Go-to-Market Growth requires you to get your hands dirty.
And you can’t ever stop to put your hands down.
Scott Vaughan, Chief Marketing Officer at Integrate, put it this way: “You need to continue to fine-tune and evolve your messaging; and at times when the market opportunity dictates, you need to adapt your messaging.”
Because here’s the deal:
The buying process is in a constant state of influx: ‘what’, ‘how’ and of course, ‘why’ buyers buy is always evolving.
You have to adapt to dynamic market conditions extremely quickly…
But your core position has to be rock-solid in order to do so effectively.
According to Scott, executing Go-to-Market strategies successfully is contingent on your ability to develop your organization in these 2 ways:
- Develop highly-effective talent from those who’ve “seen the movie”
- Develop influencers & advocates from within the trenches
“You need to continue to fine-tune and evolve your messaging; and at times, when the market opportunity dictates, you need to adapt your messaging.”
From Within: Develop Talent that’s Seen Your Movie
For your Go-to-Market strategy to spur on growth, you need to develop within the organization, but in the right way.
According to Scott, developing from within the company in this way involves a couple of stages:
Stage 1: A Strong Core Compliments Everything Your Company Does
In the beginning, you typically have a core of people that work together to help get your company out the door.
That’s when trust is typically developed.
Once you start to get to that point where you have a product-market fit and you begin to narrow in on your ideal customer profile, that begins to change – It’s no longer about bringing in new people and training them through development.
You have to do some of that, but you need a new core position:
When you’re in a high-growth company like Integrate, you don’t have time – such as 3, 6, or 9 months – to allow a new employee to ramp-up in their new position.
They have to hit the ground running.
That’s, of course, not a universal truth.
But for the core positions, that’s the stark reality.
Scott explained that when your company starts to pick up momentum in the market, it’s incredibly important that you hire the type of talent where they’ve done the job before. As Scott explained,
“You have to have people who’ve seen the movie: They’ve done it before.”
That’s not to say that they know everything, but they should know enough so they don’t need a ton of hand holding.
When you get to place in your company’s evolution where you can build a university-type development model, then you can then bring in new talent and develop those individuals, as part of stage two:
Stage 2: Onboarding Immersion Program
Scott said there was a time at Integrate where only a couple of people knew what they were doing, in terms of the tools that they sold to the Marketers they were targeting.
That couldn’t be further from the truth, nowadays.
Now there’s a formal onboarding process for each stage of the onboarding game, so to speak.
For example, during the first 30 days, new employees are immersed in every aspect of the product: the market; the nuances, and the list goes on.
That’s true across the board whether we are talking about sales, about marketing, or about customer success.
To be more specific, Scott describes this first level of the onboarding immersion program as the general onboarding process.
This level of the program includes everything about the company and the company’s values; ranging all the way down to where the bathrooms are located to how the apps are used on company devices.
Everyone begins in that core training together.
Then, they break off into their own departments, where they dive deeper into their own areas of future expertise.
From Without: Develop Influencers/Advocates in the Trenches
When Scott first joined, he said they were attempting to serve multiple markets. Their efforts were overall ineffective, though.
So the first stage of developing from without requires focus:
Stage 1: Focus. Focus. Focus.
“There’s an area where you need to focus. The first thing you need to do is find what that focus is.”
Obviously, that’s easier said than done.
Don’t worry – Here’s how Scott explained they were able to do it:
In the first 90 days, he immersed himself into the market and met with around 60 people who were in that immediate circle.
From there, he had conversations with those individuals for validation to understand where they were located in the market and cataloged their respective characteristics, to ultimately build the ideal client profile.
He then went back to Integrate with everything he had gathered, metaphorically speaking, and began building a go-to-market strategy that’s still exceptionally successful, all because of that initial time he’d put aside to fully understand those he now serves.
You may be asking yourself, ‘Why did it work? How exactly did he do it?’
Through immersing himself directly in the market gaining direct feedback from customers, he was able to develop a customer-driven go-to-market strategy — equipping him and his team with maximum focus, that every B2B Technology company needs to implement for success.
Further to the point, it continues to work, because Scott reminded us to never forget this essential ingredient: never stop improving.
This adage is quite cliche at this point.
But that doesn’t negate the truth found within it (or from without it).
Scott said that this simple tweak in perspective, has allowed them to continue narrowing in and, ultimately, increase company-wide focus by tenfold:
- Narrowed-in on the B2B world
- Then, targeted only the technology segment
- Next, switching focus to primarily serving Marketers within that space
- Finally, further “niching-down” by targeting only the Marketers who were adding outbound or who wanted to optimize their outbound.
That helped them gain traction faster, understand and build their product solution, and educate their customers on the way to build advocates for their brand.
Which leads us to stage 2:
Stage 2: Organize Behind Your Mission
When thinking of doing this for your own company, “You need to do it authentically,” Scott said. “You can’t automate your way into influencer marketing.”
You should always use tools to support you in the process, but tools can’t and won’t do it all for you.
It requires you to get your hands dirty – to constantly be touching base and building influencers through their constant feedback.
As Scott said,
“Customers can be your best advocates if they believe in your mission.”
But from within the trenches, people want a leader who guides them on the mission for them to believe in you… and your solution.
But you’ve got to develop them first hand.
As I do with every guest at the end of every episode, I ask them:
“What is something that our listeners can take action on today, that can help their B2B Technology company grow?”
Too many people don’t network.
Or. they don’t reach out to connect until they are looking for their next gig.
Scott said to grow, you need to be using LinkedIn:
- Go out to lunch with a potential client
- Grab coffee with someone you perhaps haven’t talked to in a while
- Listen to someone else’s podcast and actively engage with them on social media about the episode
But you can’t just go to a kegger party and chalk it up as effective networking.
You have to be proactive, and remember…
You can’t ever stop to put your hands down.
“Stay networked – Stay out there. Yes, it takes energy. Yes, it takes time. But it pays off.”
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