Good morning everyone. Memorial Day holiday weekend and I find myself doing some work this Sunday am...go figure. Passion and enjoy what I do....
Many businesses in B2B get their start by filling a need or having a solution that provides a jump on the market. Or maybe, you, as the owner, took your experience and started your business with a front loaded customer base that followed you (as my current situation with M. Allen.
However your business got started, there comes a time where growth and scalability mean taking your business to market.
Your plan for SERVICE OR SOLUTION DOMINATION – or, ok, revenue increase and profit improvement – starts with a carefully and thoughtful crafted blueprint for your “Go-To-Market Strategy”. Whether you are contemplating how you build your sales and marketing program or are looking to benchmark the strength and effectiveness of your existing sales efforts, take a look at the elements that make up the strategy –
Answer these questions through the lens of your customer:
What are you selling?
Relevance – What is the relationship of your product/service to how your customers produce their products or achieve their goals? How do you impact their results? Beyond the products and solutions, what are you really selling?
Value Proposition – Why are you unique? How are you different? Articulate your differences to make it easier for customers to understand the results and experiences that come with choosing you.
Who is buying and why?
Context – For your buyers, where is “buying” or evaluating solutions fit in their priorities? Are they time starved? Over worked? How much education do they need on your product?
Market Segmentation – Are there different types of buyers? Buyers that have different reasons for buying? Can you drill down to understand each currency of buyers (business position/title, departmental function) to develop sales and/or marketing campaigns that speak specifically and directly to them?
Where will you reach your buyers?
Channels – Determine where your buyers can be reached. Are they attending conferences? Are they beginning their search online with whitepapers and research? Do they belong to industry groups or online forums?
Conversations – How do you access your buyers to have conversations that are relevant to them? What is the “Selling Motion” you should use to reach your buyers? Referrals? Email? Phone? Social Media? Networking? How does your buyer spend their day and where can you access them to start conversations?
How will you compel them?
Customer Experience – How does every interaction reinforce the value proposition you want to be known for? What does your website say to potential customers? Who do they first encounter when they have an inquiry? Do your cold or warm sales interactions inspire confidence and demonstrate credibility? Look at every experience through your customers’ lens to understand how you show up and reinforce your value at every stage of the buyers’ journey.
Team to Execute – WHO will carry your strategy forward? Do you implement an inbound marketing program? Do you leverage partners to represent your brand? Or, do you hire a third-party outbound sales team? How do you provide sales support or enable your sales process? How will you service your increased customers? Determine what kind of additional team members you’ll need to provide excellent experiences that sell your potential customers on how and WHY you are their best solution. How will you find them? How will you pay them? How will you manage and lead them?
There are more technical elements to building your go-to-market strategy – such as market research, pricing strategies, product development, etc. But don’t focus on those alone. Selling becomes your competitive advantage when you build a strategy that
1) Is focused on how your buyers come to the market looking for solutions and
2) reinforces your competitive position at every stage.
To grow your BUSINESS – to scale, to grow, to increase revenue, to improve profitability, your business has got to “Go-To-Market” and seek out your customers in a smart and strategic way the produces consistent, repeatable results.
I encourage you to spend some time this holiday weekend reflecting on your go-to-market strategy. Write the key questions and answers with what comes to top of mind. Then as the work week starts on Tuesday, bounce them off a close colleague, customer or friend. Your action starts this week! Do it!
Signing off for this Sunday......Matt Slonaker, CEO & Head Advisor M. Allen