Ask any startup founder if in case you have a go-to-market (GTM) drawback.
It is fully potential that the reply can be no as a result of startup founders and CXOs assume that GTM is a top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) drawback, advertising drawback, product use case drawback, or gross sales crew drawback.
And that’s the issue.
GTM has been round for some time and its varied frameworks have largely remained medieval. Your GTM framework must be a dwelling doc that you simply and your crew recurrently replace and evaluate each quarter, each six months, or each time organizations create their annual working plan (AOP). Sadly, most don’t.
Neglecting your GTM technique results in undesirable, unsold services, together with wasted time and sources. However, a well-defined GTM technique helps your organization goal the proper viewers and make effectivity inside the group higher.
Consider GTM as an evolving roadmap. Discover a buyer section the place a product is viable, a sale is repeatable, and a bonus is yours for the taking. In case your experiment succeeds, plan to scale with all drive, however maintain the unique variables intact. In case your experiment fails, pivot until you get it proper.
What you may be taught on this article:
- The distinction between outdated and new GTM methods
- What the GTM phases appear like from wherever your organization is
- What the EPIC GTM framework is
- How the EPIC mannequin differs from established GTM frameworks
- What the challenges are in the case of GTM frameworks
- Why it’s vital to tailor your GTM technique to the goal market
Legacy GTM vs. new GTM
GTM has undergone important modifications lately. The frameworks are evolving and so are the definitions.
Historically, corporations targeted on the overall addressable market (TAM) and serviceable addressable market (SAM) when growing their GTM framework.
Nevertheless, in the previous few years, the main target has shifted to the serviceable obtainable market (SOM), the place corporations decide the market measurement based mostly on the potential of their gross sales crew.
So, right this moment, in case you as an organization have solely about 20 salespeople, every of these 20 salespeople can usher in 5 accounts each month. So, 100 accounts are doubtless obtainable by the corporate.
This shift has led to a extra laser-focused strategy to GTM. Firms now outline their and tailor their methods accordingly. For instance, if an organization is focusing on e-commerce corporations, it’d concentrate on promoting to corporations like Flipkart and Myntra.
These corporations are a great match for the corporate’s services, and so they have the sources to implement them. By specializing in a selected set of splendid buyer profiles (ICPs), the corporate can extra successfully attain its goal market and obtain its gross sales objectives.
The founder-led strategy to GTM has additionally develop into extra prevalent, with founders pulling varied levers, together with sales-led and account-based advertising (ABM), to drive progress. Moreover, corporations are specializing in product-led progress (PLG), marketing-led improvement, and community-led approaches to GTM.
Neighborhood-led advertising has develop into crucial within the new GTM frameworks. It’s a means for corporations to create worth for his or her prospects exterior of their services or products.
Previously, corporations would typically depend on conventional advertising channels, equivalent to promoting and public relations, to succeed in their goal market. Nevertheless, these channels have gotten much less efficient as customers develop into extra ad-blind and distrustful of conventional advertising messages.
Individuals have fashioned bigger communities, whether or not it’s the browser stacks, Discord, or Slack communities. Answering the questions posed in these on-line communities is essential. When corporations reply questions in a useful and informative means, they present that they’re educated about their trade and that they’re dedicated to serving to their prospects. This could result in elevated model consciousness, extra leads, and extra gross sales.
General, the push-focused strategy of the previous has given approach to a extra knowledgeable and educated buyer base that requires a complicated avenue to GTM. Because of this, corporations should adapt and evolve their GTM methods to succeed.
GTM phases as your organization takes off
Supply: Helix Consulting
The GTM technique is relevant throughout the assorted phases your organization is in. Let’s discover it intimately.
- Thought stage: Within the ideation stage, you’re but to find the proper set of merchandise. You could use the basics of PLG to search out worth discovery. You might have a primary web site with minimal inbound site visitors and faucet into accelerators or associate assist for progress.
- Minimal variable product (MVP) stage: You might have a few prospects, which signifies that the product, in some form and type, is nicely established. Persons are shopping for that product, and the MVP has been set. Exploring varied PLG fashions and determining what’s working is important. Gross sales are founder-led, and you’ll experiment to search out what’s repeatable and worthwhile. Right here nonetheless, you’ve got a primary web site with restricted inbound site visitors.
- Seed stage: Your PLG fashions are working nicely, with the implementation of varied frameworks just like the pirate framework. Your web site has advanced to get inbound leads, and also you write blogs and do search engine optimization. The main target shifts to demos, level of contacts (POCs), and addressing buyer issues. Right here is the place you want to guarantee consistency of demos, even with a small crew.
- Collection A stage: Now you’ve got first rate gross sales and assist groups with buyer success in place. The product or platform turns into a progress driver. Inbound leads are important; outbound and efficiency advertising experiments would possibly start. The main target is on repeatable gross sales, upsells, and cross-sells and also you begin eager about account-based advertising to focus on bigger accounts.
- Scale-up stage: A bigger crew varieties with the addition of your VP of gross sales, head of selling, and CRO. Your goal listing expands with a bigger crew, and ABM methods play a significant function. Right here, the neighborhood pulls and occasions develop into distinguished. It is a vital stage for 5-10 million annual recurring income (ARR) corporations.
Word: Churn is an important concern as you scale up. GTM methods should stay constant inside their respective phases for efficient progress.
Introducing the EPIC GTM mannequin
Within the context of GTM frameworks, it is important to grasp the gross sales cycle and the way it has advanced.
Historically, the gross sales cycle would take round 8 to 12 months. You might have a number of TOFU, the place you attempt to do the product demos, and make the discoveries. Then you may get into the POC and the pricing proposal. Then you definately both win or lose.
Supply: Helix Consulting
Nevertheless, in right this moment’s market, this strategy is not sustainable, and corporations try to crunch the timeline by including extra TOFU and specializing in SOM. The method now entails shopping for teams, the next variety of interactions earlier than a sale, and knowledgeable consumers who’ve their very own analysis. They don’t robotically belief the salesperson anymore.
With these modifications, it turns into all of the extra vital for corporations to mix PLG and a GTM technique to realize this.
As entrepreneurs or CXOs search midmarket and enterprise prospects, they face the challenges of participating leads, enduring lengthy gross sales gestation intervals, and maximizing buyer lifetime worth. The GTM strategy, which used to work in 2020, is ineffective right this moment. With the need of mixing PLG and GTM fashions, I’ve created the EPIC mannequin framework.
Supply: Helix Consulting
The EPIC mannequin strategy to GTM aligns an organization’s 4 vital pillars so that they run in sync. These pillars embody ecosystem or sales-driven effort (E), product-led progress (P), inbound and outbound demand era (I), and community-led engagement (C).
EPIC framework turns into the backbone of your GTM technique and aligns the complete firm’s efforts into a method that propels you into the subsequent galaxy. A profitable strategy prioritizes storytelling by way of all 4 pillars to draw TOFU leads, speed up alternatives within the center and on the backside of the funnel, and construct neighborhood word-of-mouth.
Ecosystem and account-based advertising
The gross sales crew leads the ecosystem and account-based advertising (ABM) pillar. They decide the ICPs and exterior companions, equivalent to analyst corporations, commerce associations, and publications, that may affect choice making.
For instance, in case you’re going to promote to the US market, the very first thing a CIO will need to know is whether or not you’ve got a presence on the G2 Grid. Exterior companions develop into all of the extra vital once you need to affect choice making.
Gross sales can’t do it alone. Gone are the instances of celebrity salespeople. These days, they should REACT within the ecosystem to fulfill their quotas.
Ecosystem stimulus utilizing REACT framework
|Analysis (R)||Interact (E)||Adjacencies (A)||Chase (C)||Contact (T)|
|Qualitative Analysis||Occasion and Exhibitions||Associate Advertising and marketing||Consulting Corporations||Account Primarily based Expertise (ABX)|
|Voice of Buyer||Workshops||VAR/VAD/Reseller Program||PR and Analyst||T-O-P-S
|High-of-the-mind consciousness (TOMA) or Spontaneous (SPONT) Consciousness||Roundtables||OEM Companions||Commerce Our bodies||Custom-made Gross sales Enablement|
|Buyer Satisfaction (CSAT) Analysis||Advisory Councils||Referral and Affiliate Companions||G2 and different Peer Evaluation websites||Exec Sponsor Program|
When you land an account, PLG will present you the place you want to onboard, generate worth, experiment, and broaden. Whereas different GTM channels are high to backside, PLG strikes from the underside up. In India, many corporations are including newer merchandise, so this upward motion turns into all of the extra vital.
Strive utilizing PLG to take away the POC stage in gross sales and exchange it with placing the product within the person’s arms. This expertise really reduces the time and prices of acquisition.
Equally, you may goal the shopping for cupboard with ABM, the tip customers with PLG, and the influencers with content material. Together with eliminating smaller points that eat time, disturb the product roadmap, and delay the precise worth supply, you may flip your 360° PLG strategy right into a self-serve mannequin.
Inbound and outbound
The third pillar is inbound and outbound, pushed by advertising. This consists of efficiency advertising, thought management content material, and social media. The advert campaigns you run through LinkedIn and Google fall right here, as nicely.
The model ingredient right here is an integral a part of GTM frameworks. If the model is well-known, it generates inbound and outbound site visitors, and prospects will acknowledge and consider your product. Nevertheless, the model supplies outcomes over a protracted interval and so we exclude it within the present mannequin, which is results-focused.
The ultimate pillar is community-led planning, which incorporates data sharing, phrase of mouth, and peer evaluations.
The main target has shifted from buyer assist to success prior to now 5 years. In hand with this, the necessity for neighborhood engagement by way of buyer advisory boards, or advocacy channels has grown. As an example, corporations at the moment are turning to advisory boards to assemble suggestions on their merchandise and make sure that they deal with buyer issues successfully.
These are the 4 pillars of the EPIC GTM technique.
Like DNA, each firm’s GTM is exclusive. You possibly can’t cut-copy-paste it or replicate it in a silo.
How does the EPIC framework differ from established fashions?
Let’s take the GTM Companions’ and GTM Alliance fashions, two established and in style frameworks, and have a look at how the EPIC mannequin differs from them.
GTM Companions mannequin vs. EPIC mannequin
GTM Companions’ mannequin requires inbound, outbound, product-led, channel-led, and ecosystem-led progress as the important thing parts of a profitable GTM technique. The EPIC framework is designed for rising markets like India, the Center East, and APAC.
The EPIC framework has a variety of notable variations from the GTM Companions’ mannequin
- Channel-led progress: The GTM Companions mannequin features a devoted element for channel-led progress, whereas the EPIC framework retains it inside the Ecosystem REACT framework. It’s because channel partnerships aren’t as widespread in rising markets as they’re in developed markets. The channel margins in these areas aren’t conducive to SaaS gross sales so it doesn’t normally undergo channels in India or different comparable markets. Nevertheless, this may occasionally change as these markets advance over the subsequent decade.
- Outbound gross sales: The EPIC framework emphasizes outbound gross sales greater than the GTM Companions mannequin. Outbound gross sales are nonetheless a really efficient approach to attain new prospects in rising markets. Whereas many SaaS corporations in India emphasize inbound advertising, I consider outbound methods additionally maintain important potential. In my expertise, outbound techniques have contributed considerably to the success of corporations on this market, and the EPIC mannequin displays this.
- PLG: The GTM Companions mannequin locations a heavy emphasis on PLG to realize success sooner or later. The EPIC framework, however, acknowledges that PLG just isn’t but mature sufficient in rising markets and that it’s vital to have a extra balanced strategy that features outbound gross sales and channel partnerships.
GTM Alliance mannequin vs. EPIC mannequin
The GTM Alliance mannequin emphasizes the importance of ecosystem-led progress (ELG) as the first strategy. It additionally highlights the roles of gross sales, content material, and neighborhood inside this framework. Nevertheless, I discover the case is completely different when contemplating the Indian market.
In India, once we observe SaaS corporations, solely a choose few have reached a sophisticated stage of PLG. Whereas PLG is extremely efficient within the early phases (0 to 1 and 1 to five), it turns into much less prevalent as corporations transcend that. Subsequently, relying solely on PLG could not assure success. That is the first distinction between the EPIC and GTM Alliance fashions.
Content material performs a significant function in numerous parts of a GTM technique, equivalent to ecosystem-based gross sales, gross sales enablement, and ABM. Nevertheless, it can’t perform as an impartial lever. Study the way you form and tailor your content material for varied channels. It can’t have a one-size-fits-all lever. Every channel calls for particular content material methods to be efficient, which is what the EPIC mannequin advocates.
What are the challenges to making use of GTM frameworks?
The primary vital step is admitting the challenges you face. If you happen to speak to 10 founders, no one will say, “I’ve a GTM drawback.” They’ll discuss TOFU challenges, gross sales closure points, or product shortcomings. It is a slender, fragmented perspective. Leaders want to grasp that their drawback isn’t a person one, however collective. It’s a GTM drawback.
One other problem is the silos that exist between completely different groups. Leads and closures are sitting in two completely different locations. Advertising and marketing offers out these leads after which you haven’t any clue what occurs to them.
Whereas some entrepreneurs take satisfaction in going after the leads, most don’t. And gross sales tends to solely pursue the great leads. What occurs to everyone else? You – and all management – want to take a look at the method holistically and ensure your complete crew works on it collectively from begin to end.
You even have to contemplate the shortage of sources and inconsistent literature obtainable about these strategies. Whereas the market has modified, instructional establishments and data shares haven’t caught up. It’s nonetheless troublesome to pinpoint a useful resource for studying about GTM frameworks.
Tailor your GTM framework to the goal market
Whereas each framework guides your GTM technique, figuring out the wants of the market you’re catering to and doing every part you may to satisfy them lie on the basis of this course of.
It’s best to function from an area market perspective irrespective of the place you’re. So in case you’re in North America, sure practices maintain true for that market. Take the related components of the GTM framework which can be relevant to the North American market and exclude the remainder. For instance, the EPIC framework applies to Indian markets, so I’ve taken the related facets from the general framework and appropriately tailor-made it.
And that is how it’s a must to strategy your GTM framework. There will not be a one-size-fits-all strategy as a result of the markets aren’t uniform.
Charting your GTM course
Experiment and fail and check out once more when constructing a GTM framework that works for you. As you make choices about your framework, take resilience, productiveness, and profitability into consideration. As soon as your experiments are profitable, you may scale.
With these fundamentals in place, you clearly outline your ICP and your GTM will fine-tune itself.
After you have a GTM framework that works on your firm in place, how will you use AI developments to reimagine a greater approach to interact your prospects and develop extra effectively? Discover the solutions to those questions and extra as you find out about a new AI framework for GTM groups.