Continued from our Part I: How to Choose Your B2B Go-to-Market Strategy
First and foremost comes precisely defining your objectives. What are you looking to do here? What’s the purpose of your launch?
While we have a feeling any of your motivations will have to do with your bottom line, it’s essential to be more specific. Specificity in defining objectives will help you have a cohesive, tailored go-to-market strategy. Moreover, knowing your objectives will play a massive role in establishing which KPIs and metrics you’ll need to measure progress.
So, whether it’s to increase subscription attach rate or revenue, boost conversion, build brand awareness and reputation, or improve traction and reduce church—it’s important to keep a user-centric objective in mind.
2. Target Market
In order to develop an actually user-centric B2B go-to-market strategy, you have to know your target market. Therefore, you’ll need to have a robust and data-driven understanding of your target market’s business needs and demographics, psychographics, geographic, and behavioral characteristics of decision-makers and employees affected.
Questions to answer here are:
- What are the pain points our product is solving?
- Which businesses and people have the problem your solution addresses?
- What is their willingness to pay?
- Which kinds of companies or businesses are experiencing these problems?
- What are the roles of the people most affected by these pain points, and what do their days look like?
- In which processes are they encountering these problems or inefficiencies?
Additionally, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the buyer’s journey.
There are a couple of prevalent B2B marketing models, the older being the Funnel (Tofu Mofu Bofu) Model.
However, there has been a recent push (including by Harvard Business Review) to switch to Flywheel Model to analyze your buyer’s journey, and it looks like this:
We’ll write a whole blog post just on the differences between the two, but the gist is that the Funnel Model is linear. Therefore, it doesn’t account for the momentum of prior marketing and reputation efforts that feed into your sales cycle.
As Brian Halligan, founder of Hubspot, said it in a Harvard Business Review article:
“The funnel fails to capture momentum…of inbound marketing, your company has assets: evergreen content; backlinks to your site; social media followings; and, of course, customers who advocate for your brand.”
3. Value Proposition
In a study conducted by Gartner, it was found that in B2B purchasing, there are generally 6-10 decision-makers who compose the “buying center.”
Each has their own persona and role in the process.
- Initiator: shows initial interests and begins the purchasing process
- User: the one who will benefit from the product and uses it regularly
- Influencer: influences others to understand the product need
- Decision maker: makes the final decision to buy
- Buyer: in charge of the budget
- Approver: Generally in the C-suite and is the final approver of the purchase
- Gatekeeper: the blocker
In B2B purchases, it’s crucial to establish a “Value Matrix” of each persona—their painpoints, the value the product poses to each persona, and the most effective messaging for them, given their persona.
It’s essential to consider each persona and their values to develop a cohesive and effective go-to-market strategy and decide how you want to message your value proposition to them.
4. Market Analysis
Conducting excellent market analysis is key to creating the most effective B2B go-to-market, marketing, sales, and pricing strategy.
You’ll want to know, as best as you can predict, what your potential product-market fit will look like in the current and future market. Additionally, you’ll need to establish the correct pricing and sales positioning through competitive analysis.
By knowing your competitive landscape, you’ll know better what your customers are willing to pay, what they’re accustomed to, and what are unfulfilled gaps in their current needs. From there, you’ll be able to optimize your distribution channels and pricing.
5. Product Messaging
As we mentioned earlier, your product messaging must be tailored to your target persona. However, it must also be unique. This is your time to shine, baby. Get your creative juices following and come up with a B2B go-to-market messaging strategy so drool-inducing (the good kind of drool) that it ultimately differentiates you in the marketplace–again, in a good way.
So, to be sure of your messaging before, you know, presenting it to the whole world, it’s a good idea to optimize it with testing. Therefore, running focus groups and A/B testing ads on Linkedin, Google Ads, and Facebook are excellent ideas.
Before putting out your messaging to the world, you’ll want to know—not assume, not theorize—how audiences will perceive your messaging and what they understand about your product from it.
We’ve all seen (likely) well-meaning brands completely botch this process. Who remembers the Pepsi/Kendall Jenner ad? We all do. And we don’t drink Pepsi to this day. Don’t be Pepsi.
6. Pricing Strategy
In choosing your B2B go-to-market strategy, pricing needs to be competitive, of course—especially if you’re at the beginning of establishing your brand. But, there’s more to it than just looking at what your competitors are charging and then slightly undercutting it. Your pricing strategy is not just merely the price of your product. It actually communicates a lot about your product to potential customers.
Let’s go over a few of the pricing strategies we mentioned earlier.
- Basically, a customer-focused pricing strategy entailing setting prices based on a customer’s perceived value of the product, measured by their willingness to pay
- Optimal for highly unique or valuable offerings
- Involves using marketing to highlight a products convenience, design, or accessibility to increase the product’s perceived value
- A non-customer-focused strategy that considers the cost of production and then adds a premium on top
- A flat rate to users that gives access to all product features, usually in a subscription-based pricing model.
- Usually involves a trial or a free, feature-limited version of a product
- The intent is usually to create demand within a user who might not sign up otherwise and convert them into a paying customer
- A pricing strategy with a tiered schedule usually depending on the number of users or credits to needed complete specific actions or use certain features
Just as with pricing strategies, there are many, many B2B sales strategies. Your sales strategy is basically how you get the product into your potential customers’ hearts and minds (whereas distribution strategy covers getting it into their hands.)
However, some of the most common are the following:
- A self-motivated customer plops themselves and their money into your hands
- Works best for simple, off-the-shelf products found on product websites (Amazon, etc.)
- Usually B2C
- Difficult to foster initially (brand awareness, etc.) but hopefully scales itself with marketing efforts and brand awareness
- Low cost (fewer salespeople to hire)
Inside Sales Model
- Potential customer lands in your hands, but sans money yet. They need to be sold to by a salesperson.
- Best for products moving high volume, with medium prices and complexity
- Medium cost (need some salespeople, but easy to train and therefore scale with the product’s medium complexity)
Field Sales Model
- Entails having a whole sales organization within your company that conducts excellent, deep industry-knowledge informed outbound sales efforts (and succeeds at it!)
- Best for complicated products that move low volumes of enterprise deals
- High cost (need for an entire sales organization comprised of highly trained and product-expert salespeople, sales engineers, etc.)
- Easy to establish, but difficult to scale (need to find those industry-expert salespeople)
8. Marketing Strategy
Ah, marketing strategy. The one we’ve all been waiting for. I think.
There are a few different tactics here, including inbound, outbound, or a combination of the two.
Outbound, of course, is when salespeople reach out to contact lists found from research or industry conferences, through cold calls and emails, contact lists.
However, inbound is a little more complex. It ranges from content marketing and SEO to paid ads and social media. All of these should be informed by thorough keyword research, with which then you can tailor landing pages and content.
And then, of course, there are partnerships and co-marketing. We touched on partnerships earlier, but co-marketing is also a good one: partnering with a complementary, established brand for exposure to their customer base. Co-marketing can entail joint webinars, virtual events, and white papers, or guest blogs and content sharing.
Finally, we reach branding. Branding is imperative—don’t let anyone tell you it’s fru-fru mumbo-jumbo. Branding uses behavioral psychology and psychology to influence how customers perceive your product—or, in lighter terms, the personality or “vibe” of the whole thing. It should be tailored to your target audience with language, design, and values.
And finally—how do you measure your success (or—and probably not, of course—lack thereof?)
There are tons of different metrics you can use to understand the effectiveness of your B2B go-to-market strategy, and they should be customized to your goals and needs. However, here are a few big ones:
- Cost per lead
- Customer Acquisition Costs
- Conversion rates
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Sales Volume
- Revenue per Dollar of Sales Expense (sales ROI)
- Pipeline Volume
- Sales Targets
- Average meeting per outreach
- Average opportunity to close rate
Well, this was a lot. We know. So, it could be beneficial to consult product strategy experts who’ll help you put the theory to the rubber.
Coincidentally, hi, we’re Goji Labs—a product and software development consultancy with experience in designing, “rescuing,” and deploying hundreds of products.
Looking to develop a new app or revamp an existing one?
Have any general questions about who we are and our authority on the subject?
Reach us at GojiLabs.com.
– Goji Labs