Cloud Topics

How to Overcome Challenges in Your Go-to-Market Strategy

By Nicole Lim / July 1, 2020

How to Overcome Challenges in Your Go to Market Strategy Blog Header

Launching a digital service on an online marketplace can be overwhelming. However, with an effective go-to-market (GTM) strategy, you can gain a competitive advantage while providing excellent customer service. GTM strategies can have other benefits for your product launch, including:

  • Creating awareness;
  • Converting prospects;
  • Maximizing market share;
  • Reinforcing brand position;
  • Creating a unique value;
  • Integrating best practices with strategy.

Considering how important your GTM strategy is to launch a new product, it’s also important that you are ready for any challenges that can arise as you implement it. Since digital services experience rapid innovation, many factors must be considered to ensure your GTM strategy is successful.

Challenge: You Don’t Know Your Target Market

A vital part of launching a digital service is identifying and marketing to your target market. A target market is a group of consumers that identify as potential buyers of your service. Identifying a target market can help refine messaging in your GTM strategy and help you target customers that convert. Other benefits of defining a target market include:

  • Launching better digital services;
  • Retaining customers;
  • Understanding buyer habits;
  • Prioritizing resources;
  • Creating a clear focus.

Oftentimes a company will understand its product’s value from its point of view, however, they forget to understand it from the customer’s point of view. Failing to define a clear target market can cause you to miss buyer demand, which may affect your overall product growth.

Build Buyer Personas

To identify a target market, you should first discover what the customer needs. It’s important to note that your target audience will most likely not include “everyone.” Instead, your target market could consist of a niche audience with a common pain point. Determining their needs will help you understand how your digital service can relieve their pain point and start the process of lead generation. To identify a target market for your digital service, you should first:

  • Compile data on existing customers;
  • Analyze the competition;
  • Determine how your service helps potential customers;
  • Choose a specific demographic for your service;
  • Consider the psychographics of the target audience.

After completing the above steps, you can put together a customer profile that shows employees and stakeholders how to market to the ideal customer.

Challenge: You Have an Unrealistic Sales Coverage Plan

GTM strategies should address where to reach your target market along with how to do it. This is defined by a comprehensive sales coverage plan. A sales coverage plan can help a business understand where to enforce its sales strategy so they can effectively target their customers. Other benefits of a sales coverage plan include:

  • Helping businesses obtain higher revenues;
  • Allowing businesses to set sales goals;
  • Cutting costs and making the most out of available resources;
  • Increasing sales by strategically placing sales teams where the customers are.

If a sales coverage plan is unbalanced or unrealistic, it can slow productivity down and hinder the relationships made between clients and account managers.

Prepare for an Assisted Sales Approach

A sales coverage plan includes segmenting customers by geographical location, industries, and customer types. When creating a sales coverage plan, be sure to:

  • Analyze and segment your existing customers;
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify the sales team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats;
  • Set realistic goals using the SMART method;
  • Develop strategies that can help accomplish your goals;
  • Review the results and pivot when necessary.

When selling digital services, it’s common for a client to become confused and need help in understanding their technology options. Having a dedicated sales staff help customers understand their options can streamline the sales process.

Challenge: Your Value Proposition Is Too Vague

An important part of your GTM strategy is your unique value proposition (UVP). A UVP tells a customer how your service is different from other services. UVPs also help determine a company’s overall marketing strategy and explain what the company stands for and how they operate. Other benefits of having a clear and unique value proposition are:

  • Gives clear direction;
  • Creates focus;
  • Improves customer engagement;
  • Supports confidence in the sales staff;
  • Increases the effectiveness of marketing.

The most common mistakes when making a UVP include:

  • Not having proof, like case studies or customer testimonials;
  • Not being clear about why customers should choose your service;
  • Not testing different UVPs to see which resonates more with customers.

See Value From the Customer’s Point of View

A UVP should resonate with customers, differentiate you from competitors, and substantiate the promises you deliver. By understanding these three aspects of a UVP, you can, in time, improve the foundation of your digital service platform. To create a UVP, be sure to:

  • Identify the benefits your digital service offers;
  • Describe why the benefits are valuable;
  • Understand the customer’s pain points;
  • Connect the value to the buyer’s problems;
  • Differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Other tips to keep in mind are:

  • Avoid jargon and stick to language the customer can understand;
  • Test different UVPs to see which performs better;
  • Analyze the demographics and psychographics of your target market;
  • Make the UVP specific;
  • Research competitors to understand what makes your services different.

Challenge: Customers Still Use Legacy Systems

With most products, the initial sale marks the end of the buyer’s journey. With digital services, however, it’s critical to ensure the customer understands and implements your service to get the full value of their purchase. This step can be hard when customers are still using legacy systems. Legacy systems are typically customized for a certain business, and integrating new software from a digital commerce platform can be frustrating for the client.

If customers find your product difficult to use or implement, it could cause customer churn. Customer churn is the percentage of customers that stop using your service during a certain time. For a growing business, you should aim to minimize churn as much as possible. One way to achieve this is by creating a strategic onboarding experience.

Provide Customer Onboarding Support

A comprehensive onboarding process can help retain customers that you otherwise would have lost to customer churn. An onboarding program is important for all businesses, but especially those with SaaS marketplaces because SaaS solutions are unique. Customers must activate and use the product before they can get full value. To create an immersive onboarding experience for the customer, consider the following:

  • Send an onboarding email once they purchase your digital service. This email can include application setup, deployment across employees, data migration, and administrator training.
  • Create an online onboarding center so clients can learn more about the applications and continue to ask questions. An online center can also give customers the chance to self-serve and find their answers autonomously.
  • Providing live onboarding support can help clients understand how to use your services more efficiently.

Each of these tips can help customers along with different parts of the buyer’s journey and help establish relationships between the client and the account managers.

Challenge: New Sales Outpace Retention

While it’s important for growing businesses to want sales, too many sales without retention could adversely affect your company. Too many sales could spread your staff too thin as they try to keep up with demand. This could also result in unhappy customers who will seek business elsewhere.

Growing businesses often prioritize sales over retention. While it’s natural to want more sales to obtain more revenue, retaining existing customers is also important — and more cost-effective. A 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenue by at least 25%. Additionally, loyal and satisfied customers can refer others to your brand, leaving you to spend your marketing dollars elsewhere.

Build and Develop Support Services

Creating and implementing support services can help retain customers. Since the sales cycle can be longer or require active management for digital services, it’s beneficial for companies to invest in customer lifecycle management. This type of management provides several customer touchpoints that can facilitate clear communication between clients and the company. Building long-lasting relationships with clients, even after a purchase, can hold long-term value for companies. The sales staff can have opportunities to help the client master your service and upsell them on additional products and integrations.

A go-to-market strategy can help a digital service company reach its business goals and expand its growth. By understanding the challenges that may be brought on by a GTM strategy and knowing how to overcome them, you can ensure your GTM and your business will be successful.