Go-to-market tools

Vision without action is a day dream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

Winston Churchill – Former PM of the United Kingdom

Winston said it just right there. I imagine he used this phrase in times of war, but I can see it relevant in times of business as well. Strategy and execution go hand-in-hand. Both are lost without the other.

Segmentation and Visibility

The first thing you should be really clear about: who are you targeting. There’s 99,9% chance you don’t sell water, a product for everyone. Typically your product or service drive a lot of value for a specific group of customers.

The better you can identify your group, your target segment, the more precise and effective all your actions will be. It also limits the chance of just bothering the wrong people and wasting everyone’s time.

With the exercise around visibility, we go into numbers and try to identify how many customers there are. For how many people would your solution work and how many of them do you actually know. Even more interesting: how many do you not know?

Persona mapping and Value Proposition Design

Once you’ve figured out who your targeting, you want to move from a general segment name to truly understanding your customers. Competitive advantage is built by solving their problems best. So, what keeps them up at night? What do they care about? How do you match your offering?

For this exercise I’m a big fan and proponent of the work from Osterwalder et al around Value Proposition Design. I do workshops based on their templates and have seen in the past that they are amazing in their simplicity.

Value Selling

Can we please, please, stop comparing specs. Most B2B-buyers hate buying something, as most of the time it involves a lot of effort (convincing my boss) or risk (what if I buy the wrong thing?).

Only if you focus on the value you can create, based on what you know from your customers, you can counter the discussion of price. Nobody wants to give extra discount, or even ask for discount. People want to buy what they need. Tell them!

Funnel Management and Sales Excellence

Once you’ve reached your ideal customer with a compelling story, it should be a done deal right? Well, only if you have a solid sales process that includes proper value selling, standard work adherence, discipline, daily management and visual controls.

Funnel Management is a process installed to help sales teams, to give direction and clarity.

Distribution Management

If your product is more transactional and is sold to a distribution network like wholesalers and/or retailers, you’d better make sure you know what you’re doing. Distribution is great for scaling and speed to market, but it can be a great inhibitor of progress and growth if not managed correctly. Carrots, sticks, functional discount, launch readiness…. plenty of levers, let’s use them and use them well.

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