We can’t stress enough how much work goes into a successful Go-to-Market strategy. It’s a huge project and there’re a lot of ways to go about it.
Unfortunately, many companies take multiple approaches to Go-to-Market within their own business. In 2022, only 33% of PMMs reported having a defined, repeatable GTM strategy in their organization.
If you’re starting from scratch every time you go into a Go-to-Market cycle you’re wasting a lot of time and resources. You also risk miscommunication between stakeholders who are unsure which process to follow.
Establishing a defined Go-to-Market strategy and getting stakeholders aligned on it can be a challenge, but a GTM playbook is a great place to start. They're a myriad of benefits to a playbook, so read on to find out:
- What a Go-to-Market playbook is.
- How to use a Go-to-Market playbook.
- Why you need a Go-to-Market playbook.
Let’s get into it. 👇
What is a Go-to-Market playbook?
A playbook, in the context of a business, is a single source of truth where you can document all your processes and procedures. In this case, we’re narrowing it down specifically to your processes for Go-to-Market.
In a playbook, you’ll store all the information your GTM stakeholders need to properly complete their role in your strategy. They’ll be able to find crucial information like:
- Who owns which processes and tasks.
- The timeline of your GTM strategy.
- What is expected of them and when.
Think of your playbook like a manual for a car. A car manual helps you make sure every part of your car is working so you can get the best experience out of the car and successfully drive it from point A to point B.
When you first get the car you can use the manual to check all the parts are ready to drive, your tyres are at the right pressure, your radio’s tuned to your favorite channel, etc. Similarly, you can refer to your GTM playbook to make sure your contributing teams are all set up properly and know what to do.
If something goes wrong mid-journey (GTM process), you can crack open the manual and identify what’s gone wrong and how to resolve it.
Unfortunately, when you start a Go-to-Market process you don’t get handed a complimentary manual to help you through. Your GTM playbook will be unique to your company and you’ll have to design it yourself, but once you do it’ll become an invaluable resource.
How to use a Go-to-Market playbook
As companies grow and carry out more launches it can be easy to lose track of processes. New team members join, information gets diluted, and before you know it, you have siloed teams guessing at procedures and creating more work for you and themselves.
You don’t want employees to be figuring out a process as they go along because it’ll mean a lot of work has to be done at the last minute to rectify missed steps and mistakes. Use your Go-to-Market playbook to prevent this by laying out your procedures and best practices clearly and in detail.
Your playbook can become your first reference point every time you go-to-market. Rather than teams guessing or following a different approach each time, they can go back to the playbook and use it as a basis to map out their strategy.
Have all stakeholders use your Go-to-Market playbook as a single source of truth, so they can understand their role in the context of the broader strategy and the steps they need to take to complete their side of the project.
Why you need a Go-to-Market playbook
So, now we understand what a Go-to-Market playbook is, how can using one benefit you?
Get alignment on a goal
With a Go-to-Market playbook, the owner(s) of your GTM strategy can effectively communicate the vision of the process to all stakeholders. Our starting point for this playbook discussion was the variety of ways a GTM strategy can be approached.
That means, even within your organization, there are going to be a lot of different ideas flying around about what the strategy should look like and what the end result will be.
Your GTM playbook will help ensure everyone is aligned on one strategy which can then be consistently implemented. This is crucial for Go-to-Market success, because an inconsistent sales strategy, branding, customer messaging, etc, will not effectively convert prospects into sales. Consistency is central to the customer experience, and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Streamline work processes
As we’ve said, there are many approaches to a launch. You can save yourself a lot of time with a Go-to-Market playbook, because you cut out the conversations at the start of each process around what kind of launch it’ll be, what direction you’ll take and what that’ll look like.
Clayton Pritchard, Product Marketing Consultant and thought leader, recommends a tiered Go-to-Market playbook, which clearly defines what size launch is required for each product or feature and which assets will then be needed for that launch.
This saves time by removing conversations around what's needed, what the timeline will be and so on. The expectations for your stakeholders are clear, so they can get on with the work instead of debating what that work should look like.
Whatsmore, with a Go-to-Market process you’ve got a lot of different people doing a lot of different jobs, and oftentimes that work will overlap. This is where a playbook can be really useful. If you’ve clearly outlined who’s responsible for what process you can avoid repeated or missed work.
Ensure a high work standard
A playbook is a place where you can store your SOPs and best practices for your employees to refer back to. If everyone is working off of the same source for best practices, you can achieve consistently high quality work across your Go-to-Market teams.
With so many different teams involved in GTM, this is really important. It's easy for teams to get siloed or develop their own work processes which are incongruous with how the rest of the business operates. This is only going to result in mismatched work, out of sync timelines or work that doesn’t reflect the standard you expect.
Make sure every team and employee is enabled to work to your company’s standard by clearly defining what that standard is and how it can be achieved. Once you’ve got everyone upskilled and singing the same tune it’ll be far easier to carry out an effective Go-to-Market strategy.
The bottom line?
A Go-to-Market playbook is your best friend if you want to save time, resources and money when you launch. It streamlines the process, gets your teams working together more effectively and ensures that the work they do is of a high quality, and consistent with your company as a whole.
Go-to-Market is one of the biggest revenue drivers your company has, but if you’re not running it efficiently you put that revenue at risk or mitigate the profit you can make from any given launch. Rather than take that chance, invest the time and resources up front into a comprehensive GTM playbook and set yourself up for success.
The Cross-Functional Go-to-Market playbook
Not sure where to start with your playbook? Playbooks are a big job, that’s why we’ve created the Cross-Functional Go-to-Market playbook. This playbook is a free tool you can use as a framework to design, refine and grow your Go-to-Market strategy.
It’s jam packed with insights and advice to build your winning Go-to-Market leadership team and help you win every time you launch.
Don’t miss the Cross-Functional Go-to-Market playbook, coming soon.