When launching a new product, you need to be careful about the time and resources you use to bringing a product into the market. It’s important to have a carefully laid out plan. Because without planning it’s difficult to recognise your target market. You would not know whether it’s too early or too late to enter the market. It is important to have a go-to-market strategy in order to launch a product successfully.
First let’s take a look at what is a go-to-market strategy.
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is the way in which a company gets a new product into the market. It includes a business plan that maps out the target audience, sales strategy and marketing plan. Each product and market are different, which is why a GTM strategy should be well thought through. This means outlining market problem and solution that a product offers.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a go-to-market strategy appropriate for your company.
Determine the buying centre and personas
The first important thing to do when preparing your product is to consider your customer. On average, there are 6.8 decision makers on every sale who have a say in whether a product is purchased or not. These people constitute the “buying centre”.
The seven roles are as follows:
- Initiator: Starts the buying process
- User: Consumes your product regularly
- Influencer: Convinces others about the necessity of the product
- Decision maker: Gives a final approval for the purchase
- Buyer: Owns the budget
- Approver: Promotes the initiative on a big scale
- Gatekeeper: Barrier in getting a product approved or implemented
These roles vary according to the product and industry you are selling to. Do research on each role to get an idea of what they do, their goals and the problems they face. It’s important to know who they are, what is their motivation, and what are their problems, as they will be the one to recognise your product.
Design a value matrix and messaging
After you have identified your buyer centre personas, the next step is to map out your value matrix.
Value matrix is the analysis of each buying centre persona, their business problems, how your product can be helpful in solving those problems, and a marketing message that resonates with them.
Start by creating a chart with each persona in one column. Below each persona, list the pain points they face every day. If your product is the solution of any of these problems, include them in a row below.
Finally, the message needs to capture the pain point and value in a relevant way. One way is to talk about their pain points more. This will emphasise their problems creating a need in them to look for solutions. And the value that your product offers should solve their problems.
Once this value matrix is created, the next step is to test your messaging. You can start advertising on marketing platforms using the messages that you created for different audience members. You can test three aspects: the channel you advertise on, the target audience, and the message you share.
If you are deciding where to test, consider where your audience is. Paid digital platforms like LinkedIn, Google Ads, Facebook and Twitter can be some options. Test different channels and continue advertising on those that show high conversion. And stop investing on channels that show no progress.
Next step is to optimise your audience. Some ad platforms include highly targeted audience settings for advertisers. For example, LinkedIn gives options for job function, job title, company size and location. Test various options to see which one is clicked more.
You will be testing your message to see which type resonates most with your audience. The engagement and conversion rates of your ads will tell which value propositions and pain points are more effective.
Once you have collected all this data, you create larger campaigns on the basis of these insights.
Understanding your buyer’s journey
After building your personas and value matrix, do a thorough analysis of your potential customer’s journey, both from the buyer’s perspective and from your company’s perspective.
From the customer’s perspective, the buying process is linear. And this is how it will happen:
- The buyer recognises that they have a business problem and research solutions
- The buyer shortlists potential solutions
- The list is shortened by talking to sales teams and by testing product use cases until the decision has been made
The buyer’s journey is a funnel, that starts with the general interest at the top that narrows down as opportunities are of the pipeline. This journey is divided into three sections:
Top of the Funnel (ToFu)
This is the top of the awareness stage. The content in this stage grabs the potential customer’s attention. This content could be a blog, whitepaper, or video. A lead is directed here after clicking on an ad, social media post or a search engine result. However, this does not mean that this lead is ready to purchase.
Middle of the Funnel (MoFu)
This is the consideration stage. At this stage the prospect has shown that they have a problem and your product can help them. They show this through engaging with your content like downloading an ebook or joining a webinar.
Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)
This is the final decision stage. A this point the prospect has likely asked for a quote or trial period and are close to making a decision on whether to purchase or not.
Once a lead goes into the decision stage, the sales team takes over and the lead will enter the sales funnel.
Choose a sales strategy
Now you can pick a strategy to push the product into the market. A single method won’t work for every product or market. There are four go-to-market sales strategies and each one caters to a different product and business model.
The Self-Service model: This is where the customer makes a purchase on their own. This model is mainly seen in B2C purchases.
The Inside Sales Business Model: This is when a prospect needs to be nurtured by a sales rep to convert them into customers. This model works best with medium complexity and price.
The Field Sales Business Model: This is when you have a complete sales organisation that closes large enterprise deals. These are complex products with high prices.
The Channel Model: This is when an outside agency or partner sells your product for you. This is hard, as it can be difficult to recruit people and educate on your product. They are less motivated to sell as compared to your own sales team.
You need to get the attention of your target audience. This can be done through inbound and outbound strategies.
Inbound prospect come across your brand through marketing efforts and reach out to you by showing signs of interest. They will show interest through their digital behavior.
Outbound method is when a salesperson contacts a lead through cold outreach tactics. They might reach out to the contact list, send warm emails, make calls etc.
Inbound leads are easier to achieve and convert. This is because inbound leads are somewhat educated on the business problem you solve and are aware of your product. Content marketing is important in generating that inbound interest. This content can drive traffic to your website. Your content team should create content that is relevant to various stages of the buyer’s journey (ToFu, MoFu, BoFu).
There is more to growth than just picking a sales strategy and building demand. You need to optimise. To measure sales result you need to use key performance indicators like volume, conversion rate, and time. You can track which deals have been closed and deals that can be opportunities converted. It is important to optimise the conversion rate between stages. The opportunities moving through the pipeline will go through various qualification processes and you need to track at which stage the opportunities fall out and why.
You can also track overall funnel and per sales rep. This can tell you where each rep needs to improve. The length of your sales cycle can also be measure. You will also need to optimise your customer acquisition cot. This can be expensive, but over time you will reduce this cost by optimising your processes or you will keep losing money.
This process can help you build your product and launch it successfully in the market. Take time with the process and continue to iterate in order to build your company.
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