Under the Microscope: Go-to-Market Strategy and Plan

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under the microscope

This blog post is part of a series providing an in-depth exploration of each dimension of the 12 Dimensions of Revenue Architecture

Go-to-Market strategy is the foundation of a company’s revenue producing structure. To generate revenue, it is necessary to have defined channels to interact with customers.

To achieve this, a company needs an effective Go to Market strategy that makes the company easy to buy from and easy to sell for. A go-to-market strategy and plan is a blueprint for how the company will reach customers.

In a world where customers are becoming increasingly inundated with competitive options, it is more important than ever to effectively engage over the right channels. Your Go-to-market strategy allows you to reach customers at their various touch-points and optimize your service processes; customers can more easily interact with your company and, in turn, you can be more responsive and personalized in your customer responses.

Go-to-market is particularly crucial for services businesses that require heavy customer interaction.  Go-to-market strategy streamlines and establishes a strong focus on the steps that a company must take to co-create value with customers.

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Under the Microscope: Market Strategy

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under the microscope

This blog post is part of a series providing an in-depth exploration of each dimension of the 12 Dimensions of Revenue Architecture.

A Market Strategy is a core element of a company’s revenue architecture and differentiated strategy. Revenue leaders need to define how to approach the Market Strategy based on attractiveness, competitive positioning and fit.

This post dissects Market Strategy and its components, and explores why it is essential to any business.

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12 Questions for Your Sales and Marketing Plan

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Revenue Growth

Revenue growth requires a company-wide commitment and responsibilities cut across product groups, customer success, marketing and sales teams.  When developing a marketing plan, sales plan or performing due diligence for a private equity investment,  acquisition or a new CEO or CRO role – consider these 12 questions to develop your revenue architecture and revenue performance potential. The 12 dimensions take a broader view of revenue growth dimensions – beyond sales effectiveness and marketing campaigns.Revenue Growth

While there are many factors to consider, these 12 questions can help focus your sales and marketing planning.  When we first developed the Revenue Grader (now being revised) six years ago, we included 50 questions – or dimensions – in the analysis. While all 50 remain valid, we found that it was a bit cumbersome to consider all 50 when starting with a top-level plan or diagnostic. We now focus on these 12 dimensions and drill down into sub elements based on key issues or priorities.

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Robo-Advisors and Capturing the Next Generation Investor

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Many independent financial advisory firms are at an inflection point, facing disruptive changes from technology and generational transitions.

Technology-Driven Transitions

  • Emerging “Robo-Advisors” who are seemingly adept at gathering assets from Internet-savvy millennials
  • Digital Nation: Increasing use of social media and mobile devices among all generations, and most effusively by millennials
  • Real-time access to almost anything

Generational Transitions

  • Generation X or “Generation Now”: Following on the heels of existing pre-retiree and retired clients is Gen X ages 30-45, who currently control nearly $3.5T in investable assets (Cerulli – Lodestar, 2012E.)
  • Generation Y:  77 million strong, on par with Baby Boomers, constitutes 24% of the US population (Nielsen)…clients of the future…the social generation defined by technology – always on and mobile.
  • 71% of affluent Gen Y investors report having $100K-<$250K in total investable assets and an additional 5% are already millionaires. (Cogent Research 2013)
Population by Generation

Source: Nielsen

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5 Reasons Why CRM Is Essential in Growing Your Business

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It’s all about the customer.  Cultivating and managing your customer relationships is essential for effective marketing campaigns, sales, and repeat business.  But when your contact list becomes unwieldy or you find that several people within your company are reaching out to the same contact, you know you need to get organized.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs enable you to respond to your customer base with timely communication, targeted marketing campaigns and strategic follow up.

3-Tips-to-Using-Email-Thread-for-Smooth-CommunicationMy Pet Peeve: Email Threads

How often have you needed to check a customer detail that was in an email thread you received days or weeks ago? You’re hustling to get to a meeting and just can’t find that all important message.

CRMs centralize, store and organize detailed customer data and history logs for easy reference. Help your salespeople improve their effectiveness by sharing information with your team or designating members to manage a particular lead or customer.

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Blog Post Checklist

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Before you publish a blog post, ensure the content, and context meet your company’s standards and the post is optimized and ready.  Too often, authors get off topic or write overly complicated information without proper context resulting in a less than positive response and engagement.  When we publish a post or work with clients on publishing a post, we use a checklist to remind ourselves to address a range of important factors.  Below is a Blog Post Checklist that includes questions you can ask before pressing the ‘publish’ button.

Download and save for later use!

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What’s Makes a Good User Experience?

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John Stone from Revenue Architects asked me this question over lunch. The answer I gave him got me thinking about a conversation I had at a conference a few years back.

I was approached by a business executive who asked me what is the difference between usability and user experience. My answer: Here’s the big difference, user experience is all about ROI (Return on Investment).

Integrated Digital Strategy


The start of any good user experience begins with a clear business goal. Whether it is a mobile app, website, or even a physical product a good user experience fulfills that need. Start by asking yourselves the hard questions – What do I want my users to do? What do I want them to accomplish? What is the call to action? Given that end goal, a good user experience optimizes the path and flow that they will need to take.

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Tracking ROI from Multiple Online Channels


Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.29.29 PMIn February, we posted an article about Marketing Performance Measurement and Attribution. In this, he discussed the tricky proposition of tracking offline marketing channels and how it’s important to be able to measure the customer lifetime value (LTV). Much of this is aided by having a good Customer Relationship Management Tool (CRM); but it is also important to make sure you are feeding good data and identifying all the online channels collecting lead generating data.

Establish a Tracking Strategy

We begin with asking the basic questions:

  • What am I tracking?
  • Why am I tracking?
  • What will I learn?

Any traffic source that arrives at our website should be tracked and many are automatically tagged via an analytics program, typically Google Analytics. This gives us the bedrock of data with which to set up goal funnels. These goals – or actions – can be anything from a form submission to a PDF download to viewing a video. It’s all trackable by virtue of actual page views, virtual page views, event tags and campaign tagging of URLs; so once we’ve established the various ways in which a potential customer can interact with our website we want to make sure these actions filter into the right buckets for further examination, with the goal of being able to generate  actionable insights such as:

  • Is a form too long?
  • Is the call to action weak?
  • Does the copy need to be re-written?
  • Do visitors leak on a particular step of a checkout?

Establish Tracking Systems

Provided our goals form data is synced up to a CRM, we will not only understand where our site visitors are converting from but be able to track this visitor’s lifetime value. Then if we segment our visitors into email campaign lists we should also be able to track these visitors back to the website and say compare these efforts against paid ads (cpc) for example:

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Of course social media is large contributor to our branding and lead nurturing. There are many social media reporting tools that help take the pulse of your social marketing efforts including how many followers, likes, reach and so on but we want to also make sure we are measuring their true impact on the bottom line.

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This is where analytics helps yet again by being able to see which social channels are converting and assisting in conversions. A visitor’s journey to get to our site and take an action may be long and winding. Perhaps beginning with an organic search, then viewing one of our social media accounts to then typing our URL directly into the browser address bar before making contact.

So which marketing channel gets the credit for that lead?

Conversion attribution tracking is the answer in order to understand which channels are assisting in generating leads; to use a basketball analogy – the Steve Nash or John Starks of conversions.

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Social media conversions can also be tracked against paid advertising. For instance Facebook offers its own native conversion tracking pixel that means you can set up ad campaigns with the sole purpose of being able to track sign ups to our website or Facebook app installs. This then allows to keep a close eye on the cost per acquisition of that lead and monitor reach and cost. Twitter has also now opened up it’s own native conversion tracking for advertisers.

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Establish Tracking Programs

Once we have established what we want and need to track to effectively manage our marketing spend and put into place the systems in order to do this effectively, we mist then initiate our program.

To learn more about Marketing Performance Measurement and Attribution, please feel free to contact us.



Boost Performance with Sales Incentives

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When sales and marketing work together harmoniously, all is well. Marketing builds the brand and drums up leads; sales reels them in and brings them home as paying customers. Yet we know. particularly for sales, that sales incentives are the critical driver for performance focus. With today’s more unified revenue value chain and closed-loop across marketing and sales, you may need to realign your incentive programs to drive alignment and focus on the behaviors and results you seek. Programs need to fit in with your revenue operating model and reinforce team revenue performance.

Motivate Success

handshakeIncentive systems can motivate the right behaviors and align activities across marketing and sales. The incentive model should be transparent and readily understandable while clearly motivating your teams to perform in accordance with the prevailing company revenue strategy. Incentives can be a highly effective way to encourage and motivate, build morale and drive desired behavior. A study called Incentives, Motivation and Workplace Performance showed that a stunning 92% of respondents cited incentives as the top reason they achieved a workplace goal. Incentives can have particularly big impact when the sales and marketing teams devise a program together to effectively drive sales team behavior.

The best, most effective incentive programs are SMART.

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Assignable – specify who will do it.
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.


Begin by identifying your specific and measurable performance goals. Ask focused questions:

  • What exact targets and changes do we want to accomplish?
  • What behaviors would we like to reinforce?
  • How will we measure and track success?
  • How will the incentive campaign be implemented and promoted?

Once you’ve defined core metrics of success and created an incentive program that’s right for your team, there are some additional things you should keep in mind:

Stretch targets. Incent based upon new, desired behavior, e.g. meeting a higher quota, selling a new product, etc. Rewarding existing quotas and behaviors won’t likely enhance productivity.

Find the sweet spot. Don’t set your incentive payout too high, or the sales team will neglect their core responsibilities to focus only on the prize. Conversely, the payout should not be so too low that it doesn’t drive interest. Find the measurable incentive payout “sweet spot” that truly motivates your employees.

Public recognition. Public recognition helps to affirm good behavior, boost morale and foster a sense of friendly competition among the staff by celebrating the successes.

Keep campaign awareness fresh. Send regular reminders to the staff that the incentive is in place.

Choose a long enough timeframe. Consider running your incentive program for a substantial amount of time, not just a month or a quarter. Studies show programs that run for at least a year generate a 44% increase in performance, while programs running for a week or less boost performance by just 20%.

Measure and Track ROI. Establish baseline measurements at the beginning of your campaign so that you can track results and successes back to actual sales.

Promote team spirit.  Team-oriented incentive programs generate a performance increase of around 45% compared with incentive programs geared toward individuals, which yield just a 27% increase. However, both approaches can have a motivating effect, and it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision; experiment with different programs and see what your staff responds to the most.

Good luck and good selling! Are you looking to enhance revenue performance?  Sign up for a revenue diagnostic using our 50-dimension model.


Use Pricing Strategies for Maximizing Revenue and Profit

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Best Price

Companies take a number of different approaches to establishing their pricing , but many wrongly assume that they have limited control on revenue and margin by using more effective pricing strategies. Businesses can implement different pricing strategies and tactics to maximize revenue and margin. Depending on the pricing models and business-specific circumstances, it may take some time to find the right balance. The key strategy is to enable your front-line sales team with the tools and insights needed to maintain optimal pricing.

Here are some tactics you might consider.


1. Segment Around Buyer Values to Drive Value Pricing

If you’re struggling to get a grip on your customers’ buyer values, you aren’t alone. Buyer values can fluctuate based on the market competition, market sensitivity to pricing, and other challenges. For companies that serve diversified markets, a one-size-fits-all approach can leave revenue opportunities untapped. Segmentation around buyer business impact and value offers the flexibility to manage pricing differently across different segments, adjusting for those markets where the underlying business value justifies premium pricing. When managed effectively, segmentation strategies can produce margin increases of 10 points, and sometimes more.

2. Pricing Decision Support

Sales representatives have a significant influence on revenue margin. In many cases, sales professionals might be pursuing volume over margin, and with poor pricing tools at their disposal, they likely give away revenue margin needlessly when adjustments to their discounting and other pricing actions might give them better guidance. Getting this right leads to improved margins for the sales reps as well as the business. Companies should be on the lookout for tools and resources that can help sales reps handle these pricing considerations.

3. Allocate Resources Towards Higher Margin Opportunities

Profit is always welcome of course, but some sales efforts will prove to be much more profitable to a company than others. Those marginally profitable segments may be turning over a net gain, but their consumption of resources could be taking away from other opportunities that offer greater pricing power and are even more profitable. Businesses should stratify their various segments by profitability and allocate resources to the most attractive segments.

4. Assess and Adapt

With these strategies in place, use observation and analysis to evaluate the success of new pricing strategies. By closely observing the effects, you will gain insights into what’s impacting revenue and margin performance and you can fine tune your strategies.

Ultimately, the market will be the main driver in determining pricing, yet leaders are recognizing the importance of using value-based segmentation, market research and decision support to inform and enable their pricing strategies.  Contact us if you need help in maximizing pricing impact.