Whenever you’re thinking about the growth of your SaaS business, you may pull your team together to discuss your strategic growth plan.
And every single time these conversations will inevitably devolve into, “well, marketing or sales didn’t do this” or “Engineering didn’t deliver on the feature we need…”. Lots of finger-pointing, not enough solutions, and certainly not enough alignment to execute.
Here’s the big question.
How do you actually figure out whether your go-to-market is any good and plan with your team to finish the rest of this year strong?
These are the four steps to follow when revamping your go-to-market strategy and ensure team alignment.
- What is your revenue target?
- How much pipeline is required?
- What’s holding you back?
- What are the 3-5 objectives and KPIs?
When I started to hire more senior leadership at ToutApp and even at my time at Marketo as SVP of Strategy in the executive time, we got into a tough conversation on how we would kickstart growth. Not because they were bad leaders.
It’s par for the course when you have a sophisticated machine. When something is not working it’s easy to point fingers. That’s how you can easily devolve.
So how do you align your team?
In my years of experience, I’ve seen some patterns on how best to go about this and have narrowed them into four actionable steps.
What is your revenue target?
You first need to get aligned on what your revenue target is. This is important both on a psychological and tactical basis.
On a tactical basis, you should set a growth number by quarter and by year. When there is a number, things quickly become real.
On a psychological level, the number is owned by everyone. In turn, they work together, or else the revenue number won’t be met.
Next is what most people will skip but it’s equally important and that’s regarding your pipeline.
How much pipeline is required?
Regardless of your sales team or product, you will never have a 100% win conversion rate. No one does.
Based on your win rate and conversion rate, you need to be talking to more people or onboarding more trial users than you are going to be closing/converting.
For example, suppose you needed to generate one million dollars of revenue for your business. Say each deal is 100k. That means you would need 10 opportunities to close.
In order for 10 opportunities to close with a 20% win rate, for example, you need way more opportunities in the pipeline to get that 10 to close at a 20% win rate.
The rule of thumb is to have a 3-5x pipeline coverage. Meaning whatever your revenue target is, you need to have a commitment that you are going to generate 3-5x of that.
If you have a higher win rate, you can be closer to 3. Lower closer to 5.
If you don’t do this part you don’t stand a chance at growth because you won’t hit your revenue number.
By doing this, you’re forcing the discussion on who owns the pipeline commitment. Sales or marketing? Partnerships?
These first two steps are all about identifying what you need to do. Next is to identify what’s holding you back from more growth.
What’s holding you back?
Every business has certain choke points. In fact, in my SaaS Scale Program, we go in-depth into 27 different chokepoints. How to identify and think about them.
It’s powerful because it forces the team to think about all the different things that are holding the business back from accomplishing the number. People can voice their concerns and be very constructive.
It also helps you hone in on why you have this chokepoint, who’s responsible, and how to fix it.
From here you have a good understanding of what’s ahead. Now, at this point, CEOs often say great, everyone leaves the meeting, and nothing happens.
You did not truly get alignment, commitment, and a social contract in place to know who’s doing what.
This is why the next step, number four is critical.
What are the 3-5 objectives and KPIs?
What are the 3-5 objectives and KPIs that you’re committing to? A good starting point is to identify which 3-5 objectives you can commit to right now and related KPIs.
My favorite way to do this is using the OKR framework: objectives and key results.
To recap, these are the four steps involved in revamping your go-to-market machine, kickstarting growth, creating a strategic plan, and getting into alignment. If you want even more explanation then check out the video below.
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Once you gather your team and start talking through these critical pieces, it will become a collective thing everyone owns. No finger-pointing.
If you’re in this stage of wondering how to revamp your go-to-market strategy then I invite you to check out my SaaS Scale Program. It’s quickly growing! It’s been incredible to bring on new CEOs.