A Go-to-Market (GtM) strategy is made of three components—growth strategy, products/services portfolio, and front office structure—but those components are not independent of each other. An effective, sustainable GtM strategy requires clear and deliberate alignment between its components to ensure they support each other and do not pull your organization and customers in different directions. Your growth strategy can’t be executed without the right product portfolio and sales force; your sales force needs to be focused on how/where to grow and have the right product portfolio to sell; the shape of your product portfolio will be informed by how you plan to grow and the capabilities of your sales force.
Aligning Go-to-Market Strategy Components
Growth Strategy & Products/Services
A growth strategy must be supported by the right products—if you intend to expand into new geographies, different market segments, or to new customers, it is imperative to have products in your portfolio that will resonate with those markets. Growth and expansion may not be possible with your existing products, and new products may need to be developed. The probability of your development resources being able to produce those products, along with the speed and cost of doing so, will need to be considered to determine the feasibility of your chosen growth strategy. From an operational perspective, the impact of the complexity of production/distribution of the new products to new customers will have to be assessed—it is possible that the additional effort to produce and distribute new products will outweigh the benefit of additional sales.
Product/Services & Front Office Structure
The ability of your salesforce and customer service teams to reach customers in the right way is paramount to your effort to grow. If growth will come from reaching new markets, customers, or geographies, you must have a front office that can get your products in front of customers. On top of that, in all cases, salesforces & customer service must be able to communicate effectively about your products (whether existing products or new products) to those customers—it is very seldom the case that products actually sell themselves. In addition to capability, front office capacity also needs to align with your anticipated growth. A significant growth effort may require a major front office reorganization—sales force & customer service size and structure (geography-driven v. product-driven v. customer-driven) need to align with customer needs and buying criteria to ensure effective sales support.
Front Office Structure & Growth Strategy
Expanding to new geographies or markets or by adding new products requires a front office that is present in those locations, has the ability to reach those new customers, and/or the capability to sell/support the new products in order to grow in scalable, profitable way. You can’t have your US-based sales force trying to break in to European markets, and a front office focused on large, corporate customers may not have the bandwidth or capability to sell to/support smaller organizations. In any case, the success of your growth strategy relies on the front office’s ability to reach, interact with, and sell to/support the customers who will be the source of new business. The ability of the sales support staff (customer service, marketing, communications, etc.) to scale and not be overcome by complexity is also an important consideration—without their assistance, the sales team’s ability to execute will be greatly diminished.
Growth strategy, products/services offering, and front office structure are all critical components of a sustainable GtM strategy; however, looking at each of these components individually will not achieve the best outcome. Interactions among these components also need to be considered to ensure alignment across your business. Do you have the right products and services portfolio to support your growth strategy? Do you have the appropriate front office structure to support both your growth strategy and product portfolio? Was your growth strategy developed to maximize the effectiveness of your portfolio and front office structure? Answering these questions while understanding the interactions among the components of your GtM strategy will ensure you have a comprehensive and effective strategy. Contact us for more information on developing an effective Go-to-Market strategy and aligning your company for success.