In the Market Messaging phase of #gxmxp that ended with our last post, we came up with your initial messaging hypothesis. Then, we created a comprehensive map that aligns that messaging to your customer acquisition strategy.
It’s time to begin Sales and Marketing Instrumentation.
This next phase of #gxmxp is about building the infrastructure that will enable you to test your hypotheses, capture data and begin to make well-informed business decisions based upon a single source of truth.
In the previous parts of #gxmxp, we built out multiple ideal customer profiles as well as market messaging hypotheses with the intent of testing them to see which ones resonated most with the market.
All the hypotheses we’ve built thus far are purely theoretical as they were created “inside the building.” Now, we need to present our work to the world and take it “outside the building” to get to the truth.
Before we can begin, we need to build systems and tools that enable us to measure and validate (or invalidate) those initial customer and messaging hypotheses. That’s sales and marketing instrumentation.
We’ll cover how to determine the tools and processes that will work best for your team to help you test your go-to-market hypotheses moving forward.
Imagine that you’re a scientist and you are running an experiment. You know what your hypothesis is and you’ve decided that you are ready to test your theory so you get busy testing.
This is where many startups get themselves into trouble. Going to market without the tools necessary to measure the theories they are testing. In scientific terms, this is known as “Designing Your Experiment.”
It’s where you choose your tools, your controls, the specific metrics that you will be monitoring and measuring and the method for capturing your learnings.
This phase is absolutely critical. Without the right tools and methods to test your hypotheses, you risk running your experiments incorrectly.
The process of defining the tools and methodology for your go-to-market strategy is all about risk mitigation. Think “measure twice and cut once” (which is the opposite of “move fast and break things”).
Without properly defining what you’re looking for you will likely use precious runway burning through good leads, making avoidable mistakes, misinterpreting data or, worse, making decision based off your gut alone.
It’s difficult enough to build the plane as you attempt to takeoff. You don’t want to be building the runway at the same time. Make your processes as smooth as possible before you “take off” and start reaching out to the market.
Throughout the Sales and Marketing Instrumentation phase, we’ll take all the work you’ve done so far in #gxmxp and we’ll apply it to craft a sales process hypothesis that you can use to track and manage your sales pipeline that fits within your bandwidth.
Like other stages of the MXP, this is about being intentional and proactive rather than being reactive.
Don’t improvise your sales process. Doing so will create friction and pipeline volatility at the exact moment that you’re trying to streamline conversations and build sales momentum.
Figure it out now so you can hit the ground running.
In Sales and Marketing Instrumentation, you’ll learn:
✓ Established processes help you find the truth more efficiently. You’ve already developed a series of reasonable assumptions and hypotheses about your customers. The next step is to go out into the market and test those. That doesn’t mean that the hypothesis you have now will be the same one you’ll have later, but you have to start really testing it to see what sticks. And to do that, you have to have processes that will help you identify future issues faster. Without a system that holds you and your team accountable, it’s very difficult to get to the truth.
✓ Stay lean. Because you aren’t 100% sure about your product-market fit yet, you want to build things that are lean and that allow you to test quickly. You also want to keep your capital expenditures relatively low. This goes back to what we talked about at the beginning of the #gxmxp Series: do everything you can to stay in the field for as long as possible with the resources you have.
✓ Pick your Pilot. Before starting this phase, define who will be responsible for this initial go-to-market effort. One of the biggest problems we see during this stage is market development being treated as a group project where lack of accountability leads to lack consistent outreach effort. Similarly, you need to assess the bandwidth and skill level of the person doing the work. That should inform your expectation for the work outcomes. If you put someone who has never done sales or written an email campaign into the pilot seat then you shouldn’t expect that person to bring in revenue from Fortune 1000 companies in a few days. Whoever you choose to manage your market development efforts needs to be 100% on-board, bought in and supported for the next several months.
At the end of the Sales and Marketing Instrumentation phase of the #gxmxp, you’ll have a defined sales process and the tools necessary to support that process and measure your results.
Click here to get started!