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Tim Hillison: Retro'ing The Future: GTM in 2024 and Beyond

Tim Hillison joins us to cover different strategies to stay ahead of emerging go-to-markets trends, leveraging technologies to accelerate GTM efficiency and effectiveness, and share his predictions for next year.

Retro'ing The Future: GTM in 2024 and Beyond

GTM Retro - The last 5-10 years

Throughout the last 5 to 10 years, bringing products to market has been a challenging task due to the relatively few companies with deliberate GTM functions, owners, and defined motions. This phase is often compared to the transformation of a tween becoming a teenager. For context, statistics have shown a significant rise in the number of SaaS companies, from approximately 1200 in 2013 to roughly 30,000 today. Trends have also observed changes in GTM motions from targeting single buyers to managing a buying committee. Buying behavior has adjusted accordingly, with up to thirteen individuals involved in the buying committee. The impact of the pandemic cannot be underestimated as it spurred a full digital transformation in most sectors. The B2B marketing is now a thriving market with technological adoption pacing at an unprecedented rate. The last 5 to 10 years have witnessed simpler times, less rivalry and fewer possibilities. There has been an evolution in the Martech stack and a dramatic shift towards advanced analytics and the use of AI to improve processes. This era also saw the growth adoption of CRM and the rise of content marketing.

Speaker Intro: Tim Hillison

The increasing complexities and growing competition in marketing in recent years have emphasized the importance of strategic measures and alignment across product, sales, and marketing teams. This approach is a vast shift from the previous skill set that primarily emphasized speed and adaptability. Growth marketing, with its emphasis on rapid messaging across various channels, drove the previous era. However, the consolidation of these channels has made it essential for companies to revert to their sound fundamentals. As the channels consolidate, companies will need to tighten their intra-departmental alignment and work more strategically than before. It means not just initiating actions but also driving efficient processes.

Why is GTM broken today?

The conversation starts with an inquiry about the influencers of the existing challenges in the go-to-market process, a focal point that apparently seems broken. Discussing the factors that indicate a broken GTM, the conversation gives reasons such as the intensifying competitive rivalry, the reported failure rate of startups, and the decline in sales velocity. To comprehend the breakdown of the GTM process, it's considered necessary to define the term GTM. For Tim Hillison, GTM is a process that includes insights from product and marketing, sales, and customer success. It's considered a pathway creating a distinctive customer experience. One critical factor identified as a cause for the breakdown in GTM strategies is the lack of ownership of the GTM project. Confusions about ownership and inconsistent processes can lead to a conflicting customer experience. The conversation also emphasizes the role of alignment within the organization as another factor leading towards the breakdown in GTM processes. B2B customers' expectations not being met and high churn rates are other major reasons contributing to the problem.

Biggest drivers in GTM operating motion change, 2023-2024

The conversation moves forward discussing how changes in the last few years, especially since COVID, have significantly impacted how organizations approach their GTM strategies. Companies are reorganizing and changing their GTM structures altogether, mostly due to missed revenue targets, elongated sales cycles, increased cost of sales, and inability to execute due to layoffs. Looking at the new trends, the conversation identifies various pathways to the GTM strategies, including sales led, product led, marketing led, and partner led. The adoption of nearbound and event led strategies are also seen as significant trends in GTM motions. Changing customer behaviour and rising customer acquisition costs have also influenced changes in GTM strategies. The discussion also points out how companies focus on vertical and horizontal solutions to streamline their GTM strategies better.

GTM in 2024 and beyond

Derek Osgood and Tim Hillison discussed their outlook for the future of 'go-to-market' strategies, and how companies adapt to the changing landscape around them. In the past, retracing and learning from past mistakes were highlighted as important learning opportunities. For 2024 and beyond, efficiency will be the focus for most teams, with 71% of CMOs reporting not having enough budget to successfully execute their growth objectives. The need to do more with less, prioritize right initiatives such as repositioning, increasing the depth of messaging, and forming right partnerships are expected to rise in importance. A shift is expected towards unified revenue teams involving separate teams dealing with the marketing, AE pipeline, and SDR pipeline sectors. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also play a crucial role in enhancing productivity, with applications stretching from content production to market research. The existence of siloed processes among different teams is expected to diminish, with most firms shifting to a more centralized and unified process. Lastly, testing for new compensation and incentive models to bring teams closer together is predicted to occur before the end of 2024.