Introducing the ANNUITAS Go-to-Market Assessment    

I’m excited to introduce a new offering from ANNUITAS — one that is not only timely, but also helps companies address the #1 business challenge that they face today.

In an ‘uncertain’ marketplace, the greatest challenge lies in driving and converting demand – i.e., being in the right place, at the right time, with the right message and solution and the right motion to turn a prospect into a customer and turn an existing customer into a “customer for life.” 

Our marketing and sales motions are the lifeblood of our top lines, yet too often, when they are not delivering, we are unable to objectively assess what is going wrong.  And then — to improve margins — we merely cut them back … which is not a ‘solution’.

ANNUITAS is launching the ANNUITAS Go-to-Market Assessment™ to address this challenge. Go-to-Market assessments help companies map the disconnects in their go-to-market strategies and identify where they need to invest to optimize return on their marketing and sales investments. Helping them to get back to Growth and to scale it strategically.

I’ll talk more below about ‘what’ the ANNUITAS Go-to-Market Assessment is, but first I’d like to talk about ‘why’ we need this assessment.

Where Go-to-Market Programs Fall Down

I’ve said this before: Go-to-market strategies have an Achilles heel. 

They tend to make a lot of sense in the strategy phase — with well-reasoned positioning, market sizing, supporting marketing research insights and thoughtful segmentation.  The hypothesis is strong … yet the go-to-market falls apart in execution. 

I noted in a previous blog post:

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 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 go-to-market works in theory, but you cannot operationalize it.  Your thinking is strategic, but the process — the growth engine — you have attempted to build will not run.

 Go-to-market strategies fall apart for two fundamental reasons:

  1. Going to market inside-out vs. outside-in:  The first problem is that your go-to-market is based on pushing out a product or service to a target customer – proceeding with an inside-out or “campaigning” mindset — rather than putting the customer at the center of your go-to-market.  An outside-in approach leads with customer pain points and follows their journey to ensure we connect right place, right time.
  2. Committing random acts of sales and marketing:  The second problem is that the string of activities are not orchestrated or working together.  Messaging competes, insights garnered through one touchpoint do not inform another and the customer has gaps in the customer’s journey where there is no stewardship from the go-to-market program.  Go-to-market programs must work together as a holistic Growth Engine – underpinned by common processes, systems and data – not as separate, random acts.

How to Assess Go-to-Market Effectiveness

How do you assess the effectiveness of go-to-market programs?  How do you effectively identify opportunities and challenges?  How do you get at the disconnects that cause a solid strategy to not be able to be operationalized?

  • The key is first to analyze the program through the lens of customer journey — assessing whether every element of people, process, programs, technology and data are in service to this journey, or whether they are truly random acts.
  • Second, it is critical to assess how effectively go-to-market elements are orchestrated around this customer journey.  Are they woven together — sharing common processes and data — or are they operating independently?  Said differently, are you going to market “Strategically” or “Tactically”?  Effective go-to-market programs are tightly woven together – working in chorus as a holistic (and perpetual) Growth Engine.

ANNUITAS performs this analysis through the lens of our ANNUITAS Demand Process™ Methodology — which we’ve refined over the past ten years, driving more than 100 enterprise go-to-market transformations.

Use Cases for a Go-to-Market Assessment

 Where can an ANNUITAS Go-to-Market Assessment have the most impact?  We see four common scenarios:

  • Scaling growth: A key use case – typically with companies growing in the $50M to $250M range – is the need to scale to accelerate growth.  These companies need to pinpoint where to invest to optimize their growth and how to build a scalable Growth Engine to carry them to their next phase of growth.
  • Regaining growth: A different use case – typically with companies in the $250M to $2B range – is the need to address a declining rate of growth to regain growth.  These companies need to assess where to shore up their go-to-market programs, and often this means bringing disparate and/or siloed elements ‘back together.’
  • Investing for growth: For late-stage venture capital and for private equity investors, where do you invest to drive the growth – whether for a platform play or for a company with a strong product/service that you are working to bring to a larger customer base?  The Go-to-market Assessment serves as a diagnostic to drive investment and the efforts of operating teams to get the most out of your portfolio companies.
  • “First 90 days” as a CxO: Go-to-market Assessments are also a great way for commercial leaders (Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Revenue Officers, Chief Growth Officers, etc.) who are new to their roles to gain an unbiased, honest understanding of the state of go-to-market in their new organization. Before making any wholesale changes, a rapid, yet complete assessment of the GTM landscape can be extremely helpful in identifying gaps, and accelerating time to action towards proven results.

What Is Included in a Go-to-Market Assessment?

The ANNUITAS Go-to-Market Assessment proceeds first by assessing, identifying and documenting customer journey; then, it assesses every element of go-to-market programs through this lens – producing a “gap analysis;” finally, it charts these insights against common marketplace benchmarks and relative go-to-market maturity.

Below is an overview of this process – showing the layers of analysis and assessment performed through a Go-to-Market Assessment.

How Can I Start a Go-to-Market Assessment?

First step is to have a dialogue – to assess needs and to figure out if an assessment is the right fit.

Let’s schedule some time to chat.

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