We all know we are living through a challenging macroeconomic environment; one that is causing net new purchases to stall or grind to a halt in many organizations. 

Despite the economic headwinds most businesses are facing, there is one area of investment that remains strategically topical for businesses as they find differentiated ways to add value to their customers, and as they revisit historical thinking on seller behaviors that drive performance. 

What is this area of investment, you ask? GTM methodologies. While many organizations are investing in methodologies, the reality is that the return on investment can be hard to capture.

In fact, according to Forrester, only “40% of revenue leaders surveyed felt that their methodology delivers the value originally expected when it was initially selected.”

Methodologies are a huge time resource and (often) monetary investment for businesses, and this practical guide will help equip you with how to get them right. 

Read on if you’re interested in deepening your understanding of methodologies and learning how you can maximize the ROI that comes from them.

Everything you need to know about Go-to-Market strategy
Go-to-Market is the strategy that takes you from the first spark of an idea, to a successful product or feature launch and beyond, to the market success of your product. Put simply, it’s the process of launching a new product.


This article is intended to be a practical guide to all things GTM methodology, and will cover:

  • What you need to know about the foundations and objectives of a GTM methodology
  • How to choose the right methodology for your organization (and whether to do this in-house or not)
  • How to implement your methodology
  • And last but certainly not least, how to make it stick

This article will focus on foundational aspects of a GTM methodology including what is/isn’t, why you need one, and what you should consider as part of your implementation plan to ensure your time, resources, and budget are going to make a lasting impact.

The Go-to-Market Motions Playbook
Go-to-Market isn’t a one size fits all strategy. Done right, it’s dynamic. It’s agile. And most importantly, it’s built to support your long-term business goals. Motions are the building blocks of a GTM strategy that takes you closer to achieving your business objectives with every product cycle.

What is a methodology?

A GTM methodology, simply put, is a framework that outlines the way your organization sells and is rooted in what outcomes and experiences your organization and its people will deliver to their customers.

According to Ashton Williams, Director of Enablement at Slack:

“A methodology should align the entire revenue org to drive an efficient and effective sales and growth process, while delivering a unified customer experience at every hand off.”

Methodologies have existed for a very long time and are relied upon by organizations to create a singular set of principles and practices that outline how your customer facing teams deliver value to customers.

However, the modern concept of value selling is not where methodologies originated. The quick visual below will help to better understand the evolution of methodologies:

An image depicting the evolution of GTM methodologies, from Feature/Function at Step 1, to Feature/Benefits at Step 2, Solution selling at Step 3, and Value Selling at Step 4.

Who is it for?

It’s important to consider who a methodology is for. Notice how I didn’t call it a sales methodology?

The first thing to know about a methodology in SaaS is that it should be built for all of your GTM teams to use, not just those responsible for acquisition.

In the above visual, it outlines how methodologies have evolved from being used exclusively by Sales, into being used by all of your GTM teams, including marketing.


It needs to help drive standardization and continuity across the entire customer journey. 

This means that from teams like marketing, to BDRs, through to your CSM and implementation or support teams should minimally have lite enablement on the frameworks of your GTM methodology. 

A methodology will help align what are often disparate, siloed GTM teams.

Who’s in your cross-functional Go-to-Market team?
Go-to-Market strategy is a cross-organizational function. From end-to-end, pretty much every single employee in your company will have an impact on your GTM. That’s a lot of people to get working together and speaking the same language.

What is it not?

A GTM methodology is not a sales process and it is not a qualification framework either. While all three are imperative parts to any GTM strategy, these concepts have very different definitions and objectives. 

These terms should not be used interchangeably. A sales process and a qualification framework will feed your GTM methodology but should not be internally perceived as strategies that can mimic or substitute a true GTM methodology. 

Sales process: defined

A sales process captures each stage that a prospect turned customer will go through to get to the point of adoption and expansion.

A sales process outlines a set of steps for internal GTM teams (starting most often with SDR, ending most often with CSM) to execute to move the customer from one stage to the next. 

Sales processes should include actions and deliverables, as well as enter and exit criteria by stage. When done well, a sales process will be precisely mapped to your customer journey to ensure there is connective tissue between what your customer facing teams are doing in the sales process vs what a customer is thinking, feeling and doing at each step in the customer journey. 

This will allow your organization to ensure that your teams are taking relevant actions in service of what the customer needs through each step of the buying process.

Your guide to customer activation
Understanding the value of your customer lifecycle is crucial to getting your go-to-market strategy right. As with most things inherent to GTM, your customers’ journeys will look different case by case. Read on to learn about customer activation, best practices, and mistakes to avoid.

Qualification framework: defined

A qualification framework (eg MEDDIC, PUCCKA, SPICED) function as a strategic checklist that outlines the most fundamental aspects of sales conversion such as pain and impact identification, stakeholder mapping, understanding of decision making and paper processes and mutual action plan - all of which are necessary to move the deal forward. 

Qualification frameworks help sellers and revenue leadership understand the likelihood of winning the deal, along with any red flags that may be present throughout the sales or expansion cycle.

For that reason, qualification frameworks are often consulted as part of deal reviews and forecast calls.

According to VP of Revenue Enablement at Databricks, Nate Vogel:

“The difference is that a methodology includes positioning, and if done right, your sales methodology will reinforce your sales process”

Why do you need one?

If your organization is experiencing one or more of the following, it may be time to consider bringing on a methodology, relaunching an existing methodology, or reevaluating whether your current methodology is still the right fit for your organization. 

The latter point is particularly if your methodology was chosen several years ago, and your business has been through a large amount of change and/or growth:

  • Stalled or decreased YoY revenue growth 
  • Lack of standardization in your positioning statements from GTM teams
  • Low customer retention, NPS or CSAT rates
  • Lack of clarity around how your top performers are successful, or a systematized approach to replicate that success across other individual contributors

How do you choose the right one for your business?

In most modern sales methodologies, you will notice overlapping approaches. We have evolved from feature/ benefit, to solution selling, and are now in the age of value selling. 

A fundamental tenet of value selling is that sellers must be educated on who their customer is and why their solution is right for them. An equally important element of value selling is a seller's ability to articulate value and cost justification.

Generally, methodologies are either implemented with the help of an external vendor (eg Corporate Visions, Challenger, Force Management, Richardson, etc) OR are designed, built and executed in-house with a cross functional team of influential stakeholders, with enablement typically at the helm.

In relation to whether the methodology should be built in-house or if external vendors should be leveraged, Nate adds:

“Vendors are great for speed and usually have something that is plug and play. The important thing is to build and execute your methodology with the customer in mind. Ensure in the development and execution stage that customer feedback has been collected and embedded.”

In order to choose which methodology is right for your business, many factors will need to be considered, starting with budget.

Can you foot the bill should you decide to go external?

If this decision is made to roll a methodology with the in-house approach, internal resources also need to be considered. Do you have dedicated resources with the right experience, skill set, and bandwidth? Ashton’s advice is to:

“Weigh the following three things:
1. Do we have alignment on how we sell and how our customers buy?
2. Do we have the right teams to build the inputs? (Enablement, Product Marketing, Revenue Strategy)
3. Do we have the time and the right people?”

Steps to implement

There are five core phases to an implementation plan for a GTM methodology, all of which have many micro steps. In our opinion, these steps are:

1) Evaluate and form your perspective on the right methodology for your business

Decide on whether you will go in house or external and what your methodology criteria looks like.

If you have decided to use a vendor, you will need to make a business case to your executive team in order to ensure the budget is carved out.

In this business case, you should be prepared to divulge your findings after evaluating several vendors that matched your methodology criteria

2) Align with key stakeholders

Once you have methodology recommendations, come to the table with a POV but do not make final decisions on your methodology on your own.

Involve stakeholders, including your revenue executives, early and often in the process. While it is imperative that you work closely with stakeholders across the revenue organization including operations, systems and product marketing, the most critical stakeholder for you to involve in your methodology launch and reinforcement plan is your front line revenue leaders.

A methodology will live or die in large part due to the reinforcement and coaching that revenue leaders are (or are not) providing.

It is critical to ensure that they are bought in and are a part of the decision making process, and have a hand in the design of both the launch and reinforcement plans.

3) Design, Build, and Prepare for Launch

This stage will be primarily focused on building the methodology content that will be delivered during your methodology launch.

The preparation stage should also include a detailed launch plan (if applicable by team, segment and/or region). In addition, this stage may also require a refresh of several necessary revenue assets such as such as positioning, playbooks, personas, ROI calculators etc.

As part of the stage, it is critical that success metrics for your initiative are defined, and the cadence by which you will communicate those metrics are set. It is also critical in this stage for the systems work to ensure your methodology is present in your CRM, is underway.

Lastly, a great launch plan is only half the battle. You need to spend an equal amount of time on the reinforcement plan. Start defining how you will make this initiative stick by crafting your post launch strategy now.

4) Launch your methodology

Once steps 1-3 are done, it’s go time. Ensure your sessions are given the right amount of time and are highly interactive.

A methodology should not feel conceptual or academic.

It should be application based and offer ample opportunity for your revenue teams to apply concepts to deals and customer scenarios that they themselves are facing.

When you launch the GTM methodology, you will also want to ensure it is launched in tandem in your CRM. This will demonstrate to your GTM teams how integrated and embedded your methodology is into revenue infrastructure.

5) Reinforce your methodology

There will be organic and inorganic ways to do this. If the methodology was properly imbedded into the CRM, for example, sellers will organically be reminded of it on a daily basis.

Same goes for coaching, if front line leaders are 100% bought in, trained on the methodology, and thoroughly understand how to coach to it, the methodology will be kept top of mind.

You should also consider doing a quarterly or bi-annual methodology refresh to show how the methodology has kept up with business changes, and to have your executive leadership team continuously emphasize the importance of the methodology.

How to make your GTM methodology stick, summarized

The specifics of this question will be highly dependent on your organization, but a few thoughts below for consideration:

  • Your organization needs to see your methodology as the way to effectively go-to-market. The principles and practices of your methodology should become your organization's language.
  • Ensure your methodology’s principles and best practises are tied to specific points throughout the customer journey 
  • Methodology content needs to be easily searchable and readily accessible for sellers to revisit 
  • Tech stack integration is critical. Ensure your methodology elements are easily searchable. For CRM integration, you can consider having methodology elements added to enter/ exit criteria between stages in your sales process
  • Revenue leaders need to be hyper bought into the methodology and constantly and reinforcing it, alongside enablement.
    • Common reinforcement tactics are: facilitating teach backs, running role plays, listening to exemplar call examples, running formal certification programs.
  • Revenue leaders should imbed methodology reinforcement into their existing cadence. For example, elements of the methodology should be evident during team activities such as deal reviews, game tape reviews, and forecasting calls


While methodologies can be challenging to gain mastery of, they are an incredibly worthwhile pursuit which will result in optimized customer experiences and  improved business KPIs such as increased win rates and average deal sizes.

While methodologies are a large and ongoing undertaking, a GTM methodology is also a requisite for companies to reach their next stage of growth.

Don’t let challenging selling environments sink your team's performance, take hold of your sales organizations success by deepening your investment in, or attention to, your GTM methodology.