GTM Dictionary

The Go-to-Market Dictionary: Friction

Learn about the concept of friction in the world of go-to-market strategies with our comprehensive dictionary.

In the world of business, there are few concepts more critical than the importance of a solid go-to-market (GTM) strategy. A GTM strategy forms the foundation for a business's success, and a key component of that strategy is understanding and minimizing friction. In this article, we will take a deeper look at friction, what it is, how it can impact your business, and the steps you can take to reduce it.

Understanding Friction in Go-to-Market Strategies

Before we dive into the specifics of reducing friction, let's first take a moment to define what we mean by friction. In a business context, friction refers to anything that makes it more difficult for a customer to complete a purchase or for a business to close a deal. Friction can be a major obstacle to success, as it can lead to lost sales, frustrated customers, and a damaged reputation.

Defining Friction in Business Context

Friction can come in many forms, such as a long and complicated checkout process, a confusing pricing model, or a lack of transparency in your sales process. All of these factors can make it more difficult for potential customers to move through your funnel, ultimately leading to lost sales and revenue. It's important to understand that friction can exist at any point in the customer journey, from initial awareness to post-purchase support.

For example, let's say you run an e-commerce business selling clothing. A potential customer discovers your brand through a social media ad and clicks through to your website. However, once they arrive, they find that the website is slow to load and difficult to navigate. They struggle to find the product they're interested in, and when they do, they're confronted with a confusing pricing structure that makes it hard to understand the true cost of the item. Frustrated, they abandon their cart and never return.

The Role of Friction in Customer Acquisition

Reducing friction in your go-to-market strategy is critical for a successful customer acquisition process. The simpler and more intuitive your purchase process is, the more likely it is that potential customers will complete the sales process. In addition, reducing friction can help build trust with potential customers, which leads to longer-term relationships and loyalty to your brand.

For example, imagine that you've identified a source of friction in your checkout process: customers are required to create an account before they can complete a purchase. You decide to remove this requirement and allow customers to check out as guests. As a result, you see an increase in completed purchases and a decrease in cart abandonment. Customers appreciate the simplicity of the process and are more likely to return in the future.

Identifying Sources of Friction in Your GTM Strategy

Identifying the sources of friction within your GTM strategy is the first step in reducing it. The most effective way to do this is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and identify any areas where the process may be confusing or inconvenient. For example:

  • Is your pricing clear and easy to understand?
  • Are customers required to fill out too many forms before they can complete a purchase?
  • Is your company's website easy to navigate?
  • Do you provide enough information about your products or services?
  • Are your shipping and return policies clear and easy to understand?

The answers to these questions can help you identify areas where friction exists in your GTM strategy. Once you've identified these areas, you can begin to develop strategies to reduce or eliminate the friction. This might involve simplifying your pricing structure, streamlining your checkout process, or providing more detailed product information on your website.

Ultimately, reducing friction in your GTM strategy is an ongoing process. As your business grows and evolves, new sources of friction may emerge. By staying vigilant and responsive to customer feedback, you can continue to refine your strategy and provide a seamless, satisfying customer experience.

Types of Friction in Go-to-Market Processes

When it comes to go-to-market processes, there are several types of friction that can arise and hinder the success of your business. Understanding these types of friction is crucial in identifying what needs to be addressed in order to reduce friction and ensure a smooth go-to-market strategy.

Product Friction

Product friction is one of the most common types of friction that businesses encounter. This refers to any issues that potential customers may have with your product. For example, if your product is difficult to use or requires a lengthy learning curve, this will inevitably lead to friction. Addressing product friction requires investing in product design, user experience, and customer feedback. By doing so, you can ensure that your product meets the needs of your customers and is easy to use, which can help reduce friction and improve customer satisfaction.

Another aspect of product friction is the need to constantly innovate and improve your product. This means staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in your industry, and making sure that your product remains relevant and competitive. By doing so, you can ensure that your customers are always satisfied with your product, and that you are able to stay ahead of the competition.

Pricing Friction

Pricing friction refers to any aspect of your pricing model that may be confusing or off-putting to customers. For example, if your pricing is not transparent, this can cause friction. Addressing pricing friction involves simplifying your pricing model and being transparent with customers about the pricing structure. This can help build trust with your customers and make it easier for them to make a purchase.

Another way to reduce pricing friction is to offer flexible pricing options that cater to the needs of different customers. This can include offering discounts for bulk purchases, or providing subscription-based pricing models that offer recurring revenue for your business. By offering flexible pricing options, you can make it easier for customers to purchase your product, which can help reduce friction and improve customer satisfaction.

Sales Friction

Sales friction refers to anything that may cause potential customers to hesitate before making a purchase or closing a deal. A complicated sales process or a lack of transparency about product features and benefits can cause sales friction. Addressing sales friction involves streamlining your sales process and providing clear information about your product.

One way to reduce sales friction is to provide customers with a clear understanding of the value that your product provides. This can be achieved through effective storytelling and messaging that highlights the benefits of your product. Additionally, providing customers with a clear path to purchase, such as a simple checkout process, can help reduce sales friction and improve conversion rates.

Marketing Friction

Marketing friction refers to anything within your marketing communications that can make it difficult for potential customers to engage with your brand. This can include confusing messaging or images that don't resonate with your target audience. Addressing marketing friction involves refining your marketing messaging and imagery to ensure it resonates with your customers.

One way to reduce marketing friction is to conduct market research to better understand your target audience. This can help you create messaging and imagery that resonates with your customers and makes it easier for them to engage with your brand. Additionally, using social media and other digital marketing channels can help you reach a wider audience and reduce marketing friction.

Customer Support Friction

Customer support friction refers to any lack of support or customer service that can make it difficult for customers to feel confident in their purchase. This can include a lack of resources to answer customer questions or inadequate response times to emails or calls. Addressing customer support friction involves investing in customer service, providing resources for customers, and responding promptly to all inquiries.

One way to reduce customer support friction is to provide customers with multiple channels to get in touch with your support team. This can include email, phone, and live chat support. Additionally, providing customers with self-service resources, such as FAQ pages and knowledge bases, can help reduce the need for customer support and improve customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, reducing friction in your go-to-market processes is crucial for the success of your business. By addressing product, pricing, sales, marketing, and customer support friction, you can improve customer satisfaction and drive growth for your business.

Reducing Friction for a Smoother Go-to-Market Execution

Reducing friction in your go-to-market process requires a multi-faceted approach. Each step of the process must be analyzed and updated to create a seamless experience for customers. Here are some steps you can take to reduce friction in your GTM strategy:

Streamlining the Sales Process

Ensure that your sales process is concise and easy to navigate. Make clear the benefits of your product and be transparent about pricing and agreement details. Simplify your offer and pitch to make it more appropriate for your target market and customer segments.

One way to streamline the sales process is to create a sales script that your sales team can follow. This script should include the key benefits of your product, common objections that customers may have, and responses to those objections. By having a script to follow, your sales team can ensure that they are providing consistent information to all customers and are not missing any important points.

Another way to streamline the sales process is to use technology to automate certain tasks. For example, you could use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track leads and automate follow-up emails. This can help your sales team stay organized and ensure that no leads fall through the cracks.

Enhancing User Experience

Consider your customers' perspective and experiences while they use your product. Be mindful of user preferences and invest in UI/UX development. Ensure that your customers can learn and fully experience your product interface without facing obstacles. Employ helpful and easy-to-understand graphics and instructions.

One way to enhance the user experience is to conduct user testing. This involves having a group of users try out your product and provide feedback on their experience. This feedback can then be used to make improvements to the product interface and user experience.

Another way to enhance the user experience is to provide tutorials and guides to help users get started with your product. This could include video tutorials, step-by-step guides, and FAQs. By providing these resources, you can help users get up to speed quickly and reduce frustration.

Simplifying Pricing Models

Give customers an integrated and understandable pricing model. Simplify your pricing model so that your customers can easily understand how much they will pay and what functionality they will get. Be upfront about additional charges where applicable, such as support or storage fees.

One way to simplify your pricing model is to offer tiered pricing based on usage. This allows customers to choose the plan that best fits their needs and budget. You could also offer a free trial or freemium version of your product to give customers a chance to try it out before committing to a paid plan.

Another way to simplify your pricing model is to offer bundled pricing. This involves offering multiple products or services together at a discounted price. By bundling products or services together, you can make it easier for customers to understand what they are getting and how much they will pay.

Optimizing Marketing Efforts

Focus your marketing efforts based on your target customer segments, the market environment, and product offerings. Ensure optimal positioning and messaging of your brand. Get creative in the development of content for your website, campaigns, and inbound marketing strategies – integrating video, social media, and other attention-grabbing formats to attract and retain a solid customer base.

One way to optimize your marketing efforts is to use data analytics to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. This can help you identify which campaigns are generating the most leads and conversions, and which ones are not performing as well. By using this data, you can make adjustments to your marketing strategy to improve results.

Another way to optimize your marketing efforts is to use social media to connect with your target audience. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be powerful tools for building brand awareness and engaging with customers. By regularly posting relevant content and responding to customer inquiries, you can build a strong following and increase customer loyalty.

Improving Customer Support

Customers appreciate being able to get help when they need it. Employ different channels of communication to connect with customers for technical support, feedback, and inquiries. Make customer support accessible by email, phone or customer service chat services.

One way to improve customer support is to offer 24/7 support. This ensures that customers can get help whenever they need it, regardless of the time of day. You could also offer a self-service portal where customers can find answers to common questions and troubleshoot issues on their own.

Another way to improve customer support is to train your support team to be empathetic and responsive. This involves teaching them how to listen actively, show empathy, and provide timely and helpful responses. By providing excellent customer support, you can build a loyal customer base and increase customer satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

Reducing friction in your go-to-market strategy is a crucial step in acquiring and retaining customers. Remember to continuously analyze your GTM process and identify any potential areas for improvement. Invest in a strong customer feedback loop to ensure you always know what your customers want, and what can be improved in the GTM process.