The concept of optimizing and balancing your communications channels can be traced back to the 1960s in Japan. It was around the time when anime was becoming more popular in Japanese television through a system of interconnected media and commodity products. Creating an optimized media mix has remained a digital marketing / B2C priority. When B2B companies think of revenue maximization, all revenue focused functions are being optimized in isolation - marketing checks its attribution reports, sales tries to improve rep performance, customer success tries to focus on high-value customers and their NPS, and so on.
But a company’s Go-To-Market (GTM) success depends on all of them working together.
A company's GTM is usually a mix of marketing, sales, customer success, and partner/ channel strategies and tactics. E.g. if a business focuses on driving high website traffic and raising inbound lead volumes, its Sales team should be designed and equipped to respond to inbound interest quickly. On the other hand, if they rely solely on outbound efforts like cold-calling, they may have to rely on a third-party partner as well. In real-world scenarios, you are typically juggling multiple GTM strategies. So you have inbound and outbound marketing channels, SDR and sales teams split to deal with different kinds of leads, Customer Success teams to deal with growing an existing account and upsell campaigns. Today B2B companies have many different GTM strategies at their disposal - Inbound, Outbound, ABM, Channel Sales, Upsell, Sirius Decisions’ Demand Unit Waterfall, etc.
With all of these options available, are you leveraging enough GTM routes? If not, why? Every GTM route represents untapped revenue potential and that must be explored. Based on the results you derive and the costs involved companies need to optimize their GTM mix continuously.
(Picture Courtesy: Tom Fishburne)
Why optimize your GTM mix?
Companies that do not optimize their GTM mix run the risk of slower revenue growth and getting overtaken by competitors that do. Slower time to market and revenue growth can have a really big impact on the fortunes of businesses of all sizes. Let’s take the example of two SaaS startups: one that runs their business focused only on inbound leads and some outbound cold calling through an SDR team. The other company does the same and also leverages Account Based Marketing and a partner channel for its sales on the East coast where their competitors do not have a strong presence. It not only leverages these additional GTM routes, but also optimizes its marketing budgets, sales team, partner and CS strategies to support these GTM routes. This helps them expedite sales in target accounts as well as create a pan-America brand and customer presence. Company 1 adds about $2M to its bottom line every year. On the contrary, the optimized GTM strategy that includes additional routes to revenue help Company 2 adds $3M for the first few years, followed by $5 and $8M. At the end of five years, both companies are at very different levels.
With some luck, Company 2 is almost double in revenue as compared to Company 1. This also has a big impact on their valuation. While Company 1 has done well for itself and has a valuation of $90M, it is still significantly behind Company 2 at this point whose valuation has crossed $300M.
How do you optimize your GTM Mix?
The GTM mix optimization depends on three key factors - culture, data, and process.
- Culture: Since optimizing your GTM strategies depends greatly on how you build products/partnerships as well as market and sell products, optimization will be people dependent. Left to their natural state, humans tend to resist and not welcome change. That is the culture we need to adopt on the GTM side - one of continuous change and improvement.
- Data: Any kind of optimization is greatly dependent on the accuracy of the base data as well as the metrics that are used to draw conclusions and prove hypotheses. If your GTM data is not accurate (e.g. duplicates or dirty data) or in the right state (e.g. Leads in Marketing Automation unlinked with Accounts in CRM) then it’s likely you do not have an accurate picture of the current state of affairs in your GTM today, much less on the efficacy of GTM experiments you might want to run.
- Process: Since GTM optimization and change is a relatively newer concept with multiple disparate functions involved, there are no clear owners, drivers, and defined processes today. Given that there are so many points at which communication between Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and Partner/ Channels breaks down, any process that manages change across these four functions will have to be lead by a core team. A central ops team can establish processes for quickly and easily adapting to market dynamics and making small but effective changes to the company’s GTM mix.
What is your GTM mix? Are there certain kinds of GTM strategies you have yet to try out? Learn more about how to operationalize these strategies to drive revenue growth at the LeanData Workshop during Ops-Stars 2018.