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Why B2B Go-To-Market Strategies Fail (And What to Do About It)

Over the past two years, I have worked with B2B SaaS and service companies in the tech industry as a Fractional CRO. During this time, we developed and implemented effective strategies to acquire new B2B clients and increase their overall sales revenue.

The most important and glaring lesson I have learned is that a well-executed Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy is the key factor that differentiates successful B2B sales teams. As individuals responsible for sales, including sales leaders, founders, and sales teams, it can be beneficial to have an understanding of B2B Go-To-Market. This approach provides a basis for effective sales strategies.

Let's look at the top seven common pitfalls and what to do about them:

1. Failing to Know Your Customers Beyond Your Products

A lack of profound understanding of customers is a primary reason for a failing GTM strategy.

What to do about it:

  • Knowing customers goes beyond being acquainted with product features.

  • Beyond understanding customers' pain points and needs, delve deep into the minds of your target audience by talking to your customers. Unfortunately there is no shortcut to this. When you are starting a B2B sales strategy, you need to do things that does not scale.

  • Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and create compelling personas.

2. Missing the Mark with Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

A problem well articulated is a problem half-solved. - Charles Kettering

A strong UVP is the backbone of any successful GTM strategy. If your UVP fails to clearly communicate the unique benefits your product offers, you risk blending into the sea of competitors.

What to do about it:

  • Communicate the Problem well.

  • Communicate the Solution well.

  • Communicate your Value well.

  • Answer this ‘We help X solve Y by Z’.

  • Showcase why your solution stands out, how it addresses customers' pain points better than the alternatives, and the value it brings to the table.

3. Ignoring the Competitive Landscape

A lack of awareness about your competitors' strengths and weaknesses can leave you vulnerable in the market.

What to do about it:

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your competitive landscape and identify areas where you can outshine your rivals. Research your competitiors 5P’s - Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People.

  • Highlight your differentiators and leverage them strategically to position your product.

4. Ineffective Market Positioning

Effective product positioning is critical for attracting the right customers. If your messaging lacks clarity or consistency, potential clients may not understand why they should choose your product over others.

What to do about it:

  • Align your product's positioning with your unique value proposition (UVP) and your ICP needs to create a compelling and coherent narrative.

  • Conducting market research can also help you identify any gaps in the market that your product can fill, providing an opportunity to expand your customer base and increase your sales.

Ultimately, effective product positioning is a continuous process that requires ongoing monitoring and adjustment to ensure that your messaging remains relevant and resonates with your target customers.

5. Overlooking Pricing and Packaging Strategies

Your pricing strategy is a critical aspect of your business that can significantly impact both customer perception and revenue generation. In order to develop an effective pricing strategy, it is important to consider a number of factors, such as your target market, competition in the industry, and the value of your product or service.

What to do about it:

  • This involves conducting thorough market research to identify the optimal price point for your offering, which can vary based on factors such as consumer demand and the perceived quality of your product or service. Talk to your existing customers and you will learn a lot. They will identify the some of the “friction” in your pricing.

I am not a big fan of discounts, and I encourage you to read Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim and Mauborgne and instead create an “Open Market”.

From the book Blue Ocean Strategy by Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

  • Consider the effective and innovative "Blue Ocean" pricing strategies that aim to identify and create uncontested market spaces. These strategies allow businesses to move away from the cut-throat competition of existing industries and instead create new areas of demand, giving them a significant competitive advantage.

By adopting a Blue Ocean pricing strategy, you can differentiate from competition by opening up a new market space and creating a new demand.

For example, consider a SaaS product where competitors charge per user or per license and require onboarding costs. Instead, you offer unlimited user licenses for a fixed monthly recurring revenue with no additional costs and no long-term contracts. While this may seem simple, it has proven effective for one of my clients.

6. Lack of Metrics for Measuring Success

If you can’t measure it, You can’t improve it. - Peter Drucker

Without clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), measuring the effectiveness of your GTM strategy can be challenging. In addition to tracking and analysing relevant metrics, such as customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value, conversion rates, and market penetration, I strongly believe in lead measures.

Lead measures are predictive indicators that can help organisations stay on track towards achieving their goals. In contrast, lag measures are retrospective indicators that show how well the organisation has performed in the past. While lag measures can be useful for evaluating the success of a GTM strategy after the fact, lead measures can help you make proactive adjustments to your approach and improve your chances of success in the future.

What to do about it:

  • Define your KPI Success Metrics.

  • Identify your Lead Measures and Lag measures.

  • Measure, track and make necessary changes.

7. Lack of the right resources aka "Sales Enablement".

In the world of AI and hyper-automation., I am still shocked at how many organisations either don't have a proper CRM or don't know how to use it to their advantage.

According to McKinsey analysis, implementing generative AI could increase sales productivity by approximately 3 to 5 percent of current global sales expenditures. And yet, most companies have not even started to appreciate the value of a robust CRM, lead generation, and content management systems.

What to do about it:

  • Equip your sales team with the right resources. Provide them with comprehensive sales artefacts, including email templates, demo/presentation scripts, and persuasive messaging scripts. Empower your sales reps to deliver consistent and compelling interactions with prospects.

  • Now that you have your target market, sales and marketing metrics and sales process, you can choose your tools. Start with your CRM, lead generation platforms (email marketing + content marketing) and collaboration tools.

A solid GTM strategy is essential for the success of any B2B organsation.

If you're struggling with your current GTM strategy or would like to develop a new one, I encourage you to take action today. Start by analyzing your current approach and identifying areas for improvement in the B2B GTM on a page I have provided.

Talk to your customers and target audience to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, pain points and wish lists.

Finally, seek out expert guidance to help you develop and implement a successful GTM strategy. With the right approach and mindset, you can take your B2B organisation to the next level.

If you have any questions, please send me an email. I respond to every email, and sometimes with a Loom 🎥 video.

Or if you want to have a 15 minute chat, give me more information and let's find a time book here or just send me a message.

I hope you had a productive week, and if it’s not an ideal one—I leave you with this inspiration from one of the greatest tennis player of all time.

"I always believe in myself. Even when things are tough, I never give up." -Roger Federer

I appreciate you!💜



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