers
- who are attracted by the right messaging and positioning
- using the right paths to market
- that engage, convert and retain your prospects and customers
- with the right end-to-end revenue growth program
- that delivers the right growth results, CX and ROI
One more thing: who owns GTM?
GTM is deeply strategic, and deeply cross-functional. Developing your GTM strategy takes real work, deep insight, experimentation and learning, and sustained leadership. It requires saying no to a lot of potentially successful strategies so that you can say yes to the right growth strategy. And once established, your GTM strategy has to be maintained, defended, and carefully evolved.
That’s why I believe GTM is one of the key responsibilities of the CEO — with a tremendous amount of trusted input, teamwork and support from their executive team (we call this group the One Revenue Team™).
Notice I didn’t say product management, product marketing or sales or even your CRO owns GTM. No one department and no one executive can or should solely author a company’s GTM strategy in my opinion because it requires single-minded courage that is backed by the ability to say no/yes to how a company’s resources get invested. And that courage needs to be balanced by the input, points of view, and real world proof that only comes from employees, customers, partners and the wider market.
OK. That’s your definition of go-to-market. I told you it was deep stuff. Getting it right will completely change the growth trajectory of your company. Especially when it’s harnessed to great execution.
Next up, I’ll dig in on why having a GTM strategy is absolutely pivotal. And after that, I’ll share some of the unmistakable signs that tell you when your GTM is in need of reworking or refreshing.
Until then, reach out if you have questions about your company’s GTM strategy. We’re here to help you grow!