What’s a B2B Go to Market Strategy (GTM) and why should you care? Well… does this sound familiar?
You have a product or service that you want the world to know about. Maybe you have some early adopters or clients, you’re poised to scale to the moon, and you already have your exit strategy firmly in place.
If that’s you, I would say SLOW DOWN and focus on the first things first. In this case, your first thing is your Go to Market Strategy. It’s vital to your company’s success. And today, I’m going to share exactly what a B2B GTM is, and how to create one. So let’s dive in.
What is a B2B Go to Market Strategy?
Basically, a B2B Go to market Strategy is the sum of the strategic initiatives that gets your offer in the hands of your buyer. It’s really that simple. It’s the HOW in how you put your company on the map, so to speak. It consists of product-market fit, outbound sales, inbound marketing, account-based marketing (ABM), and other methods of engagement and revenue generation.
Funnel vs. Flywheel
Central to your Go to Market Strategy is whether you take a “funnel” or “flywheel” approach to building your business. You can’t take both. But thankfully, both methods have their advantages.
The funnel is fairly self-explanatory. Your customer journey is shaped like a funnel, and once they enter, they slowly move down the funnel to engage, capture, nurture, and finally convert. The flywheel on the other hand puts your customer in the center of a wheel that is powered by sales, marketing, and service. I personally recommend taking a funnel approach, but the flywheel is a great fit for low-ticket offers. Here’s what that looks like.
Now, before you Go to Market with your offer, and especially before you attempt to scale your customer acquisition channel(s), you must first ensure there’s a product-market fit. This seems obvious, but it’s laughable how many businesses are doomed to fail because nobody in the market wants or needs their product or service.
I’ve seen $5 products flop like the mystery color ketchup (yuck), to the $1,500 Google Glass failure, and I’ve even seen 7-figure consulting firms shut their doors before reaching 8-figures and beyond because they didn’t fit their market like a glove.
You have to ensure people are actively looking for a product exactly like yours. This is a post for another day, but you can find product-market fit by surveying customers, getting feedback from actual customers, etc. It’s a must for your B2B Go to Market Strategy.
Outbound Sales – A proactive approach
First and foremost, your strategy should include outbound sales, which is a proactive way to acquire new accounts. Outbound sales consists of dialing prospects (lead gen), giving product demos, and closing sales usually over the phone, and sometimes by email.
Think about your product or service. Who is your ideal buyer? Now, where do you find these buyers? You can begin creating call lists for your sales development reps (SDRs), which you have to hire by the way. They will make calls all day long — ideally to the decision makers at your target companies — and book sales meetings for your closers.
Outbound sales is a highly-targeted approach to getting new customers and accounts in the door, especially when compared to the marketing efforts of inbound activities, which we’ll cover next.
Also keep in mind that you can hire out your outbound sales to true professionals. A quality lead generation service like C-Level Partners can put you in front of the right decision makers on demand.
Pros & Cons
- Immediate conversations
- Highly scalable
- Low cost to entry
- Learning curve
- Can be overwhelming
- Systems must be in place
Inbound – A passive approach
Inbound is all about marketing, and marketing is a key component of any B2B Go to Market Strategy. The idea is to get your offer in front of people who, after engaging with your brand, come inbound into your funnel or flywheel.
These initiatives include everything from social media campaigns, blog posting and content creation, SEO, YouTube video creation, and the like. I recommend you try all of the above and see what sticks. What’s resonating the most with your audience? And which inbound activities do you enjoy the most? If you play to your strengths, you’re more likely to win the inbound game. But patience is the name of the game here.
I say it’s a “passive” approach, but it’s only passive in comparison to the fast-paced world of outbound sales. Passive isn’t a bad thing. Think of it like this: if outbound sales is spear-fishing from a boat, then inbound marketing is putting thousands of hooks in the water and waiting. They both have their place, and both will result in a fish-fry.
Pros & Cons
- Can be fully automated
- Reaches a wider audience
- Relatively low investment
- Not immediate, takes time
- Can be difficult to track/measure
- Sometimes requires tech know-how
Account-based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based Marketing is another B2B tactic that unites the two worlds of sales and marketing. To go to market with an ABM approach, you’ll focus on a few key accounts. But within those accounts, you’ll have dozens and dozens of contacts (this approach works best with enterprise accounts). You’ll have the CEO in your CRM, along with the COO, CMO, CTO, VP of this department, Director of that department, and the list goes on.
You then personalize your approach, much like you do in outbound sales, but also tie in marketing tactics like warm emails, personalized reports, role-specific offers, retargeting, and the like. This is very much a nurture-over-time approach. And as mentioned, it takes close alignment between your sales and marketing teams (which is a good thing!).
If you’re ready to go-to-market with a high end offer, and you expect to have a long sales cycle, then ABM might be the right approach. Just be sure your team learns how to talk to C-level executives if you decide to keep it in house.
Pros & Cons
- Highly effective
- Enjoyable for sales team
- Efficient and lucrative
- Not very scalable
- Not immediate, takes time
- Can be expensive
Of course, there are other things to think about for your Go to Market Strategy. For instance, product packaging and branding should be part of any new launch. But once you have that dialed-in, the most important consideration is how to sell your product or service. And that was our focus for today.
Final Words on B2B Go to Market Strategy
Going to market with a new brand or new offer can be exciting, even thrilling. You never know — you could have the best thing since sliced bread. You could even be sitting on an absolute goldmine! The way to find out is to test product-market fit. Once you know there’s a need (and a desire) for your product or service, then you can move forward with the approaches I highlighted above.
But which one is the right approach for you? Outbound, inbound, or ABM? Honestly, you can put each one into motion and see where you’re getting the best returns. Just be sure not to overextend yourself. So I recommend focusing on just a few initiatives at a time.
At the same time, don’t overlook the importance of solidifying a strategy. To really drive it home, remember that putting the right B2B Go to Market Strategy in place can help you get to market faster, increase conversion rates, decrease your odds of failing, give your team goals to rally behind, and ensure the launch is a smashing success.
I’ll leave you with that. Now get out there and go to market!
Until next time…