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  • Writer's pictureYogesh Jain

How To Design A Go-To-Market Strategy For SaaS

Updated: Mar 24

The go-to-market strategy is a comprehensive plan that businesses use to bring new products to the market. You can mitigate the risks of a new product in the market by prioritizing tasks that ensure market success. The go-to-market strategy is important for SaaS businesses since they have products that are challenging to sell. Like most strategies, the go-to-market one is a framework. Hence, you can mold it to fit the needs of your SaaS business/product. There is no one-size-fits-all all.  A well-planned go-to-market strategy covers the who (target audience), what (SaaS product/service), why (brand positioning/purpose), where (markets and marketing channels), how (sales plans), and when (timing of launch).

go-to-market strategy for SaaS

Benefits of Go-To-Market strategy:

  1. A deeper understanding of customer demographics and behavior

  2. Build brand awareness and enhance growth potential

  3. Can launch a new product and a new version of an existing product

  4. Highlights product-market fit for consumers

Types of Go-To-Market strategy in SaaS:

Your marketing and sales strategy in go-to-market will depend on the approach to sales you take. There are two main classifications:

1. Product-lead go-to-market strategy

In this type of marketing, your product stands at the center. You create all your marketing and sales strategies around your product. Hence, your product is the driving force in customer acquisition and retention. In this strategy, the company provides a free trial or a freemium through which customers can interact with the product. After this, they can decide to buy the paid version of the product. This reduces the interaction of the customer with your sales teams since they can directly check the product out and buy it. Several SaaS companies adopt this strategy, a few being Slack, Trello, and Spotify.

2. Sales-led go-to-market strategy

On the other hand, companies like Microsoft and Salesforce have longer sales cycles, resulting in customer-sales team interaction. For such products, a sales-led strategy is better suited. In this type of strategy, it is up to the marketing team to generate leads and for the sales team to convert. Unlike a product-led go-to-market strategy, you can’t use product experience to convert clients. Therefore, you will succeed if your marketing and sales teams are aligned.

How do you design a Go-To-Market strategy?

Goals, Objectives and Metrics for Business Planning

1. Set objectives and goals

This is the first step in any marketing strategy and the most important by far. Your objective is going to define your entire campaign creation and execution process. So, get this step wrong and your entire campaign will fall apart. Since your goal describes the result you want, it is best to be specific. Additionally, your goal should be realistic, in the sense that you can (with your resources and capital) achieve them. You can always use the SMART framework to formulate your objectives. It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This framework is one of the best goal-setting methods out there and is popularly used by most marketing professionals. Read More: How to do Competitive Analysis in SaaS?

2. Identify your target audience

The first step of any marketing strategy is defining your target audience because it is essential. You need to know what demographic is most interested in your product and how many are interested in purchasing it. Plus, your entire marketing strategy hinges on how well you know your target demographic. It is not enough to know their location, age, sex, and interests. You should know what their preferences, dislikes, past purchases, affinities, and pain points are. The deeper your data goes into a customer's behavior, the more accurately you can market to them and the more efficiently you can convert them. Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Segmentation for SaaS & B2B Businesses

3. Develop a value proposition and messaging

You can define the value proposition of your products as the benefits it gives customers over the problem it solves. Whereas the USP (unique selling proposition) is the element that sets it apart from competitors. The value proposition is the reason customers would purchase your product. An understanding of your value proposition directly impacts the success of your marketing efforts. How you market the value of your product depends on the people you market it to. Therefore, you should be able to answer questions regarding pain points, USP, and the experiences your product provides. Read More: 4 Examples of Effective Storytelling by Brands to Inspire You

4. Decide on the pricing strategy

Pricing plays a big part in sales when it comes to SaaS products. Since there is no tangible product to sell, the customer may be hesitant to purchase it. Having a high price will cause a product that performs poorly. Contrarily, set your price too low and you will not see any profit. Once you have data from the customer demographic, you can analyze customer behavior and past purchases to set the right price. You should consider manufacturing/developing costs, break-even points, prices set by competitors, business models, etc. Even though pricing is a crucial aspect of the success of a product, most companies do not have a pricing strategy. Therefore, conduct relevant research, analyze the market, and then set the price. Read More: 5 SaaS Pricing Models for a Balanced Revenue

5. Choose your marketing strategy and channels

Your marketing strategy should cover three aspects: awareness, consideration, and conversion. How are you going to reach your audiences? What will get them to think of you? How are you going to get them to buy from you? These three questions will help you develop your marketing strategy. It will also help you choose your marketing channels. You need to be where your customers are to reach them. Hence, your marketing channels are defined by your target audience. For instance, you are targeting professionals, upwards of age 30. Then your marketing channels include LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and email marketing. However, if your audience is made up of 20-something people who like new products. Then you should have a presence on Instagram, Pinterest, and Discord, among a few. Read More: 10 SaaS Growth Strategies to Try in 2023

6. Select KPIs and other metrics

At the start of any campaign, you set an objective. This objective guides you as you design your visuals and curate your content. Then, at the end of developing the campaign, you list the metrics you will track. For instance, your objective is to boost brand awareness. Then your metrics will be reach and impressions. Contrarily, if your objective is engagement, then you measure comments, likes, and shares. Hence, the metrics you choose will depend on your campaign objective. Moreover, metrics will give you insight into performing your campaign. If your campaign is not performing as expected, then you can tweak your campaign to get things on track. However, there are some metrics you need to measure irrespective of your objective. They are CAC (customer acquisition cost), conversion rate, and length of the sales cycle. Read: 10 SaaS Marketing Metrics You Should Absolutely Use

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