5 Go-To-Market Lessons from 25 Years of Working with Software Companies

Sonja Keerl
What I've seen first hand is that the key lies in integrating and harmonizing five critical aspects for business growth – a synergy that is essential for success - which I am sharing in this blog.

With 25 years in B2B technology under my belt and an ability to imitate various baud modems (a quirky skill from days gone by!) I've come to recognize some fundamental truths. 

Over the years, I've seen first hand what makes or breaks the transition from Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies to real growth. Despite the leaps in technology and changes in the market, I often observe tech companies grappling with the same core challenges. The key lies in understanding and effectively integrating five critical aspects of business growth – a synergy that is essential for success.

1. Develop Your Ideal Customer Profile

In the B2B SaaS world, one major pitfall is the 'boil the ocean' approach – trying to cater to everyone. The reality is that different audiences have different problems, requiring unique solutions. The key to success? Sharpen your focus on a specific customer profile. Understand that in B2B, this profile is about the organization's needs, how they make purchasing decisions, and where they make them. Getting this right is the cornerstone of an effective go-to-market strategy.

2. Sell Outcomes, Not Features

Tech enthusiasts (guilty as charged) often get captivated by the features of their product. However, I’ve learned that customers are more interested in outcomes. They want to know how your product will transform their business or life for the better. It's crucial to pivot the conversation from the technical specifications to the tangible benefits and opportunities your product provides. Tell the story of the outcomes – that's what resonates and drives sales.

3. Embrace Thought Leadership and Storytelling

In the dense forest of tech startups, distinguishing yourself is essential. Thought leadership is more than a buzzword; it's about sharing insights and being part of significant conversations in your industry. Your brand story should not just brag about your product but should reflect your unique voice in the marketplace. This approach helps in establishing your brand as an authority, which is critical for long-term recognition and success.

4. Build Sustainable Networks and Partnerships

Developing partnerships in B2B SaaS is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix for lead generation. It’s about aligning with partners who share your vision and can help amplify your message. Early on, focus on engaging with industry influencers and media outlets that your target audience respects. Remember, it's not just about you – involve your customers, let them be the heroes of your stories. This approach builds a robust reputation and paves the way for sustainable growth.

5. Foster a Sustainable Business Model

Lastly, sustainability in business goes beyond environmental considerations. It's about creating a business model and work culture that can stand the test of time. Many startups fail not because of flawed ideas but due to overlooking the importance of a solid brand, network, and internal culture. Embrace a balanced approach that values your team and aims for long-term goals, avoiding the pitfalls of a high-burnout, high-turnover environment.

A Synergy for Success 

I hope these insights, learned from a quarter-century in B2B technology, prove beneficial for your growth journey. 

The path to growth is seldom straightforward, but understanding and integrating these five key lessons can make all the difference. It’s not just about having an innovative product; it’s also about knowing your market, emphasizing outcomes over features, embracing thought leadership, building strong networks and partnerships, and fostering a sustainable internal culture.

In my experience, the magic happens when these elements come together harmoniously. At The BaaS Company, my partner Leoni Janssen and I are committed to helping tech companies navigate these waters. We're here to discuss, advise, and support your growth journey, blending these lessons with your unique vision and challenges.

Sparked your curiosity? Get in touch and we can exchange thoughts on what’s the right path for you.

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