B2B Go-To-Market Strategy for Enterprises – The Complete Guide

Nature of your sales cycle

Does your product launch keep getting delayed? Do you struggle to see a clear path to introducing your B2B product to its potential users? It looks like you need a B2B Go-to-market strategy tailored to your needs!

B2B Go-to-Market strategies flip the traditional model of product development. Instead of focusing solely on product development, it asks you to mold products to the users’ requirements. 

Product launches depend as much on your knowledge of the market as on the quality of your product.

A GTM strategy is thus uniquely necessary for SaaS B2B enterprises. If you want your product to empathize with its users’ pain points, you must first understand them and their problems. 

Let’s examine a GTM strategy for B2B and SaaS providers and how you can frame one for your business.

Rise of Go-To-Market Models

We live in an era where conversations inspire product ideas or convert leads into sales. Slack, Marketplace and LinkedIn have globalized a previously localized marketplace. 

The contemporary market is flat, but you need to take ever-changing routes to reach it. Go-to-market strategies for SaaS are based on understanding the redefined marketplace. 

Easier avenues of business conversations don’t necessarily lead to better sales. 95% of products fail outright, whereas 45% follow delayed launch cycles

Even companies like Google, Apple and Windows aren’t immune to this trend. 

However, with an optimal GTM strategy that anticipates ways to fail, your company could be! It can help you avoid the common pitfalls plaguing delayed and failed launches. 

In a world where every place is the marketplace, a GTM strategy for B2B SaaS companies can help you pick the places you can win over with minimal resources.

Launch Success and Trade Secrets of GTM Models

A Go-To-Market strategy for SaaS is a business model that puts the market on the same pedestal as the product. GTM products are successful because they don’t stop at the point of anticipating a problem. They also envisage how the user will respond to its solution. 

GTM strategies for B2B SaaS products answer the question, “How can we best bridge the gap between a user and a product?” The response considers the product only the starting point of a solution. 

For a GTM strategy, how the user reaches the solution is its problem. Most SaaS B2B companies are unable to solve this problem. So, if you want a competitive advantage in your marketplace, why not tap into the vast potential that simple GTM tactics have in store for you?

Let’s find out how you can harness the unlimited potential of GTM strategies for your B2B SaaS products.

B2b go-to-market strategy

The Case for B2B Go-To-Market Solutions

We’ve seen that most products fail or their launch gets delayed. But those were the old days, right? Surely, product development processes have evolved to correct these tendencies? After all, businesses and executives devote much time and energy to developing products that solve common and complex problems!

Well, you’re quite right. In fact, a B2B go-to-market strategy for SaaS companies is one of those solutions devised by and for executives to avoid wasting resources. Here are some of the motivations behind the development of GTM strategies:

1. Avoid Launch Failure

The success of a product launch can be the difference between your business’s survival and death. Investors expect returns, especially those who have shown early faith in your product.

Launch failure could be the angel of death for your business. One failure, a couple of delays or some setbacks are acceptable. But you must show a tendency to learn from each setback. 

A go-to-market strategy presents you with an opportunity to do just that. It is both a learning and a strategy rolled into one. Approaching the market on an equal footing with the product shows a vital understanding of the marketplace. 

The consumer may not be the king, but the product is not the crown either. Instead, a GTM strategy tells you to think of the product as water and asks you to go to the desert to find its best customers. It also tells you to distribute the water by building a canal or to store it in a waterskin immune to evaporation. 

Thus, a GTM strategy doesn’t just help you market your product. It helps you decide where to sell it and how to distribute it. A GTM strategy ensures the launch success for your product by guiding marketing, distribution and pricing tactics. 

2. Ensure Product-Market Fit 

Businesses often suffer from a problem-solution mismatch. Either they strive to solve a problem that doesn’t exist (Google Glasses), or they solve an actual problem without any usefulness (Zoon). 

Often, you can trace a company’s launch failure and eventual dissolution to a product-market misfit. GTM strategies help you avoid this problem. They help you correct the course of your business before it reaches a point of no return. 

Wading into the deep waters of the B2B marketplace can be dangerous without a set plan. Understanding the solutions the market is ready to accept in solving its problems is always a good idea. Even Slack had to wind down and start afresh in its journey to fixing business communication. 

Taking time to understand the market is the best favor you can do for your product, especially in its infancy.

B2b Saas go to market startegy

3. Create Sustainable Acquisition Models

Not all solutions to a problem are equally valuable. Some are simple, effective and expensive, while others are clunky and complex but useful. This is also true for users and clients. 

Not all clients are worth the cost of their acquisition. Spending a fortune to get a thousand users who will only pay you back on your investment after three years is unsustainable. Similarly, getting just ten high-paying clients who value your service sounds much more promising. 

A good return and acknowledgment of the value you create will also allow you to devote more time to expanding your offerings. 

Peril beckons those who will do anything to acquire customers. A GTM strategy asks you to take acquisition costs seriously. How should you create a sustainable plan to acquire customers over a long duration? What should you do to prioritize customers who can help you grow steadily through turbulent market situations?

4. Chase Manageable Expectations

Not all businesses can get a million users in five days. But, with a good GTM strategy, reaching that mark can remain a realistic goal for your business in the long run. 

There are a million people that your B2B business can affect. The question is: will you get to them with a sustainable model or burn your resources to pursue unrealistic goals? 

A go-to-market strategy says that no matter the strength and quality of your offering, people will take time to warm up to it. The trick is to serve it to them at the right temperature.  

The GTM way tells you:

  • Which segment you should prioritize,
  • How you can separate the coldest leads, 
  • What a prospect would be willing to pay for your product and
  • When a lead is ready to be converted into a client.

To determine if your business needs a GTM strategy, ask yourself if your current strategy accounts for the needs of B2B consumers. Is it geared toward delivering solutions, or does it also consider how its users will react to them?

If your current plan to conquer the market lacks an understanding of how the competition operates, when to ride into battle or which arms to use, consider deploying a go-to-market strategy.

Chase Manageable Expectations - Go to market strategy for B2B Saas

Go-To-Market Strategies: A Play-by-Play Analysis

Okay, so you may see the upside to including a GTM strategy in your business development playbook. But how should you go about crafting one for your business? Is there a set template? Are there any go-to’s for a B2B go-to-market strategy?

In one word, yes. 

A B2B GTM strategy operates on the premise that the user and the market are as important as your product. Successful launches and sales cycles depend on your reading of the market and its conditions. These seven steps will help you create the perfect go-to-market strategy for your B2B SaaS enterprise:

1. Identify Prospect’s Pain Points

The first step is to understand the customer. Put yourself in their shoes, experience the problems they face and only then think of a solution to which they may respond. 

More than half of your product will depend on users’ pain points. If they face communication problems, you know where to look. Understand:

  • How they communicate currently, 
  • What makes the current process problematic and 
  • Where you might make significant improvements. 

The other half of your product is further divided into two parts:

  • How well you can imagine a solution to user problems and 
  • Whether these solutions are intelligible to the prospects. 

Why are the intelligibility of solutions and the solutions different variables in the same equation? Because depending on the first, you can create different answers to identical questions. 

Users are not merely individuals; large numbers combine to form segments. How you can cater to these segments may depend on their characteristics. 

Here is where GTM strategy helps you strike gold. It tells you to:

  • Understand user problems, 
  • Classify them into different segments, 
  • Analyze pain points depending on the segments,
  • Devise solutions that cater to these segments,
  • Predict which segment you can best serve with currently available resources. 

Thus, identifying your prospects’ pain points also gives you insight into their buying journey. It helps you create Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP). You can identify several profiles according to GTM strategies and your business’s competencies. 

It is then up to you to choose those profiles you think will best accept your products as solutions to their pain points. The key is prioritizing profiles that best reflect your understanding of a problem.  

2. Study the Competition

Now that you know your prospects, ask yourself: who else is catering to their needs? After all, the B2B marketplace is an ocean. Here, sharks and whales live together and feed on the same fish. Thus, knowing when the other fish hunt and where they operate is vital.

Until most businesses adopted it, Gmail had not seen Slack as a competition. The same goes for generative search. One day, its executives wake up and discover that people are searching for Google on ChatGPT rather than the other way around!

Competition is a cartel of solutions into which you have a breakthrough. But you can only do so if you understand the high customers are getting from the current products. 

It is not just the product and the solution that are important. You must also notice:

  • How the competition markets its product, 
  • Where its sales teams focus and 
  • What its distribution network looks like. 

The goal is to learn from it until you can take over from the competition. The first mover advantage can be as good as the last mover if you can understand how to wrest the competition’s customers for your own. 

Remember that competition isn’t always bad. It can help you differentiate your product when the market is too saturated and drive consumer loyalty and retention.

Thus, a go-to-market strategy for SaaS is more about dividing the market into manageable segments than conquering it. The goal is to understand how to benefit most from the competition, whether through conflict or cooperation.

Study the Competition - go to market strategy for Saas

3. Create a Value Proposition

Once you’ve understood which market segment you want to conquer and who your competitors are, you can start creating a value proposition. Startups often treat their products as value propositions. 

While this understanding is true, the value proposition goes beyond product development. It includes the product and associated synergies you can create. Your offering should improve the current processes around it. 

For instance, Grammarly is useful because it uses predictive writing and grammar correction. However, people don’t copy and paste everything they write in Grammarly. Instead, Grammarly caters to traditional writing platforms like Pages, Word, Docs and Gmail. 

Thus, to create effective SaaS propositions, you must ask yourself, “Where do user problems arise?” Your product need not be a stand-alone solution to a unique problem. After all, people don’t necessarily desire disruption – they also value creative interruptions. 

Value propositions can, therefore, solve small problems or tackle complex processes. However, they will all need to be synergistic.

A clear value proposition will have the following elements:

  • The pain points it wants to empathize with,
  • The features of its proposition,
  • The in-use platforms with which it is compatible,
  • The competitive edge it creates for the users, 
  • A value matrix for the decision makers that will subscribe to your service. 

The last element is very important. In a corporation to whom you want to sell your product, often the decision makers are not the end users. Thus, you must identify different benefits for each stakeholder in the buying decision. 

A clear value proposition can make or break a sale. It can generate leads and convert the hot ones. On the other hand, a value proposition that doesn’t offer a competitive advantage will almost always detract users. 

4. Understand the Marketplace

Thus far, you have grasped your target segment, scouted the competition and created a solid value proposition. You are moving smoothly along the path of a GTM strategy. The next step in the journey is to understand the marketplace. 

Winds of change constantly flow through the market. It is variously either bearish or bullish. However, a good value proposition to the right customer is rarely turned down. This is especially true if you move when your competition is restructuring or amid a supply crisis. 

Understanding the marketplace is like standing atop a mountain before moving through the jungle. You will need to observe the trends affecting the demand and limiting the supply. Sometimes, it’s the opposite: you’re flush with the raw materials you need to maintain your SaaS subscriptions but can’t get enough demand going. 

Either scenario can block the supply chain and disrupt the sales cycle. Therefore, a constant survey of the market is necessary. It can be done in several ways:

  • Landing pages that ask users how they discovered your product,
  • User surveys that gauge the competitiveness of your services, 
  • Freemium features for a limited time in exchange for user preferences and 
  • Cold emails to understand satisfaction with current supply models.

You must use these tactics to understand the behavior of the market as a whole and those who make it up in parts. Without understanding its movement and direction, you’ll be left chasing moving targets. It will limit your understanding of what went right or wrong in a particular sales cycle. 

Without such crucial information, you will not be able to aggregate learnings. Thus, the iterability of your successful models depends on sharp observation of the marketplace. A good GTM framework must always make space to inculcate market trends within it. 

5. Keep Your Eyes on the Price

Pricing is one of the strongest pillars of a good B2B GTM strategy. Who doesn’t like good value for money? After all, the health of a business is reflected in its bottom line. Anything your product can do to boost it is undoubtedly a welcome measure.

Keep your eyes on the price - go to market strategy for b2b saas companies

There are several common pricing templates you can choose from:

  • Freemium pricing is the most common model. You let users try your product for a while, hoping its unique features will attract and retain long-term customers. 
  • Tiered pricing is another common strategy. With each increasing tier, you offer progressively useful and/or sophisticated features. 
  • A usage-based pricing strategy may be useful for initially addictive offerings. Later, you can switch the users to a subscription-based model. 
  • Flat-rate pricing is a simple and effective model. A fee is charged for a product or service with complete features. 
  • Per-feature pricing could be useful for software services that offer several features. Users would pay based on which features they use. 
  • Variable pricing can help you maintain sustainability across offerings. Under this model, the price depends on the value your service creates for individual users. It could also drive innovation because you are incentivized to develop new features that translate into enhanced value.

Your product or service does not need to adhere to one pricing model. It can include several features and create a hybrid proposition for different users depending on their needs. However, the strategy that drives pricing must remain clear and consistent. 

What do you want to achieve through pricing? Is revenue the priority, or retention? Are your features your strength, or can you give them away for free because your users value the interface that comes with them? 

Such vital questions will help you determine your product’s price and your customer’s buying journey.

6. Set up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

You’re nearly there! You’ve understood what leads to chase, observed your competitors and created a value proposition. You’ve even sampled the winds of the market and priced your product for its launch. What next? Any business is about measuring its outcomes, without which it fumbles in the dark. 

To avoid this darkness, anchor your sales cycle around indicators that signal your position in the market. Then, you can weigh the results against your expectations.  

The idea is to create key figures in each department of your business operations. Key indicators commonly include:

  • Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

This metric captures how much you’ve spent on the average customer. You can have other figures for median customers filtered by revenue generated and acquisition costs. The idea is to always be aware of how much you’ve spent against how much you’ve gained from each client.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):

The CLV tells you the revenue you have generated from individual customers or clients. It divides the total revenue by the period for which your clients have been with you. It gives you a measure of your retention rate and the churn rate.

  • Channel-Wise Spending Figures

Like any business, you will know how much you spend on production, acquisition, R&D and distribution. However, if you’re following a GTM strategy, you must also know the RoI you’re getting from your marketing and sales techniques. These key measures will tell you whether you spend money on the correct channels. 

Channel wise spending figures

Key performance indicators help lock in your strategies so that you focus on the process rather than wildly chasing outcomes. KPIs will ensure that every sales, distribution, production and marketing cycle will give you an objective result. All you have to do is follow the process you have set up for yourself.

7. Revise Live Strategies

The last tactic you should include in your go-to-market strategy is revising the implemented strategies. The market is not a static place. As it flows and moves according to the currents of demand and supply, so must you.

The first hint in revising live strategies is to look at the KPIs. They’ll tell you when to abandon or rework a particular tactic. Make sure you tie an operative decision with an objective metric. If the marketing RoI for a channel falls below a fixed point, pivot to a different marketing platform or migrate to a different channel. 

However, don’t make the changes mechanically. Some channels may hemorrhage money, but they’re helping you reach your best clients. Before pivoting, formulate a strategy to retain communication with such customers. 

A GTM strategy requires constant monitoring of the market for subtle changes. These might translate into profitable opportunities. When the windows for such opportunities are short, the decision should be based on the opportunity cost and loss to the competition. 

Sometimes, windfall opportunities are zero-sum games. Your absence from a niche market isn’t just a loss in potential profit, it is double the profit for your competitor. 

Follow these seven steps, and you’ll be able to formulate a rugged B2B go-to-market strategy for SaaS enterprises. The market is full of noise. With a GTM strategy, you can isolate and amplify the sounds that will bring you maximum profit. 

Four Tips for Your GTM Playbook

In itself, a go-to-market strategy is open to replication or imitation. Your advantage can disappear if your competition adapts to your offering through its strategies. So, what should you do to stay ahead of the competition? Let us look at some tips to make your GTM strategy stand out. 

1. Optimal Pricing

Pricing can be the difference between your SaaS offering floating or sinking. While a freemium may go unnoticed, a paywall might lead to prospects clicking away from your website. 

So, how are you to know which price strategy is optimal for your B2B product? 

  • Who is the buyer?

In B2B businesses, the user is usually different from the buyer. Thus, freemium models for an initial period might be optimal for such buyers. While the users gauge the utility of your offering, the buyer will be able to make a decision based on user feedback. 

In the meantime, based on the usage metrics, you can decide on what price to charge the company. You neither want to overprice nor underprice the product. Especially if you offer several features, the usage metrics will help you decide on a price the client will be willing to pay. 

On the other hand, introducing your product to the market is a delicate phase for your business. You might prefer per-feature, user-based and tiered pricing models during this time. 

  • What is the nature of your sales cycle?

Sometimes, the goal of pricing isn’t to attract customers or introduce new services. Your aim might be to increase profitability or boost revenue to expand quickly. A robust service must be at the heart of such a pricing strategy. 

However, once you are confident of your product’s performance, you can use skimming. Gradually increase the pricing while streamlining services and improving your offering’s performance. 

For this strategy to be successful, you must be sure that your SaaS has embedded itself into the user’s network and habits. Without this, even if your product is initially useful, you might see an increase in the churn rate.

Nature of your sales cycle
  • Is your user profile changing?

Often, B2B products are initially offered to a variety of customers. Pricing can signal your pivot from the B2C to the B2B segment. A rising churn rate does not necessarily mean a decrease in profitability. It can also mean transformation or expansion to greener pastures. 

For such exercises, tier-based or variable pricing might be ideal. Expansion or pivot to the B2B segment requires more revenue, even if the number of consumers reduces. Thus, your customer profile and the competition’s pricing models should guide you toward an optimal price point. 

2. Engage the User

We have seen that prioritizing the market as much as your service is a hallmark of a GTM model. Engaging users is a huge part of contemporary marketing. This means you are no longer confined to feedback to improve your product. 

Here are some tips to boost your user engagement:

  • Survey your users for constant feedback,
  • Offer experimental features to gauge the direction of future upgrades, 
  • Monitor user data and offer them insights on their usage statistics,
  • Create forums where they can share their user experiences,
  • Invite users to pose queries on an open and common page. 

User engagement accomplishes two things. First, it increases retention for existing users. Second, it makes them potential ambassadors for your brand. 

In B2B environments, where human resources have attrition, brand advocacy is always a potential asset. A user who has positively experienced your SaaS product due to good user engagement will likely recommend it to their future employees, too!

3. Clear a Path to the Market

The market is a distant coast that you must reach by clearing crashing waves. Launch failure could sink your boat before you even set up a store on the shore. To avoid this, a good go-to-market strategy for B2B SaaS companies will always anticipate problems likely to plague its launch. 

  • A GTM strategy will tell you to make an ideal customer profile. But the customer profile could be too wide.
  • It will ask you to create product differentiation. However, your service may not provide a differential to counter the competition’s offering.
  • It will also direct you to cultivate a value proposition. Perhaps it just isn’t a value proposition that prospects will jump at. 
  • Lastly, the GTM strategy dictates that you highlight those features most likely to capture the prospect’s attention. But maybe the marketing doesn’t highlight the best features of your SaaS!

Depending on your service, the launch could be the time to go aggressive. It could also be the time to temper expectations and prepare for a period of struggle. Decide first which part of the coast you want to sail to. 

Is it the closest island you want to conquer first and then build progressively? Or do you want to sail around it to reach the shore with the most people in it? Either way, after surveying the market, a good GTM strategy will clear a route to the market. A safe stream on which your boat can float and find a way into the channel.

Clear a path to the market - b2b go to market strategy

4. Keep Realistic Goals

It is said that all companies are successful for the same reasons, but each failure has its own set of reasons. Setting unrealistic targets is one of those reasons. Underselling your enterprise’s potential could be damaging. It could lead to underutilized resources and low morale. 

Overestimating its initial impact is equally, if not more, dangerous to your business’s health. Perceiving measured success and gradual improvement as failure can demotivate your team. This could lead to increased attrition, loss of self-belief or rash decisions under pressure. 

To avoid this, temper your Key Performance Indicators to provide attainable goals for yourself and your team. Achieving team-based goals, as signaled by the KPI, will likely increase overall motivation. You can then further iterate and reorient the KPIs as you expand and become more entrenched in your segment.

Now, you’re ready to draft a GTM model and chisel it into a strong strategy to launch your SaaS enterprise. Let us see the benefits of such strategies and which ones you should include in your KPIs. 

Benefits That B2B SaaS Enterprises Expect from GTM Models

So, you’re ready to strengthen your hand with a GTM strategy. You understand that you must count the cards and have a few aces up your sleeve. But what will the jackpot be worth when all the cards are down?   

1. Shorter Sales Cycles

A prolonged sales cycle means you’re hemorrhaging money. You’re taking too long to convert prospects into leads and leads into sales. A GTM Strategy will put a stop to that.

The first benefit of a go-to-market model is a shorter sales cycle. Since you already know who and where your prospects are, you can target them sharply. Your understanding of their pain points will translate into empathetic offerings, and your solutions will fit their problems hand-in-glove.

2. Aligned Interdepartmental Strategies

GTM strategies require close alignment between your product, distribution, sales and marketing departments. Disjointed distribution models? Fragmented, abstract marketing ideas? Dogmatic sales pitches irrelevant to your industry or segment?

Armed with a go-to-model playbook, you can chuck such problems into the dustbin. When the product has to be welded together to prospects’ needs and sales strategies tailored to them, these teams are bound to work together.

A GTM strategy will thus inspire esprit-de-corps and increased teamwork. Positive morale and pre-aligned goal-setting are thus additional benefits to watch out for. 

3. Concrete Standards

A GTM Model will never reverse-engineer outcomes based on business operations. Instead, it will anticipate results based on your set KPIs. 

Imagine that you’re setting up goals such as “expand in the healthcare segment.” A GTM strategy will adopt sharper standards. It will ask you to “set up business meetings with top 10% operators in the chiropractor segment within the quarter.”

You’re more likely to attain and measure success through the latter model. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you’ll be able to understand where you are lacking. Could you not reach the target segment? Is the target field too congested? Such questions will help you better iterate subsequent sales and marketing strategies.

Concrete Standards

4. User Retention

Retaining users is difficult when a market is often bombarded with several alternatives. Taking the hill is one thing, but keeping your flag planted there is another. It requires and demonstrates your ability to reflect on and adapt to market changes. 

A go-to-market strategy for SaaS companies is designed keeping these principles in mind. If you’re following a GTM model, you have likely created your product, sales pitch and marketing strategy based on user engagement.

This increases a prospect’s faith in your willingness to listen and makes them feel they are a part of your enterprise’s road to success. Faith in your enterprise could be the thin line between customers leaving your company during a crunch period. GTM logic says that a customer-centric business process is the best bet for a long-term, profitable operation.

B2B SaaS Enterprises and GTM Strategies – A Match Made in Marketing Heaven

We have seen that going to the market isn’t the easiest thing to do. The landscape is vast—companies come and go, and products even more so!

Navigating such a vibrant space with competitors, clients, prospects, and leads can take its toll. But a GTM strategy helps you shed this load considerably. 

It narrows your focus and positions your ax to strike gold. 

But sometimes, swinging the ax isn’t enough. You must ensure that it is sharp enough to make a dent. Here is where we come in!

At LeanSummits, we specialize in helping clients create ideal GTM Strategies for B2B SaaS companies. To get step-wise guidance, arrange a free consultation and capture the market you’ve always dreamed of!