Get Instant Access
to This Blueprint

Applications icon

Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

Maximize Go-to-Market success through deeper market and buyer understanding, competitive differentiation, and launch team readiness that delivers target revenues.

  • A weak or poorly defined Go-to-Market strategy is often the root cause of slow product revenue growth or missed product revenue targets.
  • Many agile-driven product teams rush to release, skipping key GTM steps leaving Sales and Marketing misaligned and not ready to fully monetize precious product investments.
  • Guessing at buyer persona and journey or competitive SWOT analyses – two key deliverables of an effective GTM strategy – cause poor marketing and sales outcomes.
  • Without the sales and product-aligned business case for launch called for in a successful GTM strategy, companies see low buyer adoption, wasted sales and marketing investments, and a failure to claim product and launch campaign success.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Having an updated and compelling Go-to-Market strategy is a critical capability – as important as financial strategy, sales operations, and even corporate business development, given its huge impact on the many drivers of sustainable growth.
  • Establishing alignment through the GTM process builds long-term operational strength.
  • With a sound GTM strategy, marketers give themselves a 50% greater chance of product launch success.

Impact and Result

  • Align stakeholders on a common vision and execution plan prior to the Build and Launch phases.
  • Build a foundation of buyer and competitive understanding to drive a successful product hypothesis, then validate with buyers.
  • Deliver a team-aligned launch plan that enables launch readiness and outlines commercial success.

Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy Research & Tools

Build Your Go-to-Market Strategy

Use this storyboard and its deliverables to build a baseline market, understand your buyer, and gain competitive insights. It will also help you design your initial product and business case, and align stakeholder plans to prep for build.


Workshop: Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Align on GTM Vision & Plan, Craft Initial Strategy

The Purpose

Align on GTM vision and plan; craft initial strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Confidence that market opportunity is sufficient.
  • Deeper buyer understanding to drive product design and messaging and launch campaign asset design.
  • Steering committee approval for next phase.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Outline a vision for GTM, roles required, identify Steering Committee lead, workstream leads, and teams.

  • Documented Steering Committee and Working team.
1.2

Capture GTM strategy hypothesis by working through initial draft of the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation and business case.

  • Aligned on GTM vision and process.
1.3

Capture team knowledge on buyer persona and journey and competitive SWOT.

  • Documented buyer persona and journey. Competitive SWOT analysis.
1.4

Identify info./data gaps, sources, and plan for capturing/gathering including buyer interviews.

  • Document team knowledge on initial GTM strategy, buyer personas, and business case.

Module 2: Identify Initial Business Case, Sales Forecast, and Launch Plan

The Purpose

Identify Initial Business Case, Sales Forecast, and Launch Plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Confidence in size of market opportunity.
  • Alignment of Sales and Product on product forecast.
  • Assessment of marketing tech stack.
  • Initial business case.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Size Product Market Opportunity and initial revenue forecast.

  • Product Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM), Serviceable Available Market (SAM) and Total Available Market (TAM).
2.2

Craft initial product hypothesis from buyer interviews including feature priorities, pricing, packaging, competitive differentiation, channel/route to market.

  • Definition of product-market fit, uniqueness, and competitive differentiation.
2.3

Craft initial launch campaign, product release and sales and CX readiness plans.

  • Preliminary campaign, targets, and readiness plans.
2.4

Identify launch budgets across each investment area.

  • Incremental budgets for each key stakeholder area.
2.5

Discuss initial product launch business case and key activities.

  • Preliminary product launch business case.

Module 3: Develop Launch Plans (I of II)

The Purpose

Develop final Launch plans and budgets in product and marketing.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Align Product release/launch plans with the marketing campaign for launch.
  • Understand incremental budgets from product and marketing for launch.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Apply product interviews to scope, MVP, roadmap, competitive differentiation, pricing, feature prioritization, routes to market, and sales forecast.

  • Minimally Viable Product defined with feature prioritization. Product competitive differentiation documented Routes to market identified Sales forecast aligned with product team expectations.
3.2

Develop a more detailed launch campaign plan complete with asset-types, messaging, digital plan to support buyer journey, media buy plan and campaign metrics.

  • Marketing campaign launch plan Content marketing asset-creation/acquisition plan Campaign targets and metrics.

Module 4: Develop Launch Plans (II of II)

The Purpose

Develop final Launch Plans and budgets for remaining areas.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Align Product release/launch plans with the marketing campaign for launch.
  • Understand incremental budgets from Product and Marketing for launch.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Develop detailed launch/readiness plans with final budgets for: Sales enablement , Sales training, Tech stack, Customer onboarding & success, Product marketing, AR, PR, Corp Comms/Internal Comms, Customer Events, Employee Events, etc.

  • Detailed launch plans, budgets for Product Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and AR/PR/Corp. Comms.

Module 5: Present Final Business Case

The Purpose

To gain approval to move to Build and Launch phases.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Align business case with Steering Committee expectations
  • Approvals to Build and Launch targeted offering

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Review final launch/readiness plans with final budgets for all key areas.

  • Combined budgets across all areas. Final launch/readiness plans.
5.2

Move all key findings into Steering Committee presentation slides.

  • Final Steering Committee-facing slides.
5.3

Present to Steering Committee; receive feedback.

5.4

Incorporate Steering Committee feedback; update finial business case.

  • Final approvals for Build and Launch.

Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

Maximize GTM success through deeper market and buyer understanding and competitive differentiation and launch team readiness that delivers target revenues.

Table of Contents

Section Title
1 Executive Brief
  • Executive Summary
  • Analyst Perspective
  • Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy critical success factors
  • Key GTM challenges
  • Essential deliverables for GTM success
  • Benefits of a more effective GTM Strategy
  • Our methodology to support your success
  • Insight Summary
  • Blueprint deliverables and guided implementation steps
2 Build baseline market, buyer, and competitive insights
  • Establish your team
  • Build buyer personas and journeys – develop initial messaging
  • Build initial product hypothesis
  • Size product market opportunity
  • Outline your key tech, app, and digital requirements
  • Develop your competitive differentiation
  • Select routes to market
3 Design initial product and business case
  • Branding check
  • Formulate packaging and pricing
  • Craft buyer-valid product concept
  • Build campaign plan and targets
  • Develop budgets for creative, content, and media purchases
  • Draft product business case
  • Update GTM Strategy deck
4 Align stakeholder plans to prep for build
  • Assess tech/tools support for all GTM phases
  • Outline sales enablement and customer success plan
  • Build awareness plan
  • Finalize business case
  • Final GTM plan deck

Executive Brief

Analyst Perspective

Go-to-Market Strategy.

A successful go-to-market (GTM) strategy aligns marketing, product, sales and customer success, sees decision making based on deep buyer understanding, and tests many basic assumptions often overlooked in today’s agile-driven product development/management environment.

The disciplines you build using our methodology will not only support your team’s effort building and launching more successful products, but also can be modified for use in other strategic initiatives such as branding, M&A integration, expanding into new markets, and other initiatives that require a cross-functional and multidisciplined process.

Photo of Jeff Golterman, Managing Director, SoftwareReviews Advisory.

Jeff Golterman
Managing Director
SoftwareReviews Advisory

Executive Summary

An ineffective go-to-market strategy is often a root cause of:
  • Failure to attain new product revenue targets.
  • A loss of customer focus and poor new product/feature release buyer adoption.
  • Product releases misaligned with marketing, sales, and customer success readiness.
  • Low win rates compared to key competitors’.
  • Low contact-to-lead conversion rates.
  • Loss of executive/investor support for further new product development and marketing investments.
Hurdles to go-to-market success include:
  • An unclear product-market opportunity.
  • A lack of well defined and prioritized buyer personas and needs that are well understood.
  • Poor competitive analysis that fails to pinpoint key areas of competitive differentiation.
  • Guessing at buyer journey and buyer-described ideal engagement within your lead gen engine.
  • A business case that calls for levels of customer value delivery (vs. feature MVPs) that can actually deliver wins and targeted revenue goals.
Apply SoftwareReviews approach for greater GTM success.

Our blueprint is designed to help you:

  • Align stakeholders on a common vision and execution plan prior to the build and launch phases.
  • Build a foundation of buyer and competitive understanding to drive a successful product hypothesis, then validate with buyers.
  • Deliver a team-aligned launch plan that enables launch readiness and outlines commercial success.

SoftwareReviews Insight

Creating a compelling go-to-market strategy, and keeping it current, is a critical software company function – as important as financial strategy, sales operations, and even corporate business development – given its huge impact on the many drivers of sustainable growth.

Go-to-Market Strategy Critical Success Factors

Your GTM Strategy is where a multi-disciplined team builds a strong foundation for overall product plan, build, launch, and manage success

A GTM Strategy is not all art and not all science but requires both. Software leaders will establish a set of core capabilities upon which they will plan, build, launch and manage product success. Executives, when resourcing their GTM strategies, will begin with:
  • Strong Program Leadership – An experienced Program Manager will guide the team through each step of GTM Strategy and test team readiness before advancing to the next step.
  • Few Shortcuts – Successful teams will have navigated the process through all steps together at least once. Then future launches can skip steps where prior decisions still hold.
  • Stakeholder Buy-In – Strong collaboration among Sales, Marketing, and Product wins the day.
  • Strong Team Skills – Success depends on having the right talent, making the right decisions, and delivering the right outcomes enabled with the right set of technologies and integrated to reach the right buyers at the right moment.
  • Discipline and perseverance – Given that GTM Strategy is not easy, it’s not surprising that 75% of marketers cite a significant level of dissatisfaction with the outcomes of their GTM plan, build, and launch phases.
Diagram titled 'Go-to-Market Phases' with phases 'Manage', 'Launch', 'Build', and highlighted as 'This blueprint focus': 'Plan'.

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:
Marketers who get GTM Strategy “right” give themselves a 50% greater chance of Build and Launch success.

Sample of the 'PLAN' section of the GTM Strategy optimization diagram shown later.

Go-to-Market Success is Challenging

Getting GTM right is like winning an Olympic first-place crew finish. It takes teamwork, practice, and well-functioning tools and equipment.

Stock image of a rowing team.

  • The goal of any Go-to-Marketing Strategy is not only to do it right once, but to do it over and over consistently.
  • A lack of GTM consistency often results in decelerating growth, and a weak GTM Strategy is likely the root cause when companies observe any of the following challenges:
    • Product opportunity is unclear and well-defined business cases are lacking
    • Buyer adoption slows of new features and launch revenue targets are missed
    • Sales and marketing are not ready when development releases new features
    • Sales win/loss ratios drop as customers tell us products are not competitively differentiated
    • Loss of executive support for new product investments
  • A company experiencing any one of these symptoms will find a remedy in plugging gaps in the way they Go-to-Market.

“Figuring out a Go-to-Market approach is no trivial exercise – it separates the companies that will be successful and sustainable from those that won’t.” (Harvard Business Review)

Slowing growth may be due to missing GTM Strategy essentials

Marketers – Large and Small – will further test their GTM Strategy strength by asking “Are we missing any of the following?”

  • Product, Marketing, and Sales Alignment
  • Buyer personas and journeys
  • Product market opportunity size
  • Competitively differentiated product hypothesis
  • Buyer validated commercial concept
  • Sales revenue plan and program cost budget
  • Compelling business case for build and launch

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:

Marketers will go through the GTM Strategy process together across all disciplines at least once in order to establish a consistent process, make key foundational decisions (e.g. tech stack, channel strategy, pricing structure, etc.), and assess strengths and weaknesses to be addressed. Future releases to existing products don’t need to be re-thought but instead check-listed against prior foundational decisions.

Is Your GTM Strategy Led and Staffed Properly?

Staffing tree outlining GTM Strategy essentials. At the top are 'Steering Committee: CEO/GM in larger company, CFO/Senior Finance, Key functional leaders'. Next is 'Program Manager: Leads the GTM program. Workstream leads are “dotted line” for the program.' Followed by 'Workstream Leads: (PM) Product Marketing – Program leadership, (PD) Product Mgt. – Aligned with PM, (MO) Marketing Ops – SMB optional, (BR) Branding/Creative – SMB optional, (CI) Competitive Intel. – SMB optional, (DG) Demand Gen./Field Marketing. – crucial, (SE) Sales Enablement – crucial, (PR) PR/AR/Comms – SMB optional, and (CS) Customer Success – SMB optional'. In a 'Large Enterprise' each role is assigned to a separate person, but in a 'Small' Enterprise each person has multiple roles. 'SMB – as employees wear many hats, teams comprise members with requisite skills vs. specific roles/titles.'

Benefits of a more effective go-to-market strategy

Our research shows a more effective GTM Strategy delivers key benefits, including:
  • Increased product development ROI – with a finance-aligned business case, a buyer-validated value proposition, and the readiness of marketing and sales to product launch.
  • Launch campaign effectiveness – increases dramatically when messaging resonates with buyers and where they are in their journey.
  • Seller effectiveness – increases with buyer validated value proposition, competitive differentiation, and the ability to articulate to buyers.
  • Executive support – is achieved when an aligned sales, marketing, and product team proves consistent in delivering against release targets over and over again.

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:
Many marketers experiencing the value of the GTM Steering Committee, extend its use into a “Product and Pricing Council” (PPC) in order to move product-related decision making from ad-hoc to structured, and to reinforce GTM Strategy guardrails and best practices across the company.

“Go-to-Market Strategies aren’t just for new products or services, they can also be used for:
  • Acquiring other businesses
  • Changing your business’s focus
  • Announcing a new feature
  • Entering a new market
  • Rebranding
  • Positioning or repositioning

And while each GTM strategy is unique, there are a series of steps that every product marketer should follow.” (Product Marketing Alliance)

Is your GTM Strategy optimized?

Large detailed layout of the steps needed to 'Make Your Go-to-Market Strategy More Successful'. 'GTM Planning Success Can Be Elusive'; '75% of high-tech marketers desire a more effective GTM strategy...'. Steps: '1 Your Challenges - Are You Feeling Any of These Pains?', '2 Framework - Stay Aligned', '3 Planning - Check Your GTM Plan Steps', '4 Insight - Deliver Key Output', and '5 Results - Reap Key Benefits'. Source: SoftwareReviews, powered by Info-Tech Research Group.

Marketers, in order to optimize a go-to-market strategy, will:

  1. Self assess for symptoms of a sub-optimized approach.
  2. Align marketing, sales, product, and customer success with a common vision and execution plan.
  3. Diagnose for missing steps.
  4. Ensure creation of key deliverables.
  5. And then be able to reap the rewards.

Who benefits from an optimized go-to-market strategy?

This research is designed for:
  • High-tech marketers who are:
    • Looking to improve any aspect of their go-to-market strategy.
    • Looking for a checklist of roles and responsibilities across the product planning, build, and launch processes.
    • Looking to foster better alignment among key stakeholders such as product marketing, product management, sales, field marketing/campaigners, and customer success.
    • Looking to build a stronger business case for new product development and launch.
This research will help you:
  • Explain the benefits of a more effective go-to-market strategy to stakeholders.
  • Size the market opportunity for a product/solution.
  • Organize stakeholders for GTM operational success.
  • More easily present the GTM strategy to executives and colleagues.
  • Build and present a solid business case for product build and launch.
This research will also assist:
  • High-tech marketing and product leaders who are:
    • Looking for a framework of best practices to improve and scale their GTM planning.
    • Looking to align team members from all the key teams that support high-tech product planning, build, launch, and manage.
This research will help them:
  • Align stakeholders on an overall GTM strategy.
  • Coordinate tasks and activities involved across plan, build, launch, and manage – the product lifecycle.
  • Avoid low market opportunity pursuits.
  • Avoid poorly defined product launch business cases.
  • Build competence in managing cross-functional complex programs.

SoftwareReviews’ Approach

1

Build baseline market, buyer, and competitive insights

Sizing your opportunity, building deep buyer understanding, competitive differentiation, and routes to market are fundamental first steps.

2

Design initial product and business case

Validate positioning and messaging against brand, develop packaging and pricing, and develop digital approach, launch campaign approach and supporting budgets across all areas.

3

Align stakeholder plans to prep for build

Rationalize product release and concept to sales/financial plan and further develop customer success, PR/AR, MarTech, and analytics/metrics plans.

Our methodology provides a step-by-step approach to build a more effective go-to-market strategy

1.Build baseline market, buyer, and competitive insights 2. Design initial product and business case 3. Align stakeholder plans to prep for build
Phase Steps
  1. Select Steering Committee, GTM team, and outline roles and responsibilities. Build an aligned vision.
  2. Build initial product hypothesis based on sales and buyer “jobs to be done” research.
  3. Size the product market opportunity.
  4. Outline digital and tech requirements to support the full GTM process.
  5. Clarify target buyer personas and the buyer journey.
  6. Identify competitive gaps, parity, and differentiators.
  7. Select the most effective routes to market.
  8. Craft initial GTM Strategy presentation for executive review and status check.
  1. Compare emerging messaging and positioning with existing brand for consistency.
  2. Formulate packaging and pricing.
  3. Build a buyer-validated product concept.
  4. Build an initial campaign plan and targets.
  5. Develop initial budgets across all areas.
  6. Draft an initial product business case.
  7. Update GTM Strategy for executive review and status check.
  1. Assess technology and tools support for GTM strategy as well as future phases of GTM build, launch, and manage.
  2. Outline support for customer onboarding and ongoing engagement.
  3. Build an awareness plan covering media, social media, and industry analysts.
  4. Finalize product business case with collaborative input from product, sales, and marketing.
  5. Develop a final executive presentation for request for approval to proceed to GTM build phase.
Phase Outcomes
  1. Properly sized market opportunity and a unique buyer value proposition
  2. Buyer persona and journey mapping with buyer needs and competitive SWOT
  3. Tech stack modernization requirements
  4. First draft of business case
  1. Customer-validated value proposition and product-market fit
  2. Initial product business case with sales alignment
  3. Initial launch plans including budgets across all areas
  1. Key stakeholders and their plans are fully aligned
  2. Executive sign-off to move to GTM build phases

Insight summary

Your go-to-market strategy ability is a strategic asset

Having an updated and compelling go-to-market strategy is a critical capability – as important as financial strategy, sales operations, and even corporate business development – given its huge impact on the many drivers of sustainable growth.

Build the GTM Steering Committee into a strategic decision-making body

Many marketers experiencing the value of the GTM Steering Committee extend its use into a “Product and Pricing Council” (PPC) in order to move product-related decision making from ad-hoc to structured, and to reinforce GTM Strategy guardrails and best practices across the company.

A strong MarTech apps and analytics stack differentiates GTM leaders from laggards

Marketers that collaborate closely with Marketing Ops., Sales Ops., and IT early in the process of a go-to-market strategy will be best able to assess whether current website/digital, marketing applications, CRM/sales automation apps, and tools can support the complete Go-to-Market process effectively.

Establishing alignment through the GTM process builds long term operational strength

Marketers will go through the GTM Strategy process together across all disciplines at least once in order to establish a consistent process, make key foundational decisions (e.g. tech stack, channel strategy, pricing structure, etc.), and assess strengths and weaknesses to be addressed.

Build speed and agility

Future releases to existing products don’t need be re-thought but instead check-listed against prior foundational decisions.

GTM Strategy builds launch success

Marketers who get GTM Strategy “right” give themselves a 50% greater chance of build and launch success.

Blueprint deliverables

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

Key deliverable:

Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Capture key findings for your GTM Strategy within the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template.

Sample of the key deliverable, the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template.

Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook

Includes a RACI model and launch checklist that helps scope your working team’s roles and responsibilities.

Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook deliverable.

Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Capture launch incremental costs that, when weighed against the forecasted revenue, illustrate gross margins as a crucial part of the business case.

Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook deliverable.

Product Market Opportunity Sizing

While not a deliverable of this blueprint per se, the Product Market Opportunity blueprint is required.

Sample of the Product Market Opportunity Sizing deliverable. This blueprint calls for downloading the following additional blueprint:

Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint

While not a deliverable of this blueprint per se, the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint is required

Sample of the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint deliverable.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."
Included within advisory membership Optional add-ons

Guided Implementation

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with a SoftwareReviews Advisory analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

For guidance on marketing applications, we can arrange a discussion with an Info-Tech analyst.

Your engagement managers will work with you to schedule analyst calls.

What does our GI on Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy look like?

Build baseline market, buyer, and competitive insights

Design initial product and business case

Align stakeholder plans to prep for build

Call #1: Share GTM vision and outline team activities for the GTM Strategy process. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #2: Outline product market opportunity approach and steps to complete. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #3: Hold a series of inquiries to do a modernization check on tech stack. Plan next call – 2 weeks.

Call #4: Discuss buyer interview process, persona, and journey steps. Plan next call – 2 weeks.

Call #5: Outline competitive differentiation analysis, routes to market, and review of to-date business case. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #6: Discuss brand strength/weakness, pricing, and packaging approach. Plan next call – 3 weeks.

Call #7: Outline needs to craft assets with right messaging across campaign launch plan and budget. Outline needs to create plans and budgets across rest of marketing, sales, CX, and product. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #8: Review template and approach for initial business case and sales and product alignment. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #9: Review initial business case and launch plans across marketing, sales, CX, and product. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #10: Discuss plans/needs/budgets for tech stack modernization. Plan next call – 3 days.

Call #11: Discuss plans/needs/budgets for CX readiness for launch. Plan next call – 3 days.

Call #12: Discuss plans/needs/budgets for digital readiness for launch. Plan next call – 3 days.

Call #13: Discuss plans/needs/budgets for marketing and sales readiness for launch. Plan next call – 3 days.

Call #14: Review final business case and coach on Steering Committee Presentation. Plan next call – 1 week.

A Go-to-Market Workshop Overview

Contact your engagement manager for more information.
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Align on GTM Vision & Plan, Craft Initial Strategy
Identify Initial Business Case, Sales Forecast and Launch Plan
Develop Launch Plans (i of ii)
Develop Launch Plans (ii of ii)
Present Final Business Case to Steering Committee
Activities

1.1 Outline a vision for GTM and roles required, identify Steering Committee lead, workstream leads, and teams.

1.2 Capture GTM strategy hypothesis by working through initial draft of GTM Strategy Presentation and business case.

1.3 Capture team knowledge on buyer persona and journey and competitive SWOT.

1.4 Identify information/data gaps and sources and plan for capturing/gathering including buyer interviews.

Plan next day 2-3 weeks after buyer persona/journey interviews.

2.1 Size product market opportunity and initial revenue forecast.

2.2 Craft initial product hypothesis from buyer interviews including feature priorities, pricing, packaging, competitive differentiation, and channel/route to market.

2.3 Craft initial launch campaign, product release, sales, and CX readiness plans.

2.4 Identify launch budgets across each investment area.

2.5 Discuss initial product launch business case and key activities.

Plan next day 2-3 weeks after product hypothesis-validation interviews with customers and prospects.

3.1 Apply product interviews to scope, MVP, and roadmap competitive differentiation, pricing, feature prioritization, routes to market and sales forecast.

3.2 Develop more detailed launch campaign plan complete with asset-types, messaging, digital plan to support buyer journey, media buy plan and campaign metrics.

4.1 Develop detailed launch/readiness plans with final budgets for:

  • Sales enablement
  • Sales training
  • Tech stack
  • Customer onboarding & success
  • Product marketing
  • AR
  • PR
  • Corp comms/Internal comms
  • Customer events
  • Employee events
  • etc.

5.1 Review final launch/readiness plans with final budgets for all key areas.

5.2 Move all key findings up into Steering Committee presentation slides.

5.3 Present to Steering Committee, receive feedback.

5.4 incorporate Steering Committee feedback; update finial business case.

Deliverables
  1. Documented Steering Committee and working team, aligned on GTM vision and process.
  2. Document team knowledge on initial GTM strategy, buyer persona and business case.
  1. Definition of product market fit, uniqueness and competitive differentiation.
  2. Preliminary product launch business case, campaign, targets, and readiness plans.
  1. Detailed launch plans, budgets for product and marketing launch.
  1. Detailed launch plans, budgets for product marketing, sales, customer success, and AR/PR/Corp. comms.
  1. Final GTM Strategy, launch plan and business case.
  2. Approvals to move to GTM build and launch phases.

Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

Phase 1

Build baseline market, buyer, and competitive insights

Phase 1

1.1 Select Steering Cmte/team, build aligned vision for GTM

1.2 Buyer personas, journey, initial messaging

1.3 Build initial product hypothesis

1.4 Size market opportunity

1.5 Outline digital/tech requirements

1.6 Competitive SWOT

1.7 Select routes to market

1.8 Craft GTM Strategy deck

Phase 2

2.1 Brand consistency check

2.2 Formulate packaging and pricing

2.3 Craft buyer-valid product concept

2.4 Build campaign plan and targets

2.5 Develop cost budgets across all areas

2.6 Draft product business case

2.7 Update GTM Strategy deck

Phase 3

3.1 Assess tech/tools support for all GTM phases

3.2 Outline sales enablement and Customer Success plan

3.3 Build awareness plan

3.4 Finalize business case

3.5 Final GTM Plan deck

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Steering Committee and Team formulation
  • A vision for go-to-market strategy
  • Initial product hypothesis
  • Market Opportunity sizing
  • Tech stack/digital requirements
  • Buyer persona and journey
  • Competitive gaps, parity, differentiators
  • Routes to market
  • GTM Strategy deck

This phase involves the following stakeholders:

  • Steering Committee
  • Working group leaders

To complete this phase, you will need:

Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint Product Market Opportunity Sizing Workbook
Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template deliverable. Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook deliverable. Sample of the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint deliverable. Sample of the Product Market Opportunity Sizing Workbook deliverable.
Use the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template to document the results from the following activities:
  • Documenting your GTM Strategy stakeholders
  • Documenting your GTM Strategy working team
Use the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook to:
  • Review the scope of roles and responsibilities required
  • Document the roles and responsibilities of your teams
Use the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint to:
  • Interview sales and customers/prospects to inform product concepts, understand persona and later, flush out buyer journey
Use the Product Market Opportunity Sizing blueprint to:
  • Project Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM), Serviceable Available Market (SAM), and Total Available Market (TAM) from your current penetrated market

Step 1.1

Identify a GTM Program Steering Committee and Team. Build an Aligned Vision for Your Go-to-Market Strategy Approach

Activities
  • 1.1.1 Identify the Steering Committee of key stakeholders whose support will be critical to success
  • 1.1.2 Select your go-to-market strategy program team
  • 1.1.3 Discuss an overview of the GTM process and program roles and responsibilities with stakeholders and GTM workstream leads
  • 1.1.4 Develop a Go-to-Market launch, tiering, time-line, and overall program plan
  • 1.1.5 Work with each workstream lead on their overall project plan and incremental budget requirements

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify stakeholders – your Steering Committee
  • Identify team members
  • Present a vision of GTM Strategy

This step involves the following participants:

  • Steering Committee
  • Program workstream leads

Outcomes of this step

  • Steering Committee identified
  • Team members identified
  • All aligned on the GTM process
  • Go-to-market strategy timeline and program plan
Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals
Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

1.1.1 Identify stakeholders critical to success

1-2 hours

Input: Steering Committee interviews, Recognition of Steering Committee interest

Output: List of GTM Strategy stakeholders as Steering Committee members

Materials: Following slide outlining the key responsibilities required of the Steering Committee members, A high-Level timeline of GTM Strategy phases and key milestone meetings

Participants: CMO, sponsoring executive, Functional leads - Marketing, Product Marketing, Product Management, Sales, Customer Success

  1. The GTM Strategy initiative manager should meet with the CMO to determine who will comprise the Steering Committee for your GTM Strategy.
  2. Finalize selection of steering committee members.
  3. Meet with members to outline their roles and responsibilities and ensure their willingness to participate.
  4. Document the steering committee members and the milestone/presentation expectations for reporting project progress and results.

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:
Go To Market Steering Committee’s can become an important ongoing body to steer overall product, pricing and other GTM decisions. Some companies have done so by adding the CEO and CFO to this committee and designated it as a permanent body that meets monthly to give go/no decisions to “all things product related” across all products and business units. Leaders that use this tool well, stay aligned, demonstrate consistency across business units and leverage outcomes across business units to drive greater scale.

Go-to-Market Strategy Stakeholders

Understand that aligning key stakeholders around the way your company goes to market is an essential company function.

Title Key Roles Supporting an Effective Go-to-Market Strategy
Go-to-Market Strategy Sponsor
  • Owns the function at the management/C-suite level
  • Responsible for breaking down barriers and ensuring alignment with organizational strategy
  • CMO, VP of Marketing, and in SMB Providers, the CEO
Go-to-Market Strategy Program Manager
  • Typically a senior member of the marketing team
  • Responsible for organizing the GTM Strategy process, preparing summary executive-level communications and approval requests
  • Program manages the GTM Strategy process, and in many cases, the continued phases of build and launch.
  • Product Marketing Director, or other marketing director, that has strong program management skills, has run large scale marketing and/or product programs, and is familiar with the stakeholder roles and enabling technologies
Functional Workstream Leads
  • Works alongside the Go-to-Market Strategy Initiative Manager on a specific product launch, campaign, rebranding, new market development, etc. and ensures their functional workstreams are aligned with the GTM Strategy
  • With typical GTM B2B a representative from each of the following functions will comprise the team:
    • Product Marketing, Product Management, Field Marketing, Creative, Marketing Ops/Digital, PR/Corporate Comms/AR, Social Media Marketing, Sales Operations, Sales Enablement/Training, and Customer Success
Digital, Marketing/Sales Ops/IT Team
  • Comprised of individuals whose application and tech tools knowledge and skills are crucial to supporting the entire marketing tech stack and its integration with Sales/CRM
  • Responsible for choosing technology that supports the business requirements behind Go-to-Market Strategy, and eventually the build and launch phases as well
  • Digital Platforms, CRM, Marketing Applications and Analytics managers
Steering Committee
  • Comprised of C-suite/management-level individuals that guide key decisions, approve of requests, and mitigate any functional conflicts
  • Responsible for validating goals and priorities, defining the scope, enabling adequate resourcing, and managing change especially among C-level leaders in Sales & Product
  • CMO, CTO/CPO, CRO, Head of Customer Success

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Roles vary by company size. Launch success depends on clear responsibilities

Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook

Success improves when you align & assign
  • Go-to-Market, build, and launch success improves when:
    • Phases and steps are outlined
    • Key activities are documented
    • Roles/functions are described
    • At the intersection of activities and role, whether the role is “Responsible,” “Accountable,” “Consulted,” or “Informed” is established across the team
  • Leaders will hold a workshop to establish RACI that fits with the scope and scale of your organization.
  • Confusion, conflict, and friction can be dramatically reduced/eliminated with RACI adoption and practice.
  • Review the RACI model and launch checklist within the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook in order to identify the full scope of roles and responsibilities needed.

Go-to-Market Strategy Working Team

Consider the skills and knowledge required for GTM Strategy as well as build and launch functions when choosing teams.

Work with functional leaders to select workstream leads

Workstream leads should be strong in collaboration, coordination of effort among others, knowledgeable about their respective function, and highly organized as they may be managing a team of colleagues within their function to deliver their responsible portion of GTM.

Required Skills/Knowledge

  • Target Buyer
  • Product Roadmap
  • Brand
  • Competitors
  • Campaigns/Lead Gen
  • Sales Enablement
  • Media/Analysts
  • Customer satisfaction

Suggested Functions

  • Product Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Creative Director
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Demand Gen./Field Marketing
  • Sales Ops/Training/Enablement
  • PR/AR/Corporate Comms.
  • Customer Success
Roles Required in Successful GTM Strategy
For SMB companies, as employees wear many different hats, assign people that have the requisite skills and knowledge vs. the role title.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook

1.1.2 Select the GTM Strategy working team

1-2 hours

Input: Stakeholders and leaders across the various functions outlined to the left

Output: List of go-to-market strategy team members

Materials: Go-to-Market Strategy Workbook

Participants: Initiative Manager, CMO, Sponsoring executive, Departmental Leads – Sales, Marketing, Product Marketing, Product Management (and others), Marketing Applications Director, Senior Digital Business Analyst

  1. The GTM Strategy Initiative Manager should meet with the GTM Strategy Sponsor and functional leaders of workstream areas/functions to determine which team members will serve as Steering Committee members and who will serve as workstream leads.
  2. The working team for your go-to-market strategy should have the following roles represented in the working team:
    • Depending on the initiative and the size of the organization, the team will vary.
    • Key business leaders in key areas – Product Marketing, Field Marketing, Digital Marketing, Inside Sales, Sales, Marketing Ops., Product Management, and IT – should be involved.
  3. Document the members of your go-to-market strategy team in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation slide entitled “Our Team.”

Download the Go-To-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook

1.1.3 Develop a timeline for key milestones

1 hour

Timeline for Key Milestones with row headers 'Go-to-Market Phases', 'Major Milestones', and 'Key Phase Activities'. The phases (each column) and their associated activities are 'PLAN - Create buyer-validated product concept, size opportunity, and build business case', 'BUILD - Build product and enable readiness across the rest of marketing sales and customer success', 'LAUNCH - Release product, launch campaigns, and measure progress toward objectives', and then post-phase is 'MANAGE'. Notes in the 'Major Milestones' row: 'Outline key dates', 'Update with 'Today's Date' as you make progress', and 'Use GTM Plan major milestones or create your own'.

GTM Program Managers:

  1. Will establish key program milestones working collaboratively with the Steering Cmte. and workstream leads.
  2. Outline key ”Market-facing” or external deliverables & dates, as well as internal.
  3. More detailed deliverable plans are called for working with workstream leads.
  4. This high-level overview will be used in regular Steering Cmte. and working team meets
  5. Record in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

1.1.5 Share your GTM strategy vision with your team

1-2 hours

Input: N/A

Output: Team understanding of an effective go-to-market strategy, team roles and responsibilities and initial product and launch concept.

Materials: The Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy Executive Brief

Participants: GTM Program Manager, CMO, Sponsoring executive, Workstream leads

  1. Download the Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy Executive Brief and add the additional slides on Team Composition and Key Milestones you have created in prior steps as appropriate.
  2. Convene the Steering Committee and Working Team and take them through the Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy Executive Brief with your additional slides to:
    1. Communicate team composition, roles and responsibilities, and key GTM Strategy program milestones.
    2. Educate them on what comprises a complete GTM Strategy from the Executive Brief.
  3. Optional: As a SoftwareReviews Advisory client, invite a SoftwareReviews analyst to present the Executive Brief if that is of help to you and your team.

Go to the Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy Executive Brief

GTM program managers and workstream leads will collaborate on detailed project plans

Timeline titled 'Workstreams Status' with a legend of shapes and colors, activities listed as row headers, timeline sections 'EXPLORE', 'DESIGN', 'ALIGN', and 'BUILD', and a column at the end of the timelines for the name of the workstream lead. Notes: 'Change names to actual workstream. Create separate pages for each', 'Overlay colored bars to indicate on/off track', 'Describe major deliverables & due dates', 'Outline major milestones', 'Update with your actual month and week-ending dates', 'Add workstream lead names'.

Program managers will:

  • Outline an overall more detailed way of tracking GTM program workstreams, key dates and on/off track status

Program managers & workstream leads will:

  • Call out each key workstream and workstream lead
  • Outline key deliverables and due dates
  • Track weekly for communicating status to Steering Cmte and working team meetings

Use the Launch Checklist when building out full project plans

Sample Launch Checklist table with project info above, and table columns 'Component', 'Owner', 'Start Date', 'Finish Date', 'G2M Plan', and 'Build'.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook

Continuous improvement is enabled with a repeatable process
  • With ownership assigned and set-back schedules in place, product marketing and management leaders can take the guesswork out of the GTM plan and build and launch process for the entire team.
  • “Lighter” versions are created for lower-tier releases.
  • Checklists ensure “we haven’t missed anything” and drive clarity among the team.
  • Articulating where we are now and what’s next increases management confidence.
  • Rinse and repeat improves overall quality and drives scale.

1.1.6 Develop a project plan for each workstream

Work with your workstream leads to see them develop a detailed project plan that spans all their deliverables for a GTM Strategy
  1. It’s essential that GTM initiative managers can rely upon workstream leads to provide the status of their respective workstreams in a shared environment for easy weekly updating and reporting.
  2. We suggest the following approach:
    1. GTM initiative managers should maintain a copy of the GTM Strategy Presentation in a shared drive so workstream leads can provide updates.
    2. Workstream leads should work with their GTM initiative manager to populate a version of the workstream tracker shown on the previous slide that enables team status reporting.
    3. Additional slides that actually show “work completed” (e.g. images of assets created, training plans, screen caps of software functionality, etc.) should be reviewed each week as well.
    4. GTM initiative leaders/program managers are advised to summarize the to-date work completed across the team into the Go-To-Market Product and Launch Business Case slides to demonstrate progress to the Steering Committee.
  3. The goal is to keep tracking manageable. Because status is most easily shown during Steering Committee and Working Team meetings using PowerPoint, we recommend a simple approach to program management by using PowerPoint.
Using the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation:
3-4 hours Initial, 1-2 hours weekly
  1. Work with your workstream leads to create a slide for each workstream that will contain all the key milestones.
  2. Some teams will choose to use project management software, others a PowerPoint representation, which makes for easy presentation during status meets.
  3. Use the following resources:
    • In the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook, reference the Launch Checklist.
    • In the Go-to-Market Presentation, use the Appendix slides and complete for each workstream.
  4. The GTM initiative manager must be able to track status with workstream leads and present status to the rest of the team during Steering Committee and workstream lead meetings.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Download the Go-To-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook

Step 1.2

Hold Interviews With Sales Then Customers and Prospects to Inform Your Initial Product Concept

Activities
  • 1.2.1 Use the SoftwareReviews Buyer Persona and Journey Interview Guide and Data Capture Tool found within the SoftwareReviews Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint.
  • 1.2.2 Follow the instructions within the above blueprint and hold interviews with Sales and customers and prospects to inform your buyer persona, initial product hypothesis, and buyer journey.
  • 1.2.3 Flush out the initial product and launch concept using the slides found within the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template. You will continually refine the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template such that you turn the Product and Launch descriptions into a business case for product build and launch. We advise you and your team to populate the slides to begin to inform an initial concept, then hold interviews with Sales, customers, and prospects to refine. The best way to capture customer and prospect insights is to use the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Schedule time with sales/sales advisory to flush out the product concept
  • Develop your customer and prospect interviewee list
  • Consolidate findings for your GTM Strategy program slide deck

This step involves the following participants:

  • Sales/sales advisory, product management, initiative leader (product marketing)
  • Customers and prospects

Outcomes of this step

  • Guidance from sales on product concept
  • Initial guidance from customers and prospective buyers
  • Agreement to proceed further

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

Documenting buyer personas enables success beyond marketing

Documenting buyer personas has several essential benefits to marketing, sales, and product teams:
  • Achieve a better understanding of your target buyer – by building a detailed buyer persona for each type of buyer and keeping it fresh, you take a giant step in becoming a customer-centric organization.
  • Align the team on a common definition – will happen when you build buyer personas collaboratively and among teams that touch the customer.
  • Improved lead generation – increases dramatically when messaging and marketing assets across your lead generation engine better resonate with buyers because you have taken the time to understand them deeply.
  • More effective selling – is possible when sellers apply persona development output to their interactions with prospects and customers.
  • Better product-market fit – increases when product teams more deeply understand for whom they are designing products. Documenting buyer challenges, pain points, and unmet buyer needs gives product teams what they need to optimize product adoption.
“It’s easier buying gifts for your best friend or partner than it is for a stranger, right? You know their likes and dislikes, you know the kind of gifts they’ll have use for, or the kinds of gifts they’ll get a kick out of. Customer personas work the same way. By knowing what your customer wants and needs, you can present them with content targeted specifically to those wants and needs.” (Emma Bilardi, Product Marketing Alliance, July 8, 2020)

Buyer persona attributes that need defining

A well defined buyer persona enables us to:

  • Clarify target org-types, identify buying decision makers and key personas, and determine how they make decisions
  • Align colleagues around a common definition of target buyer(s) to drive improvements in messaging and engagement across marketing, sales, and customer success
  • Identify specific asset-types and tools that, when activated within our lead gen engine and in the hands of sellers, helps a buyer move through a decision process
Functional – “to find them”
Job Role Titles Org Chart Dynamics Buying Center Firmographics

Emotive – “what they do and jobs to be done”
Initiatives – What programs/projects the persona is tasked with and what are their feelings and aspirations about these initiatives? Motivations? Build credibility? Get promoted? Challenges – Identify the business issues, problems, and pain points, that impede attainment of objectives. What are their fears, uncertainties, and doubts about these challenges? Buyer need – They may have multiple needs; which need is most likely met with the offering? Terminology – What are the keywords/phrases they organically use to discuss the buyer need or business issue?

Decision Criteria – “how they decide”
Buyer role – List decision-making criteria and power level. The five common buyer roles are champion, influencer, decision maker, user, and ratifier (purchaser/negotiator). Evaluation and decision criteria – The lens, either strategic, financial, or operational, through which the persona evaluates the impact of purchase.

Solution Attributes – “what the ideal solution looks like”
Steps in “Jobs to be Done” Elements of the “Ideal Solution” Business outcomes from ideal solution Opportunity scope – other potential users Acceptable price for value delivered Alternatives that see consideration Solution sourcing – channel, where to buy

Behavioral Attributes – “how to approach them successfully”
Content preferences – List the persona’s content preferences, could be blog, infographic, demo, video, or other, vs. long-form assets (e.g. white paper, presentation, analyst report). Interaction preferences – Which among in-person meetings, phone calls, emails, video conferencing, conducting research via web, mobile, and social. Watering holes – Which physical or virtual places do they go to network or exchange info with peers e.g. LinkedIn, etc.

Buyer journeys are constantly shifting

If you haven’t re-mapped buyer journeys recently, you may be losing to competitors that have. Leaders re-map buyer journeys frequently.
  • The multi-channel buyer journey is constantly changing – today’s B2B buyer uses industry research sites, vendor content marketing assets, software reviews sites, contacts with vendor salespeople, events participation, peer networking, consultants, emails, social media sites, and electronic media to research purchasing decisions.
  • COVID has dramatically decreased face-to-face – we estimate a B2B buyer spent between 20-25% more time online researching software buying decisions in 2021 than they did pre-COVID. This has diminished the importance of face-to-face selling and has given dramatic rise to digital selling and outbound marketing.
  • Content marketing has exploded – but without mapping the buyer journey and knowing where (by channel) and when (which buyer journey step) to offer content marketing assets, we will fail to convert prospects into buyers.

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:
Marketers are advised to update their buyer journey annually and with greater frequency when the human vs. digital mix is effected due to events such as COVID, and as emerging media such as Augmented Reality shifts asset-type usage and engagement options.

“Two out of three B2B buyers today prefer remote human interactions or digital self service.

And during August 2020-February 2021, use of digital self service leapt by 10%” (McKinsey & Company, 2021.)

Challenges of not mapping persona and journey

A lack of buyer persona and journey understanding is frequently the root cause of the following symptoms:
  • Lead generation results are way below expectations.
  • Inconsistent product-market fit.
  • Sellers have low success rates doing discovery with new prospects.
  • Website abandonment rates are really high.

These challenges are often attributed to messaging and talk tracks that fail to resonate with prospects and products that fail to meet the needs of targeted buyers.

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:
Marketers developing buyer personas and journeys that lack agreement among Marketing, Sales, and Product of personas to target will squander precious time and resources throughout the customer targeting and acquisition process.

“Forty-four percent of B2B marketers have already discovered the power of personas.” (Boardview, 2016.)

1.2.1 Interview Sales and customers/prospects

12 - 15 Hours, over course of 2-3 weeks

Input: Insights from Sellers, Insights from customers and prospects

Output: Completed slides outlining buyer persona, buyer journey, overall product concept, and detailed features and capabilities needed

Materials: Create a Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint, Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation

Participants: Product management lead, GTM Program Manager, Select sellers, Workstream leads that wish to participate in interviews

  1. Using the Create a Buyer Journey and Persona Journey blueprint:
    • Follow the instructions to interview a group of Sellers, and most importantly, several customers and prospects
      • For this stage in the GTM Strategy process, the goal is to validate your initial product and launch concept.
      • We urge getting through all the interview questions with interviewees as the answers inform:
        • Product market fit and Minimal Viable Product
        • Competitive differentiation
        • Messaging, positioning, and campaign targeting
        • Launch campaign asset creation.
    • Place summary findings into the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation, and for reference, place the Buyer Persona and Journey Summaries into the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Appendix.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Download the Create a Buyer Journey and Persona Journey blueprint

Step 1.3

Update Your Product Concept

Activities
  • 1.3.1 Based on Sales and Customer/Prospect interviews, update:
    • Your product concept slide
    • Detailed prioritization of features and capabilities

This step calls for the following activities:

  • Update the product concept slide based on interview findings
  • Update/create the stack-ranking of buyer requested feature and capability priorities

This step involves the following participants:

  • Product management lead
  • GTM initiative leader
  • Select workstream leads who sat in on interview findings

Outcomes of this step

  • Advanced product concept
  • Prioritized features for development during Build phase
  • Understanding of MVP to deliver customer value and deal “wins”

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

1.3.1 Update Product and Launch concept

2 Hours

Input: Insights from Sellers, Insights from customers and prospects

Output: Completed slides outlining product concept and detailed features and capabilities needed

Materials: Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation

Participants: Product management lead, GTM Program Manager, Select sellers, Workstream leads that wish to participate in interviews

  1. Using the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation:
    • With interview findings, update the Product and Launch Concept, Buyer Journey, and Capture Key Features/Capabilities of High Importance to Buyers slides

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Product and Launch Concept

At this early stage, summarize findings from concept interviews to guide further discovery, as well as go-to-market concepts and initial campaign concepts in upcoming steps.

Job Function Attributes

Target Persona(s):
Typical Title:
Buying Center/functional area/dept.:

Firmographics:
Industry specific/All:
Industry subsegments:
Sizes (by revenues, # of employees):
Geographical focus:

Emotive Attributes

Initiative descriptions: Buyer description of project/program/initiative. What terms used?

Business issues: What are the business issues related to this initiative? How is this linked to a CEO-level mission-critical priority?

Key challenges: What business/process hurdles need to be overcome?

Pain points: What are the pain points to the business/personally in their role related to the challenges that drove them to seek a solution?

Success motivations: What motivates our persona to be successful in this area?

Solution and Opportunity

Steps to do the job: What are the needed steps to do this job today?

Key features and capabilities: What are the key solution elements the buyer sees in the ideal solution? (See additional detail slide with prioritized features.)

Key business outcomes: In business terms, what value (e.g. cost/time/FTE savings, deals won, smarter, etc.) is expected by implementing this solution?

Other users/opportunities: Are there other users in the role team/company that would benefit from this solution?

Pricing/Packaging

What is an acceptable price to pay for this solution? Based on financial benefits and ROI hurdles, what’s a good price to pay? A high price? What are packaging options? Any competitive pricing to compare?

Alternatives/Competition

What are alternatives to this solution: How else would you solve this problem? Are there other solutions you’ve investigated?

Channel Preferences

Where would it be most convenient to buy?: Direct from provider? Channel partner/reseller? Download from the web?

Decision Criteria Attributes

Decision maker – Role, criteria/decision lens:
User(s) – Role, criteria/decision lens:
Influencer(s) – Role, criteria/decision lens:
Ratifier(s) – Role, criteria/decision lens:

Behavioral Attributes

Interaction preferences: Best way for us to reach this role? Email? At events? Texting? Video calls?

Content types: Which content types (specifics; videos, short blog/article, longer whitepapers, etc.) help us stay educated about this initiative area?

Content sources: What news, data, and insight sources (e.g. specifics) do you use to stay abreast of what’s important for this initiative area?

Update the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation with findings from Sales and customer/prospect interviews.

Capture key features/capabilities of high importance to buyers

Ask buyers during interviews, as outlined in the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint, to describe and rate key features by need. You will also review with buyers during the GTM Build phase, so it’s important to establish high priority features now.

Example bar chart for 'Buyer Feature Importance Ratings' where 'Buyer Need' is rated for each 'Feature'.
  • List key feature areas for buyer importance rating.
  • Establish a rating scheme.
      E.g. a rating of:
    • 4.5 or higher = critical ROI driver
    • 3.5 to 4.5 = must haves
    • 2 to 3.5 = nice to have
    • Less than 2 = low importance
  • Have buyers rate each possible feature 0-5 after explaining the rating scheme. Ask – are we missing any key features?
  • Update this slide, found within the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation, with customer/prospect interview findings.
Perform the same buyer interviews for non-feature “capabilities” such as:
  • Ease of use, security, availability of training, service model, etc. – and other “non-feature” areas that you need for your product hypothesis.

Step 1.4

Size the Product Market Opportunity

Activities
  • 1.3.1 Based on the product concept, size, and the product market opportunity and with a focus on your “Obtainable Market”:
    • Clarify the definitions used to size market opportunity.
    • Source data both internally and externally.
    • Calculate the available, obtainable market for your software product.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Review market sizing definitions and identify required data
  • Identify the target market for your software application
  • Source market and internal data that will support your market sizing
  • Document and validate with team members

This step involves the following participants:

  • GTM initiative leader
  • CMO, select workstream leads

Outcomes of this step

  • Definitions on market sizing views
  • Data sourcing established
  • Market sizing and estimated penetration calculations

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

Market opportunity sizing definitions

Your goal is to assess whether or not the opportunity is significantly sized and if you are well positioned to capture it

  1. This exercise is designed to help size the market opportunity for this particular product GTM launch and not the market opportunity for the entire product line or company. First a few market sizes to define:
    1. Penetrated – is your current revenues and can be expressed in your percentage vs. competitors’.
    2. Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) – larger than your currently penetrated market, and a percentage of SAM that can realistically be achieved. It accounts for your current limitations to reach and your ability to sell to buyers. It is restricted by your go-to-market ability and reduced by competitive market share. SOM answers: What increased market can we obtain by further penetrating accounts within current geographical coverage and go-to-market abilities and within our ability to finance our growth?
    3. Serviceable Available Market (SAM) – larger than SOM yet smaller than TAM, SAM accounts for current products and current go-to-market capabilities and answers: What if every potential buyer bought the products we have today and via the type of go-to-market (GTM) especially geographical coverage, we have today? SAM calls for applying our current GTM into unpenetrated portions of currently covered customer segments and regions.
    4. Total Available Market (TAM) – larger than SAM, TAM sizes a market assuming we could penetrate other customer segments within currently covered regions without regard for resources, capabilities, or competition. It answers the question: If every potential buyer within our available market – covered regions – bought, how big would the market be?
    5. Total Global Market – estimates market opportunity if all orgs in all segments and regions bought – with full disregard for resources and without the restrictions of our current GTM abilities.
    6. Develop your market opportunity sizing using the Product Market Opportunity Sizing Workbook.

Download the Product Market Opportunity Sizing Workbook

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:
Product marketers that size the product market opportunity and account for the limitations posed by competitors, current sales coverage, brand permission, and awareness, provide their organizations with valuable insights into which inhibitors to growth should be addressed.

Visualization of market opportunity sizes as circles within bigger circles, 'Penetrated Market' being the smallest and 'Global Market' being the largest.

1.4.1 Size the product market opportunity

Your goal is two-fold: Determine the target market size, and develop a realistic 12–24 month forecast to support your business case
  1. Open the Product Market Opportunity Sizing Workbook.
  2. Follow the instructions within.
  3. When finished, download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation and update the Product Market Opportunity Size slide with your calculated Product Market Opportunity Size.

Download the Product Market Opportunity Sizing Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

“Segmentation, targeting and positioning are the three pillars of modern marketing. Great segmentation is the bedrock for GTM success but is overlooked by so many.” (Product Marketing Alliance)

Step 1.5

Outline Digital and Tech Requirements

Activities

Designing your go-to-market strategy does not require a robust customer experience management (CXM) platform, but implementing your strategy during the next steps of Go-to-Market – Build then Launch – certainly does.

Review info-Tech’s CXM blueprint to build a more complete, end-to-end customer interaction solution portfolio that encompasses CRM alongside other critical components.

The CXM blueprint also allows you to develop strategic requirements for CRM based on customer personas and external market analysis called for during your GTM Strategy design.

Diagram of 'Customer Relationship Management' surrounded by its components: 'Web Experience Management Platform', 'E-Commerce & Point-of-Sale Solutions', 'Social Media Management Platform', 'Customer Intelligence Platform', 'Customer Service Management Tools', and 'Marketing Management Suite'.

These steps outlined in the CXM blueprint, will help you:

  • Assess your CRM application(s) and the environment in which they exist. Take a business-first strategy to prioritize optimization efforts.
  • Validate CRM capabilities, user satisfaction, issues around data, vendor management, and costs to build out an optimization strategy
  • Pull this all together to develop a prioritized optimization roadmap.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Marketing Operations, Digital, IT
  • Project workstream leads as appropriate

Outcomes of this step

  • After inquiries with appropriate analysts, client will be able to assess what new application and technology support is required to support Go To Market process.

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

Step 1.6

Identify features and capabilities that will drive competitive differentiation

Activities
  • 1.6.1 Hold a session with key stakeholders including sales, customer success, product, and product marketing to develop a hypothesis of features and capabilities vs. competitors: differentiators, parity areas, and gaps (DPG).
  • Optional for clients with buyer reviews and key competitive reviews within target product category:
    • 1.6.2 Request from SoftwareReviews a 2X2 Matrix Report of Importance vs. Satisfaction for both features and capabilities within your product market/category to identify areas of competitive DPG.
    • 1.6.3 Hold an Inquiry with covering ITRG analysts in your product category to have them validate key areas of competitive DPG.
  • 1.6.4 Document competitive DPG and build out your hypothesis for product build as you ready for customer interviews to validate that hypothesis.

This step will provide processes to help you:

  • Understand and document competitive differentiation, parity, and gaps

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project workstream leads in product marketing, competitive intelligence, product management, and customer success

Outcomes of this step

  • Develop a clear understanding of what differentiated capabilities to promote, which parity items to mention in marketing, and which areas are competitive gaps
  • Develop a hypothesis of what areas need to be developed during the Build phase of the Go-to-Market lifecycle

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

Assess current capabilities and competitive differentiation vs. buyer needs

Taking buyer needs ratings from step 1.3, assess your current and key competitive capabilities against buyer needs for both feature and non-feature capabilities. Incorporate into your initial product hypothesis.

Example bar chart for 'Competitive Differentiation, Parity and Gaps – Features' comparing ratings of 'Buyer Need', 'Our Current Capabilities', and 'Competitive Capabilities' for each 'Feature'.

  • Rank features in order of buyer need from step 1.3.
  • Prioritize development needs where current capabilities are rated low. Spot areas for competitive differentiation especially in high buyer-need areas.
Perform the analysis for non-feature capabilities such as:
  • ease of use
  • security
  • availability of training
  • service model

Optional: Validate feature and capability importance with buyer reviews

Request from your SoftwareReviews Engagement Manager the “Importance vs. Satisfaction” analysis for your product(s) feature and non-feature capabilities under consideration for your GTM Strategy

Satisfaction
Fix Promote
Importance

Low Satisfaction
High Importance

These features are important to their market and will highlight any differentiators to avoid market comparison.

High Satisfaction
High Importance

These are real strengths for the organization and should be promoted as broadly as possible.

Low Satisfaction
Low Importance

These features are not important for the market and are unlikely to drive sales if marketing material focuses on them. Rationalize investment in these areas.

High Satisfaction
Low Importance

Features are relatively strong, so highlight that these features can meet customer needs
Review Maintain

Overall Category Product Feature Satisfaction Importance

  • Importance is based on how strongly satisfaction for a feature of a software suite correlates to the overall Likeliness to Recommend
  • Importance is relative – low scores do not necessarily indicate the product is not important, just that it’s not as important as other features

(Optional for clients with buyer reviews and key competitive reviews within target product category.)

Optional: Feature importance vs. satisfaction

Example: ERP “Vendor A” ratings and recommended key actions. Incorporate this analysis into your product concept if updating an existing solution. Have versions of the below run for specific competitors.

Importance vs. Satisfaction map for Features, as shown on the previous slide, but with examples mapped onto it using a legend, purple squares are 'Enterprise Resource Planning' and green triangles are 'Vendor A'.

Features in the “Fix” quadrant should be addressed in this GTM Strategy cycle.

Features in the “Review” quadrant are low in both buyer satisfaction and importance, so vendors are wise to hold on further investments and instead focus on “Fix.”

Features in the “Promote” quadrant are high in buyer importance and satisfaction, and should be called out in marketing and selling.

Features in the “Maintain” quadrant are high in buyer satisfaction, but lower in importance than other features – maintain investments here.

(Optional for clients with buyer reviews and key competitive reviews within target product category.)

Optional: Capabilities importance vs. satisfaction

Example: ERP “Vendor A” capabilities ratings and recommended key actions. Incorporate this analysis into your product concept for non-feature areas if updating an existing solution. Have versions of the below run for specific competitors.

Importance vs. Satisfaction map for Capabilities with examples mapped onto it using a legend, purple squares are 'Enterprise Resource Planning' and green triangles are 'Vendor A'.

Capabilities in the “Fix” quadrant should be addressed in this GTM Strategy cycle.

Capabilities in the “Review” quadrant are low in both buyer satisfaction and importance, so vendors are wise to hold on further investments and instead focus on “Fix.”

Capabilities in the “Promote” quadrant are high in buyer importance and satisfaction, and should be called out in marketing and selling.

Capabilities in the “Maintain” quadrant are high in buyer satisfaction, but lower in importance than other features – maintain investments here.

(Optional for clients with buyer reviews and key competitive reviews within target product category.)

Develop a competitively differentiated value proposition

Combining internal competitive knowledge with insights from buyer interviews and buyer reviews; establish which key features that will competitively differentiate your product when delivered

Example bar chart for 'Competitive Differentiation, Parity and Gaps – Features and Capabilities' comparing ratings of 'Your Product' and 'Competitor A' with high buyer importance at the top, low at the bottom, and rankings of each 'Differentiator', 'Parity', and 'Gap'.

  • Identify what buyers need that will differentiate your product features and company capabilities from key competitors.
  • Determine which features and company capabilities, ideally lower in buyer importance, can achieve/maintain competitive parity.
  • Determine which features and company capabilities, ideally much lower in buyer importance, that can exist in a state of competitive gap.

Step 1.7

Select the Most Effective Routes to Market

Activities
  • 1.7.1 Understand a framework for deciding how to approach evaluating each available channel including freemium/ecommerce, inside sales, field sales, and channel partner.
  • 1.7.2 Gather data that will inform option consideration.
  • 1.7.3 Apply to decision framework and present to key stakeholders for a decision.

This step will provide processes to help you:

  • Understand the areas to consider when choosing a sales channel
  • Support your decision by making a specific channel recommendation

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project workstream leads in Sales, Sales Operations, Product Marketing, and Customer Success

Outcomes of this step

  • Clarity around channel choice for this specific go-to-market strategy cycle
  • Pros and cons of choices with rationale for selected channel

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

Your “route-to-market” – channel strategy

Capture buyer channel preferences in Step 1.3, and research alternatives using the following framework

Inside vs. Field Sales – Selling software during COVID has taught us that you can successfully sell software using virtual conferencing tools, social media, the telephone, and even texting and webchat – so is the traditional model of field/territory-based sellers being replaced with inside/virtual sellers who can either work at home, or is there a benefit to being in the office with colleagues?

Solutions vs. Individual Products – Do your buyers prefer to buy a complete solution from a channel partner or a solutions integrator that puts all the pieces together, and can handle training and servicing, for a more complete buyer solution?

Channel Partner vs. Build Sales Force – Are there channel partners that, given your product is targeting a new buyer with whom you have no relationship, can leverage their existing relationships, quicken adoption of your products, and lower your cost of sales?

Fully Digital – Is your application one where users can get started for free then upgrade with more advanced features without the use of a field or inside sales person? Do you possess the e-commerce platform to support this?

While there are other considerations beyond the above to consider, decide which channel approach will work best for this GTM Strategy.

Flowchart on how to capture 'Buyer Channel Preferences' with five possible outcomes: 'Freemium/e-commerce', 'Use specified channel partner', 'Establish channel partner', 'Use Inside Sales', and 'Use Field Sales'.

Channel Partnerships are Expanding

“One estimate is that for every dollar a firm spends on its SaaS platform, it spends four times that amount with systems integrators and other channel partners.

And as technologies are embedded inside other products, services, and solutions, effective selling requires more partners.

Salesforce, for example, is recruiting thousands of new partners, while Microsoft is reportedly adding over 7,000 partners each month.” (HBR, 2021)

Step 1.8

Craft an Initial GTM Strategy Presentation for Executive Review and Status Check

Activities
  • 1.8.1 Finalize the set of slides within the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation that best illustrates the many key findings and recommended decisions that have been made during the Explore phase of the GTM Strategy.
    • Test whether all key deliverables have been created, especially those that must be in place in order to support future phases and steps.
    • Schedule a Steering Committee meeting and present your findings with the goal to gain support to proceed to the Design phase of GTM Strategy.

This step will provide processes to help you:

  • Work with your colleagues to consolidate the findings from Phase 1 of the GTM Strategy
  • Create a slide deck with your colleagues for presentation to the Steering Committee to gain approvals to proceed to Phase 2

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project workstream leads in Sales, Sales Operations, Product Marketing, and Customer Success
  • Steering Committee

Outcomes of this step

  • Slide deck to present to the Steering Committee
  • Approvals to move to Phase 2 of the GTM Strategy

Phase 1 - Formulate a hypothesis and run discovery on key fundamentals

Step 1.1 Step 1.2 Step 1.3 Step 1.4 Step 1.5 Step 1.6 Step 1.7 Step 1.8

1.8.1 Build your GTM Strategy deck for Steering Committee approval

  1. As you near completion of the Go-to-Market Strategy Phase, Explore Step, an important test to pass before proceeding to the Design step of GTM Strategy, is to answer several key questions:
    1. Have you properly sized the market opportunity for the focus of this GTM cycle?
    2. Have you defined a unique value proposition of what buyers are looking for?
    3. And have you aligned stakeholders on the target customer persona and flushed out an accurate buyer journey?
  2. If the answer is “no” you need to return to these steps and ensure completion.
  3. Pull together a summary review deck, schedule a meeting with the Steering Committee, present to-date findings for approval to move on to Phase 2.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Sample of the 'PLAN' section of the GTM Strategy optimization diagram with 'GTM Explore Review' circled in red.

The presentation you create contains:

  • Team composition and roles and responsibilities
  • Steps in overall process
  • Goals and objectives
  • Timelines and work plan
  • Initial product and launch concept
  • Buyer persona and journey
  • Competitive differentiation
  • Channel strategy

Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

Phase 2

Design your initial product and business case

Phase 1

1.1 Select Steering Cmte/team, build aligned vision for GTM

1.2 Buyer personas, journey, initial messaging

1.3 Build initial product hypothesis

1.4 Size market opportunity

1.5 Outline digital/tech requirements

1.6 Competitive SWOT

1.7 Select routes to market

1.8 Craft GTM Strategy deck

Phase 2

2.1 Brand consistency check

2.2 Formulate packaging and pricing

2.3 Craft buyer-valid product concept

2.4 Build campaign plan and targets

2.5 Develop cost budgets across all areas

2.6 Draft product business case

2.7 Update GTM Strategy deck

Phase 3

3.1 Assess tech/tools support for all GTM phases

3.2 Outline sales enablement and Customer Success plan

3.3 Build awareness plan

3.4 Finalize business case

3.5 Final GTM Plan deck

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Branding consistency check
  • Formulate packaging and pricing
  • Craft buyer-validated product concept
  • Build initial campaign plan and targets
  • Develop budgets for creative, content, and media purchases
  • Draft product business case
  • Update GTM Strategy deck

This phase involves the following stakeholders:

  • Steering Committee
  • Working group leaders

To complete this phase, you will need:

Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation TemplateGo-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist WorkbookBuyer Persona and Journey blueprintGo-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook
Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template deliverable.Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook deliverable.Sample of the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint deliverable.Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook deliverable.
Use the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template to document the results from the following activities:
  • Documenting your GTM strategy stakeholders
  • Documenting your GTM strategy working team
Use the Go-to-Market Strategy RACI and Launch Checklist Workbook to:
  • Review the scope of roles and responsibilities required
  • Document the roles and responsibilities of your teams
Use the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint to:
  • Interview sales and customers/prospects to inform product concepts, understand persona and later, flesh out buyer journeys
Use the Go-to-Market Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook to:
  • Tally budgets from across key functions involved in GTM Strategy
  • Compare with forecasted revenues to assess gross margins

Step 2.1

Compare Emerging Messaging and Positioning With Existing Brand for Consistency

Activities

Share messaging documented with the buyer journey with branding/creative and/or Marketing VP/CMO to ensure consistency with overall corporate messaging. Use the “Brand Diagnostic” on the following slide as a quick check.

For those marketers that see the need for a re-brand, please:
Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Later during the Build phase of GTM, marketing assets, digital platforms, sales enablement, and sales training will be created where actual messaging can be written with brand guidelines aligned.

This step is to assess whether you we need to budget extra funds for any rebranding.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • After completing the buyer journey and identifying messaging, test with branding/CMO that new messaging aligns with current:
    • Company positioning
    • Messaging
    • Brand imagery

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Product marketing
  • Branding/creative
  • CMO

Outcomes of this step

  • Check – Y/N on brand alignment
  • Adjustments made to current branding or new product messaging to gain alignment

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

Brand identity

Re-think tossing a new product into the same old marketing engine. Ask if your branding today and on this new offering needs help.

If you answer “no” to any of the following questions, you may need to re-think your brand. Does your brand:

  • recognize buyer pain points and convey clear pain-relief?
  • convey unique value that is clearly distanced from key competitors?
  • resonate with how target personas see themselves (e.g. rebellious, intelligent, playful, wise, etc.) and convey the “feeling” (e.g. relief, security, confidence, inspiration, etc.) buyers seek?
  • offer proof points via customer testimonials (vs. claimed value)?
  • tell a truly customer-centric story that is all about them (vs. what you want them to know about you)?
  • use words (e.g. quality, speed, great service, etc.) that equate to how buyers actually see you? Is your tone of voice going to resonate with your target buyer?
  • present in a clean, simple, and truly unique way? And will your brand identity stand the test of time?
  • represent feedback gleaned from prospects as well as customers?

“Nailing an impactful brand identity is a critical part of Growth Marketing.

Without a well-crafted and maintained brand identity, your marketing will always feel flat and one-dimensional.” (Lean Labs, 2021)

Step 2.2

Formulate Packaging and Pricing

Activities
  • 2.2.1 Leverage what was learned in Phase 1 from buyer interviews to create an initial packaging and initial pricing approach.
    • Packaging success is driven by knowing what the buyer values are, how newly proposed functionality may work with other applications, and how well the buyer(s) work in teams.
    • Develop pricing using cost-plus, value/ROI, and competitive/market pricing comparisons.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Approaches to establishing price points for software products
  • Checking if pricing supports emerging product revenue plan

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Product Marketing
  • Product Management
  • Pricing (if a function)

Outcomes of this step

  • Pricing that is validated through buyer interviews and consistent with overall company pricing guardrails
  • Packaging that can be delivered

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

2.2.1 Formulate packaging and pricing

Goal: Incorporate buyer benefits into your MVP that delivers the buyer value that compels them to purchase and drives the business case

  1. Leverage findings from buyer interviews and feature prioritization found in Step 1.3 to arrive at initial feature inclusion.
  2. Leverage feedback from customer interviews and competitive pricing analysis to arrive at an initial target price offer.
  3. Go to the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation and use the slides labeled “Go-to-Market Strategy, Overall Project Plan.”

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Refer to the findings from buyer persona interviews

Sample of the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint deliverable.

Step 2.3

Build a Buyer-Validated Product Concept

Activities
  • 2.2.1 Add to your initial product concept from Phase 1, the pricing and packaging approach.
    • Take the concept out to buyers to get their feedback – not on UX design, that will come later, but to ensure the value is clear to the buyers, and to raise confidence in the product concept.
    • As with previous customer and prospect interviews, use the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint with its accompanying interview guide and focus on the product related questions.
    • Generate your slides to present and discuss with buyers, capture feedback, and refine the product concept.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Hold buyer interviews to review the product design
  • Validate concept and commercial variables – not UX design, that comes later

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Product Marketing
  • Product Management

Outcomes of this step

  • Customer validated product concept that meets the business plan

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

2.3.1 The best new product hypothesis doesn’t always come from your best customers

Goal: Validate your product concept and business case

  1. Key areas to validate during product concept feedback:
    1. Feature/capability-build priorities – Which set of features and capabilities (i.e. service model, etc.) must be delivered in a minimum viable product (MVP) that delivers unique and competitively differentiating buyer value so we have win rates that support the business case?
    2. Packaging/Pricing – Are their features/capabilities that are not in base offering but offered as add-ons or not at all? Are their different packaging options that must be delivered given different customer segments and appropriate price points? (E.g. a small- to-medium sized business (SMB) version, Freemium, or Basic vs. Premium offerings?
    3. Routes to Market/Channel – Ensure you validate your channel strategy as work/effort will be needed to arrive at channel sales and marketing enablement.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

“Innovation opportunities almost always come from understanding a company’s worst customers or customers it doesn’t serve” (Harvard Business School Press, 1997)

2.3.2 How your prospects buy will inform upcoming campaign design

Goal: During product validation interviews, further validate the buyer journey to identify asset types to be created/sourced for launch campaign design

  1. Leverage findings from buyer interviews with a focus on buyer journey questions/answers found in Step 1.3 and further validated during product concept feedback in step 2.3.
  2. Your goal is to uncover the following key areas (see next slide for illustration):
    1. Validate the steps buyers take throughout the buyer journey – when you validate buyer steps and what the buyer is doing and thinking as they make a buying decision determines if you are supporting the right process.
    2. Validate the human vs. non-human/digital interaction type for each step – this determines whether your lead gen engine or your salesforce (or channel partner) will deliver the marketing assets and sales collateral.
    3. Describe the asset-types most valued by buyers during each step – this will provide the guidance your demand gen/field marketers need to either work with product marketing and creative to design and build, or source the right marketing asset and sales collateral for your lead gen engine and to support sales enablement.
    4. Identify which channels – this will give your digital team the guidance they need to design the “where” to place the assets within your lead gen engine. Feedback from customer interviews and competitive pricing analysis to arrive at an initial target price for offering is shown on the next slide.
  3. Use the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation to complete the buyer journey slide with key findings.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Refer to the findings from buyer persona interviews

Sample of the Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint deliverable.

Answers you need to map buyer journey

Your buyer interviews – whether during earlier steps or here during product concept validation – will give specific answers to all areas in green text below. Understanding channels, asset-types, and crafting your key messaging are essential for next steps.

Table outlining an example buyer's journey with fields in green text that are to be to replaced with answers from your buyer interviews.

Step 2.4

Build Your Initial Campaign Plan and Targets

Activities
  • 2.4.1. While product management and marketing is working on the business case, the campaign team is designing their launch campaign.
  • Expand from the product concept and build out the entire launch campaign identifying dates, CTA’s, channels, and asset types needed that will be built during the Build phase.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Outline deployment plan of activities and outcomes
  • Draw up specs for needed assets, web-page changes, emails, target segments, and targets for leads generated

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Field Marketing
  • Product Marketing

Outcomes of this step

  • The initial draft of the campaign plan that outlines multichannel activities, dates, and assets that need to be sourced and/or created

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

2.4.1 Document your campaign plan

2 hours

On the following Awareness and Lead Gen Engine slide:
  1. Tailor the slide to describe your lead generation engine as you will use it when you get to latter steps to describe the activities in your lead gen engine and weigh them for go-to-market strategy.
  2. Use the template to see what makes up a typical lead gen and awareness building engine to see what you may be missing, as well as to record your current engine “parts.”
    • Note: The “Goal” image in upper right is meant as a reminder that marketers should establish a goal for Sales Qualified Leads (SQL’s) delivered to field sales for each campaign.

On the Product and Launch Concept slides:

  1. Update the slides with findings from 2.3 and 2.4.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

“Only 32% of marketers – and 29% of B2B marketers – said the process of planning campaigns went very well. Just over half were sure they had selected the right business goal for a given marketing project and only 42% were confident they identified the right audience – which is, of course, a critical determinant for achieving success.” (MIT Sloan Management Review)

Launch campaign

Our Goal for [Campaign name] is to generate X SQL’s

Flowchart of the steps to take when a campaign is launched, from 'Organic Website Visits' and 'Go Live' to future 'Sales Opportunities'. A key is present to decipher various icons.

Awareness

PR/EXTERNAL COMMS:

Promote release in line with company story

  • [Executive Name] interview with [Publication Y] on [Launch Topic X] – Mo./Day
  • Press Release on new enhancements – Mo./Day
  • [Executive Name] interview with [Publication Z] on [Launch Topic X] – Mo./Day
ANALYST RELATIONS:

Receive analyst feedback pre-launch and brief with final releases messaging/positioning

  • Inquiry with [Key Analysts] on [Launch Topic X] – Mo./Day, pre launch
  • Press Release shared on new enhancements – Launch day minus two days
  • Analyst briefing with [Key Analysts] on [Launch Topic X] – Launch day minus two days

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

2.4.2 Campaign targets

Goal: Establish a Marketing-Influenced Win target that will be achieved for this launch

We advise setting a target for the launch campaign. Here is a suggested approach:
  1. Understand what % of all sales wins are touched by marketing either through first or last touch attribution. This is the % of Marketing-Influenced Wins (MIWs).
  2. Determine what sales wins are needed to attain product revenue targets for this launch.
  3. Apply the actual company MIW % to the number of deals that must be closed to achieve target product launch revenues. This becomes the MIW target for this launch campaign.
  4. Then, using your average marketing funnel conversion rates working backwards from MIWs to Opportunities, Sales Accepted Leads (SALs), Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), up to website visits.
  5. Update the slides with findings from 2.3 and 2.4.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

“Marketing should quantify its contribution to the business. One metric many clients have found valuable is Marketing Influenced Wins (MIW). Measured by what % of sales wins had a last-touch marketing attribution, marketers in the 30% – 40% MIW range are performing well.” (SoftwareReviews Advisory Research)

Step 2.5

Develop Initial Budgets Across All Areas

Activities
  • 2.5.1 Use the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and work with your workstream leads.
    • Capture the costs associated with this GTM Strategy and Launch.
    • Summarize your GTM budget in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation, including the details behind the gross margin calculation for your GTM Strategy/campaign if required.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Field marketing, product marketing, creative, others to identify the specific budget elements needed for this campaign/launch

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Field Marketing
  • Product Marketing
  • Branding/creative

Outcomes of this step

  • The initial marketing budget for this campaign/launch

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

2.5.1 Develop your GTM Strategy/product launch campaign budget

Goal: Work with your workstream leads to identify all incremental costs associated with this GTM strategy and product launch

  1. Use the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and adjust to include the areas that are identified by your workstream leads as being applicable to this GTM Strategy and Launch.
    • These should be incremental costs to normal operating and capital budgets and those areas that are fully approved for inclusion by your Steering Committee/Sponsoring Executive.
  2. Begin to Catalog all applicable costs to include all key areas such as:
    • Technology costs for internal use (typically from Marketing Ops), and “core” to product technology costs working with the product team
    • Channel marketing programs, agency (e.g. branding, naming, web design, SEO, content marketing, etc.), T&E, paid media, events, marketing assets, etc.
  3. Note that in the Align Step – Step 3, you will see your workstream leads each develop their individual contributions to both the launch plan as well a budget.

  4. Summarize your initial GTM budget findings in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation, including the details behind the gross margin calculation for your GTM Strategy/campaign if required. Again, you will flush out the final costs within each workstream areas in Phase 3, ”Align.”

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Step 2.6

Draft Initial Product Business Case

Activities
  • 2.6.1 Here’s where you begin to pull together all the essential elements of your final business case.
    • For many organizations that require a view of return on investment, you will begin here to shape the key elements that your organization requires for a complete business case to go ahead with the needed investments.
    • The goal is to compare estimated costs to estimated revenues to ensure acceptable margins will be delivered for this GTM strategy/product launch.
    • The culmination of work to get to this calculation will continue through Phase 3; however, the following slide illustrates the kind of visualization that will be possible with our approach.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • A product revenue forecast is created, alignment with sales/sales targets is created for a minimum viable product (MVP) that meets the buyer’s needs at the price point established/validated

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Product management
  • Product marketing
  • Sales leadership

Outcomes of this step

  • The important measures of:
    • Product revenue forecast
    • Supported MVP features

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

Gross Margin Estimates – part of a complete product business case

Your goal: Earn more than you spend! This projection of estimated gross margins should be part of your product launch business case. The GTM initiative lead and workstream leads are charged with estimating incremental costs, and product and sales must work together on the revenue forecast.

Net Return

We estimate our 12 month gross profit to be ….

Quarterly Revenues

Based on sales forecast, our quarterly/monthly revenues are ….

Estimated Expenses

Incremental up-front costs are expected to be ….

Example 'P&L waterfall for Product X Launch' with notes. Green bars are 'Increase', red bars are 'Decrease', and blue bars are 'Total'. Red bar note: 'Your estimated incremental up-front costs', Green bar note: 'Your estimated net incremental revenues vs. costs', Blue bar note: 'Your estimated net gross profit for this product launch and campaign', 'END' note: 'Extend for suitable period'.

2.6.1 Develop your initial product business case

Goal: Focused on the Product Concept areas related to product Market Fit, Buyer Needs and Market Opportunity, Product Managers will summarize in order to gain approval for Build

  1. Using the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation, product managers should ensure the product concept slide(s) support the rationale to move to Build phase. Key areas include:
    1. Adequate market opportunity size – that is worth the incremental investment
    2. Acceptable costs/investment to pursue the opportunity – design, creative services for branding, web design, product naming, asset creation, copywriting, translation services not available in-house
    3. Well-defined product market fit – review buyer interviews that identify buyer pain points and ideas that will deliver needed business value
    4. Buyer-validated commercials – buyer-validated pricing and packaging
    5. Product development budget and staffing support to build viable MVP & beyond roadmap – development budget and staffing is in place/budgeted to deliver MVP by target date and continue to ensure attainment of product revenue targets
    6. Unique product value proposition that is competitively differentiated – to drive acceptable win rates
    7. Product Sales Forecast – that when compared to costs meets company investment hurdle rates
    8. Sales Leadership support for achieving sales forecast and supported sales/channel resourcing plan – sales leadership has taken on forecasted revenues as an incremental sales quota and has budget for additional hiring, enablement, and training for attainment.
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation and complete the slides summarizing these key areas that support the business case for the next phases of Build and Launch.

Product Business Case Checklist:

  • Acceptably large enough product market opportunity
  • Well-defined competitive differentiation
  • Buyer-validated product-market fit
  • Buyer-validated and competitive commercials (i.e. pricing, packaging)
  • An MVP with roadmap that aligns to buyer needs and buyer-validated price points
  • A 24–36 month sales forecast with CRO sign-up and support for attainment
  • Costs of launch vs. forecasted revenues to gauge gross margins

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Step 2.7

Update the GTM Strategy Presentation Deck for Executive Review and Sign-off

Activities
  • 2.7.1 Update the deck with Phase 2 findings culminating in the business case.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Drop into the GTM Strategy deck the summary findings from the team’s work
  • Write an executive summary that garners executive support for needed funds, signed-up-for sales targets, agreed upon launch timing
  • Steering Committee alignment on above and next steps

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Steering Committee
  • Workstream leads

Outcomes of this step

  • Executive support for the GTM Strategy plan and approval to proceed to Phase 3

Phase 2 – Validate designs with buyers and solidify product business case

Step 2.1 Step 2.2 Step 2.3 Step 2.4 Step 2.5 Step 2.6 Step 2.7

2.7.1 Update your GTM Strategy deck for Design Steering Committee approval

  1. As you near completion of the Go-to-Market Strategy Phase – Design Step, while your emerging business case is important, it will be finalized in the Align Step.
  2. An important test to pass before proceeding to the Align step of the GTM Strategy, is to answer several key questions:
    1. Have you validated the product value proposition with buyers?
    2. Is the competitive differentiation clear for this offering?
    3. Did Sales support the business case by signing up for the incremental quota?
    4. Has product defined an MVP that aligns with the buyer value needed to drive purchases?
    • If the answer is “no” you need to return to these steps and ensure completion
  3. Pull together a summary review deck, schedule a meeting with the Steering Committee, and present to-date findings for approval to move onto Phase 3.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Sample of the 'PLAN' section of the GTM Strategy optimization diagram with 'GTM Design Review' circled in red.

The presentation you create contains:

  • Timelines and a work plan
  • Expanded product concept to include your packaging and pricing approach
  • Feedback from buyers on validated product concept especially commercial elements
  • Expanded campaign plan and marketing budget
  • Initial product business case

Build a More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

Phase 3

Align stakeholder plans to prep for build

Phase 1

1.1 Select Steering Cmte/team, build aligned vision for GTM

1.2 Buyer personas, journey, initial messaging

1.3 Build initial product hypothesis

1.4 Size market opportunity

1.5 Outline digital/tech requirements

1.6 Competitive SWOT

1.7 Select routes to market

1.8 Craft GTM Strategy deck

Phase 2

2.1 Brand consistency check

2.2 Formulate packaging and pricing

2.3 Craft buyer-valid product concept

2.4 Build campaign plan and targets

2.5 Develop cost budgets across all areas

2.6 Draft product business case

2.7 Update GTM Strategy deck

Phase 3

3.1 Assess tech/tools support for all GTM phases

3.2 Outline sales enablement and Customer Success plan

3.3 Build awareness plan

3.4 Finalize business case

3.5 Final GTM Plan deck

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  1. Assess tech/tools support for all GTM phases
  2. Map lead generation plan
  3. Outline Customer Success plan
  4. Build awareness plan (PR/AR, etc.)
  5. Finalize product business case
  6. Final GTM planning deck and Steering Committee review

This phase involves the following stakeholders:

  • Steering Committee
  • Working group leaders

To complete this phase, you will need:

Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook
Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template deliverable. Sample of the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook deliverable.
Use the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template to document the results from the following activities:
  • Documenting your GTM Strategy Stakeholders
  • Documenting your GTM Strategy Working Team
Use the Go-to-Market Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook to:
  • Tally budgets from across key functions involved in the GTM Strategy
  • Compare with forecasted revenues to assess gross margins

Step 3.1

Assess Technology and Tools Support for Your GTM Strategy as Well as Future Phases of GTM

Activities
  • 3.1.1 Have Marketing Operations document what tech stack improvements are required in order to get the team to a successful launch. Understand costs and implementation timelines and work it into the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • After completing your initial survey in Step 1, complete requirements building for needed technology and tools acquisition/upgrade in campaign management, sales opportunity management, and analytics.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Marketing operations/digital
  • IT

Outcomes of this step

  • Build a business requirement against which to evaluate new/upgraded vendor tools to support the entire GTM process

Phase 3 – Align functional plans with a compelling business case for product build

Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3 Step 3.4 Step 3.5

3.1.1 Technology plan and investments

Goal: Outline the results of our analysis and Info-Tech analyst guidance regarding supporting systems, tools, and technologies to support our go-to-market strategy

  1. Plans, timings, and incremental costs related to, but not limited to, the following apps/tools/technologies:
    1. Lead management/Marketing automation
    2. Marketing analytics
    3. Sales Opportunity Management System (OMS) and Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) applications
    4. Sales engagement
    5. Sales analytics
    6. Customer service and support/Customer interaction hub
    7. Customer data management and analytics
    8. Customer experience platforms
    9. Marketing content management
    10. Creative tools
    11. Share of voice and social platform management
    12. Etc.
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and complete by adding costs identified in above areas that are specific to this go-to-market strategy, Build, and Launch initiative. Record in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation completing the areas within the slides related to the Product and Launch Concepts and Business Case.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Step 3.2

Outline Sales Enablement and Support for Customer Success to Include Onboarding and Ongoing Engagement

Activities
  • 3.3.1 Sales Enablement – develop the sales enablement and training plan for Launch to include activities, responsible parties, dates for delivery, etc.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Finalize the customer success training and support plan
  • Onboarding scripts
  • Changes to help screens in application
  • Timing to plan for Quality Acceptance

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Customer Success lead
  • Product management
  • Product marketing

Outcomes of this step

  • Plan for creation of copy, assets, and rollout pan to support clients and client segments for Launch

Phase 3 – Align functional plans with a compelling business case for product build

Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3 Step 3.4 Step 3.5

3.2.1 Outline sales enablement

Goal: Outline sales collateral, updates to sales proposals, CPQ, Opportunity Management Systems, and sales training

  1. Describe the requirements for sales enablement to include elements such as:
    1. Sales collateral
    2. Client-facing presentations
    3. Sales proposal updates
    4. Updates to Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) applications
    5. Updates to Opportunity Management System (OMS) applications
    6. Sales demo versions of the new product
    7. Sales communication plans
    8. Sales training and certification programs
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and add the costs identified in above areas that are specific to this go-to-market strategy, Build, and Launch initiative. Record as well in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation completing the areas within the slides related to the Product and Launch Concepts and Business Case.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

3.2.2 Outline customer success

Goal: Outline customer support/success requirements and plan

  1. Plans, timings, and incremental costs for the following:
    1. Onboarding scripts for the new solution
    2. Updates to retention lifecycle
    3. FAQ answers
    4. Updates to online help/support system
    5. “How-to” videos
    6. Live chat updates
    7. Updates to “provide feedback” system
    8. Updates to Quarterly Business Review slides
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and add the costs identified in above areas that are specific to this go-to-market strategy, Build, and Launch initiative. Record in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation and complete the areas within the slides related to the Product and Launch Concepts and Business Case.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Step 3.3

Build an Awareness Plan Covering Media, Social Media, and Industry Analysts

Activities
  • 3.4.1 Corp Comms/PR/AR – develop the overall awareness plans for executive interviews, articles placed, social drops, analyst briefing dates, and internal associate comms if required.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Outline outbound communications plans including press releases, social posts, etc.
  • Describe dates for AR outreach to covering analysts
  • Develop the internal communications plan

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Corporate Comms lead
  • Creative
  • Analyst relations
  • Social media marketing lead

Outcomes of this step

  • Plan for creation of copy, assets, and rollout pan to support awareness building, external communications, and internal communications if required

Phase 3 – Align functional plans with a compelling business case for product build

Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3 Step 3.4 Step 3.5

3.3.1 Internal communications plan

Goal: Outline complete internal communications plan. For large-scale changes (i.e. rebranding, M&A, etc.) HR may drive significant volume of employee communications working with Corporate Comms

  1. Plans, timings, and incremental costs for the following:
    1. Complete a comms plan with dates, messages, and channels
    2. Team member roles and responsibilities
    3. Intranet article and posting schedules
    4. Creation of new office signage, merchandise, etc. for employee kits
    5. Pre-launch announcements schedule
    6. Launch day communications, events, and activities
    7. Post launch update schedule and messages for launch success
    8. Incremental staffing and resources/budget requirements
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and add costs identified in above areas that are specific to this go-to-market strategy, Build, and Launch initiative. Record as well in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation completing the areas related to the Product and Launch Concepts and Business Case.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

3.3.2 PR and External Communications Plan

Goal: Outline complete internal communications plan. For large scale changes (i.e. rebranding, M&A, etc.) HR may drive significant volume of employee communications working with Corporate Comms

  1. Plans, timings, and incremental costs for the following:
    1. List of Tier 1 and Tier 2 media authors covering the [product/initiative] market area
    2. Schedule of launch briefings, with any non-analyst influencers
    3. Timing of press releases
    4. Required supporting executives and stakeholders for each of the above meetings
    5. Slide deck/media kit for the above and planned questions to support needed feedback
    6. Media Site materials especially to support media questions and requests for briefings
    7. Social postings calendar of activities and key messages plan
    8. Publish data of [product/initiative] relevant articles with set-back schedules
    9. Cultivation of reference customers and client testimonials for media outreach
    10. Requirements for additional staffing to cover product/initiative new market and analysts
    11. Internal and external events calendar to invite media
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and add the costs identified in the above areas that are specific to this go-to-market strategy, Build, and Launch initiative. Record in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation by completing the areas related to the Product and Launch Concepts and Business Case.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

3.3.3 Analyst relations plan

Goal: Outline incremental costs in analyst communications, engagement, and access to research

  1. Plans, timings, and incremental costs for the following:
    1. List of Tier 1 and Tier 2 analysts for the [product/initiative] market area
    2. Schedule of inquiries, pre-launch briefings, launch briefings, and post-launch feedback
    3. Required supporting executives and stakeholders for each of the above meetings
    4. Analyst deck for each of the above and planned questions to support needed feedback
    5. Analyst Site materials to support 2nd and 3rd Tier analysts’ questions and requests for briefings
    6. Social postings calendar of activities and key messages
    7. Resources to respond to analyst blogs and/or social posts regarding your product/initiative area
    8. Timing of important and relevant analyst document/methodology publishing dates with set-back schedules
    9. Cultivation of reference customers and client testimonials to coincide with analyst outreach for research and for buyer review sites/reviews data gathering
    10. Requirements for additional staffing to cover product/initiative new market and analysts
    11. Events calendar where analysts will be presenting on this product/initiative market
  2. Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook and add the costs identified in the above areas that are specific to this go-to-market strategy, Build and Launch initiative. Record in the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation by completing the areas related to the Product and Launch Concepts and Business Case.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Step 3.4

Finalize Product Business Case With Collaborative Input From Product, Sales, and Marketing

Activities
  • 3.5.1 Convene the team to align sales, marketing, and product around the business case.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Refine the product business case initiated in Phase 2
  • Align product revenue forecast with sales revenue forecast
  • Align MVP features to be developed during “GTM – Build” with customer validated product-market fit

This step involves the following participants:

  • Project lead
  • Product management
  • Product marketing

Outcomes of this step

  • Product business case

Phase 3 – Align functional plans with a compelling business case for product build

Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3 Step 3.4 Step 3.5

3.4.1 Final product Build and Launch business case

Goal: Beyond the product business case, factor in costs for technology, campaigning, sales enablement, and customer success in order to gain approval for Build and Launch

  1. Using the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation, workstream leads and Go-to-Market Initiative leaders will finalize the anticipated incremental costs, and when compared to projected product revenues, present to the Steering Committee including CFO for final approval before moving to Build and Launch.
  2. To present a complete business case, key cost areas include:
    1. All the areas outlined up through Step 3.4 plus:
    2. Technology/MarTech Stack incremental costs
    3. Channel programs, branding/agency, pricing, packaging/product, and T&E incremental costs
    4. Campaign related – creative, content marketing, paid media, events, SEO, lists/data
    5. Sales Enablement, Customer Support/Success incremental costs
    6. Internal communications/events/activities/signage costs
    7. PR/AR/Media incremental costs
  3. Compare to final Sales/Product agreed projected revenues, in order to calculate estimated gross margins

Go to the Go-to-Market Budget Workbook as outlined in prior steps and document final incremental costs and projected revenues and summarize within the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Cost Budget and Revenue Forecast Workbook

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Product Build and Launch Business Case Checklist:

  • Acceptably large enough product market opportunity
  • Well-defined competitive differentiation
  • Buyer-validated product-market fit
  • Buyer-validated and competitive commercials (i.e. pricing, packaging)
  • An MVP with roadmap that aligns with buyer needs and buyer validated price points
  • A 24–36 month sales forecast with CRO sign-up and support for attainment
  • Incremental product development, tech, marketing, sales, customer success, AR/PR costs vs. forecasted revenues fall within acceptable margins

Step 3.5

Develop Your Final Executive Presentation to Request Approval and Proceed to GTM Build Phase

Activities
  • 3.6.1 Update the Product, Launch, Journey, and Business Case slides included within the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template with Phase 3 findings culminating in the business case.

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Update the previously created slides with findings from Phase 3
  • Hold a Steering Committee meeting and present findings for approval

This step involves the following participants:

  • Steering Committee
  • Workstream leads

Outcomes of this step

  • GTM Strategy approved to move to GTM Build

Phase 3 – Align functional plans with a compelling business case for product build

Step 3.1 Step 3.2 Step 3.3 Step 3.4 Step 3.5

3.5.1 Update your GTM Strategy deck for Align Steering Committee approval

  1. As you near completion of the Go-to-Market Strategy Phase – Align Step, an important test to pass before proceeding to the Design step of GTM Strategy, is to answer several key questions:
    1. Are Sales, Product, and Marketing all aligned and in agreement on the business case?
    2. Are the gross margin calculations acceptable to the Steering Committee? CFO? CEO?
  2. If the answer is “no” you need to return to prior steps and ensure completion.
  3. Pull together a summary review deck, schedule a meeting with the Steering Committee, present to-date findings for approval to move on to Build Phase.
  4. Once your final business case is accepted, you are ready to move on to the GTM Build and Launch phases. These phases are covered in sperate SoftwareReviews blueprints.

Download the Go-to-Market Strategy Presentation Template

Sample of the 'PLAN' section of the GTM Strategy optimization diagram with 'GTM Align Review' circled in red.

The presentation you create contains:

  • Timelines and work plan updates
  • Tech stack needs/modifications
  • An expanded product concept to include packaging and pricing approach
  • Asset-type concepts for marketing campaigns, sales collateral, website, and social
  • Outline of initial Launch dates
  • Outline of initial customer success, awareness/PR/AR plans, and sales training plans
  • Final business case

Summary of Accomplishment

Problem Solved – A More Effective Go-to-Market Strategy

By guiding your team through the Go-to-Market planning process applied to an actual GTM Strategy, you have built an important set of capabilities that underpins today’s well-managed software companies. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this blueprint, you have delivered a host of benefits that include the following:

  • Alignment of Product, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success around a deeper understanding of your target buyers and what it takes to build competitive differentiation.
  • You have calculated your product market opportunity and whether it’s worth the investment in the long-term, and for the short term you have estimated gross margins as an important part of the business case.
  • Built executive support and confidence by leading a disparate team in complex decision making that is fact and evidence based to make more effective go/no go decisions related to investing in new products.
  • And finally, because you and your team have demonstrated their ability to align programs toward a common goal and program-manage a complex initiative through to successful completion, you have led your team to develop the “institutional muscle” to take on equally complex initiatives such as acquisition integration, rebranding, launching in a new region, etc.

Therefore, developing the capabilities to manage a complex go-to-market strategy is akin to building company scalability and is sought after as a professional development opportunity that each executive should have on his/her résumé.

If you would like additional support, contact us and we’ll make sure you get the professional expertise you need.

Contact your account representative for more information.

info@softwarereviews.com 1-888-670-8889

Bibliography

Acosta, Danette. “Average Customer Retention Rate by Industry.” Profitwell.com. Accessed Jan. 2022.

Ashkenas, Ron, and Patrick Finn. “The Go-To-Market Approach Startups Need to Adopt.” Harvard Business Review, June 2016. Accessed Jun. 2021.

Bilardi, Emma. “ How to Create Buyer Personas.” Product Marketing Alliance, July 2020. Accessed Dec. 2021.

Cespedes, Frank V. “Defining a Post-Pandemic Channel Strategy.” Harvard Business Review, Apr. 2021. Accessed Jul. 2021.

Chapman, Lawrence. “A Visual Guide to Product Launches.” Product Marketing Alliance. Accessed Jul. 2021.

Chapman, Lawrence. “Everything You Need To Know About Go-To-Market Strategies.” Product Marketing Alliance. Accessed Jul. 2021.

Christiansen, Clayton. “The Innovators Dilemma.” Harvard Business School Press, 1997.

Drzewicki, Matt. “Digital Marketing Maturity: The Path to Success.” MIT Sloan Management Review. Accessed Dec. 2021.

“Go-To-Market Refresher,” Product Marketing Alliance. Accessed Jul. 2021

Harrison, Liz; Dennis Spillecke, Jennifer Stanley, and Jenny Tsai. “Omnichannel in B2B sales: The new normal in a year that has been anything but.” McKinsey & Company, 15 March, 2021. Accessed Dec. 2021.

Jansen, Hasse. “Buyer Personas – 33 Mind Blowing Stats.” Boardview, 19 Feb. 2016. Accessed Jan. 2022.

Scott, Ryan. “Creating a Brand Identity: 20 Questions to Consider.” Lean Labs, Jun 2021. Accessed Jul. 2021.

Smith, Michael L., and James Erwin. “Role and Responsibility Charting (RACI).” DOCSearch. Accessed Jan. 2022. Web.

“What is the Total Addressable Market (TAM).” Corporate Finance Institute (CFI), n.d. Accessed Jan. 2022.

Related Software Reviews Research

Sample of the Create a Buyer Persona and Journey research Create a Buyer Persona and Journey
  • A successful go-to-market strategy depends upon deep buyer understanding. Our Create a Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint will give you a step-by-step process that when followed will provide you and your team with that deep buyer understanding you need.
  • The Create a Buyer Persona and Journey blueprint provides you with an interview containing over 75 questions that, after capturing buyer answers and insights during interviews, will strengthen your value proposition, product market fit, lead gen engine and sales effectiveness.
Sample of the Optimize Lead Generation With Lead Scoring research Optimize Lead Generation With Lead Scoring
  • Save time and money and improve your sales win rates when you apply our methodology to score contacts with your lead gen engine more accurately and pass better qualified leads over to your sellers.
  • Our methodology teaches marketers to develop your own lead scoring approach based upon lead/contact profile vs. your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and scores contact engagement. Applying the methodology to arrive at your own approach to scoring will mean reduced lead gen costs, higher conversion rates, and increased marketing influenced wins.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Maximize Go-to-Market success through deeper market and buyer understanding, competitive differentiation, and launch team readiness that delivers target revenues.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 14 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Build baseline market, buyer, and competitive insights
  • Call #1 - Share GTM vision and outline team activities for the GTM strategy process. Plan next call – 1 week.
  • Call #2 - Outline product market opportunity approach and steps to complete. Plan next call – 1 week.
  • Call #3 - Hold a series of inquiries to do a modernization check on tech stack. Plan next call – 2 weeks.
  • Call #4 - Discuss buyer interview process, persona, and journey steps. Plan next call – 2 weeks.
  • Call #5 - Outline competitive differentiation analysis, routes to market, and review of to-date business case. Plan next call – 1 week.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design initial product and business case
  • Call #1 - Discuss brand strength/weakness, pricing, and packaging approach. Plan next call – 3 weeks.
  • Call #2 - Outline needs to craft assets with right messaging across campaign launch plan and budget. Outline needs to create plans and budgets across rest of marketing, sales, CX, and product. Plan next call – 1 week.
  • Call #3 - Review template and approach for initial business case and sales and product alignment. Plan next call – 1 week.
  • Call #4 - Review initial business case and launch plans across marketing, sales, CX, and product. Plan next call – 1 week.

Guided Implementation #3 - Align stakeholder plans to prep for build
  • Call #1 - Discuss plans/needs/budgets for tech stack modernization. Plan next call – 3 days.
  • Call #2 - Discuss plans/needs/budgets for CX readiness for launch. Plan next call – 3 days.
  • Call #3 - Discuss plans/needs/budgets for digital readiness for launch. Plan next call – 3 days.
  • Call #4 - : Discuss plans/needs/budgets for marketing and sales readiness for launch. Plan next call – 3 days.
  • Call #5 - Review final business case and coach on Steering Committee Presentation. Plan next call – 1 week.

Author

Jeff Golterman

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center and our Cost Management Center
Over 100 analysts waiting to take your call right now: 1-519-432-3550 x2019