go-to-market strategy

4 Challenges CEOs must overcome to create a successful go-to-market strategy

As a CEO, you know many factors must come together to create an effective go-to-market strategy to give your company a competitive advantage. This blueprint must spell out the roles across all functions, with sales, marketing and product management considerations. It must reflect the marketplace and your buyer. And it must bring together the people across your company, across all departments, in a common goal and system — all working in lockstep.

While you may know this, creating an effective go-to-market strategy is no easy feat, and every company encounters unique challenges. But if you and your team can overcome these four common pitfalls, you will hold the power of a go-to-market strategy that can position your company to grow faster and win an unfair competitive position™ over your competition. 

Challenge 1: Ideal Buyer Profile Alignment

Your entire go-to-market strategy hinges on this vital piece: alignment on the ideal buyer profile. You may have some buyers in mind for your product or service, but unless you flesh out who this buyer is across your entire organization and synchronize the rest of your efforts around this profile, you will likely miss the market and fail to see growth.  

Overcome the Challenge

If your go-to-market strategy lacks ideal buyer profile alignment, stop now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Align your entire organization around your ideal buyer — who you will serve and sell to. Answer these questions to achieve an ideal buyer profile alignment:

  • Who do we want to serve (and sell to)?
  • Are we intimately knowledgeable about their use case(s) across our entire organization (including sales, marketing, product, service and operations)?
  • What pains do our ideal buyers experience currently in context of these use cases for which we can provide a solution?
  • Is the ideal buyer’s pain significant enough that they would consider a change to a new solution at all? Is this problem worth solving now?  
  • Are all your departments in agreement on who the ideal buyer of your solution is (all the roles, not just the decision maker)?

Challenge 2: Territory Coverage

Next, your go-to-market strategy must address your territory coverage. Where will you reach your ideal buyer and how? Many CEOs often fail to decide on a realistic, comprehensive sales coverage plan, which hinders their overall go-to-market capabilities.

Overcome the Challenge

Create a comprehensive coverage plan that answers the following questions:

  • What is the size of your total available market opportunity?
  • What is the size of your sales-addressable market?
  • Where do you need to have “boots on the ground” to serve that market opportunity?
  • How do you serve that market opportunity (direct, channel, hybrid)?
  • How will you balance your growth across your territories?
  • Are you enabling your sales channels with the tools and techniques to effectively and efficiently execute?
  • Are there more innovative routes to market that your ideal buyer would prefer?

Challenge 3: Value Proposition

Oftentimes, CEOs become so immersed in their solution that they fail to step back and consider its value proposition from the perspective of their ideal buyer. You may see the value of your solution, but without asking yourself and other stakeholders tough questions about the product or service and its impact on your ideal buyer, you could meet slow growth and little buyer engagement.

Overcome the Challenge

If you understand the use cases of your ideal buyer, then you can also answer these questions to help develop a compelling value proposition:

  • What business case can we offer our ideal buyer?
  • Is that business case compelling enough to take action at all?
  • Are we uniquely positioned to help the buyers embrace that business case over other alternatives?
  • What gains does our solution generate for the buyer?
  • Are the gains significant enough that our buyer will take action rather than sticking to the status quo?

Challenge 4: Accountability

Imagine the previous three challenges as the legs of a stool. Accountability is the seat that holds the stool together. Without it, your go-to-market strategy will collapse. You could have the most solid go-to-market strategy in place, but without accountability, your ideal buyer profile alignment, your territory coverage and your value proposition will all fall apart.

Overcome the Challenge

Ask yourself these questions to ensure your strategy is realized and the glue is in place to propel your strategy forward while implementing necessary adjustments:

  • Are you instilling bi-directional accountability throughout the organization?
  • How will you hold key members accountable for seeing the execution of the strategy through?
  • Does your company have the discipline and methods to measure progress and identify shortcomings? How?
  • How effective is your team at problem-solving those shortcomings?
  • How can you empower the parties across the organization to enact the necessary changes?

What unique challenges does your organization face with your go-to-market strategy? Drop us a line – we would love to connect and learn how we can help serve you and your team.