Posted Apr. 14 2020, 05:41:50 pm

Ashlyn Brewer

Vice President

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. Companies that invested in go-to-market (GTM) planning last year likely couldn’t anticipate the world we live in now.

But putting that plan on the shelf and forgetting about it isn’t the right call. Neither is implementing it blindly, as if nothing has changed.

Now, more than ever, it is necessary to reevaluate your growth strategy and decide how to adapt to these uncertain times.

Weathering this storm will not be easy, but while there are many risks to businesses in this climate, there are also opportunities for companies to do the hard work now, so they can come out of this crisis stronger and more equipped to win in the future. This is a reset for all of us but panic and angst won’t help. Thoughtful planning and strategy will.

In this blog, we share three steps to help you revisit your go-to-market strategy.

Step #1: Reassess Your Growth Drivers

If you’ve already identified your growth drivers (the key markets, products/services, initiatives, etc. that will fuel your growth), it’s time for a second look. Re-examine each with the following criteria:

  • Short-term COVID-19 impact: Will this growth driver be more or less effective in the immediate future? Some products/services may be more needed right now, others less so. And it’s not just a demand problem as some projects and services may be more prone to supply chain disruptions and no longer viable.
  • Long-term COVID-19 impact: Will this growth driver be more effective as lockdowns end? Don’t assume life will go back to how it was. How will this growth driver fare in a post-lockdown economy?

Ultimately, you want a balance of short- and long-term bets. If some growth drivers aren’t feasible in the short term, but have huge potential in the long term, they still may be worth investing in.

If you do not have growth drivers, you can list out your priority markets, products/services, initiatives, etc., and do the same exercise above.

Step #2: Revisit Your Sales Channels

It’s likely that how you sell needs to change just as much as what you sell does. But kneejerk decisions are unlikely to be helpful. You may have an instinct to either pull back entirely or to shift all of your spend to digital. But either can have unintended consequences.

Pulling back entirely leaves room for your competitors to gain ground, and as more people shift to digital channels, their costs go up.

Once your growth drivers are set, this is the time to get creative with the channels in your go-to-market strategy. How can you best get in front of your targets in a way that breaks through?

Step #3: Invest in Your Talent

Over the years, you have spent time and money recruiting the best fit for your departments. If possible, you will want to retain these high-quality employees during the pandemic, so your business can return to its high quality of work and efficiency when this is all over.

If some work is not possible right now, this can be a time to catch-up on previously forgotten projects. Things like updating the CRM, creating content, etc. may be easier to focus on right now.

This is also a great time for advanced development and growth. With fewer people on the road, you can invest in virtual sales training to help them catch up on new technologies, messages, intel and products/services.

We know these are very uncertain and difficult times for many businesses, but we believe fiercely that businesses can rise to the challenge of this climate and adapt as needed.

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