Since the onset of the pandemic companies have had to change their business models and strategies to adapt to the new reality. Businesses are managing teams remotely, changing the way they deliver services and what they deliver. As businesses began to operate virtually and adopt new technology, they also needed to quickly adapt their go-to-market (GTM) plans to embrace the new digital first world.
Businesses are now realizing this new digital first reality will continue for the long term. Therefore, Cloud businesses need to plan their GTM strategy around this new world. Those that will succeed are those that embrace the new digital normal and learn to innovate within it, not simply adapt to it.
The challenges Cloud businesses have faced when creating their GTM plans
The pandemic has required businesses to review their GTM plans quickly to remain competitive and survive over the past year. Cloud businesses need to learn from the past year and address challenges with a digital first mindset.
A key challenge to GTM has been for sales teams. Less face-to-face interaction and a pause on events has meant finding new ways to get in front of potential customers. They’ve spent the last year learning to pitch online and engage digitally through webinars, social media and digital campaigns. To continue to succeed sales teams will need to see this as the new way of working and not a short-term, reactive approach whilst they get back out on the road. They need to provide continued value to the customer digitally – it can be easy to reschedule a Zoom meeting, so prospects need a reason to commit to meetings. Sales teams need to work with marketing to provide qualified leads and to have compelling content to give prospects a reason to connect with the business.
As with sales, marketing teams have seen activities move online and above-the-line spend reinvested to online activity. But with an over-saturated market and remote working they are seeing digital fatigue challenge their efforts. Marketing campaigns need to find new ways to stand out and engage with customers. The digital landscape is still growing and those that embrace this will succeed. This means being innovate with content, testing new channels and investing in tools to scale up digital campaigns.
A unique challenge for Cloud businesses is that the global adoption of new technology has led to increased demand for their services, but this also brings increased competition. With sales and marketing activity now digital it is easier to see what the competition is doing. The need to pivot quickly to meet increased demand has led to some emulating what they see their competitors doing. Instead businesses should be identifying their superpowers and value proposition. Cloud businesses need to create time now to articulate their own value proposition that will enable them to stand out in a crowded market and be the cornerstone for all aspects of the GTM strategy
Embracing the new digital first world as a Cloud Business
Some businesses have adapted their GTM plans to be digital first more easily than others. Those succeeding in this area are able to understand not only how this approach can help them to tackle challenges, but also the opportunity that a digital first approach can provide.
3 ways that a digital first approach provides opportunity for Cloud businesses GTM activity:
1. Improves customer experience
Having to engage with customers remotely has triggered businesses to review how they can use digital tools to improve customer experience. Whether that is creating self-service cost checker tools, digitizing onboarding journeys or investing in digital customer management tools thought should be given to where experience can be enhanced using technology. These investments not only improve experience but provide a point of difference and allow you to stand out in the competitive market.
2. Helps leverage data and insights
Embracing a digital first approach for your go-to-market activity opens up opportunity to capture data and insights on customers. This is an invaluable opportunity that can help define an organization’s service roadmap and ongoing sales activity. Connecting customer touchpoints to existing customer data will help create detailed customer profiles and identify opportunity for improvement in sales pipelines.
All Cloud business should look at where they can connect up data points. This could be connecting a website to CRM system to get better lead scoring or looking at webinar attendance to confirmed customers to assess what content is best at converting. A fuller picture of what customers are doing and what their needs are will ensure services delivered match those needs and are well positioned.
3. Enables businesses to scale more quickly
Cloud business leaders know the value of migrating to the cloud to scale and improve business operations – its core to their business purpose. This view however is often not turned inwardly to look at how their own digital tools can help drive scale, and if it is done only with the lens of improving operations and service delivery. With a digital first GTM strategy there are opportunities to scale through easier global connectivity and reduced resource needed for each customer connection. If sales calls are conducted remotely more can be done, if customers are all online, they can be targeted more easily and at scale. Businesses need to view a digital landscape as an opportunity to reach more customers faster and invest in the technology to allow this.