17th of March, 2020

How to Skyrocket Sales With a Digital Go To Market Strategy

Why is your company, business unit, or product line not growing as rapidly as it’s supposed to? Where are those new customers you expected to bring on, and what is keeping them from purchasing your product or service? When are you getting out of this struggle for survival and how will you help your company flourish again? Most importantly, how can you solve this business growth problem and make your board happy again?

The majority of businesses are terrible at marketing and sales. Even more of them are also bad at adapting to a changing world, meaning that leadership teams are stuck in their traditional ways and in today’s context fail to leverage the power of the digital world. Their go-to-market strategies are either non-existent or outdated, yet the average CEO, CMO or CCO expects their marketing and sales teams to deliver results. The answer to most growth problems?

Invest in a digital go-to-market strategy.

What is a digital go-to-market strategy?

A traditional go-to-market strategy describes, mostly in generic terms, how you’re taking your product or service to your customers. It typically includes target markets, target audiences, a pricing strategy, value propositions and perhaps a sales strategy. That’s what we’ve been taught in college or business school. Yet in many cases, generic doesn’t cut it and the strategy doesn’t result in the desired revenue growth. If it did, your probably wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place!

The difference between a traditional go-to-market strategy versus a digital go-to-market strategy (DGTM), is that the latter is more focused on digital competences, it’s more human-centered, more specific about added value, more measurable and therefore more actionable. The following elements must always be considered, discussed, and documented:

  • Measurable product-market fit and a justifiable Total Addressable Market (TAM)
  • Detailed competitive analysis in terms of both offering and marketing
  • Ideal buyer profiles (companies), buyer centers (decision-making units) and buyer personas (humans)
  • Recognizable, relevant and compelling differentiation and positioning statements
  • Problem-based value matrices, and relevant and helpful buyer’s journeys
  • A sales strategy that matches the level of your offering’s complexity
  • A measurable, scalable, actionable and buyer-centric sales process
  • A sales enablement strategy that helps increase sales productivity
  • Actionable KPIs that help monitor and improve on key growth metrics

Who should invest in a digital go-to-market strategy?

Are you in a commercial leadership position, and are you getting pressure from your executive team or investors because they don’t see the expected growth trajectory? Were you under the impression that your more traditional go-to-market strategy would deliver better growth results than it ultimately did? 

If you’re thinking “yes” to either of those questions, then investing in a digital go-to-market strategy is probably well worth exploring. Designing a strategy that is actually in line with today’s market expectations and requirements is absolutely crucial for commercial success. 

Ultimately, any outcome is merely the result of the actions (or lack thereof) that preceded it. If your marketing and sales results are sub-par, it’s because the execution was sub-par, which is most likely because the go-to-market strategy was non-customer centric, hard to measure and improve on, and in the broader sense, you guessed it, sub-par. Any CEO, CMO, CCO, COO or similarly titled business leader that feels they could do a better job, should invest in developing an effective DGTM.

Why leadership teams that wait too long, will struggle to see their company survive

Since the quality of strategizing and planning largely determines the quality of the execution in any position, marketing and sales leaders that aren’t seeing the desired results must change their way of approaching the market. If your generic go-to-market strategy didn’t work last year and the year before, then it’s probably not going to work the following year either. 

As Darwin so eloquently put in his book “On the Origin of Species” (1859), an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce is directly related to its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. In today’s world, one of the biggest changes in our circumstances is the rise of the Digital Era. 

Customers use the internet to evaluate potential vendors long before they get on the sales team’s radar. Customers expect sales reps to understand their challenges and guide them through the buying process in a helpful manner. Customers talk about and review your product’s or service’s quality with peers from across the globe, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Key questions to discuss in the next leadership offsite

Whilst there will be many questions left to be answered, we’d suggest you take some time during your next leadership offsite to start by asking yourselves the following basic questions.

Note that the majority of you are certainly going to feel disappointed and disillusioned. After all, either the leadership team can actually answer most questions concretely and in detail, but then why do you still struggle to grow? Alternatively, the leadership team cannot answer these questions concretely and in detail, which means you’re missing the necessary mindset and competences to close the gap between strategy and execution in the first place. Both give ample cause for worry. 

  1. What do our ideal customer profiles, buyer centers and buyer personas really look like in terms of their most pressing problems, corporate and personal goals, and required competences?
  2. How should we position and differentiate ourselves online, so that our buyer personas can find and understand our added value early on in their evaluation processes?
  3. How can we better leverage our digital channels, to identify and converse with our buyer personas at scale?
  4. How can we leverage our digital channels to capture our buyer personas’ interests and buying behaviours, to design a more customer-centric and personalized buyer’s journey?
  5. How can we measure and influence the effectiveness of our marketing initiatives, both offline and online, to continuously attract more and better customers?
  6. How can we help our sales organization increase their efficiency, and waste less time on low value adding, manual, unnecessary and repetitive tasks?
  7. How can we help our sales organization increase their effectiveness, and spend more quality time with the best prospects?
  8. How can we delight our existing customers, so that we don’t just retain them but actually increase their contract value over time?
  9. What key growth metrics should we be monitoring, to keep ourselves accountable to continuous improvement, digital progress, and predictable growth?

Image result for wave cartoon drown

The Digital Era is coming like a big, crashing wave. It’s happening, whether or not you’re ready for the impact. You have two choices:

  1. Grab a surfboard, ride the wave and survive
  2. Stand there, do nothing and drown
What will it be?

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