Once you have your perfect product, your next thought is to sell it as soon as possible and make a profit. However, about 95% of products fail and never make it out there in the market. If you know this, you’re already on a good path to not being one of them. However, as there’s no magic formula that guarantees your success, there are ways to improve your chances by coming up with a killer go-to-market strategy that will enable you to have big wins and minimal losses.
Know Your Buying Centre
A go-to-market strategy is defined as all activity that happens to build a bridge between you and your customer. There’s a big difference between selling to businesses and selling to the general public, mostly because sales cycles are longer and there’s much more decision-making involved. As research suggests, there are typically seven people engaged in every business buying decision process.
It’s exactly these people who make up your buying center ― they have a say regarding the purchased products. These roles are many and may include:
- The end-user
- The buyer (the person who finances the purchase)
- The decision-maker (the person who authorizes the purchase)
- The influencer (the person who persuades decision-makers to purchase a product)
- The gatekeeper (the person who could terminate the sale)
Some of these roles may overlay, but you should be mindful of all of them and how big their impact is on your ability to make a sale.
Transform Your Buying Centre into a Value Matrix
Once you’ve fully grasped your buying center, the next step is to cater to each of their interests. The person in control of the money has very different priorities from the person who will finally use the product. This is why you have to position your product in various ways to make sure each person in the buying center is fully aware of the value you bring.
For instance, a cost controller may authorize a purchase if there’s a chance it would help your company cut costs and save money. They’re not interested in how a product works, unlike the end-user who will be in charge of performing the service or the product.
As an innovative bachelor’s degree in product design is teaching us, design is interdisciplinary by nature, so besides being able to conceive and create a product, it’s also necessary to apply a variety of tools that allow interaction with various experts in managing the process, from the product’s conception and adaptation to its market commercialization.
Form your value matrix, outline each buyer persona and formulate the unique business challenges or issues they face. Then position your product and messaging to address each of these challenges while highlighting values and benefits over characteristics and technical aspects.
Design Your Buyer’s Journey
Once you stand in front of your targeted audience, one more process needs to occur before you can make a decision. The essential stages of the buyer’s journey are:
- Awareness — the potential buyer becomes aware of your company or product.
- Consideration — the potential buyer starts exploring your product as a possible solution.
- Decision — the potential buyer short-lists their choices and makes a decision.
This process takes on a funnel shape, where you have lots of interest at the top and only a small segment remaining at the bottom of the funnel, forming a core of those who will actually end up buying your product. So, besides trying to launch your product, your go-to-market strategy should also focus on how to move your potential buyers through the funnel to earn their business.
Your marketing and content need to accommodate each stage. At the top of the funnel, you can write blogs, run ads, or make videos and checklists that capture your audience’s attention. In the middle of the funnel, you could shift toward free demos, tutorials, and webinars that offer potential buyers a closer look at your product. Finally, offer free trials, quotes, or even a closing deal proposal.
Develop Your Sales Strategy
All the steps mentioned above in combination can help create the necessary basis for the development of your sales strategy, or at least, a plan for how actually to sell your product. Sales strategies typically fall into one of these four categories:
- Self-service — Customers make purchases independently (suitable for simple products with a low price point).
- Inside sales — Customers cooperate with a sales representative in your company to make a purchase (suitable for products with medium complexity and price).
- Outside/field sales — Customers buy from representatives outside your company (suitable for large enterprise sales that are complex and expensive).
- Channel sales — Customers buy your product from an affiliate, outside agency, or partner (typically used for retail or affiliate marketing).
Some companies often mix and match different sales strategies or move from one model to another as they develop.
Create Content for Your Product Support
Once you’ve laid the above foundation, one more thing to do before launching your product is creating content that can help you market to your buying center and connect with potential buyers wherever they may be in your sales funnel.
Your content can take different forms:
- Product demo videos and live online demos
- Paid ads
- Webinars and blog posts
- Landing pages
- Lead magnets (checklists, how-to guides, etc.)
- Influencer marketing
With your content developed and designed, you can move on to promoting it through various channels like your website, email, social media, online ads, and other channels to increase your reach. When the responses start getting in, track where the leads are coming from and particularly the content that’s getting the most engagement, as this is where you can double down your successful points.
Following the step listed here will enable you to create the unique go-to-market strategy that will help you reach the goals you’ve set up at the beginning of your journey.
Author’s bio: Jennifer Hahn Masterson is the Lead Content Strategist at Spread the Word Solutions, holding an MA degree in business communication. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena, insisting on long-term sustainability rather than on some questionable get-rich-fast scheme. You can check her out on LinkedIn.