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Your 2024 B2B Go-To-Market Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide for SaaS Companies

B2B go-to-market strategy

Whether you’re a startup launching a new product or an established company seeking to refine your approach, a B2B go-to-market strategy is vital. It is research-backed action plan highlighting your goals and how to achieve them. 

In the world of B2B and SaaS especially, product launches are an uphill battle. Due to factors like inflation and market instability, companies are becoming increasingly economical with their budgets in 2024. Getting a business to invest in your product or service takes a lot of convincing. You’ll need to enter the game ready to illustrate how you’re uniquely qualified to help companies thrive. 

If you’re struggling with where to start, consider this your 2024 guide to building a top-notch B2B go-to-market strategy.  

What Is A B2B Go-To-Market Strategy? 

Your B2B go-to-market (GTM) strategy is your roadmap. It’s a comprehensive plan that outlines how your company will introduce and deliver its products or services to the market, attract customers, and achieve a competitive advantage. According to Gartner, a GTM strategy answers two questions – who and how? That is, who is the ideal target for your product or service and how can you best engage them? 

How Are SaaS B2B Go-To-Market Strategies Unique? 

When it comes to SaaS, there are some unique factors to consider when hashing out your B2B go-to-market strategy, including: 

  • Subscription Models: As SaaS products typically focus on subscription-based pricing models, you can spend more time and money acquiring customers as they have higher lifetime values. 
  • Online Distribution and Sales: Your website is crucial when it comes to SaaS sales. Plan to optimize your sales funnel and leverage appropriate digital marketing channels. 
  • Scalability: As SaaS products can be delivered globally with minimal additional cost, make sure your B2B GTM strategy addresses how you plan to scale. 
  • Customer Support: This is absolutely critical for SaaS success, so make sure your team has a clearcut plan to provide excellent customer service such as live chat, knowledge bases, AI customer support, and ticketing systems. 
  • Data Security and SOC2 Compliance: Building trust is essential when dealing with sensitive customer data. Make sure you not only have a plan for data privacy and security but that you communicate that plan clearly to potential customers. This includes Service Organization Control Type 2 (SOC2) compliance, which is usually required for enterprise customers. 

Additionally, with B2B go-to-market strategies, you’re targeting other businesses. Sales reps and CEOs are more than familiar with typical marketing strategies, and therefore more likely to be skeptical. A clear understanding of your target customers, their pain points, and the solutions your service provides is paramount.  

B2B Go-To-Market Strategy: 5 Key Steps 

1. Brand Design & Positioning

A B2B go-to-market strategy starts with defining your brand. Branding and positioning help you set yourself apart from competitors and refine your messaging to best communicate with potential customers. 

Understand Your Target Audience 

When you’re determining who your product is for, you need to look at two factors: the buying center and the buying personas. 

Estimates range, but expect between 7 and 20 individuals on average to be involved in the B2B sales process. This makes up your buying center. These individuals play various roles and have different responsibilities, perspectives, and interests. Key roles within a buying center include:

  • Initiator: The person or group that recognizes a need for a product or service within the organization and initiates the buying process. 
  • Influencer: Individuals or groups that can influence the purchasing decision by providing information, opinions, or recommendations.  
  • Decider: The person or group with the authority to make the final decision on whether to proceed with the purchase.  
  • Buyer: The individual or group responsible for negotiating and finalizing the terms of the purchase.  
  • User: Individuals or departments that will use the product or service once it’s purchased. 
  • Gatekeeper: An individual or group that controls the flow of information to the buying center. 

Once you’ve identified your buying center, focus on the individual roles within that center. Are your initiators sales representatives? IT professionals? Part of the customer service team? What about your influencers? Your users? These titles help you create detailed buyer personas. 

Detailed buyer personas are generalized representations of ideal customers based on market research. These personas help your company understand and empathize with the different segments of your target audience, which brings us to our next step. 

Create Value Matrixes 

A value matrix, often used in business and marketing, is a visual representation that helps businesses assess and compare the value of different options or choices based on specific criteria. This matrix is useful for evaluating products, services, or features in relation to the needs and priorities of customers or stakeholders. 

For example, a value matrix might identify a user persona, their pain points, the product value proposition, and the appropriate messaging to attract this specific customer. 

Say your buyer persona is a sales rep struggling to manage a high amount of calls toward the end of year. One of your product’s key features is that it automates booking meetings. Messages that might appeal to this buyer include “We’ll manage your calendar so you don’t have to!” and “Focus on meeting prep. We’ll handle the booking.” 

Define Your Brand Messaging 

Establishing clear brand messaging prior to launch helps you enter the market prepared to articulate the value of your product or service. Determine the following: 

  • Your mission statement is a concise declaration of your company’s purpose that outlines the reason it exists. It explains your company’s core values, goals, and the primary stakeholders. It answers the question, “Why was this company founded?” 
  • Your value proposition communicates the unique value and benefits that your product or service provides. It answers the question, “Why should I choose this product or service over others?”
  • Your brand proposition refers to the unique identity and positioning of a brand in the marketplace. It’s a broader concept than your value proposition that goes beyond a specific product or service. It answers the question, “Why should I trust this specific company?” 
  • Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a distinctive aspect of a product or service that sets it apart from competitors. It highlights unique features that address a key customer need or pain point. Think of this as your company’s niche. It answers the question, “What makes this business different from similar brands?” 

Determine Your Pricing Model 

With the SaaS/B2B sales cycle, your pricing model will typically fall into the following categories: 

  • Freemium: A free plan with limited features with the goal of customers eventually upgrading to a paid plan. 
  • Flat Rate: Your product or service is accessible to all users at a monthly fixed rate with no extra fees for certain features. 
  • User-based: The cost of a product or service is determined by the number of users. 
  • Pricing per feature: Subscription costs are determined by the number of features a company needs. 
  • Tiered Pricing: Multiple packages offering a mix of different features at varying prices. 
  • Pay-As-You-Go: Users get charged based on how often they use a product. 

The right pricing model for your company is highly contingent on your product or service, revenue goals, and target market. We recommend A/B testing during your first few months operating to determine which model attracts the most long-term customers.

Conduct Competitive Analysis  

Comprehensive competitive analysis is crucial for developing a robust B2B go-to-market strategy. Competitive analysis helps you understand the current landscape, identify strengths and weaknesses of competitors, and determine how your service can differentiate itself. 

Key components of competitive analysis include: 

  • Identify your competitors: List direct and indirect competitors in your industry considering traditional and new market entrants as well as global, national, and local competitors.
  • Evaluate product/service offerings: Understand the products or services offered by each of these competitors and analyze their features, functionalities, pricing models, and unique selling points. 
  • Review market share and positioning: Analyze how competitors position themselves in the market and identify any key differentiators and value propositions. This helps you see which gaps in the market need to be filled. 
  • Study customer segmentation: Analyze the target customer segments of each competitor to look for potential overlap as well as the needs and preferences of major customer demographics in your industry. Again, look for gaps here. This helps you find your niche.  
  • Research marketing and promotion: Check out how competitors market and promote their products and analyze the impact of these tactics. Identify key messaging and look for any unanswered questions that your content can answer.  
  • Conduct SWOT analysis: A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for each competitor helps you identify internal and external factors affecting their competitiveness.
  • Read customer reviews and feedback: Customer reviews and feedback help you understand customer satisfaction and pain points and identify areas where you have a competitive advantage. 

2. Awareness 

Once you have a thorough understanding of your brand, you’ll be ready to plan your awareness campaign. Awareness focuses on top-of-the-funnel marketing. Here, you will combine paid and organic channels to build initial awareness with potential users building up to your launch. 

Content Marketing 

When it comes to B2B go-to-market strategies, content marketing is your bread and butter. You can expect a lot of inbound leads initially, so excellent content to snag curious customers is key. 

However, this is easier said than done. These days, people are inundated with content on a daily basis. Type any question into Google and the top-ranking results are bound to be company blogs. A good B2B go-to-market strategy will help your company snag one of these coveted spots, but simply getting leads to click is but a fraction of the battle. You need content that builds trust in your brand. 

Thorough keyword research gives you a good sense of where to start in terms of trending topics, but SEO-optimized blogs in and of themselves won’t do much if the writing isn’t quality. Top-of-funnel content avoids the hardsell. Instead, you’re creating genuinely informative, educational material to establish yourself as an industry authority. Focus on blog posts, ebooks, white papers, and more that strive to address common customer questions and pain points. 

We also recommend creating video content. Videos catch customers’ attention fast and are therefore a way to quickly boost brand authority. Product tutorials or brief, educational videos on YouTube can help, as can an active presence on apps like TikTok. Remember, the goal is to provide genuinely helpful information to your target demographic. Try a simple video tutorial on creating good prompts for language learning models, for example. 

When hashing out a content marketing plan, remember what you learned during competitive analysis – look for gaps in existing content. If there’s not a single decent blog post answering the question, “What is the difference between a digital worker and a chatbot?” then congratulations! You found the focal point of your next company blog! 

Social Media 

Social media is where you’ll share all your content, but your online presence should be more than just links to your own website. Focus on becoming a brand leader in online spaces. 

LinkedIn marketing is a great option for a B2B go-to-market Strategy. Long-form LinkedIn posts broadly discussing industry trends help you connect with like-minded individuals and potential customers and begin to establish yourself as an industry authority. 

However, there are other, less conventional outlets that are gaining steam in the B2B space. Start popping on Quora Answers to join in on conversations related to your field. Develop an active presence on Reddit subs like r/sales and r/entrepreneur to talk up your brand, show off your industry knowledge, and create some hype for your upcoming launch. 

Influencer marketing is a powerful component of social media strategy. If it’s within your budget, we highly recommend partnering with relevant influencers in your field. Influencers have built-in trust with existing consumers, which grants you immediate access to a massive network. 

Paid Content 

Any Google user knows that the first few hits you see when you search a topic are sponsored content. To stand out, you’ll need to allocate some of your budget into paid ad campaigns, content, articles, sponsorships, and more. Consider some of the following: 

  • Social Media Advertising: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ads based on your target demographics’ interests, and behavior.
  • Search Engine Advertising: Google or Bing ads that display in the search result based on keywords relevant to your brand. 
  • Video Advertising: Ads that run before, during, or in-between videos on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. 
  • Sponsored Content: Pay for articles on popular online publications related to your industry.
  • Podcast Advertising: Sponsor specific episodes or segments of popular podcasts or pay podcast hosts to read and endorse your brand during the show.
  • Mobile Advertising: In-app display ads within mobile applications relevant to your target audience or short video ads optimized for mobile viewing. 
  • Sponsorships: Sponsor industry events, conferences, or local community events.

3. Activation 

Once you have a solid number of potential customers intrigued, it’s time to activate your market. Instead of casting a wide net, activation allocates resources toward those customers most likely to convert and have a high lifetime value. 

Identify Customer Online Behavior 

Gather Behavioral Data 

Behavioral data helps you predict customer behavior throughout the buying journey. Brands employ various strategies to collect behavioral data, leveraging digital technologies to gain insights into consumer preferences and habits. 

Online platforms, such as websites and mobile applications, utilize cookies and tracking pixels to monitor users’ browsing behavior, tracking pages visited, time spent, interactions, and so on. Social media platforms analyze user engagement, likes, shares, and comments. Additionally, you can tap into third-party data sources and employ data analytics tools to interpret the collected information. 

Determine the Most Effective Channels 

Your B2B go-to-market strategy should have a plan to identify and target the most effective channels for customer outreach. By the time you reach the activation phase, you’ll already have done some of the legwork. Market research and buyer personas identify where your target audience spends time online and how they prefer to consume information. 

Behavioral data helps you refine your approach even more. Data analytics help you track and evaluate the performance of different channels. Continuous testing and optimization ensures you invest resources in the channels that resonate most effectively with your audience. 

Retarget Potential Customers with Ads

Retargeted ads focus on customers who have already visited your website and shown interest in your product or service. These highly personalized ads target consumers where they already hang out online. 

Companies often use Google ads and social media ads on relevant websites like LinkedIn, Meta, Reddit, and X. Retargeted ads focus on a more personalized experience applicable to a specific customer’s interests. Maybe you’re referencing a page they visited or offering a discount on a subscription model they viewed. Retargeted ads remind potential customers that your product or service is ready and waiting for their purchase, but the appeal goes beyond keeping your company on the forefront of consumers’ minds. 

Retargeted ads show potential customers you’re in tune with what they want. According to Salesforce Research, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their individual needs and 52% expect personalized offers. 

Create Email Lists 

You can snag customer emails in a variety of fashions from opt-in subscriptions to webinars and events to content downloads. Keep lists of customer emails segmented based on interests and needs to create personalized campaigns tailored to individual customers. 

Emails worth sending during the activation phase include:  

  • Welcoming New Subscribers: A nice welcome email improves the customer experience and provides useful information about your product or service.  
  • Personalized Emails: If a customer, say, was considering a particular subscription model, shoot them a personalized email advertising the benefits and drawbacks of that model to help them make an informed purchasing decision. 
  • Exclusive Offers/Discounts: If a customer lingered over a particular product, offer them an individualized discount to maximize their likelihood of converting. 
  • Newsletters and Brand Updates: Keep customers in the know about your industry and brand with informative newsletters that provide relevant, useful information.  

4. Revenue

Your B2B go-to-market strategy should include a long-term plan to maximize average revenue per user (ARPU). Remember, getting customers to sign up is only the beginning; you’ll need to focus on both retaining those customers and getting them to continually upgrade.  

Identify Key Metrics

A few metrics worth tracking include: 

  • Monthly or Annual ARPU: The average revenue per user on a monthly or annual basis provides an overall view of customer spending over an extended period.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): CLV estimates the total revenue a business can expect from a customer throughout their entire relationship. It’s a forward-looking metric that helps in long-term planning.
  • Churn Rate: Churn rate measures the percentage of customers who stop using your product or service over a given period. A lower churn rate contributes positively to long-term ARPU.
  • Expansion Revenue: Track revenue generated from existing customers through upsells, cross-sells, or additional services. This represents the ability to grow revenue from your current customer base.
  • Retention Rate: Retention rate indicates the percentage of customers retained over a specific period. A high retention rate positively impacts long-term ARPU by keeping customers engaged.
  • Customer Engagement Metrics: Track customer engagement metrics such as active usage, time spent on your platform, or frequency of interactions. Engaged customers are more likely to contribute to long-term ARPU.
  • Average Transaction Value: Analyze the average value of individual transactions. Understanding how much customers spend in each transaction helps in predicting long-term revenue potential.
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS): Satisfied customers are more likely to remain loyal. Monitoring customer satisfaction and NPS can provide insights into customer sentiment, impacting long-term ARPU.
  • Product Adoption Rates: Monitor how quickly customers adopt new features or products. Higher adoption rates can lead to increased usage and higher long-term ARPU.

Focus On Customer Experience 

Quality customer experience is vital for increasing ARPU. Good customer experience starts from the very beginning with a thorough onboarding process. Make sure customers know how to use your product and how to get help when needed. A talented customer service team, AI support, and a variety of tutorial materials are crucial for good onboarding. 

Once a customer is onboarded, have a plan to ensure a good long-term experience. Some useful tips include: 

  • Solicit regular feedback: Customers want to be heard. Regular feedback not only helps your customers feel valued, but it helps your company identify and correct any weak spots. 
  • Take complaints seriously: This is where investing in empathetic, experienced customer service reps is important. Treating customer complaints with sincere concern helps consumers feel respected, encouraging them to stick around in the long run. 
  • Monitor customer behavior: Keep an eye on how customers use your product and which features are most popular. As you upgrade your services, you’ll know where to direct the most energy. 
  • Plan for continual improvement: Obsolescence happens fast in software development, so you’ll need a long-term plan to keep your service updated regularly to stay in tune with all the latest industry trends and consumer needs.  

Encourage Upgrades 

The best way to encourage customer upgrades is to provide a stellar experience that leaves customers wanting more. However, there are some tactics you can employ to speed the upgrade process along. 

First, timing is key. The most effective time to ask for an upgrade is when a customer is already in buyer mode, so offer upgrade options at checkout based on that customers’ specific purchases or subscription model. Not every customer will bite, but it’ll plant a seed for potential upgrades later on. 

Second, remember that consumers crave a personal experience. Track how your customers use your product or service and create upgrade options tailored to what would be most useful to them. 

Third, a little taste can entice customers to take the plunge. Try unlocking new features for free temporarily or offering free upgrade trials to long-term customers. Customers who would otherwise be wary to throw money down immediately may be more likely to upgrade if they can test out new features first. 

5. Virality

When you’re launching a new product or service, word of mouth is crucial. A good B2B go-to-market strategy should plan to incentivize customers to talk up your product. 

Shareable Marketing Campaigns 

If you’re on social media, around late November you probably start seeing friends share their Spotify Wrapped list, detailing the songs and genres they listened to most that year. Spotify Wrapped remains an ingenious marketing campaign as it gives users something fun and personalized that they get excited about posting. 

So, what’s your Spotify Wrapped? Brainstorming some shareable marketing campaigns prior to your launch sets you up for success. After your product has made a splash for a few months, you’ll have a plan in place to get customers talking. 

For example, maybe you’re rolling out an AI assistant that helps with company tasks ranging from data entry to scheduling meetings to managing customer inquiries. A good end-of-year campaign could be providing companies with metrics like the number of meetings booked, the number of customer complaints resolved, the number of employee hours saved, and so on. This is the kind of personalized content that users genuinely enjoy sharing. 

Encourage Reviews 

According to Gartner, 86% of software buyers consider verified customer reviews a vital part of the buying process. For a B2B go-to-market strategy, you’ll need a plan to encourage customer reviews. 

As with asking for upgrades, timing matters. Ask for reviews at the right time, preferably when the customer has recently experienced a positive interaction or achieved a successful outcome with your product or service.

Other ways to encourage reviews include:

  • Email Campaigns: Implement email campaigns to request reviews including direct links to your review platforms. 
  • Thank-You Pages: After a purchase or a positive interaction, redirect customers to a thank-you page that includes a request for a review.  
  • Social Media: Share success stories, and directly ask your followers to share their experiences on review platforms.
  • Personalize Requests: Personalize your review requests by mentioning specific interactions or purchases. This shows customers that their individual experiences matter.
  • Respond to Existing Reviews: Engage with existing reviews by responding to them, whether they are positive or negative. This demonstrates that you value customer feedback and may encourage others to share their experiences.

Referrals and Affiliate Programs 

Referral and affiliate programs are great ways to encourage customers to spread the word about your product. Consider employing both in your B2B GTM strategy. 

Referral Programs 

Referral programs encourage existing customers to recommend a product or service to their friends, family, or colleagues. A business establishes a referral program with clear incentives. Existing customers receive a referral link or code and advocates share this link or code with others. When a new customer makes a purchase using the referral link or code, the advocate receives the predetermined incentive.

Referrals help build personal relationships and trust, tap into customers’ existing networks, and are cost-effective compared to other acquisition methods. 

Affiliate Programs 

Affiliate programs involve partnering with external individuals or entities (affiliates) who promote a product or service in exchange for a commission for each sale or lead generated. Affiliates sign up and receive unique affiliate links or tracking codes and then promote the product or service through various channels. When a sale or lead is generated through an affiliate’s efforts, they earn a commission.

Affiliate programs expand reach by leveraging a network of affiliates, attracting professional marketers and influencers, and providing a scalable model for driving sales.

The Bottom Line 

Creating a B2B go-to-market strategy can be daunting, but it’s ultimately worth the effort. An already tough playing field is going to become more and more competitive in 2024, especially with so many new players entering the SaaS game. Before launching, understanding your target audience and learning the most effective means to communicate with them will set you apart in an oversaturated market. 

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