Mastering Your GTM Model with Kelly Breslin Wright

Mastering Your GTM Model With Kelly Breslin Wright

In this blog, we will delve into the highlights of the webinar, summarizing the key takeaways, strategies, and insights shared by Kelly. Whether you missed the event or simply wish to revisit the invaluable knowledge shared during this thought-provoking webinar, join us as we uncover the secrets of amplifying engagement and boosting growth through the GTM model.
Nainika Sharma
Content Marketer
June 7, 2023

There's fierce competition out there for businesses. A well-executed go-to-market (GTM) strategy can make all the difference between success and obscurity. Whether launching a new product, entering a new market, or aiming to scale your business, an effective GTM strategy is essential for capturing customer attention, driving engagement, and achieving sustainable growth.

Recognizing the importance of a solid GTM model, we invited Kelly Breslin Wright — a GTM expert, the former COO and President at Gong, the former EVP of Sales at Tableau, and a Member of six tech brands — to share her remarkable insights and expertise in GTM models. With a distinguished career spanning over three decades, Kelly has established herself as a prominent figure in the tech industry. As a seasoned investor, board member, and strategic advisor to numerous SaaS companies, Kelly has an exceptional track record of helping organizations achieve remarkable growth and success.

In this blog, we will delve into the highlights of the webinar, summarizing the key takeaways, strategies, and insights shared by Kelly. Whether you missed the event or simply wish to revisit the invaluable knowledge shared during this thought-provoking webinar, join us as we uncover the secrets of amplifying engagement and boosting growth through the GTM model.

Read and Learn: How to Harness Webinars for a 2X Pipeline Boost

What is GTM, and why does it matter?

GTM, or "go to market," is a strategic plan that outlines how a company introduces and promotes its products or services to customers. With an effective GTM strategy, businesses can reach their target audience and achieve long-lasting success in the market. GTM ensures proper positioning, marketing, and sales efforts to maximize visibility and generate customer interest. In short, the roadmap helps businesses connect with their customers and achieve their goals.

Setting a good GTM framework for your organization

Developing a good GTM framework is crucial for the success of any company. To establish an effective GTM strategy, Kelly recommends brainstorming and finalizing the following key aspects:

  • A clear mission: This overarching mission should be understood by all employees and resonate with customers. 
  • A well-defined set of core values: Defining the company's core values or operating principles is vital. These principles guide employee interactions and how the company engages with customers, prospects, and partners. 
  • Differentiated key values: It's necessary to ensure that the value propositions stand out from competitors and offer unique benefits to customers. 
  • A clearly defined ICP: By identifying the specific characteristics and needs of the target audience, companies can tailor their offerings more effectively. 
  • An appropriate sales motion: Finally, once the mission, core values, differentiated value propositions, and target audience are established, it’s possible to determine the right sales motion. 

The difference between GTM strategy and motion

The difference between a GTM strategy and a GTM motion lies in their focus and execution. The GTM strategy encompasses an organization's overall approach and framework to engage with prospects and customers, drive revenue, and ensure customer success. It involves various departments working together to achieve these goals, including product, operations, engineering, sales, marketing, and finance.

The GTM strategy starts with defining the company's mission, core values, and differentiated value proposition. It also involves identifying the target market and customer profile. These elements provide the foundation for the subsequent sales motions to be implemented.

On the other hand, the GTM motion refers to the specific sales approach or tactic used to interact with customers and drive conversions. It’s the way the company operationalizes its GTM strategy. The GTM motion can vary depending on the nature of the business and the target audience.

There are different types of GTM motions that organizations use to reach their customers: 

  • e-Commerce motion relies heavily on marketing efforts, website optimization, and online transactions. It typically does not require a dedicated sales team and focuses on driving traffic and conversions through digital channels.
  • The product-led growth (PLG) motion is another approach where the product is crucial in driving customer adoption and revenue. In this motion, the product team collaborates closely with marketing to incorporate features and prompts within the product that encourage customers to upgrade or make additional purchases.
  • Inside sales is a high-velocity motion commonly used for simpler sales with shorter cycles and lower average order prices. It involves sales representatives interacting with customers virtually or over the phone without needing in-person meetings.
  • Enterprise or field motion is employed for complex sales involving multiple decision-makers and longer sales cycles — typically 9 to 24 months. This motion often requires face-to-face interactions and personalized engagements with sales teams traveling to meet with customers.
  • Channel motion involves partnering with external channels, such as resellers, distributors, or consulting partners, to reach customers and drive sales. This motion leverages the network and expertise of these channel partners to expand market reach and customer acquisition.

It's important to note that organizations may utilize multiple sales motions depending on their product offerings, target markets, and customer segments. However, aligning the chosen sales motions with the defined GTM strategy is crucial, ensuring they effectively capture the organization's differentiated value propositions and mission. A clear understanding of the GTM strategy and its foundational elements is necessary before determining the appropriate sales motion for the business.

Common mistakes to avoid in GTM

Setting up a GTM strategy can be daunting and prone to multiple challenges. Kelly helps address the top three that can harm your organization. 

  • Misalignment on mission and vision: Kelly says, “Not having aligned mission and vision is like giving everyone a map and not telling them the destination you're going to. They may end up on completely different paths and none taking them to the right destination.”
    Having a set mission and vision helps all the teams know where they’re headed and will get them there regardless of their path. 
  • Not having a “differentiated” value proposition: Merely having a value proposition isn’t good enough if you’re aiming to achieve great results. It’s important for organizations to pinpoint the most differentiated ones. Differentiated value propositions are the ones that are unique to your brand and not just common ICPs. Kelly recommends having 3-6 differentiated value propositions as your brand’s identity. 
  • Unclear ICPs: The teams need to understand who they’re selling to. As Kelly says, if you want clarity on that ideal customer profile, you need to narrow it down. You should have 7 to 10 specific criteria for that. And if you do all of those, it'll be much easier for all the other elements to go to the market to fall out. 

How do cultural transformations translate to high-performing GTM teams?

Culture is important in driving sales success. Kelly believes that culture is often undervalued compared to sales effectiveness and operational rigor. Referring to the saying "culture eats strategy for breakfast," Kelly asserts that a high-performance team is akin to an Olympic team. Each team member should be exceptional, dedicated, and aligned with the mission and principles. 

For GTM teams to perform well, there should be a unified sense of purpose. Cultivating a culture that embraces the company's mission, operating principles, and core values motivates employees and customers. 

“Regardless of where a company is in the growth process when people ask me my top three priorities, they are always the same. Number one is people, Number two is people, and number three is also people,” states Kelly. 

“It's people who build the product. It's people like you who are the marketers. It’s people who are engaging with our customers and prospects and salespeople, it's people who are hiring other people and then managing those people, and it’s people who are making the decisions. So, if you have the right people on your team with the right culture and the unified sense of why, then you will be OK.”

Building high-performing GTM teams begins with evaluating team dynamics and ensuring that individuals are committed, motivated, and aligned with the company's mission and values to maximize the effectiveness of the go-to-market strategy.

The role of data in GTM

Regardless of industry, business size, or any other factor, data is proving to be a backbone for organizations across the globe. Kelly emphasized the crucial role of data in go-to-market strategies. While many companies excel at tracking lagging indicators, such as revenue and pipeline snapshots, it’s equally important to focus on leading indicators. Leading indicators provide actionable insights and allow for course correction. 

Kelly emphasizes the importance of leveraging data in GTM strategies by stating, "Data-driven insights are the fuel that powers effective go-to-market strategies. It's not enough to rely on lagging indicators alone; we need to harness leading indicators to steer our efforts in real-time and optimize outcomes."

For the best results with your GTM motion and strategy, organizations must go beyond the historical data and utilize current data-driven insights to make proactive and informed decisions in GTM activities.

The importance of events to drive pipeline

When it comes to running programs, there are endless possibilities. But if you want to make a real impact and connect with your customers on an emotional level, events and webinars are the way to go. Events and webinars create a strong sense of community and profoundly affect business outcomes. Research shows that customers who attend events buy more software, and those who send multiple attendees buy even more. But to be clear, only some events will do the trick. Most events are dull and unengaging, like watching a commercial. So here are three event tricks by Kelly to host impactful events:

  • Focus on thought leadership: Offer your attendees valuable insights and knowledge that go beyond your product. Teach them something new and relevant to their jobs or industry. 
  • Make sure your events are engaging: Use polls, Q&A sessions, live chats, and interactive activities to engage participants actively. You don't want them multitasking or getting bored. 
  • Foster a sense of community: Encourage like-minded people to connect and interact with each other. It's not just about the vendor-customer relationship; it's about building a supportive community. 

Combining thought leadership, engagement, and community allows you to create a movement beyond mere business transactions. Remember, good events are the key to success.

Scaling GTM with the company growth

"There are certain things that remain constant while others change. Your mission, values, and operating principles should remain consistent, as well as your differentiated value propositions and company culture," emphasizes Kelly. "However, your strategic and operating goals, priorities, and focus areas may evolve over time. For example, you may shift your target market, expand geographically, or prioritize profitability over rapid growth. It's important to note that changing priorities don't necessarily mean overhauling your entire go-to-market strategy; it simply means adjusting where your focus lies." 

As your company grows, you need specialized professionals catering to specific verticals, industries, or roles in sales and marketing. These specialists replace the early generalists who were passionate missionaries, selling the vision and future potential of your product or solution when only a small portion was available.

Download Forrester Consulting and Hubilo's research about Using Engaging Webinars to Elevate the Sales Pipeline


What is a go-to-market (GTM) strategy?

A go-to-market strategy is a comprehensive plan outlining how a company will reach and engage its target audience, deliver its products or services, and generate revenue. It encompasses various aspects, such as market analysis, target audience identification, value proposition development, marketing channels, sales tactics, pricing, and distribution strategies.

Why is a GTM strategy important?

A GTM strategy is vital because it provides a roadmap for launching and promoting a product or service in the marketplace. It helps businesses identify their target market, understand customer needs and preferences, differentiate themselves from competitors, and develop a compelling value proposition. A well-executed GTM strategy ensures that resources are utilized efficiently, sales and marketing efforts are aligned, and customer acquisition and retention goals are achieved.

How do you develop a GTM strategy?

Developing a GTM strategy involves several key steps:

a. Market analysis: Conduct research to identify market trends, customer needs, and competitive landscape.

b. Target audience identification: Define your ideal customer profile and segment the market based on demographics, psychographics, or behavior.

c. Value proposition development: Clearly articulate your product or service's unique value to the target audience and how it solves their pain points.

d. Marketing and sales tactics: Determine the most effective channels, messaging, and marketing campaigns to reach and engage your target audience. Align sales tactics, such as pricing, promotions, and distribution, with the overall strategy.

e. Measurement and iteration: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the success of your GTM strategy and regularly evaluate and refine your approach based on market feedback and results.

How does digital transformation impact GTM strategies?

Digital transformation has a significant impact on GTM strategies. It has opened up new channels and opportunities for businesses to reach and engage their target audience. With the rise of digital marketing, social media, e-commerce platforms, and data analytics, companies can leverage these tools to optimize their GTM efforts. Digital transformation also enables more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns, improved customer segmentation, and enhanced customer experiences throughout the buyer's journey — all at a larger scale than manual efforts.

How do you measure the success of a GTM strategy?

Measuring the success of a GTM strategy involves tracking various metrics and KPIs aligned with the strategic goals. Some common metrics include sales cycle velocity, conversion through each stage of the process, revenue growth, customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer lifetime value (CLTV), market share, customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and brand awareness. Regularly analyzing these metrics allows businesses to identify areas of improvement, make data-driven decisions, and optimize their GTM strategy for better results.

We said it once; we’ll say it again: GTM strategy and execution can make or break your success roadmap. Kelly’s insights ensure that they only deliver results. Catch up on the complete webinar to learn more.

Nainika Sharma

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