In a recent G2 Reach 2023 panel discussion about go-to-market (GTM) strategies, B2B SaaS leaders across marketing, sales, and product landscapes shared time-tested insights on how to align organizational efforts effectively.
Moderated by former Freshworks CMO Stacey Epstein, the panel featured Ellie Fields, Chief Product Officer at Salesloft; Amber Armstrong, CMO at Sales Cloud of Salesforce; and Will May, Chief Revenue Officer at Pendo – all of whom brought their unique functional perspectives and career experiences to the table.
While there were quite a few distinct takeaways I observed from the panel, here are the top insights that stood out to me:
Beginning the conversation, Will suggested that alignment starts with leadership and a “First team mindset.” This company-first strategy ensures that decisions prioritize what’s best for the overall organization.
Pendo uses three critical interlocks to align efforts: pipeline, customers, and product roadmaps. Will emphasized the importance of team vocabulary and incentives staying aligned to guarantee a unified approach.
“Alignment is driven by leadership and a ‘first-team mindset,’ where what’s best for the company is prioritized.”
Chief Revenue Officer, Pendo
Data integration & visibility
Ellie highlighted that integrating marketing signals into the sales process promotes organization-wide alignment. She pointed out that delivering the right data at the right moment to the right person is critical for executing and aligning opportunities.
Recognizing shifts in buying behavior and adjusting accordingly is vital, according to Ellie, noting the need for companies to stay alert and reactive to market dynamics.
“The right data at the right moment for the right person is crucial for executing and aligning on opportunities.”
Chief Product Officer, Salesloft
Clear measurement & processes
Salesforce embraces the V2MOM process, something we’ve also adopted at G2 for our company and department-wide planning. A living document spanning from the CEO all the way down to the individual contributor rank, this tool encapsulates Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Metrics to facilitate communication and achieve alignment.
Amber also emphasized the key role of a company’s website in serving as a source of truth that aligns marketing, sales, and product efforts.
“The V2MOM process serves as a living document for communication and alignment across all parts of the organization.”
CMO, Sales Cloud, at Salesforce
Community & experimentation
Amber also shared Salesforce’s efforts in community building with their Salesblazer community, aimed at aiding sellers improve their skills, fostering alignment in product marketing and sales.
Contrasting this approach, Will candidly discussed a misstep he recently experienced by making it more challenging for customers to connect with people at the company. After correcting this strategy, Pendo saw a surge in demand and pipeline, emphasizing the value of customer service in their GTM strategy.
“We launched salesblazer.com, a community focused on aiding sellers to become better at their job. This initiative has driven alignment across product marketing and the sales organization.”
CMO, Sales Cloud, at Salesforce
Shared goals & ownership
Discussing product-led growth strategies, the panelists stressed the importance of timing, personalized touches, and shared pipeline ownership. Stacey noted that by distributing goals between teams, a competitive atmosphere could arise, suggesting shared ownership, even at the leadership level, fosters collaboration.
“I do personally believe we should all, even at the leadership level, own the pipeline. If we goal marketing on a percentage of pipeline and sales on the rest then we’re creating a competitive situation rather than a collaborative environment.”
Former Freshworks CMO; Former Zinc (ServiceMax) CEO
The impact of moving forward together
From this group’s discussion, it’s evident that GTM alignment is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It requires clarity in communication, leadership that prioritizes alignment, data visibility, an understanding of customer feedback, and collaborative ownership of strategies and decisions.
When these strategies are followed, leaders have the potential to catalyze an organization’s GTM success. I’m grateful to these leaders for sharing their expert insights, which I’ll certainly be taking back to my day-to-day leading the marketing function at G2.
To watch the recorded panel, check out the on-demand G2 Reach 2023 session.