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Why You Need a Go-to-Market Leader

Go-to-Market leaders improve product adoption, stakeholder alignment, and sales effectiveness

Think of a symphony orchestra — a complex assemblage of skilled musicians playing their individual parts, all to create a single song. The conductor is driving the whole experience. Without the conductor, there’s chaos. Or at least a very long night ahead of you.

Now think of your product. A lot of time, money, and resources have been invested in it. As you approach your launch date, who is leading the symphony?

Without a go-to-market (GTM) leader improving stakeholder alignment, finding stronger product-market fit, and owning enablement sessions with customer-facing teams, you’ll be playing to a tough crowd — without a conductor. Having a GTM strategy is the first path to success for product launches. Someone has to drive that success. That someone is (typically) a Product Marketer, but it could also be a Product Manager, Product Ops person, or a dedicated GTM role.  Whichever you choose, here’s how a GTM leader ensures a smoother product lifecycle.

GTM Leaders Maximize Launch Impact via Better Stakeholder Alignment

The reason the conductor stands at the front of the orchestra is so that everyone knows where to look for them. The same applies to a GTM leader.

You need a GTM leader to get stakeholders and key players, like the heads of marketing, sales, and customer service, on the same page and agree on the direction of your GTM strategy. When you and your stakeholders work together to break down informational silos between departments, you’ll avoid headaches later.

“Meetings with stakeholders increase the closer we get to the launch. We usually work with a couple from sales, one from the brand, one from creative, and one from product management.” – Yehuda Kirschenbaum, Product Marketing Manager at Nortek Control

GTM Leaders Find Stronger Product-Market Fit, Improving Adoption

If your product doesn’t find a place in the market it’s aimed at, your product could fail. For example, selling bottled water at a gym is a good product-market fit — gym-goers need to stay hydrated. Selling high-sugar, high-fat cookies at the gym will probably be less successful because the market is not interested in unhealthy snacks.

As brand champions, GTM leaders (who most likely started their career in product marketing) are more adept at finding and cultivating product-market fit because they have been working intimately with the product from inception to launch and know it inside and out. In essence, they’ll know if you’ve got bottled water or cookies and whether your market is fitness junkies or carb junkies.

A GTM leader also generates in-depth insights about the product, making sure team members keep their research focused on core objectives and evangelizing the product’s features to stakeholders, potential customers, and marketing teams. They know who the ideal persona is, what their challenges are, and why they're willing to pay for your product.

A recent listing for a GTM leader position at Google speaks volumes about the complexity of this role. The index of responsibilities includes “Serve as a thought partner and trusted advisor,” “Support executive engagements through analysis,” and “Collaborate with cross-functional stakeholders in annual business planning, key organizational metrics, and other operational strategic projects.” Your GTM leader should be able to handle all that and more.

The tools GTM leaders use in their roles may vary, but the outcome is the same. They identify customer needs using customer validation, buyer persona creation, customer building, and customer discovery techniques. You can find all of these tools in Ignition’s GTM platform, which makes handling all the functions of product launches a lot less daunting.

GTM Leaders Assist With Sales Enablement, Improving Close Rates

As the conductors of your symphony, GTM leaders should supply the sheet music. That is, they need to take on the responsibility for sales enablement sessions (ensuring the team has everything they need to close deals with prospects and find new leads).

Sales enablement is an important step in the GTM process, but 69% of salespeople in one study said they don’t have enough leads in their roster to meet their quotas. The GTM leader can help the sales team generate new leads with tools like Mindtickle, Reply, or Salesforce Sales Cloud. These tools can give your salespeople dashboards that help them close sales by providing them with information about your product, target audiences, guidance on how to sell the product to them, and tracking software for customers who enter the sales funnel.

Without a leader to champion this enablement, salespeople may receive conflicting messaging from different departments. GTM leaders need to track the tools used for sales enablement, implement them, and follow up with sales to make sure they are being executed correctly.

GTM leaders can also help sales enablement by delivering interactive training sessions on handling objections, competitive intelligence, sales methodology, and process best practices. Without a GTM leader to oversee this process, you run the risk that salespeople will sell products “on their own” — without a cohesive and structured guideline. The key to effectively handling sales enablement is communicating goals and objectives for your GTM strategy with your sales team on a daily basis, opening up your meeting schedules so there is time to discuss any changes to the GTM strategy, and deconstructing any informational silos that exist in your company.

One Team. One Leader. One Platform.

You don’t want to spend a lot of time, money, and resources assembling a world-class orchestra — and then have no conductor at the podium. Who will the symphonists turn to for guidance?

When looking for a GTM leader, you want someone who can work with cross-functional teams to bring the product to launch by making sure everyone is on the same page. Start by gathering the different teams involved in the product launch together and assembling a wish list of items your GTM strategy should include. Once in agreement, have the GTM leader check in with them daily and determine if any of the input needs updating or revising.

As the first dedicated platform for product marketers, Ignition can help your leader excel in their role. This GTM dashboard provides help with project and task management, asset management, internal communication, and research. If you want your product launch to run like a fine-tuned symphony, Ignition can provide the tools needed to help your GTM leader get their job done more efficiently.