What is the Ideal Go-To-Market Strategy in 2021?April 26, 2021 | By Wayne O'Neill
Is it possible for the business landscape in your industry to be completely frightening, yet also exciting at the same time? So much disruption, chaos, uncertainty, and change has paralyzed even the best leaders. Yet, with the dust settling after the pandemic, we can see that there is tremendous opportunity to win more project scope and grow revenue in a sustainable way.
For many firms, the key is developing a new go-to-market strategy for the new competitive landscape. What worked in the past may not work anymore. Perhaps the old way was preparing a big product or service launch for the annual trade show, making a big splash during the event, collecting leads, nurturing the leads for months, and eventually converting customers.
Now what? Trade shows and conferences have been canceled, postponed, or moved to virtual. It’s a new environment. How is your company going to adjust? How are you going to bring your new product or service to the market and have the same impact as before?
Let’s start at the beginning. Now is a great time to review what you’ve always done because now you have to do something different. Let’s start with the basics of how you’re gathering intelligence to craft a new product or service to help customers solve problems. Then, I’ll help you see how to develop a go-to-market strategy that works in 2021.
Gather Intelligence to Support the Go-To-Market Strategy
You’ve heard countless stories of how companies pivoted their business during the pandemic. Sign companies started making PPE. Breweries started making hand sanitizer. Restaurants started to sell inventory like a grocery store. These decisions happened at a rapid pace. There wasn’t much time for a go-to-market strategy. It was go-go-go!
What happened? There was a very, very clear shift in the market. Suddenly, millions of people were more concerned about health and safety than ever before. It happened in the blink of an eye, and it was very obvious how to meet changes in customer demand.
In your industry, this shift may not be so obvious. The shift is likely more complex and nuanced. If you’re simply going to market with the same strategy as before expecting to sell to your customers the same way that you always have, then you’re going to severely miss the boat.
There are so many new business and political issues in-play for your target customers. If you don’t understand these issues, you’ll end up trying to solve the wrong problems. Consider this sample of issues that your customers have experienced:
- Increased regional and global competition that created new competitive challenges.
- Overnight changes to the culture when teams moved from working together to remotely.
- Difficulties with teamwork and collaboration using new tools.
- The emergence of new leaders and influencers that are guiding decision-making.
- Increased pressure from stakeholders to find new ways to generate revenue.
It’s your job to identify the issues that are most prevalent, gather intelligence about these issues, and leverage this insight to craft new solutions. Then, you will be prepared to develop a go-to-market strategy that fits today’s competitive landscape.
But, you’re not ready to develop the strategy just yet. One of the keys to this equation is understanding how to gather intelligence that can help you gain a deeper understanding of how things have changed and how you need to adjust.
How to Gather Intelligence to Support the Go-To-Market Strategy
Consider your past tactics to gather intelligence about your customers. Send out a survey? Conduct market research? Read industry publications? Those are all fine tactics, but you’re only going to scratch the surface of what’s happening in the world of your target customers.
It’s time to dig deeper into what’s changed so that you can align with your customers’ rapidly-changing business and political issues. Consider these five ways to gather the type of intelligence you need right now.
1. Build multiple paths of connection. Don’t settle for talking to the same people you always talk to in target organizations. Pursue other decision-makers, influencers, leaders, and even gatekeepers to gain insight into what’s really happening. These parties will help you understand hidden problems and the larger problem that each customer is facing so that you can develop the right solution to help address their real challenges.
2. Talk to third parties. Spend time talking to project/scope delivery partners, customers, and vendors. They have unique insight into what each customer is experiencing right now because they’re already working with them. Or, they have unique insight into how the industry has changed. Leverage their perspective to understand the full picture.
3. Use social media. LinkedIn and other social platforms are incredibly valuable to uncover customer pain points. Information is hiding in plain sight ready to be consumed. Your team just needs to understand how to sort through public-facing social media content and tap into existing professional connections to gather intelligence from multiple sources.
4. Talk to departed leaders. Pay attention when executives, directors, or high-level managers leave target companies. See if you have connections with these individuals to have a conversation with them to gather first-hand insight about what they’re seeing. Be careful not to engage in gossip or spend too much time talking to leaders who have an ax to grind with their former company. There is an art to these types of conversations to be productive, not wasteful.
5. Engage executive placement firms. Go outside of the box for a second. Executive placement firms are incredibly connected to business and political issues in their specific verticals because they hear everything from executives who are looking for their next opportunity. See what they know and gather intelligence about their experience in your vertical.
Once you have gathered intelligence from multiple sources, take time to process and synthesize this information. There are a lot of puzzle pieces! Work with your team to piece together the puzzle, develop a comprehensive solution that solves the larger problem your target clients are facing in their industry, and prepare your go-to-market strategy.
Prepare for Success With Your Go-To-Market Strategy
To answer the original question, the ideal go-to-market strategy for 2021 is sourced in a deep understanding of how things have changed for your target clients, a deep understanding of new business and political issues, and a deep understanding of how your solution solves the larger problem that your target clients are facing.
When you hit the mark in these areas, then your firm will be prepared to develop a go-to-market strategy that fits the new business landscape. You’ll be better able to create your own narrative that connects the impact of your product or service to your target customers’ business and political issues.
This approach will wow your customers who are not accustomed to hearing this. And, you will be well-positioned to be leveraged for value and impact to win accounts, not just show up with a new product or service hoping to win work. There’s a big difference.
Do the work ahead of time to ensure that your strategy is successful. Then, you will win more project scope to grow revenue in a sustainable way following the pandemic. At RESET, we can help you each step of the way to arrive at this point.
- Need support understanding your target customers’ new business and political issues?
- Not sure how to leverage existing connections to gather client intelligence?
- Need a second set of eyes to review the intelligence you have gathered?
- Not sure if your go-to-market strategy aligns with the client intelligence?
Let’s have a conversation. We’ll help you unpack what you know, what you need to know, and how you can put this all together. Contact us today to schedule a coaching consultation. We’ll help you strategically develop an approach that works in 2021 to take advantage of new opportunities in your industry!