Once you know the building blocks of a strong go-to-market (GTM) foundation and how to execute a winning GTM strategy, it’s time to focus on measuring your GTM success.
Here, we share important considerations for setting up your measurement goals before launching your GTM strategy. Then, we’ll review what key performance indicators (KPIs) and other performance metrics are most important for communicating your GTM success — and what results you can expect from implementing your campaign.
4 Considerations for Measuring Your GTM Success
Ready to define your measurement strategy? Don’t overlook these four action items.
1. Define Funnel Stage Requirements
Before you launch your GTM strategy, you need internal agreement on what each funnel stage means. For example, if you’re placing LinkedIn ads as a paid social channel, consider what account-level engagement you want to see in LinkedIn Campaign Manager before you label an account as “aware.” How many impressions, ad engagements, website views or other performance metrics do your internal teams agree make an account aware of your product or platform?
Similarly, what constitutes a marketing-qualified account (MQA)? Do you need confirmation via a contact form, or does your sales team consider an MQA to be someone attending a webinar or event, for example? Defining these funnel stages ahead of time will allow you to set up streamlined CRM reports that both your sales and marketing teams agree on.
2. Set up Link Tracking
Before launching any paid channels, ensure your teams have agreed on how link tracking will work across all media. Meet with your RevOps team and CRM administrator and decide how you want UTM parameters set up across channels. This is important for accurately collecting performance data across your GTM, demand generation and account-based marketing (ABM) programs. You can even have RevOps train your team on how to use GA4 to ensure everyone knows how to find “source/medium” data as your campaigns run.
If you’re using a marketing automation platform like HubSpot or Pardot, you will also want to inform your CRM administrator so they can create custom campaigns for your GTM plan. They may also create custom tracking links for certain channels so you can see activity in your marketing automation platform in real time.
3. Set up Dashboards That Everyone Understands
When your CEO and leadership team are reviewing your GTM results, it’s good to assume that each person’s role has a slightly fragmented view of the business. Some are focused on sales, while others are focused on product performance, technology, operations or customer success. To give everyone a unified view of your work, build dashboards and reports that clearly and holistically measure growth results. It’s best to do this using marketing KPIs that easily translate to revenue outcomes.
Talk to your RevOps team and CRM administrator about options for building dashboards. Ideally, you should have a CRM dashboard showing your sales funnel for each campaign that can be easily refreshed to show progress. If you’re using an ABM platform, there will be additional options for account-level reporting as well.
4. To Pivot or Not To Pivot?
If you’re the person running a GTM strategy, be aware that you may receive pushback on when to pivot your strategy. Maybe you’ve been running your GTM channels for three to four months and haven’t seen any funnel movement. Or maybe there’s a new buzzword or technology in your industry that someone thinks you should cover instead of holding steady to your ICP.
This can be challenging, but don’t be afraid to defend your GTM strategy and why you’ve decided to launch it in the first place. Give your acquisition channels enough time to run their course. This will give you solid correlational data to use in reporting.
The most important step in this process is to make educated decisions on what you learned and what changes you’ll make moving forward. If a channel or audience isn’t reaping results, you’ll want to use data — not emotions — to make a pivot decision.
What KPIs Should You Measure?
Measuring your GTM success is a long-term play. The KPIs you want to measure are ones that tell the story of how your GTM strategy is generating traction for your business. However, this data takes time to collect. It may be a few quarters — if not a year — until you’re able to paint the full picture of how you’re driving brand awareness and revenue outcomes. Here are a few important KPIs to get you started:
- Annual Recurring Revenue: How fast are you acquiring new customers?
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): What is the average total investment of the budget, personnel and time needed to acquire a new customer?
- Annual Contract Value: How much is a customer willing to spend with you annually?
- Gross Retention Rate: How many customers are renewing annually?
- Net Revenue Retention: How many products or services is your average customer willing to pay for?
- Category Growth: How fast are you growing in each market vertical you serve compared to competitors?
- Average Transaction Value to Demo: Is marketing identifying high-value prospects and getting more demo requests from these accounts?
These metrics put your GTM success in context for your entire executive team. This helps leadership determine where to invest, where you need to expand capabilities or employees (and when), and how to fund these initiatives.
What About Performance Metrics?
While the above KPIs focus on high-level business outcomes, you shouldn’t forget about performance metrics. Data on impressions, clicks, reach, engaged accounts and website time on page can be helpful when measuring traction during long sales cycles.
Performance metrics are good leading indicators for the effectiveness of your tactics, and while they’re not KPIs, we can still optimize them. Your digital marketing team or partner can use performance metrics to infer future campaign engagement based on your budget and goals.
Break Down Results by Channel
As a best practice, review KPIs with your leadership team on a quarterly basis. If you want to review your data more often, you can share metrics with your marketing team monthly to test and pivot for optimal performance.
If possible, review your channel performance holistically. At this stage, it’s important to measure attribution to view how individual channels impact one another. Attribution means determining approximately at what touchpoint users took specific actions like conversions or purchases. Through data-driven attribution, we know if we have an extra budget, and if so, which channels will perform best with the lowest diminishing returns. This helps show how long it takes someone to move down the funnel from an unknown or aware stage to an action stage.
Reviewing channel performance enables your marketing team to do deep data cuts that deliver rich insights. For example, you can measure how a small change to click-through-rate can correlate to a major improvement in your digital GTM’s revenue estimation.
Collect Data on Your Customer Voice
Besides your quantitative acquisition metrics, collect qualitative insights from current customers to put context to your data.
Meet with your account management team and create a list of customers whom they think would openly share feedback about your company and product. This customer group should contain only best-fit customers. Then, set up a call with the goal of listening and learning. What daily hassles does your client experience that you could solve? What add-ons or improvements would make their life easier or make them more successful?
Use these insights to shape data storytelling around your KPIs. If you’re growing, are there reasons why your platform or product supports your ideal clients’ pain points? Or if you have low retention metrics, what is the story behind this, and what actionable steps can you take to improve it?
What Results Can You Expect From Your GTM Strategy?
When you’re ready to launch your GTM campaign, what results should you expect? This depends entirely on your goals, channels and the quality of your pre-work to ensure you have the right product-market fit, with the right audience, messaging and timing. It also rides on your ability to be patient. You likely won’t start generating strong results until your campaign and channels have been live for at least one to two months, if not longer.
Here are some results to keep tabs on.
Increased Close Rate
If you’ve built a strong GTM foundation, you’ll see a long-term, positive impact on close rates. This is because you know who your ideal customer is, and your marketing team is doing a better job of engaging best-fit accounts. When the account is a better fit for the solution you provide, your sellers will close more business.
If you’re using an ABM approach, you’ll need to get used to your cost per lead increasing. You’ll also see your closed won rate increase, too. Remember that ABM is a long game, and be patient. Over time, you will start to see increased revenue but fewer MQLs.
All Measurements to Pipeline Improved
When your demand generation and ABM campaigns are all focused on driving awareness with your ideal customers, you’ll notice your pipeline metrics improve. This includes quality-based metrics that show how you’re adding value, including traffic quality on your site, time on site and website page views.
If you have an ABM or data enrichment platform, you can see the accounts visiting your site. Dig deeper to understand what market segment they fall into within your ICP. This will help you further identify niche ICPs within your broader total relevant marketing (TEM).
Enhanced Bottom-Funnel Metrics
Funnel velocity is a key metric in building a case for your GTM success. Every month, review your reporting dashboard and determine how your GTM channels are influencing your sales funnel. Take last month’s data and calculate the percent change from each funnel stage compared to the current month. While you may not generate huge pipeline growth in the first few months, you’ll now have solid data to show your leadership team how your GTM strategy is moving accounts through the funnel.
Make sure to stay consistent in your GTM approach for you to see enhanced bottom-funnel metrics, especially when running ABM or ABX program. It takes time and patience to nurture your ICP, so don’t give into frustration or urgency and try to switch your sales and marketing strategy too quickly. As your channels gain traction, you’ll begin to optimize to drive middle- and bottom-funnel growth.
How To Avoid the “Race to the Bottom”
Many B2B companies are experiencing what is call the “race to the bottom.” A rocky economy has pushed firms toward generating as many inexpensive MQLs as possible and optimizing their media and budget to these tactics. But remember: Quantity doesn’t always equal quality. If you’re a B2B SaaS firm sacrificing quality MQLs for quantity, it’s time to take a step back.
We get it — this is easier said than done when you’re feeling pressure to generate leads. You may be getting a push to expand into new markets too quickly without building the GTM foundation to make it successful.
Thankfully, there are ways you can maintain your well-researched approach to GTM and still expand your ICP to reach new best-fit customers. One approach is to profile which technologies or platforms your product pairs well with, then market to accounts who already use those platforms. If you know your software works great with another software, you should be targeting prospects who use that product.
This is an example of taking an analytical approach to your business growth. When you feel stuck, go back to your value proposition and consider how you’re able to solve your best-fit customer’s problem. This should be your guiding light. Don’t let your GTM limit your demand generation and brand awareness needs, but try to deter any pressure for “hot leads” to drive you away from your long-term goals.
Test, Learn and Try Again
There are so many steps in creating a strong GTM plan that it may be overwhelming. But if you wait to launch your campaign until everything is perfect, you’ll never see results.
Your GTM strategy is an ideal opportunity to practice progress over perfection. Remember to stay positive and learn from results. If you adopt a growth mindset and continuously pivot to test new ideas and strategies, you are always winning.
Conclusion: If This Seems Like a Lot, It Is
There’s a lot that goes into executing a successful B2B SaaS GTM strategy. That’s why entire companies exist to assist other businesses with these processes.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do this alone. You also don’t need to immediately in-house every part of the process. You may find that your internal team can handle some areas. Other areas, like the actual implementation of various digital marketing efforts and their reporting, could be better handled by an agency partner.
Working with a trusted B2B media and marketing execution firm like Goodway Group can help you go to market faster. We’ll give you access to tested processes, expert teams, proprietary tech, industry-leading platforms and resources that would normally absorb most of your time and budget.
Reach out today to ensure a successful GTM strategy and grow your revenue.