Implement These 7 Building Blocks for a Strong B2B SaaS GTM Foundation

Anna garrison
Sep 23, 2023

If you’re reading this, you’re likely in one of two places: building your B2B SaaS go-to-market (GTM) strategy, or actively managing one that’s already live. Either way — and no matter what your organization is focused on — there’s never a time when you’re not going to market.

Growth officers lead sales and marketing teams who must strategically execute their roles every day based on a GTM approach. But many B2B SaaS companies lack the right tech, people and processes to make it successful. Before you launch your next platform or product or feel the urge to pivot to a new vertical because of mixed results, take a deep breath and read on.

Let’s review the purpose of a GTM strategy and these seven modern-day considerations for a strong B2B SaaS GTM foundation for success.

What Is a GTM Strategy and Why Do You Need One?

A GTM strategy is a step-by-step approach to successfully introduce a product to market. This includes understanding the pain point(s) your product solves and determining who buys it, why they buy it from you, and how your sales and marketing teams will communicate this value. A strong GTM strategy combines market research, competitive analysis and historical customer data to ensure you’re effectively positioning your product or service to the right prospects.

GTM is about making your customers notice you. If you’re struggling to acquire new customers, you may have a GTM problem. But you’re certainly not the only one struggling in this area. 

B2B SaaS, in particular, is a complex sell. You need a GTM strategy to simultaneously build brand awareness and generate high-value opportunities. With the economy in flux, there’s never been a more important time to dually build your brand while turning marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) into long-term customers. 

7 Considerations Before Building a GTM Strategy

Before you get into the weeds of building your strategy, let’s answer a few important questions that form the building blocks of a strong GTM strategy.

1. Do You Have Data Hygiene Best Practices?

We get it: Data hygiene sounds tedious and boring. And in many ways, it is. But your B2B sales and marketing data is a valuable asset in crafting your GTM foundation, and it needs to be kept clean. 

Research from MarketingSherpa shows that CRM data decays over 2% every month and that the amount of data most B2B companies have in their system doubles every year. These are scary statistics when paired with the fact that B2B companies often struggle with incomplete, incorrect or duplicated lead and account data.

Data hygiene impacts GTM because if you don’t have accurate, error-free customer data, you don’t know who your best-fit accounts are. This hinders your ability to know your real decision makers, buyer personas, influencing personas and ideal customer profile (ICP). Not only that, but if you’re looking to implement additional martech, like an account-based marketing (ABM) platform, those platforms may require some level of clean historical CRM data on which to base your account instance. It’s better to be proactive about your data hygiene now than have it hold you up when you’re wanting to ramp up a new tool or platform.

Thankfully, cleaning up your CRM is achievable. Meet with your sales and marketing teams to set goals of where your data hygiene currently stands and how you can make incremental process changes. One easy example is to incentivize your sales team on data quality. Make certain fields like industry, revenue, name, email, company name and company website mandatory, and integrate a tool like ZoomInfo into your CRM to easily enrich your account data.

2. Can You Work Smarter?

Recent economic uncertainty has pushed many B2B companies to be more resourceful with their time and budgets. Immediately, most marketers start to hyper-focus on their bottom-funnel tactics to get something on the board.

But don’t neglect upper-funnel tactics for the sake of efficiency. Consider the ways in which brand awareness impacts your business growth goals. If you only focus your nurture efforts on accounts you’re already aware of, you’re missing out on market share.  

Think about all the companies in your target market that don’t know they have a need. Can your team (and digital marketing campaign) work smarter to reach those accounts? Your GTM foundation should include research on which marketing channels can serve a dual purpose toward your brand awareness and funnel growth goals. That way, you have the buying committee’s attention before they have a need. 

3. Can You Consolidate Your Martech Stack?

One common problem for many B2B companies is that martech stacks are too complex. Data shows that while martech spending is expected to increase through 2025, it’s increasing 8.8% less this year compared to 2021. This is due to B2B marketers feeling overwhelmed that their tech stacks are unmanageable and don’t easily integrate with their current technology, teams or processes. What platform does what? And what is the single source of truth for campaign performance?

As a result, many organizations are looking to consolidate their platforms to improve data integration, enhance sales and marketing effectiveness, and paint a better picture of marketing’s impact on revenue. This may seem overwhelming because of all the data your organization has. But with the right partners and strategy, there are many options to integrate your marketing tools and tech, including your CRM, ABM platform, intent data tools, Google Analytics account, email marketing system, social media profiles, content distribution strategy and more.

4. Do You Have a Unified Customer View?

Generating a unified customer view gives you a complete understanding of your target audience, each account’s buying committee, how to reach them and what content to share. This is a must-have for your GTM success, but many SaaS companies struggle to implement the right platforms and measure the right data necessary to paint a clear customer view.

SaaS companies targeting multi-location or franchise accounts find this especially tough since each location has its own buying committee and unique pain points. Implementing an ABM platform (or working with a marketing partner that has access to an ABM platform, such as GRADIANT, a Goodway Group agency) gives you a unified view of your customer and how they’re engaging with your media over time.

A great example of this is Dun & Bradstreet, which helps build and maintain customized customer views by allowing you to aggregate account data across single entity and multi-location accounts.

5. Can You Attribute Conversions to the Right Channels?

When you start running paid media and other GTM tactics, you need reporting to understand a user’s path to conversion. This includes deducing which touchpoint should receive credit or “attribution” for the conversion. There are three basic schools of thought when it comes to attribution: first-touch, last-touch and multi-touch. 

First-touch attribution gives conversion credit to the first touchpoint the prospect engaged with, while last-touch attribution gives credit to the last touchpoint they engaged with. On the other hand, multi-touch attribution (MTA) is ideal because it assigns credit to multiple touchpoints to provide a more realistic view of the customer journey. This helps you deduce (in an extremely over-simplified way) something like: “If the prospect saw a search ad, a LinkedIn video ad and three display ads, they are most likely to convert.”

The first step in deciding which attribution model is right for you depends on how attuned you are to your business. You need a comprehensive understanding of your sales funnel, sales cycle and past touchpoint sequences so you can mirror your attribution models over time. It will also require generating significant traffic across all your paid and owned media channels so that you have enough data to make an educated decision. Working with a digital media partner’s data and analytics team can help you piece together the complex story of MTA.

6. Have You Determined an Effective Lead Handoff Process?

Once you’ve done the work to build a strong GTM foundation, the last thing you want is for leads to get lost in the shuffle. Before starting your campaign, be sure to review your CRM’s processes, like lead scoring and behavioral AI. This helps determine if an account is qualified and when it should enter the marketing-qualified account (MQA) stage for sales outreach.

Data shows that nearly 90% of businesses with aligned sales and marketing teams exhibit noticeable improvements in leads being converted to actual opportunities. But to build trust with sales, you need to ensure that your leads are with best-fit accounts and are warm enough for sales engagement. If your GTM channels deliver low-quality leads that your sales team has to follow up on, you’re working counter-productively toward sales and marketing integration.

One approach for building an effective lead-handoff process is to break down your CRM’s accounts into buckets by market vertical. Then, assign various lead scoring criteria based on engagements your sales and marketing team both believe are valuable. Once the account or lead engages past a certain threshold, they can be sent over to the sales team for initial outreach.

7. Do You Have a Revenue Operations Team?

Revenue operations — or “RevOps” — is a person or team responsible for integrating sales and marketing to bolster revenue growth. RevOps brings clarity and alignment by being your single source of truth through data. They help you focus on opportunities and risks important for decision-making.

At Goodway Group and GRADIANT, one of our core behaviors is “Zoom In, Zoom Out.” That’s the type of lens a RevOps team uses. They’re aware of the overarching strategy, but can zoom in on CRM issues, data hygiene, lead handoff and scoring, email marketing and other platform and process needed to make the sales and marketing teams successful. It’s important to note that RevOps teams have the autonomy and independence to report without bias.

If you don’t have a RevOps role, you can negotiate this with your executive team. Share why you need a single source of truth for your GTM data and compare the amount of time it would take you to format and report on it yourself. Focus on how much value you can add to your GTM strategy without the extra reporting hours on your plate.

Foundation Built? It’s Time To Execute

Once you’ve implemented these seven critical building blocks to create a strong GTM foundation, it’s action time. Learn everything you need to execute a winning GTM strategy, from defining your target account lists to building an impactful brand.

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