How to Create a Go-to-Market Strategy: A Guide for B2B Companies
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Go-to-Market Strategy for B2B Companies: A Step-by-Step Guide + Free Checklist

Are you launching a new product or service to your B2B market? If so, you’re probably under a lot of pressure to reach the right audience, attract new customers, and gain more business—all while using resources effectively and meeting revenue goals.

Fortunately, a carefully planned and well-executed go-to-market (GTM) strategy can help B2B organizations navigate these challenges, deliver value to customers, and debut a successful GTM campaign.

What Is a B2B Go-to-Market Strategy?

A B2B go-to-market strategy is a step-by-step action plan that defines how a business brings new products or services to market. It acts as a blueprint for reaching the right audiences, driving demand, creating marketing and sales initiatives, identifying pain points of ideal customers, and positioning products or services as a solution.

Each product or service launch is different—even in the same industry or company—because the B2B marketplace and audience needs are constantly in flux. An effective GTM strategy adapts to both market conditions and buyer expectations so B2B companies can continue to win new and continued business in any environment.

The Importance of a B2B Go-to-Market Strategy

Every B2B business needs a GTM strategy to rely on when launching a new product or service or supporting an existing outreach strategy.

A strong B2B GTM can have a lasting, positive impact on your organization. It helps align marketing and sales teams, is customized to your unique audience personas, and determines how your product or service fits into the existing marketplace.

Here are a few of the key benefits provided by a well-defined B2B go-to-market strategy.

Faster Time to Market

A GTM strategy helps B2B companies streamline the product or service launch process—avoiding unnecessary delays, reducing the time it takes to get to market, and ensuring a smooth, seamless, efficient launch.

Improved Customer Experience

Since an effective GTM strategy is founded on deep audience research, including pain points, needs, preferences, and buying habits, B2B organizations can deliver an improved customer experience that sets them apart from the competition.

Enhanced Marketing & Sales Effectiveness

A B2B GTM strategy guides companies to optimize their marketing and sales efforts and to spend time and resources on the most profitable and effective methods, leading to a maximized return on investment (ROI).

Increased Growth Potential

Backed by a strong GTM strategy, B2B companies can access new, niche markets and launch products or services more efficiently—allowing businesses to take advantage of opportunities and increase their growth potential.

4 Components of a Go-to-Market Strategy for B2B Companies

4 Components of a Go-to-Market Strategy for B2B Companies

Every successful B2B go-to-market strategy includes four main components: product-market fit, target audience, competition and demand, and distribution channels. Consider each aspect as you develop and implement a GTM strategy for your B2B company.

1. Product-Market Fit

First, you need to consider how your products or services fit into the existing market. Why? Because a successful launch requires that your offering meets the needs and preferences of your target market.

Determining product-market fit requires a deep understanding of both the market and your offering. What problems does your product or service solve? What problems is the market looking to solve? Do these answers align? You may need to conduct market research to find out, and based on the solution, you might have to consider iterative product development.

2. Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is key to tailoring marketing messages, sales strategies, distribution channels, and more to maximize reach and engagement.

Who is experiencing the problems your product or service addresses? How much will they pay for a solution? How will your product or service help them? Finding out the answers to these questions is an important part of any effective GTM strategy.

3. Competition & Demand

Identifying the competition and market demand is essential knowledge for B2B companies.

Who is your direct competition? Who offers products or services like yours? Is there a current demand for your products or services? Is the market oversaturated?

By analyzing competitors and assessing the existing market, you can anticipate market trends, differentiate your company from the competition, and adjust your GTM strategy as needed to keep up with a changing B2B landscape.

4. Distribution Channels

Where does your target audience spend their time online? How will you sell your products or services? What channels will you use to distribute marketing content? What is the best way to ensure your products or services reach your target market?

A GTM strategy requires carefully evaluating marketing channels and sales tactics—and determining the most appropriate channels for distribution—to ensure your products or services are accessible, priced appropriately, and attractive to your ideal buyers.

How to create a b2b go to market strategy

How Do You Create a B2B Go-to-Market Strategy?

Follow these steps to create a successful, actionable, effective B2B GTM strategy plan that has a lasting, positive impact on your growth and revenue goals.

Step 1: Establish Goals & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Defining goals, objectives, KPIs, and metrics is a vital first step in any B2B GTM strategy. These KPIs and goals will guide the rest of your go-to-market efforts, ensure all team members are aligned, evaluate the effectiveness of your GTM strategy, and help you recognize what’s working (and what isn’t).

To choose which KPIs to track, answer the following questions:

  • What are the milestones you want to reach?
  • What are the short-term goals of this product or service launch?
  • What are the long-term goals of this product or service launch?
  • What is a monthly, quarterly, and annual measure of success?

Common KPIs include customer acquisition cost (CAC), conversion rates, sales cycle length, customer lifetime value (CLTV or CLV), monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and annual recurring revenue (ARR), and churn rate.

Step 2: Identify Your Target Audience

A successful B2B GTM strategy relies on identifying and researching a narrow target audience to focus your go-to-market efforts on.

During this step, you should create buyer personas and ideal customer profiles (ICPs), which are semi-fictional representations of your ideal buyers and target accounts. Buyer personas and ICPs are used to conceptualize the buyer’s journey and determine how your target customers will make a purchasing decision. They should include information about the customer’s goals, motivations, pain points, buying habits, and more.

Buyer personas and ICPs should be incredibly detailed and backed by audience research—don’t rush this step. Consider collaborating with your product or service development team as well as marketing and sales, as these employees typically have conducted their own audience research and know your target buyers well.

Step 3: Conduct Competitor Research

You know your product or service, and thanks to the research from Step 2, you know your target audience. Now, it’s time to explore the market and see who you’re up against.

Competitor research is the process of analyzing your top competitions to identify gaps and opportunities, analyze how they brought their products or services to market, see what resonates with your audience, and better highlight the advantages of your offering.

Discovering what does (and doesn’t work) for your competitors—and determining how your new product or service compares to existing offerings—is key to creating your unique value proposition and positioning your offering for success.

Step 4: Define Your Unique Value Propositions (UVPs)

A unique value proposition is a short statement that describes why customers should choose your product, service, or brand. A strong UVP not only appeals to prospective buyers but also sets your offering apart from the competition.

When writing UVPs, consider what your new product or service has to offer:

  • What is the benefit of each feature?
  • What pain points does your product or service remedy?
  • How does your product or service solve your audience’s problem?
  • How does your product or service stand out from the competition?
  • What unique advantages does your product or service provide to potential customers?

Additionally, you may want to touch on the high-level benefits your brand brings to the table:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Where are you located?
  • What sets your company apart from the competition?
  • Why should buyers choose your company?

Keep in mind that a UVP is not a slogan, mission statement, or tagline—it should dive deep into what makes your specific product or service the perfect fit for your customers.

Step 5: Develop Messaging That Aligns with the Buyer’s Journey

With buyer personas, ICPs, competitor research, and UVPs in hand, you can start crafting messaging that resonates with your target customers.

Refine the wording of your UVPs to develop concise, clear, compelling, and easily understood messaging. In other words, rewrite existing UVPs in the context of the needs and pain points of your ICPS and buyer personas as well as the results of your competitor research. Don’t forget to use keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO) tools to make sure prospective buyers can find your products or services online.

It’s essential to align this messaging with the buyer’s journey. Consider the journey your prospects will take—as well as their state of mind at every stage—to better target your messaging and drive results.

Step 6: Craft Your Marketing & Sales Strategies

At this stage, you’re ready to craft a marketing and sales plan that describes the strategies you will use and outlines the exact steps you will take to reach your target audience.

The techniques you use to promote, market, and sell your product should be based on your audience and competitor research, messaging, resources, and team members. You may use a mix of inbound and outbound marketing methods, several different channels, and a variety of sales tactics to drive interest, generate demand, and hit your KPIs and goals. It all depends on the best ways to engage with your unique buyers.

Step 7: Monitor & Optimize Performance

Throughout your product or service launch, it’s important to monitor the performance of your GTM strategy—collecting user insights and data, tracking the KPIs and metrics established in Step 1, sharing relevant feedback with your stakeholders, and optimizing across your GTM efforts.

There are a variety of methods you can use to capture feedback, including closed-loop surveys, focus groups, and interviews with potential customers. Develop a system of collecting and analyzing feedback at each step of the buyer’s journey so you can make changes as needed, increase customer satisfaction, and improve your GTM efforts.

4 Common Mistakes B2B Companies Make When Developing a Go-to-Market Strategy

If you’ve updated your B2B company’s GTM strategy but still aren’t seeing the results you want, your organization may be making a critical error (or two). Keep an eye out for these common mistakes—and learn how to avoid them in the first place.

1. Developing Imprecise Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs)

ICPs, buyer personas, and negative buyer personas that are broad, unspecific, imprecise, or vague will not help you identify your audience or grow your business. Conduct deep audience research to develop detailed ICPs—which should include information about the person’s company (size, number of employees, annual revenue, location, etc.), their role in the company (title, responsibilities, etc.), their pain points or problems, and the triggers that signal they are interested in your product or service.

2. Tracking the Wrong KPIs

Tracking the wrong KPIs and metrics—or not tracking any at all—makes it impossible to know what is working, what you need to improve, where to optimize, and whether your GTM strategy is moving in the right direction. Additionally, tracking too many metrics and KPIs can make you lose focus. Focus on the KPIs, metrics, and goals that will best assess the performance of GTM activities, such as customer acquisition cost (CAC) and sales cycle length.

3. Lacking Communication & Alignment Among Go-to-Market Teams

A successful GTM strategy requires all hands on deck. A lack of communication, alignment, or collaboration among go-to-market teams—marketing, sales, and customer success—can lead to disaster.

It’s vital to establish lines of communication, hold regular cross-departmental meetings, and set shared objectives to keep teams aligned and make sure all GTM efforts are working toward the same goals.

4. Creating Weak UVPs & Inconsistent Messaging

Unique value propositions must be strong and backed by research. A UVP that doesn’t align with the needs of your target audience or set your offerings apart from the competition makes it more difficult to connect with buyers. Unfortunately, the problems don’t stop there—a weak UVP sets you up for failure in your messaging, too.

Aim to develop UVPs that explain the benefits of your products or services and use them to create consistent messaging that will resonate with your audience.

Go-to-Market Strategy Example: A Free Checklist for B2B Companies

Are you ready to create a go-to-market strategy for your B2B company? We designed a GTM strategy checklist with your needs in mind. Use it as a guide to identify your target market, research your competition, simplify the GTM process, and create a clear roadmap from idea to launch.

    Conclusion

    Whether you’re launching a new product or service or you’re simply looking for a better way to reach the right audience at the right time with your existing offerings, it’s essential to craft a detailed GTM strategy so that your B2B organization is set up for success.

    Need help optimizing your go-to-market strategy? Looking for a business growth partner? We’re ready to propel your B2B company to new heights. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more.

    Written By Samuel Thimothy

    As the Chief Growth Officer, I provide leadership, direction and resource stewardship to the organization’s sales and marketing function. I also collaborate with our digital marketing strategy team in developing and executing growth marketing campaigns for our loyal clients.

    Solomon Thimothy - OneIMS CEO

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