S2E15 – How to plan, predict & prove your Go To Market plan? With Mark Stouse

S2E15 – How to plan, predict & prove your Go To Market plan? With Mark Stouse

The most listened-to episode of Season 1 is still about how to go to market with Andrew Davis, and for this reason we are going to dive deeper into this same particular topic on How to plan, predict and prove your Go To Market plan. Our subject matter expert is Mark Stouse, CEO of Proof Analytics, an AI-powered platform for GTM.Mark’s has 30 years in marketing, He was CMO for 10 years, now CEO at Proof Analytics. 

Crafting a successful Go-To-Market (GTM) plan requires a strategic approach encompassing planning, prediction, and validation. Begin by meticulously planning each phase, outlining key objectives, target audience, and messaging. Leverage market research to predict trends and customer needs, ensuring your GTM plan remains adaptable to dynamic market landscapes. Implement analytics tools to measure and prove the plan’s effectiveness, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer acquisition cost, conversion rates, and revenue growth. Regularly reassess and refine your strategy based on data-driven insights to stay ahead in a competitive market. A well-structured GTM plan, grounded in foresight and substantiated by measurable results, is the cornerstone for achieving sustained market success.

Why Listen to Mark:

  • Critical thinking about Go-to-Market (GTM) strategies.
  • Emphasis on evidence-based insights and testing against business principles.
  • Marketing scientist perspective, using analytics to lead GTM operations for 20 years.

Defining Go-to-Market (GTM)

  • GTM encompasses everything influencing customer buying and relationship renewal.
  • Beyond marketing and sales, includes customer success, product, services, contracting, and more.
  • The importance of understanding how these elements work together in the marketplace.

Role of AI in GTM Strategy

  • Proof Analytics uses AI to expedite and simplify the modeling process.
  • Automation and AI complement each other in enhancing analytical capabilities.
  • AI’s role in making marketing mix modeling more efficient and time-saving.

Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) Explained

  • MMM or GTM mix modeling is multivariable regression analytics.
  • Multivariable regression’s role in understanding the interplay of factors affecting outcomes.
  • Historical and forecasted insights, updating regularly to align with business decisions.

Common Mistakes in GTM Strategy

  • Treating GTM as solely a marketing or sales strategy.
  • The need for a unified business strategy operationalized through various functions.
  • Importance of understanding customer perspectives and adapting strategies accordingly.

Building a GTM Strategy From Scratch

  • An outside-in approach: Understanding customer values through surveys, conversations, and focus groups.
  • Define Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) as a crucial step for targeting the right audience.
  • Weighting system for different business aspects based on customer needs and journey stages.

Orchestration Across Functions

  • Real orchestration involves coordination across functions.
  • Importance of having an “air traffic controller” system to oversee the entire GTM process.
  • Emphasizing the need for orchestration beyond individual campaigns.

Customer Conversations

  • Different tools for customer conversations: surveys, interviews, focus groups.
  • The effectiveness of extended conversations for gaining in-depth insights.
  • The critical role of correctly defined Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for focused targeting.

Go-to-Market Strategies and Challenges

  • Importance of understanding core questions for go-to-market strategies.
  • Challenges in channel selection and the inside-out approach in marketing.
  • Common challenges in taking a product to market: Market timing and product-to-market fit.
  • Lessons learned from Proof’s early experience, being three years early to the market.

Know when to pivot

  • Challenges in recognizing whether a startup is too early or needs to pivot.
  • The unpredictability of market responses and the importance of being prepared for complexity.
  • The role of founder willingness to pivot and adapt to market feedback.

Growing from $0 to $10K Monthly Revenue

  • Advice for startups targeting $10K monthly recurring revenue.
  • Emphasizing the importance of building relationships and offering attractive early deals.
  • Stressing the need for a good product and its value proposition to early customers.

Building Trust Beyond $10K MRR

  • Beyond $10K MRR, the focus shifts to a confidence and trust game.
  • The correlation between trust and deal velocity, and the impact on deal expansion.
  • Addressing the issue of distrust in SaaS and the consequences of unmet customer expectations.

Advice for SaaS Entrepreneurs

  • Encouragement to focus on customers and team members rather than exit strategies.
  • Warning against prioritizing shareholders over customers and team members.
  • The value of learning, humility, and continuous adaptation in the startup journey.

Lessons from the Past and Moving Forward

  • The significance of learning from past mistakes and adapting strategies.
  • Specific lessons learned, such as the value of excellent legal support and timely decision-making.
  • The inevitability of challenges in startups and the need to navigate through chaos.
  • Acknowledging the perpetual nature of startup challenges: “Every startup is either in trouble or dead. Those are your only two choices.”

Key Timecodes

  • (0:29) Show and guest intro
  • (1:14 ) Why you should listen to Mark Stouse
  • (3:28) What is Go to market? 
  • (5:19) What kind of role does AI play in a go-to-market strategy?
  • (6:44)  What is marketing mix modeling?
  • (11:02)   Common mistakes companies make while building their go-to-market strategy
  • (12:07) Mark’s process for market strategy from scratch.
  • (17:23) Things successful companies have in common in regards to to go-to-market strategies
  • (18:39) What Common challenges are faced when taking your company or product code to the market?
  • (21:18)  The right timing to pivot? 
  • (22:54) Advice on how to grow to 10 K monthly recurring revenue.
  • (25:44) How to grow towards 10 million ARR
  • (30:42) What Mark wishes he knew 10yrs ago
Joran Hofman
Meet the author
Joran Hofman
Back in 2020 I was an affiliate for 80+ SaaS tools and I was generating an average of 30k in organic visits each month with my site. Due to the issues I experienced with the current affiliate management software tools, it never resulted in the passive income I was hoping for. Many clunky affiliate management tools lost me probably more than $20,000+ in affiliate revenue. So I decided to build my own software with a high focus on the affiliates, as in the end, they generate more money for SaaS companies.
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