Home Business FieldAssist’s CMO Explains Why Your Startup Has a GTM Downside

FieldAssist’s CMO Explains Why Your Startup Has a GTM Downside

FieldAssist’s CMO Explains Why Your Startup Has a GTM Downside


Ask any startup founder you probably have a go-to-market (GTM) downside.

It is fully doable that the reply could be no as a result of startup founders and CXOs suppose that GTM is a top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) downside, advertising and marketing downside, product use case downside, or gross sales workforce downside. 

And that’s the issue.

GTM has been round for some time and its varied frameworks have largely remained medieval. Your GTM framework must be a residing doc that you simply and your workforce commonly replace and evaluate each quarter, each six months, or every time organizations create their annual working plan (AOP). Sadly, most don’t.

Neglecting your GTM technique results in undesirable, unsold services and products, together with wasted time and assets. However, a well-defined GTM technique helps your organization goal the proper viewers and make effectivity throughout the group higher.

Consider GTM as an evolving roadmap. Discover a buyer section the place a product is viable, a sale is repeatable, and a bonus is yours for the taking. In case your experiment succeeds, plan to scale with all power, however preserve the unique variables intact. In case your experiment fails, pivot until you get it proper.

Legacy GTM vs. new GTM 

GTM has undergone important adjustments in recent times. The frameworks are evolving and so are the definitions.

Historically, firms centered on the full addressable market (TAM) and serviceable addressable market (SAM) when growing their GTM framework. 

Total Addressable Market (TAM)


Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM)

Nonetheless, in the previous couple of years, the main focus has shifted to the serviceable obtainable market (SOM), the place firms decide the market dimension primarily based on the potential of their gross sales workforce. 

So, immediately, should you as an organization have solely about 20 salespeople, every of these 20 salespeople can usher in 5 accounts each month. So, 100 accounts are probably obtainable by the corporate. 

Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)
This shift has led to a extra laser-focused strategy to GTM. Corporations now outline their and tailor their methods accordingly. For instance, if an organization is focusing on e-commerce firms, it would deal with promoting to firms like Flipkart and Myntra.

These firms are a great match for the corporate’s services and products, they usually have the assets to implement them. By specializing in a selected set of excellent buyer profiles (ICPs), the corporate can extra successfully attain its goal market and obtain its gross sales objectives.

The founder-led strategy to GTM has additionally turn into extra prevalent, with founders pulling varied levers, together with sales-led and account-based advertising and marketing (ABM), to drive progress. Moreover, firms are specializing in product-led progress (PLG), marketing-led improvement, and community-led approaches to GTM. 

Group-led advertising and marketing has turn into essential within the new GTM frameworks. It’s a approach for firms to create worth for his or her prospects exterior of their services or products. 

Previously, firms would typically depend on conventional advertising and marketing channels, resembling promoting and public relations, to achieve their goal market. Nonetheless, these channels have gotten much less efficient as customers turn into extra ad-blind and distrustful of conventional advertising and marketing messages.

Folks have shaped bigger communities, whether or not it’s the browser stacks, Discord, or Slack communities. Answering the questions posed in these on-line communities is essential. When firms reply questions in a useful and informative approach, they present that they’re educated about their trade and that they’re dedicated to serving to their prospects. This may result in elevated model consciousness, extra leads, and extra gross sales.

Total, the push-focused strategy of the previous has given solution to a extra knowledgeable and educated buyer base that requires a complicated avenue to GTM. Because of this, firms should adapt and evolve their GTM methods to succeed.

GTM levels as your organization takes off 

the various GTM stages

Supply: Helix Consulting

The GTM technique is relevant throughout the assorted levels your organization is in. Let’s discover it intimately.

  1. Concept stage: Within the ideation stage, you might be but to find the right set of merchandise. You might want to use the basics of PLG to seek out worth discovery. You will have a primary web site with minimal inbound site visitors and faucet into accelerators or associate help for progress. 
  2. Minimal variable product (MVP) stage: You may have a few prospects, which implies that the product, in some form and kind, is properly established. Individuals are shopping for that product, and the MVP has been set. Exploring varied PLG fashions and determining what’s working is significant. Gross sales are founder-led, and you’ll experiment to seek out what’s repeatable and worthwhile. Right here nonetheless, you might have a primary web site with restricted inbound site visitors.
  3. Seed stage: Your PLG fashions are working properly, with the implementation of assorted frameworks just like the pirate framework. Your web site has developed to get inbound leads, and also you write blogs and do search engine optimisation. The main target shifts to demos, level of contacts (POCs), and addressing buyer issues. Right here is the place you’ll want to guarantee consistency of demos, even with a small workforce.
  4. Sequence A stage: Now you might have first rate gross sales and help groups with buyer success in place. The product or platform turns into a progress driver. Inbound leads are important; outbound and efficiency advertising and marketing experiments may start. The main target is on repeatable gross sales, upsells, and cross-sells and also you begin interested by account-based advertising and marketing to focus on bigger accounts.
  5. Scale-up stage: A bigger workforce kinds with the addition of your VP of gross sales, head of promoting, and CRO. Your goal listing expands with a bigger workforce, and ABM methods play an important function. Right here, the neighborhood pulls and occasions turn into outstanding. It is a vital stage for 5-10 million annual recurring income (ARR) firms.

Be aware: Churn is an important concern as you scale up. GTM methods should stay constant inside their respective levels for efficient progress.

Introducing the EPIC GTM mannequin

Within the context of GTM frameworks, it is important to know the gross sales cycle and the way it has developed. 

Historically, the gross sales cycle would take round 8 to 12 months. You may have a whole lot of TOFU, the place you attempt to do the product demos, and make the discoveries. Then you may get into the POC and the pricing proposal. Then you definitely both win or lose. 

illustration of the typical B2B sales process
Helix Consulting

Nonetheless, in immediately’s market, this strategy is now not sustainable, and firms try to crunch the timeline by including extra TOFU and specializing in SOM. The method now includes shopping for teams, the next variety of interactions earlier than a sale, and knowledgeable patrons who’ve their very own analysis. They don’t robotically belief the salesperson anymore. 

With these adjustments, it turns into all of the extra vital for firms to mix PLG and a GTM technique to attain this. 

As entrepreneurs or CXOs search midmarket and enterprise prospects, they face the challenges of partaking leads, enduring lengthy gross sales gestation durations, and maximizing buyer lifetime worth. The GTM strategy, which used to work in 2020, is ineffective immediately. With the need of mixing PLG and GTM fashions, I’ve created the EPIC mannequin framework. 

Illustration of the 4 pillars of the EPIC GTM model

Supply: Helix Consulting

The EPIC mannequin strategy to GTM aligns an organization’s 4 vital pillars in order that they run in sync. These pillars embody ecosystem or sales-driven effort (E), product-led progress (P), inbound and outbound demand era (I), and community-led engagement (C). 

EPIC framework turns into the backbone of your GTM technique and aligns the complete firm’s efforts into a technique that propels you into the following galaxy. A profitable strategy prioritizes storytelling via all 4 pillars to draw TOFU leads, speed up alternatives within the center and on the backside of the funnel, and construct neighborhood word-of-mouth.

Ecosystem and account-based advertising and marketing

The gross sales workforce leads the ecosystem and account-based advertising and marketing (ABM) pillar. They decide the ICPs and exterior companions, resembling analyst corporations, commerce associations, and publications, that may affect resolution making.

For instance, should you’re going to promote to the US market, the very first thing a CIO will wish to know is whether or not you might have a presence on the G2 Grid. Exterior companions turn into all of the extra vital whenever you wish to affect resolution making.

Gross sales can’t do it alone. Gone are the instances of famous person salespeople. These days, they should REACT within the ecosystem to satisfy their quotas.

 Ecosystem stimulus utilizing REACT framework

Analysis (R) Have interaction (E) Adjacencies (A) Chase (C) Contact (T)
Qualitative Analysis Occasion and Exhibitions Associate Advertising Consulting Corporations Account Based mostly Expertise (ABX)
Voice of Buyer Workshops VAR/VAD/Reseller Program PR and Analyst T-O-P-S
Account Analysis
Prime-of-the-mind consciousness (TOMA) or Spontaneous (SPONT) Consciousness Roundtables OEM Companions Commerce Our bodies Personalized Gross sales Enablement
Buyer Satisfaction (CSAT) Analysis Advisory Councils Referral and Affiliate Companions G2 and different Peer Evaluate websites Exec Sponsor Program

Product-led progress

When you land an account, PLG will present you the place you’ll want to onboard, generate worth, experiment, and broaden. Whereas different GTM channels are high to backside, PLG strikes from the underside up. In India, many firms are including newer merchandise, so this upward motion turns into all of the extra vital.

Attempt utilizing PLG to take away the POC stage in gross sales and exchange it with placing the product within the person’s arms. This expertise really reduces the time and prices of acquisition. 

Equally, you’ll be able to goal the shopping for cupboard with ABM, the top customers with PLG, and the influencers with content material. Together with eliminating smaller points that eat time, disturb the product roadmap, and delay the precise worth supply, you’ll be able to flip your 360° PLG strategy right into a self-serve mannequin.

Inbound and outbound

The third pillar is inbound and outbound, pushed by advertising and marketing. This contains efficiency advertising and marketing, thought management content material, and social media. The advert campaigns you run by way of LinkedIn and Google fall right here, as properly.

The model component right here is an integral a part of GTM frameworks. If the model is well-known, it generates inbound and outbound site visitors, and prospects will acknowledge and consider your product. Nonetheless, the model offers outcomes over an extended interval and so we exclude it within the present mannequin, which is results-focused.

Group-led planning

The ultimate pillar is community-led planning, which incorporates data sharing, phrase of mouth, and peer critiques. 

The main target has shifted from buyer help to success up to now 5 years. In hand with this, the necessity for neighborhood engagement via buyer advisory boards, or advocacy channels has grown. For example, firms are actually turning to advisory boards to collect suggestions on their merchandise and make sure that they tackle buyer issues successfully. 

These are the 4 pillars of the EPIC GTM technique. 

Like DNA, each firm’s GTM is exclusive. You possibly can’t cut-copy-paste it or replicate it in a silo.

How does the EPIC framework differ from established fashions?

Let’s take the GTM Companions’ and GTM Alliance fashions, two established and common frameworks, and have a look at how the EPIC mannequin differs from them.

GTM Companions mannequin vs. EPIC mannequin

GTM Companions’ mannequin requires inbound, outbound, product-led, channel-led, and ecosystem-led progress as the important thing parts of a profitable GTM technique. The EPIC framework is designed for rising markets like India, the Center East, and APAC. 

The EPIC framework has plenty of notable variations from the GTM Companions’ mannequin

GTM Alliance mannequin vs. EPIC mannequin

The GTM Alliance mannequin emphasizes the importance of ecosystem-led progress (ELG) as the first strategy. It additionally highlights the roles of gross sales, content material, and neighborhood inside this framework. Nonetheless, I discover the case is totally different when contemplating the Indian market.

In India, after we observe SaaS firms, solely a choose few have reached a complicated stage of PLG. Whereas PLG is very efficient within the early levels (0 to 1 and 1 to five), it turns into much less prevalent as firms transcend that. Due to this fact, relying solely on PLG might not assure success. That is the first distinction between the EPIC and GTM Alliance fashions.

Content material performs an important function in several parts of a GTM technique, resembling ecosystem-based gross sales, gross sales enablement, and ABM. Nonetheless, it can not operate as an unbiased lever. Look at the way you form and tailor your content material for varied channels. It can not have a one-size-fits-all lever. Every channel calls for particular content material methods to be efficient, which is what the EPIC mannequin advocates.

What are the challenges to making use of GTM frameworks?

The primary vital step is admitting the challenges you face. In the event you speak to 10 founders, no one will say, “I’ve a GTM downside.” They’ll discuss TOFU challenges, gross sales closure points, or product shortcomings. It is a slender, fragmented perspective. Leaders want to know that their downside isn’t a person one, however collective. It’s a GTM downside. 

One other problem is the silos that exist between totally different groups. Leads and closures are sitting in two totally different locations. Advertising offers out these leads after which you haven’t any clue what occurs to them. 

Whereas some entrepreneurs take delight in going after the leads, most don’t. And gross sales tends to solely pursue the nice leads. What occurs to all people else? You – and all management – want to take a look at the method holistically and ensure your entire crew works on it collectively from begin to end.

You even have to think about the shortage of assets and inconsistent literature out there about these strategies. Whereas the market has modified, instructional establishments and data shares haven’t caught up. It’s nonetheless troublesome to pinpoint a useful resource for studying about GTM frameworks.

Tailor your GTM framework to the goal market 

Whereas each framework guides your GTM technique, figuring out the wants of the market you’re catering to and doing every little thing you’ll be able to to satisfy them lie on the basis of this course of.

It is best to function from a neighborhood market perspective irrespective of the place you might be. So should you’re in North America, sure practices maintain true for that market. Take the related components of the GTM framework which are relevant to the North American market and exclude the remaining. For instance, the EPIC framework applies to Indian markets, so I’ve taken the related elements from the general framework and appropriately tailor-made it.

And that is how it’s important to strategy your GTM framework. There will not be a one-size-fits-all strategy as a result of the markets aren’t uniform. 

Charting your GTM course

Experiment and fail and check out once more when constructing a GTM framework that works for you. As you make selections about your framework, take resilience, productiveness, and profitability under consideration. As soon as your experiments are profitable, you’ll be able to scale. 

With these fundamentals in place, you clearly outline your ICP and your GTM will fine-tune itself. 

After you have a GTM framework that works to your firm in place, how will you use AI developments to reimagine a greater solution to have interaction your prospects and develop extra effectively? Discover the solutions to those questions and extra as you find out about a new AI framework for GTM groups.



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