The day has come. Your teenager is finally ready to part with their toy car collection. In the old days you might have held a yard sale and tacked flyers up around the neighborhood. Not anymore. Today, your teen knows to announce the sale where the ideal buyer goes to purchase — an online marketplace or an auction site like eBay.
Kids know that you need to do things differently — as digital natives they have experienced customer-centric thinking firsthand.
You should be familiar with kind of forward thinking as well. Especially if your company is going through an enterprise transformation. I have written about this before, but it is worth repeating a key point — a successful transformation requires a close examination of how the customer experiences the product from every angle.
This means that the go-to-market (how products and services are brought to market) is a key component of any real transformation. And just like in our toy car collection example, customers should be at the center of your thinking.
Our team at Aha! calls this holistic approach to building, selling, and supporting products the Complete Product Experience (CPE). It includes product management, development, marketing, sales, support, finance, legal and just about every other team in your company. That is because they all impact how customers want to learn about, buy, and get help with your product.
Of course, big organizational change is not a linear process — it demands new ways of thinking in every part of the business and how things are done.
For example, at Aha! we have been working closely with a large software company that is moving from on-premise to a cloud-based subscription model. Not because SaaS was a shiny new option — rather, the change was prompted by feedback from their customers on how they want to try, buy, and use the product. They quickly realized that the change in product strategy also required different thinking in terms of how they brought the product to market.
Their sales teams had to be educated and compensated differently. This means the accounting team also had to report on different financial metrics, as the business is driving more of an annuity stream of revenue and smaller up-front commitments. And marketing had to develop new go-to-market activities.
If your product strategy is changing, you almost certainly need to consider how your marketing and sales activities should change as well.
If you are a marketing leader, you are likely examining everything you have historically done — whether you are introducing new products or trying to grow your existing ones. Especially when you consider the emergence of new communications channels and how dynamic markets have become.
Transforming how you bring products to market requires high-level strategic planning on your part and executive agreement on that direction. You also need to talk with everyone who touches the product — cross-functional teammates and customers — to guide your strategic plan and to zero in on how marketing can map your go-to-market activities to deliver a CPE.
When you think of prospective customers, the goal is to focus on having meaningful conversations with your customers in ways that educate and engage. When you think of existing customers, the goal is to focus on opening up channels for real feedback and transparent dialogue.
Here are a few questions to get you started on the path to transform how you go-to-market:
- Who buys our product today?
- What do we know about our current customers?
- What problem does our product solve for them?
- What key benefits do they get from our product?
- Where do they go to learn about our product?
- How can they try our product before purchasing?
- How frequently do they interact with our company before buying?
- What steps do they take to purchase our product (both internally and with our company)?
- Why do they choose our product over a competitor?
- What challenges do they face with our product?
- How do they learn about updates to our product?
- What channels can we use to market this product to new potential customers?
The best way to reimagine your go-to-market and launch activities is to closely examine every way you can better serve the customer.
Once you have done this, you can put together a comprehensive new framework for doing what you do. Providing these insights upfront will help give the team actionable information to improve how they intercept and engage with customers.
And it will help you and your team transform your go-to-market process into one that creates more value for everyone.
What else is needed to reimagine your go-to-market activities?
Big transformation requires the right tool. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Aha!