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9 Essential Go-to-Market Steps that Aren’t Just About Marketing

Marketing
eBridge Marketing Solutions' Hartland Ross

Hartland Ross

By Hartland Ross, Founder and President, eBridge Marketing Solutions

Think developing a go-to-market strategy is the sole responsibility of your marketing department? If so, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A comprehensive strategy includes much more than just marketing messages. To be effective, it must include participation from across your company, including these nine areas of focus:

1. Target Market/Customer: If you are developing a product or service that you intend to sell to your existing customers, understanding your target market/customer is simple. If, on the other hand, you are transitioning from, say, SMB customers to enterprise customers, expanding into a new geography or focusing on a new industry vertical, then developing a complete buyer persona is critical. This will enable both your sales and marketing teams to focus their messages and concentrate on the online and offline channels where your target customer can be found.

2. Product Road Map:  A product road map is a rollout plan which aligns with your company’s business goals, determining when you will release new products or upgrades to existing customers or new markets. There is a strategic reason for launching a specific solution at a specific time. The goal is for each offering to build upon what has been launched before it to help your company reach its sales and business goals. A company that decides to develop an internet-of-things-related service simply because IoT is a hot topic and not because it integrates well with the existing product portfolio will not be successful in selling this new solution.

3. Pricing Model: Is the pricing model for your new product or service in line with your other solutions or is it so different and complex that it will be difficult for your sales team to sell? A solution which is sold to SMB customers and has two options for purchase is easy for customers to understand and for your sales team to sell. An enterprise-focused solution which has many ways in which it can be purchased or combined with other products might be difficult to sell.

4. Sales Channel: Don’t assume because your sales team has been successful in the past that they will be successful at selling your new solution. Evaluate whether it will be more effective to sell through your existing sales team or channel partners.

Consider:

  • Is your current sales team equipped to sell the new solution?
  • Can your sales team interact equally well in business and technical conversations or will you have to hire people with different expertise?
  • How long will it take to bring a direct sales team up to speed? Are you willing to incur the time and expense needed, or would channel partners be more effective?
  • What are your criteria for selecting channel partners? Do you have the resources in-house to help make them successful?

5. Customer Engagement: How are customers going to buy your solution? Will a sales team need to answer questions, call prospects and walk them through the buying process? Alternatively, will this be a self-service model where a prospect visits your website, peruses features and benefits, and buys without ever speaking with sales? These are different ways of buying. Each requires different resources to implement. You are also asking your potential customers to …

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2 comments

  1. Avatar stephen davison July 31, 2018 @ 11:52 pm

    Hi Hartland,

    Nice post.

    You can’t plan for a marketing strategy without identifying your targeted customers/market. Once this is done, you have to realize others that your’s is a genuine company, so that others should trust you. Next, is preparing a product road describing your business goals and objectives, so that customers should have a clear idea on what your business is.

    • Avatar Hartland Ross August 1, 2018 @ 4:12 pm

      Thanks Stephen! Agreed! Unfortunately short cuts don’t work very well!

      Hartland

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