How to Create a B2B Go-to-Market Strategy

A Step-By-Step Guide For B2B Organizations To Successfully Go To Market.

img_b2b_gtm_strategy_hero_fy22

Whether you’re launching a new product or service or updating your go-to-market (GTM) strategy for an existing product, your company’s ability to reach the right audience at the right time is an ongoing challenge.

But taking the proper steps now and carefully crafting a detailed go-to-market strategy—specifically for your B2B organization—will help you avoid chasing the wrong audience and ultimately wasting time and resources on launching an unsuccessful campaign.

Before diving in, it’s essential to cover a few basics.

What is a go-to-market strategy for B2B businesses?

A B2B go-to-market strategy is a step-by-step plan your company creates to find the available market to target in order to win new and continued business. It includes a detailed identification of the accounts that would benefit from your product, sales and marketing programs around the offering, determining where your product fits in the marketplace, and critical KPIs around what success looks like for your program.

Whether your GTM strategy supports an immediate product launch or is part of an existing outreach strategy for your brand, it can have a lasting, positive impact by aligning all areas of your business. Removing silos and ensuring a unified approach can help align sales and marketing teams, reduce advertising costs, and provide an excellent buying experience.

With the terms defined and the “why” clear, it’s time to craft your GTM strategy.

Go-to-market certification program

We offer certifications for every level. Get up to speed on the latest go-to-market strategies and best practices.

Get Certified Today

GTM Certified Strategist badge

How to create a B2B go-to-market strategy

A good B2B go-to-market strategy focuses on efficiency. With the following steps, you’ll be able to create an actionable and effective plan that gets the most out of your resources.

 

1. Identify your target audience

Identifying a narrow target audience consisting of target accounts and buyer personas is crucial for constructing a successful B2B go-to-market strategy.

You can start this process by working alongside your product or service development team, as they typically do heavy target audience research upfront. Some typical parameters to identify include:

  • Firmographics: company size (headcount and annual revenue), industries, and locations.

  • Technographics: your ideal company’s technology profile, including what types of solutions they use.

  • Journey stage: where prospective accounts and customers are in the buyer journey.

  • Intent signals: indicators that accounts are researching your offerings or similar competitors’ offerings.

  • Particular roles within a company

With these attributes in mind, you can partner with your sales team to create a list of target accounts and prioritize them.

To create a target account list that takes real-time account behavior into account, consider layering on an account intelligence platform to distill actionable insights from a multitude of B2B data (CRM, website, advertising, intent signals, news, social insights, and more). With account intelligence, you can enable your marketing and sales teams to see opportunities earlier, progress deals faster, and drive growth further.

Here’s a look at how Demandbase One provides a smarter B2B go-to-market strategy. By relying on Account Intelligence, you’ll be able to deliver a better buyer experience, effective advertising, actionable insights for sales teams, and more accurate account data.

Demandbase One - Smarter GTM™

After identifying target accounts, you can create buyer personas or ideal customer profiles (ICP)—semi-fictional representations of your ideal account contacts. Personas will help you conceptualize your buyer’s journey and the factors that will positively or negatively influence their purchasing decisions.

In B2B go-to-market planning, there are multiple personas positioned along the buyer journey, ranging from a user to a final decision-maker. When constructing each persona, consider their:

  • Problems: Does your product solve a top-of-mind problem?

  • Motivating factors: Are they more focused on cutting costs or increasing revenue? What other metrics are they measured by?

  • Company’s goals: Does your product fit the company’s aspirations and culture?

Mapping out your target accounts and ICPs should take careful consideration, so thoroughly vet this step before moving on to the next.

2. Conduct competitive research

You know your product. You know your target audience. Now it’s time to know who you’re up against.

Finding critical players in the market will help you pinpoint gaps and opportunities to highlight your offering and its desirable features that are missing from the competition’s.

In your research, identify your top 3-5 competitors and assess how they brought their products to market. Analyze customer reactions to their products whenever possible, reading reviews and any online chatter to help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of their product.

Seeing what does (and doesn’t) resonate with your target audience through the raw, unfiltered lens of reviews will help you position your offering for success.

Reviews & rankings

Check out what your peers are saying about Demandbase’s ABM solutions.

See Reviews

reviews-and-rankings-nav-module

3. Determine your value propositions

Knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses will perfectly tee up how you develop your offering’s unique value propositions (or value props).

A value proposition is a marketing message that intends to differentiate your product or service—even your brand—from the competition in a way that’s appealing to prospective accounts.

When writing your value props, reflect on why your company decided to design the offering. Create a list of your product’s features and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What’s the benefit of each feature?

  • How does my company offer a unique advantage in delivering each feature?

  • Take the perspective of your ideal customer and ask, “What’s in it for me?”

While you’ll want to cover the unique benefits of your product, you can also touch on more high-level value props as they relate to your company and brand. These benefits may include how long you’ve been in business, your location, any special sustainability processes your company has implemented, etc.

Although this exercise should give you a solid value props list, make sure you’re only after the best. What stands out? Even one potent proposition can separate a product and brand from the crowd. You can focus on your best 3-5 most of the time.

Now, it’s time to put some work into your content and messaging.

4. Develop messaging

First, take the top value props you landed on and lean into refining the wording. Avoid bombastic language (“The world’s first!”) or jargon, and make sure you make promises you can consistently deliver on. You should end up with a concise, clear, and easily understood message.

Once you have your refined value props, rewrite them in the context of your buyer personas’ pain points. You can use keyword research tools to inform this, which will also help prospects discover your offerings in search engines. Rather than forcing your terminology, these tools can help you match your messaging to what customers are looking for and offer your product as the answer.

A value matrix is another helpful exercise for creating messaging that zeros in on your prospect’s pain points. A value matrix calls out each persona’s business problems and highlights how your product helps solve them. By matching up each pain point to a product feature, you’ll be able to craft marketing content that resonates.

The Clear & Complete Guide to Smarter GTM™

Want more actionable B2B go-to-market tips and worksheets? Download The Demandbase Clear & Complete Guide to Smarter GTM™ to build more effective growth strategies.

Download Guide

GTM ebook cover

5. Map out your buyer’s journey

Once you’ve worked out the messaging, it’s time to map out your buyer’s journey. Like the pain points in personas, mapping the buyer’s journey ensures you put yourself in their shoes to target your messaging better.

A buyer’s journey shows the path from problem to purchase. To create the best experience, it’s essential to understand and align your go-to-market efforts with each stage of the buyer (account) journey:

  1. Qualified: The account may not be entirely aware of your brand or products, but they fit the description of your target personas and have shown signs of activity on your website or through your campaigns.
  2. Aware: The account is aware of your category, but is not fully engaged yet. Building trust, awareness of your brand, and leveraging social proof is important for this stage.
  3. Engaged: The account is engaging with you and understands your brand and products, but is not yet showing buying intent. Nurturing this relationship through thought leadership and educational assets will help guide the account to identify value and solutions in your brand.
  4. MQA: The account is finally showing signs of being in-market. Relevant marketing air cover and sales outreach to various personas should be more prevalent at this stage.

5. Opportunity: The account is close to the finish line and the entire buying committee should be engaged at this point. Transform insight into action from marketing to sales by using tools for third-party validation, vendor comparisons and building consensus.

6. Customer: The journey doesn’t end here. Now that the account is a customer, continue to nurture the relationship through thought leadership, best practice content and utilizing customer success tools.

7. Post-sale: Identify upsell and/or cross sell opportunities to present to the customer at the right time.

Considering this path and your prospect’s state of mind at each stop along the journey will help you write relevant messaging that drives results.

6. Establish KPIs

Evaluating how effective your GTM strategy is can be difficult. It’s essential to focus on the right key performance indicators (KPIs) for your strategy so that you’re quick to recognize what does or doesn’t work and pivot accordingly.

While many B2B companies prioritize lead conversions, (or measuring MQLs, “Marketing Qualified Leads”) as a vital KPI, there are other account-based metrics that can work hand-in-hand with MQLs to evaluate success. A strong go-to-market strategy in an ABX world requires measurement beyond general lead conversions. Instead, consider a double-funnel approach to measure the success of your account-based tactics by including measurement of MQAs (Marketing Qualified Accounts) as a key metric alongside lead conversion. By utilizing a lead-based funnel and an account-based funnel, you can more granularly measure your GTM strategy.

 When determining KPIs, ask yourself:

  • What will be a monthly, quarterly, and annual measure of success?
  • What are our short-term goals?
  • What are our long-term goals?
  • What milestones will we want to celebrate?

Measurable results like KPIs will give your marketing and sales teams the focus they need to deliver impactful work. Give careful thought to what will be the best indicators of the success of your product.

7. Choose demand generation tactics

Hitting your marketing KPIs and overall pipeline goals will rely heavily on how you generate demand, which can happen with both outbound and inbound strategies. Account-based marketing and sales strategies often use a combination to target select accounts and engage entire marketing groups rather than random individual buyers. By focusing on high-potential targets, account-based tactics can also be more personalized, even treating a single account as one market.

For reference, outbound demand generation usually involves a sales team engaging new potential customers. They may do this through cold calls from a list of leads, emails, or a booth at a tradeshow or conference.

Inbound is all about marketing and incorporates the messaging from step four. Prospects might come across your product through organic search, PPC ads, social media, or other digital and field marketing. After obtaining an email address, your marketing team nurtures them through the buyer’s journey by providing more relevant content, such as eBooks, webinars, and demos. It’s essential to orchestrate all your touches across marketing and sales channels to ensure consistent messaging and that the prospect has an optimal experience, setting them up to buy.

Moving between inbound and outbound at the right moments with account-based strategies can effectively bridge gaps in the buyer’s journey and lead to more engaged and marketing-qualified accounts.

8. Collect the right data

Demand generation can spark growth brilliantly for a new product—if you’re working with the correct, clean data.

That’s where intent data comes in. Intent data uses AI to indicate an account’s level of interest in your product. By tracking online activity, you can gauge a prospect’s interest.

Intent data helps both your inbound and outbound efforts. Instead of sending a blind email or making a cold call, it enables you to reach out when customers want to hear from you.

Want to fuel your go-to-market strategy with smarter data?

See how Demandbase Data Cloud can help you get and use clean, rich data you can trust.

img_data_cloud_hero_

9. Refine with a feedback loop

You’ve done it. You’ve developed a comprehensive offering, brought it to market, conducted competitive research, crafted value props and messaging, and cleaned, tracked, and fine-tuned the data. Now, it’s time to collect user insights and data, which you can use to amplify honest customer feedback out to the market and your product team.

Building a feedback loop is the final step to an effective B2B go-to-market strategy. Develop ways to capture feedback at every step in the buyer journey. This attention to detail increases buyer satisfaction and retention, pushing your GTM efforts from good to great.

Whether through closed-loop surveys, customer service insights, sales reps, or some other means, capture feedback that you can analyze and act on accordingly.

Ready to go-to-market?

With the proper research, planning, and ongoing refinement that comes from developing a B2B go-to-market strategy, you can have a successful go-to-market campaign and establish processes that benefit your company well into the future.

Demandbase specializes in empowering B2B businesses like yours to create effective go-to-market strategies based on our account intelligence. These actionable insights help you chase down the best opportunities earlier and convert them faster.

Are you ready to learn more about account intelligence and what it can do for your B2B go-to-market strategy? Schedule a free demo of Demandbase’s B2B Smarter GTM™ Suite today.

deebee_taking-flight4x