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GTM Playbook Powerhouse: Takeaways from the 2024 Montgomery Summit

Go-to-Market (GTM) success requires solving a customer’s immediate pain point, as well as enabling a champion to win over their organization. This holds true whether for an individual sales rep or for an entire company.

That’s the core message from the GTM Playbook discussion at this year’s Montgomery Summit, featuring industry heavyweights John Chambers (ex-CEO of Cisco and Founder of JC2 Ventures), Joe Sexton (GTM guru from AppDynamics and McAfee), Jay Persaud (EY’s Emerging Technology leader), and John Street (CEO of Pax8 and a serial entrepreneur).

Here are the top 5 takeaways that can transform your Go-To-Market strategy:

  1. Focus on the “Why Now”
    • Selling is a two-way street. Don’t just tell customers why they need your product, explain why they need it now.
    • Develop a detailed ROI or business case that clearly demonstrates the immediate value your product delivers. If the urgency isn’t there, neither is the sale.
    • Understand the buyer’s perspective during proof-of-value (PoV) stages. Then help them build the internal support and rationale required for an immediate purchase.
  1. Partners who Buy, become Partners who Sell
    • The best partners are often your best customers. Think of powerhouses like Mercury/HP, McAfee/Intel, or AppDynamics/Cisco – all started as satisfied customers.
    • CrowdStrike leveraged strategic partnerships to propel their growth. Building strong partnerships requires understanding your partner’s financial goals and aligning incentives.
    • Another tip? Ask distributors which products they use themselves. Encouraging them to make a small investment sends a powerful message to the market.
  1. Capacity and Yield is King (Even more than Quota)
    • Don’t confuse capacity with quota. In GTM, capacity (the number of trained and available reps) is just as important as quotas. Yield (what your reps actually achieve) is a more valuable metric.
    • Sexton shares an eye-opening experience from his McAfee days. He discovered that even if every rep hit their quota, the company would only achieve 73% of its overall goal.
    • A similar story comes from CrowdStrike – when Mike Carpenter first joined, he analyzed yield and capacity and realized the company wouldn’t hit its plans without a $12M investment to the GTM team. The rest is history, with CrowdStrike growing from a $50 million top-line, into a billion-dollar business. Get your capacity right, and hitting your quarterly goals becomes a reality.
  1. Navigate Long Sales Cycles with Multiple Points of Contact
    • When dealing with long sales cycles, it’s critical to have a multi-prong approach.
    • Are you relying solely on RFPs? Rethink your strategy. Decision-making is shifting, with CFOs yielding tighter budget control and CIOs having incentives to use existing vendors.
    • Building strong relationships across the organization is paramount. Do the groundwork: map the organization, understand decision-making processes, and identify budget holders. Don’t underestimate the power of relationship building in today’s GTM landscape.
  1. Use the Power of AI in GTM
    • AI holds immense potential for streamlining the GTM process. Imagine a platform that seamlessly connects marketing leads to sales and everything in between.
    • Real-time data is key. AI can help answer critical questions like team ramp time, optimal territory allocation, and the ideal inside/outside sales rep ratio. The goal is to achieve the same level of real-time data management in GTM, that ERP systems brought to manufacturing.
    • AI will become an indispensable tool for CROs, providing real-time data insights through natural language queries. While AI can automate many tasks in the GTM and sales motion, its true power lies in amplifying human capabilities.

By implementing these insights, you can craft a winning GTM strategy that drives sales and propels your company forward.