6 Actionable Steps for Crafting a Successful Go-to market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Crafting a Successful Go-to market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template, go to market strategy for tech startups, go-to-market strategy template): 70% of B2B SaaS businesses fail just after 2 years of existence
Have you ever wondered why over 70% of B2B businesses fail just after 2 years of existing? Out of the remaining 30%, 25% don’t reach the $1m mark, leaving us with just 5%.
If you are a B2B business especially in the SaaS industry, there are high chances that your company will fail if you don’t have a solid Goto Market strategy plan that will differentiate you and set you apart from your competitors.
Today we will be diving dip into what a Goto market Strategy is, How you can create a solid Goto market plan, and finally how to strategically implement your Goto Market strategy in your SaaS B2B business.
What is a Goto Market Strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Every Successful B2B SaaS business operate in 3 core business strategy, and they are;
- The Market: This is your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and the core and most important problem your ICP is facing.
- Your Product: This is the solid solution to the problem your ICP is facing. A More viable product (A product that sells itself) has 50% chances of penetrating the market.
- GTM: This is your Goto market strategy that gets your ICP to buy from you.
A Goto Market strategy is simply a battle-tested plan that builds trust and compels your ideal customer to purchase your product or services.
Most startups founder tend to make a very common mistake; They focus too much on either of these core strategies rather than finding a balance, somewhere in-between (I call it “the safe point”)
How to Craft a Successful Goto market plan for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Before you jump right into creating your Goto Market plan, you need to be able to answer these questions;
1) Who are your ICP (Initial customer profile)?
There is a huge difference between an Ideal customer profile and an Initial customer profile
An ideal customer profile is your target market, your real customers whom you are supposed to be servicing. Whereas your initial customer profile is, people who are in your ideal customer profile segment and have the capacity to buy from you at the moment.
2) What do they look like?
3) Where are they right now?
4) What are their core challenges and problems?
5) What are the big industry macro-trends?
6) What Macro-trends are causing the challenges faced by your ICP?
7) What uniqueness and strategic difference does your product or services bring to the table?
8) How do your product and services solve their problems?
If you can’t give a detailed answer to these questions, I will advise you to go back and answer these questions and document the answer or reference purposes. whereas if you aren’t experienced enough or need help in defining these questions, I offer B2B SaaS business owners like you a free consultation call. In this free session, I will dive deep and help you really define all these steps and make it clearer and easier for you to develop a Goto Market strategy.
Without further ado, let’s proceed;
Step 1: Market | go-to-market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Understanding your strategic market is as important as building a perfect product. Whatever your position might be, whether it’s Chief executive officer, founder, or Head of product, the first question you should ask yourself is;
Does your market really exist?
This question would unravel everything you need to know about your market strategy.
what’s the urgent and most common problem in your market?
If your product or service can’t resonate with your market, your product/service is most likely going to fail. As a B2B SaaS startup, one of your most important tasks is trying to find a product-market fit. There needs to be some friction between the product and the market.
Most times, B2B SaaS businesses forget about these simple tiny details and just horn in on Ads.
For you to gain a lot of traction in your market, you need to first create some kind of trust between your product/services and your ICP.
When I joined Otto_Recruit as a co-founder the first strategy I implemented was the “market strategy”, we studied our ideal customers, to find out who they are, the single most important and common problem they face, their pain points using our competitor’s products, where they converge (their market places).
Once we got all this stuff ready, we then set out for the “product strategy”
Step 2: Why? | go-to-market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
This is the most important “why?” in this write-up.
Stop for a sec! Take a pen and paper and write the answer’s to the following questions I am about to ask you. Are you ready?
1) Why are you building your product? or why are you offering that service?
Write down the answer to the paper. In the end, I guess you are building a product or offering a service to solve a problem! Next up;
2) Why does the problem exist?
Write down the answer as you did with the previous question.
3) What are the macro trends that are creating these problems?
4) Why is your target market existing?
5) Which people are in it and what are the opportunities that they are after?
6) What are the big macro-trends that creating these opportunities?
This is why I call these the most important “why”, These personalized questions would help you define the core existence of the problem, the market, and the market-centric solutions to the problem.
Next up is;
Step 3: Market positioning
If you were unable to answer the questions in step 2 clearly or you were unable to define your market in step 1, I would advise you to just go home and shut down that wonderful dreams of building a successful product or you could book a free consultation call and we will guide you in answering the questions clearly. go-to-market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Understanding where you are positioned in the market is a key step in identifying what your pricing is going to look like, your value proposition, and whom you are going to be servicing.
Market position determines if you are gonna be an Enterprise, Mid-level, or small business in the market graph. It also determines whether you are gonna become a Low-cost player or a premium player in the market.
Note: We will be using the diagonal line that cut’s across the graph as our moving axis to decide the best positioning.
I like to use the soccer game as an analogy to Strategic Marketing. In the soccer game we basically have;
1) The players
2) The Coaches
3) The spectators
The players represent your core Goto Market Machine, The coaches represent the Head of marketing or head of product, or in whichever case is simply the person in charge of Strategic planning and growth.
The spectators, in this case, is the market.
Here are the case scenarios ;
It doesn’t matter whether you are a big team, a medium team, or a small team. If a spectator can see a reflection of him/her self in your product/team they become your fan. This means that You have to focus on making your product a people-centric product, this way your product would have an emotional trigger attached to your product and thus they see your product as an essentiality in their lives. This simply explains why Adobe creative Suite remains the go-to choice for creatives. go-to-market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Simply put, The more your target market partake in your product building and crafting the more attached they are to it.
The more financially buoyant teams have more capability to purchase more expensive and already made players who are currently in form.
Simply put, The more funding, the more capacity to attain a much deeper market penetration.
In essence, you can’t have a compare the quality of services or products offered by an Enterprise scale company to a mid-market scale company and this also applies to small businesses. go-to-market strategy for startups (go-to-market strategy template)
Simply put, the more the budget the faster your move.
You can see how some of the most popular car-sharing companies are positions in the market graph above.
If you are a startup or you are just starting out, you should consider positioning your company at the mid-cost and mid/SMB intersection on the graph. The reason is;
As we go higher, the Goto Market plan and marketing strategy becomes more complex and you will require more funds and a sales team for you to make a sale. This may not be good for your budget as a startup.
As we move downwards to the graph the market becomes more saturated because there are more Low-cost products and services servicing a fixed market size.
The only place left for you to go is somewhere in the middle at the mid-cost and mid/SMB intersection.
Getting this right will help you filter out your competition and your value proposition.
In the end, it all boils down to three core strategies like we mentioned earlier, The Market, The product, and the GTM. And that’s all I have for you in this article. In the next article, I will talk about “Strategic planning for startups”.
Let’s help you plan and build your next big product, learn more