Are You Going to Market Inside-Out or Outside-In?

Go-to-market strategies have an Achilles heel. Consider this challenge: You have a clear idea of who you want to target. You’ve done segmentation and persona work. You have a coherent account-based strategy. You have done (some) customer journey work. You (may have even) evolved your content to better support that journey.

Yet, despite all of this planning and insight, you still have a gap. You are still failing to connect your prospective customers with the right content, in the right channel at the right time.

Your targeting and segmentation are falling apart in execution.

You have a clear go-to-market approach, but you cannot operationalize it. As a result, your go-to-market unspools as an infinite string of random acts of sales and marketing. And the results are lackluster as your spending fails to deliver sales lift.

But to be honest, your go-to-market strategy was always incomplete, and your demand marketing likely has always been broken. A clear sense of targeting and segmentation is half of the equation. The missing part comes down to your fundamental approach – to the orientation you use to design your execution.

Executing a successful go-to-market strategy depends on the answer to a central question – a central orientation for sales and marketing – for driving demand: Are you going to market inside-out or outside-in?


An inside-out approach looks like this: You’re taking your product or service and attempting to ‘push it’ on prospective customers. You’re blasting out emails and cold calls and excusing it as ‘campaigning’. This tactical demand approach is the basis of how most companies go to market today — an approach that leads to random acts and that represents the central disconnect between go-to-market strategy and execution.

An outside-in approach looks different: Your go-to-market leads with your customers’ pain points. It’s designed to drive education and enablement as a customer ‘solution seeks’ by leveraging customer journey orientation and insights into customer intent to better time marketing and sales engagement. This strategic demand approach ensures companies are able to both improve customer engagement and also deliver lift to pipelines — at the same time.

In a strategic demand state, business growth is built around, and is adaptive to, customer critical path. It is not built on interruptive tactics.

According to SiriusDecisions, the typical lead-to-revenue conversion rate ranges from 0.375% to 0.6%, depending on the type of market. Read: Tactical/inside-out demand is highly inefficient; thus, taking such an ‘outside-in,’ Strategic Demand approach is the key to effective go-to-market execution.

The ANNUITAS data science team has found that making the shift to a Strategic Demand state brings with it a significant – often 4-10X – improvement in return on top-of-funnel investments. That’s worth making sure your go-to-market is truly outside-in.


Addressing your go-to-market execution gap and shifting to an outside-in, strategic demand approach requires a foundation.

Two critical elements of this foundation are Demand Process and Conversation Track Architecture – two cornerstone methodologies ANNUITAS leverages to help its clients drive go-to-market transformation:

  • Demand Process is a starting place and a critical foundation for sustainable growth by helping you operationalize go-to-market around customer journey.
  • Conversation Track Architecture provides a scalable basis for orchestrating Customer Dialogue across stakeholders and customer journey stages – a critical organizing principle for effective Demand Process.

These elements go hand-in hand and are the place to get a rapid start as you re-orient your go-to-market – transforming sales and marketing within your organization.

To learn more about each of these concepts, read:

A Framework for Sustainable Growth: ANNUITAS Demand Process™

Conversation Track Architecture: The Key to Operationalizing Go-to-Market Around Customer Journey

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