Building an effective go-to-market strategy is essential for B2B SaaS companies. Before we get into tips on how to build your go-to-market strategy, let's define what it is – and why it's important.
What is a Go-To-Market Strategy?
A go-to-market strategy, or GTM strategy, refers to how a brand brings its product to the market. It typically involves building a plan to target your customers' pain point – through sales and marketing – to boost your sales and grow your business.
This strategy can be used for new businesses that are getting ready to launch, but it is also effective anytime your company is offering a new feature or product. It can even be applied when you are opening a new location.
Having a go-to-market strategy is essential to ensure that your product is going to be successful. Many times, business owners will build a product and then work on marketing after the fact – this may cause them to miss out on important ways to connect with their target audience.
Failure to implement a GTM strategy can lead to additional costs to re-route your marketing and development efforts in the right direction.
So, what are different go-to-market strategies for B2B SaaS companies, and how can you implement them? Keep reading to find out our top 10 tips!
1. Identify the Buyer Persona
When you are building your GTM strategy, it is necessary to identify the buyer persona. A buyer persona is essentially a representation of your ideal client that you create based on the information you have collected.
Defining your buyer persona allows your brand to focus on the prospects that will best align with your target audience. You can then focus on marketing and development efforts to meet that ideal customer's needs.
Using the buyer persona to drive your go-to-market strategy will allow your company to attract higher-quality leads and customers – who will be more likely to remain loyal and act as advocates for your brand.
Understanding what these individuals are looking for can help you tailor your content and messaging to increase engagement and drive purchase behaviors.
Let's use an example to define this further, assuming your ideal client is someone who loves the outdoors. Do you understand what their specific interest is? What is the normal background for someone like this, and what do they engage with?
Typically building an accurate buyer persona requires market research – surveys and interviews can provide insights from your target audience that will help you answer these questions. You may even find that you have multiple buyer personas, which is fine! Try to start small, since you can always develop more later on.
You may also want to create a negative persona, which is the opposite of your ideal customer. This is someone that you do not want to target because they are too expensive to convert, have a low average customer value, or are unlikely to make repeat purchases.
2. Create a Value Matrix
Creating a value matrix is helpful when crafting your go-to-market strategy. The value matrix can be built based on the buyer personas we just discussed – the goal is to define the messaging that will best resonate with each persona, and which marketing channels will be most effective.
Simply put, the value matrix breaks down each buyer persona’s pain points, how your brand can solve those problems, and the marketing that should be used to communicate the solution to them.
Identifying the pain points and how your company can address them is important, but it will not have any value if the messaging does not reach them or resonate with them! The goal of the value matrix is to determine the best way to get that value proposition in front of your ideal customer.
Here is an example of a value matrix:
As you can see, even if multiple buyer personas have the same product or solution, they may have different pain points. In other words, the messaging that you use to market your product to User 1 will not be effective in marketing the same product to User 2.
Your go-to-market strategy should have a clearly defined value matrix that will help you ensure that each of your buyer personas has personalized content and messaging for their unique pain points.
3. Target Your Ads
So now that you have identified your buyer personas and built the value matrix, it is time to use that information to optimize your advertising. Identify where these buyers spend time online and test out your messaging and ads before you implement them on a wider scale.
Just like each buyer persona has unique pain points, the various buyer personas may relate to better to different content and platforms. Consider which type of content each persona is more likely to consume, whether it is article-based content, videos, or social media posts.
If your target audience resonates most with video messaging, perhaps YouTube is the best place to start. If they love visuals, focus on Instagram, or Pinterest. The key is to get your message in front of high-value prospects while maintaining consistent brand messaging across all platforms.
When you are designing your go-to-market strategy, be sure to detail out how you will target your advertisements to your ideal clients. Where will your marketing dollars be spent, and where will the majority of your advertising efforts be focused?
Keeping tabs on your competitors can help you target your advertisements as well. Learn from their mistakes and take note of what worked well with their GTM strategies. You can gather helpful insights by reading their reviews and monitoring their social media platforms.
4. Understand the Buyer’s Journey
Understanding the buyer’s journey should be the core of your go-to-market strategy. This takes the analysis of the buyer persona much further and delves into the details of the process that leads them to make a purchase.
Most often the buyer's journey begins when they realize they have a problem or a pain point that they would like to solve. They begin to research potential solutions, and from there start narrowing down their options.
Buyers will select which product will best solve their problem by talking to your sales team, reading reviews, and interacting with your content. This is why it is essential to understand their journey – you want to be able to proactively answer their questions and offer solutions to their problem!
From your company’s perspective, the buyer’s journey is the sales funnel. It describes how you take an individual from a prospect and narrows it down until they fall out of the pipeline.
Your marketing content should consider each aspect of the journey, from awareness and consideration to the final decision. Ensuring that your messaging aligns at each of these points will guide prospects through your sales funnel and ultimately lead them to make a purchase.
Make things easy for them! Anticipate their questions and create an engaging experience that will show the value of your brand.
5. Mix Up Your Go-To-Market Sales Strategy
When it comes to your go-to-market sales strategy, there is no clear-cut best option. There are several different strategies and we recommend mixing up which ones you use! Let’s consider the following strategies: product-led growth, the inside sales business model, and the channel model.
Product-led growth is a GTM strategy that revolves around the product itself. This strategy uses the product to acquire and retain buyers without relying on extensive explanations or content. Companies like Slack do this very well – they let prospects see their solutions in action, and this is enough to drive sales!
The traditional sales team-driven GTM strategy is called the inside sales business model. With this option, your sales representatives build relationships with your target audience and work to convert the sale. This sales cycle can be a bit longer, ranging from a few weeks to a few months, and will require you to invest in a sales team. If your sales volume is high, however, this method can be profitable and scalable!
Another go-to-market sales strategy is the channel model. With this strategy, you partner with an outside agency to sell your product on your behalf. This is one of the hardest methods to implement successfully since it requires educating a third-party on your processes and products. However, this can be cheaper than hiring an internal sales team.
Consider mixing up these strategies depending on your industry or customer base to find what works best for you.
6. Combine Inbound and Outbound Strategies
Another suggestion we have is to combine the use of both inbound and outbound strategies.
Inbound sales strategies focus on helping prospects through the buying journey – from awareness and consideration to the decision point. This method prioritizes individuals who have already started this journey, and the goal is for the firm to build the relationship through content and messaging that addresses their concerns.
Inbound sales can be broken into four key actions: identity, connect, explore, and advise.
Identifying refers to pinpointing business opportunities when they arise – your sales team must know what to look for to build a predictable and scalable sales funnel.
Next, they will connect with these leads and engage with them to determine if they should prioritize them. If the buyer connects with them, they become a qualified lead.
From there, the inbound sales team will explore the qualified lead’s challenges and goals to help them determine if your product is the right solution for their needs.
This leads to the final step, advice, where your team demonstrated your value proposition and why your brand is the best option to address their pain point.
Outbound strategies, on the other hand, focus on outreach that is initiated by your firm. This can include cold calling, social media messaging, and other forms of communication that are not originated from the customer directly.
Outbound strategies can be difficult and require extensive research to be effective, but a strong GTM strategy should incorporate both!
7. Incorporate Content Marketing
Incorporating content marketing is more important than ever when building your GTM strategy. Research conducted by HubSpot found that almost 70% of companies plan to actively invest in content marketing this year – so you do not want to fall behind your competition!
Content marketing refers to things like blog posts that can help your business source new leads and website traffic. The goal is to create engaging content that will consistently drive organic traffic towards your brand.
Not only does content marketing help you boost sales, but it also helps educate your target audience and increase customer loyalty. The content that you produce, whether it is visual or written, helps establish your brand and demonstrate that you are an expert in your industry.
An effective content marketing strategy caters to both sides of your target audience: prospects who are still moving through the buyer's journey and current clients that you wish to retain. By exposing them to quality content, you reinforce the thought that your product is the solution – and that they should continue to make purchases and engage with your brand.
8. Optimize the Sales Pipeline
Optimizing your sales pipeline is another important aspect that should be incorporated into your go-to-market strategy. Simply put, the greater visibility and control that you have regarding your sales pipeline, the more revenue you will be able to bring in.
Another study done by HubSpot Research found that there is a positive relationship between revenue achievement and the number of opportunities there are in your pipeline each month.
It makes sense, right? The more opportunities you have in the pipeline the more likely you will be able to hit your revenue goals.
The sales pipeline can also help your sales team have a visual representation of your prospects and where they stand in the sales process. This visibility allows them to improve revenue forecasts and determine how many opportunities you need at each stage of the buyer’s journey to achieve your business goals.
One of the best ways to optimize your sales pipeline is to make sure that the data you have is accurate and up to date. Validate the dollar values you have assigned to each opportunity and verify that their placement in the sale pipeline is correct.
Some pipeline metrics that you should monitor include the total value of opportunities in the pipeline, the average deal size, and the number of opportunities available. It is also important to measure sales velocity, which refers to how long the average opportunity stays in the pipeline before the deal is closed.
9. Work to Shorten the Sales Cycle
Your business should also focus on working to shorten the sales cycle. One of the best ways to do this is to establish an effective onboarding process.
When you have effective user onboarding, you are training your customers – and potential customers – on how to use your product. The goal is for them to understand all of the benefits your product can offer, and why it is the right solution for their pain points.
This can shorten your sales cycle because at the end of the onboarding process, they will be more ready to buy, and it will be easier for your sales team to close the deal.
Onboarding should be intuitive – the movement from a trial version to a paid subscription should be seamless! Allow your customers to experience the value you offer for themselves and offer them the upgrade when they have seen that potential.
10. Tap Into Your Existing Client Base
When you are crafting your go-to-market strategy for your B2B SaaS company, it is essential to tap into your existing client base. You have heard time and time again that it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to increase revenue from the clients you already have – because it is true!
Your existing client base is full of advocates for your brand that already trust your company and love your products – use this to your advantage! Once you already have a client in your system, you already have the information you need to understand what they are looking for, so you should use these insights to continue to offer them solutions to their problems.
You can leverage your existing client base through event-based engagements.
Event-based engagements are driven by the client while they are engaging with your product sales or support teams. This is effective when you have a large volume of customers and your products are transactional.
Your go-to-market strategy can determine the success of your B2B SaaS company. Utilize these different strategies to build yours and fine-tune it to best meet your business needs.
Start by identifying your buyer persona and building your value matrix. From there, target your ads to each step of the buyer's journey – don't be afraid to mix up which go-to-market sales strategies you use and focus on optimizing your sales pipeline!
We hope that these tips will allow you to get started on creating your go-to-market strategy!