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SaaS Go-To-Market Strategy in 8 Steps

Despite the critical importance of a Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy, only a third of companies take a systematic approach. 

The result? 

Disjointed marketing efforts and missed opportunities. 

A well-structured GTM strategy hones your marketing and sales efforts to launch the perfect product to the ideal customer at the right time.

Let’s take a closer look at the most effective SaaS GTM strategies. We’ll also explore building a customer GTM strategy that powers growth from the get-go.

What is a go-to-market strategy for SaaS?

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is the blueprint for delivering a product or service to your end customer. 

It’s about figuring out how to position your goods to the right audience at the right time for rapid adoption and growth.

Each GTM strategy considers pricing, market fit, sales channels, and marketing campaigns.

For SaaS companies, GTM strategies are indispensable. 

Imagine you’re launching a cutting-edge cloud computing service. 

  • How can you target your ideal buyer in a saturated market? 
  • How can you decide on a realistic price?
  • How can you stand out against big names like Amazon? 

Traditional marketing and sales strategies work on volume. They use broad tactics to mass-advertise, cold call, or social spam their way into the conversation.

These tactics are labor-intensive and inefficient.

But GTM strategies leverage nuance.

Instead of blanket promotions to millions of disinterested consumers, GTM strategies directly target your ideal customer.

GTM strategies identify your target audience’s needs and align your product’s market position to address these needs.

Benefits of a good go-to-market strategy

If you plan your go-to-market strategies right, it’ll feel easier to take each product to market. 

You’ll also be able to maximize growth potential.

Here’s how your product launches can benefit from a go-to-market strategy:

Improved risk management

By testing your niche market and leveraging data-driven decisions, you’ll understand how your customers want to receive your products. There’s less chance of off-trend launches that miss the mark, costing you time and money.

Better use of resources

Good GTM strategies direct resources for high-impact‌ projects. Instead of mass campaigns and generic promotions, you optimize your budget and resources to target ideal users.

Valuable market insights

Deep market research and data-driven insights help pattern how your target customers behave, so you can launch directly to their needs.

Synchronized teams

With a unified GTM strategy, product, sales, and marketing teams align. Everyone’s efforts work toward a synchronized launch with a consistent brand message.

Competitive edge

A carefully crafted GTM strategy positions your product as the ideal solution for the right audience. This targeted approach helps you better resonate with your perfect customer than your competitors. 

Faster market penetration

A GTM strategy that fits the ideal user accelerates entry and acceptance in the market. Through tailored messaging, you speak directly to the right audience in a language they understand.

Types of SaaS go-to-market strategies 

Exploring the right Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy is key to SaaS success in your customer segment. 

Let’s dive into two main types: Product-led and sales-led.

Product-led

In a product-led GTM strategy, the product itself takes the stage. 

Think of it as the product doing the selling.

Since the product is well-designed to fit the user’s behavior and address their needs, customers are naturally drawn to it. 

Marketing teams work on showcasing the product and the value it brings. 

This way, the product becomes a magnet for the right customers.

Take Canva, for instance.

Canva UVP GTM strategies.
Image Source

It turns complex graphic design into a simple drag-and-drop tool. 

Canva’s strategy is all about making design easy for everyone, and the tool does this so well it sells itself.

Sales-led

A sales-led GTM strategy focuses on people selling the product. 

Here, sales teams are the protagonists.

They reach out to your ideal audience to educate them on how well your product solves their pain points. 

This works best for products that are ‌expensive or complex — where customers might need extra guidance.

Let’s look at monday.com …

It didn’t just create a software for project management. It launched a massive sales and marketing campaign.

Focusing on enticing content, monday.com identified its audience and spoke directly to the problems they experienced.

Think engaging blogs, informative videos, and problem-solving social media posts

Monday.com sales-led GTM content marketing.

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On top of this, monday.com launched a $1.5 million targeted ads campaign to reach out to specific project management niches.

This customer-first approach positions monday.com above its competitors. 

It showcases the platform as the go-to problem-solver for all kinds of project managers.

Building your own go-to-market strategy

A successful go-to-market strategy is crucial to aligning your product with your ideal audience.

Despite this, 60% of teams believe their companies don’t properly invest in launching products. 

Dedicate time and effort to getting every piece right — from understanding your audience to executing flawlessly.

Here’s how …

1. Define your target audience

A deep understanding of your audience helps you fit your product into the market and design appropriate pricing strategies.

Knowing how your users behave also helps you focus your marketing efforts and tailor your customer experiences.

To define your target audience, you’ll need to:

  1. Identify market needs
  2. Analyze competitors
  3. Analyze existing customer data
  4. Collect data from social media and web browsers
  5. Identify demographic and behavioral trends
  6. Assess buying patterns

Once you know your target audience, develop ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas. 

This provides you with concrete targets to aim your GTM strategy toward. 

An ICP zeroes in on the most valuable customers. You identify the types of customers likely to buy based on demographics and behavior.

Next, you build specific buyer personas These are individual hypothetical characters that represent your ideal buyers. 

Ideal customer profile and buyer personas.

Image Source

It’s pivotal to design your GTM strategies to resonate with these characters.

To create an ICP and buyer personas, be sure to:

  • Identify core attributes: Think demographics, company size, industry, budget, needs, pain points, goals, and so forth
  • Focus on profitability: Consider who can afford your product and will bring the highest customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Identify decision-makers and influencers: Your buyer personas need to be able to make purchase decisions
  • Create hypothetical profiles: Give each persona a name, job title, income level, goals, challenges, and online behavior description 
  • Humanize them: Creating personalities with hopes and fears helps you understand motivations and barriers

To put your personas into action, you need to segment your audience.

By segmenting your marketing and sales efforts, you can deliver tailored messages to each profile. 

This is crucial since two-thirds of first-time buyers say they need tailored brand messaging that meets their needs.

2. Create your value proposition

A unique value proposition (UVP) defines why customers should pick your product or service over others. 

Your UVP sets customer expectations. 

It clearly and concisely shows your ideal users who you serve and what you do.

There are plenty of opportunities to weave your value proposition into your GTM strategy, including:

  • Add it to your website landing pages
  • Include it in email marketing campaigns
  • Use it to begin sales pitches
  • Print it on your product packaging

Take Encharge, for example.

We offer a next-generation marketing automation platform built for B2B SaaS

Encharge marketing software homepage.

Immediately, our UVP tells you that Encharge:

  1. Serves B2B SaaS companies
  2. Offers automation for marketing
  3. Provides a centralized platform to facilitate this

It’s clear, it’s brief, and it shows you who and how we help. 

3. Pricing strategies

The right pricing strategy aligns your product with market expectations. To convert your ideal buyer, they need to be able to afford your services. 

Here are the main pricing models for SaaS:

Flat-rate pricing:

Offer full-feature access at a single price. This simplifies decision-making for customers.

Tiered pricing:

Offer different pricing levels based on access to product features. This helps you cater to diverse customer needs.

Usage-based pricing:

Apply charges based on usage volume. This strategy aligns costs with customer usage, so it’s fair and scalable. 

Per-user pricing:

The price scales with the number of users. This model works well for tools where value increases with more team members.

Freemium model: 

Offer basic services for free, with the ultimate goal of upgrading users. This is a good fit for products with a wide user base with changing needs.

Per-feature: 

Users select and pay for the specific features they need. This approach offers flexibility for users to tailor their packages based on changing demands.

Value-based:

Customize pricing based on the perceived value to the customer. This model requires a deep understanding of customer needs and suits enterprise solutions.

Pay-as-you-go pricing:

Users pay for what they use in a given period. This flexible model lowers entry barriers. It works best for businesses with fluctuating usage needs.

Dynamic:

Pricing changes based on real-time factors like demand or usage. This model is complex, but it allows for optimized pricing in rapidly changing markets.

Choose your model based on operational costs, product value, and target audience. 

4. Choose your SaaS distribution channels

Select the distribution channels that enable you to reach your target audience effectively. 

The channels you choose ‌impact how and where your customers find and engage with your product.

You can reach potential buyers using direct or indirect channels. 

Direct channels help you contact customers directly. 

Indirect channels either position your brand in places where customers can find you or use a third party to promote your products.

Some examples of direct SaaS distribution channels include:

  • Website with self-service signup 
  • Freemium model with paid upgrades
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising 

Some examples of indirect channels include:

  • App stores and online marketplaces
  • Affiliate and influencer marketing
  • Resellers and white-label partners
  • Strategic partnerships with complementary businesses
  • API Integrations with other platforms

Choose distribution channels that align with your GTM approach.

For instance, let’s say you plan to partner with professional services or leverage influencers. 

In this case, your GTM strategy should focus more on building strong partnerships and less on direct consumer outreach.

5. Establishing a product-to-market fit

Achieving a strong product-to-market fit is essential for any SaaS business.

Your solutions should closely align with specific market demands and customer needs. 

Be sure to conduct market research and gather feedback from potential customers. 

This helps you work out whether your product fits your audience’s needs and limitations. 

Image Source

During this process, you’ll need to:

  1. Analyze competitors
  2. Evaluate your sales and marketing analytics
  3. Track online trends
  4. Develop research questions and methods
  5. Conduct surveys and host focus groups
  6. Market test products
  7. Review feedback

For example, let’s look at CWPP (Cloud Workload Protection Platform).

These types of platforms are a response to the increasing need for robust security in cloud environments. 

They provide specialized security features tailored to the complexities and challenges of cloud infrastructure.

In this sense, CWPP meets a specific, high-demand market requirement. 

So, the product fits the market well.

6. Developing a winning marketing strategy and message

Despite team efforts, more than a quarter of launches have no notable impact on revenue. 

A well-crafted marketing strategy can significantly help boost your GTM effectiveness.

To build a GTM strategy that appeals to the right buyers, you need:

  1. A defined target market and customer personas
  2. Strong product-market fit and an attractive UVP
  3. An appropriate pricing strategy
  4. Relevant sales and marketing channels
  5. Smooth customer onboarding processes
  6. Ways to track and measure progress

When building your marketing plan, your tactics should align with your GTM strategy. 

When considering marketing strategies, ask yourself …

  • Does this speak to our customers’ pain points?
  • Does it align with our value proposition?
  • Does this reach our customers where they like to congregate?
  • Does this experience align with customer expectations, preferences, and behaviors?

Analyze your existing customers and target personas to understand how they best like to receive marketing materials. 

Research your competitors to see what works and what doesn’t.

Here are some key marketing methods to consider:

  • Paid ads
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Email campaigns

7. Leveraging different marketing channels for maximum impact

Different channels cater to different segments of your target audience. 

Understand the online behavior of your target personas to deliver their preferred buying experience.

You can use organic channels to pull customers in and paid channels to push your messaging to your target buyers.

Effective organic channels include:

  • SEO and content marketing 
  • Referrals
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing 

Popular paid channels include:

  • Social media ads
  • Influencer marketing
  • Display ads
  • Sponsored content

While it’s important to reach customers across diverse channels, consistency is key. 

Consistent branding can contribute to 10–20% growth. 

This is because it builds brand recognition and consumer trust. 

But how do you choose the right channels?

Here are some important insights to think about …

Lead generation tactics bar graph.
Image Source
  • SEO, referrals, and direct outreach generate the best B2B leads.
  • Blogs (organic search) have the highest return on investment (ROI), according to 49% of businesses, with PPC ads on Google and Facebook running a close second and returning an impressive 200%.
  • Consumers are more likely to buy after consuming educational content in the early stages of the buying journey.
  • Personalization is key71% of buyers expect personalized experiences, and 76% are annoyed when that doesn’t happen.
  • Target the right buyers — Senior decision-makers are desperate for more educational content to guide purchasing decisions.

8. Measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs)

A KPI is a measurable value that indicates how well you’re meeting your GTM objectives.

You need to set measurable targets for each KPI to benchmark your progress. Clearly define each data source you’ll use to track this.

Here are some typical GTM KPIs you might track:

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Customer Insights
  • Conversion Rates
  • Lead Generation Volume
  • Customer Retention Rates

But, why bother with KPIs at all?

KPIs aim at team efforts towards common objectives. Plus, progress tracking helps you identify successes and areas for improvement These data-driven insights guide your future strategies.

But how do you turn raw data into actionable insights?

Use BI tools.

Business Intelligence (BI) tools like Power BI or Power BI alternatives support:

  • Sales and marketing alignment
  • Strategic product development
  • Customer segmentation
  • User behavior analysis
  • Data visualization

These tools are key to making informed decisions and adapting to market trends. You can also use them to create visually stimulating aids during marketing presentations. 

Calculating Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA quantifies the cost of acquiring a new customer.

Calculate CPA by dividing marketing and sales expenses by the number of new customers.  For sustainable profit growth, your CPA must be lower than a customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV).

Analyzing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

CLV helps you gauge the long-term value of a customer. CLV is the sum of the total revenue a customer generates over their relationship with your company.  To improve your CLV, you need strategies that foster loyal customers who spend more.

These methods might focus on improving customer retention, upselling and cross-selling, increasing prices, or enhancing product quality.

Remember, though, there are lots of factors that impact CLV, such as…

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Support quality
  • Marketing effectiveness
  • Competition

Conclusion

So, what do you need for a successful SaaS go-to-market strategy?

  • Clear target market
  • Revenue goals
  • Sharp product positioning
  • Effective pricing strategy

But for these cogs to tick over like clockwork, you need to align sales, marketing, customer success, and product teams to work toward common revenue goals.

Ready to elevate your GTM strategy? 

Try Encharge’s marketing automation free for 14 days.

Here’s to your success!

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