At any stage, an organisation’s ‘go to market strategy’ is important to ensure all employees have clarity of purpose and mission. For a start-up, getting this right, can be the difference between success and failure.
Early stage tech companies spend a lot of time and focus on their technology and ‘product market fit’ but often spend far less time focused on the ‘commercial market fit’. While product almost always comes first, without a laser focus on how you will take that product to market, why have a product at all? There are plenty of companies who didn’t have the strongest products, but were able to become category leaders because they had a highly effective ‘go to market strategy’.
The desire, clearly, is to have the best product and the best strategy, so outlined below are some key points to consider as you plan how to go to market:
- What problem does your product/service solve?
- Are you selling to businesses, direct to consumers or to both?
- Which market is your service aimed at? Is it industry, department, region specific or applicable to all?
- Which countries do you plan to sell and market your service in?
- What size of organisation is your product/service aimed at?
- What is the value proposition of your product/service? Most technology purchases are based on either reducing costs or increasing revenue so which are you?
- Who will be involved in the purchasing decision on the client side?
- How will you reach your target market? Direct field sales, telephone sales, or sales through a partner channel?
- What will your core message be and why should people care about what you are saying?
Once you’ve answered these questions you can define:
- What sales and marketing skills you’ll need in your organisation
- What your messaging will be
- Who you are going to aim the messaging at
- Who your competition is
- The mission of your company
With your go to market strategy in place, it is then important to simplify the tactics that underpin it, much like a sports team has a formation on the field to help them beat the competition. A fantastic way to do this is to create a ‘GTM Triangle’ which will help you break down the size of the market, where you will put the sales team, what your coverage ratio of sales people to number of companies needs to be etc.
Finally, it’s important to continually test the success of your go to market strategy and iterate, as the internal and external market dynamics adjust and change. How you win today is not necessarily the same way you’ll win in a years’ time. Stay close to your employees and customers and ensure the go to market strategy maintains alignment between your overall vision and what you’re hearing and seeing in the field.