How You Have a GTM Problem and Not a Sales, Marketing or Customer Success Problem

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In a recent LinkedIn post, Cassidy Shield (Chief Growth Officer for Refine Labs) recently talked about how high-quality sales feedback to marketing is lacking in most organizations and how most marketers are happy to rush off and execute on sales requests. Only to have sales come back a week later with a new set of requests. Prioritization is either by the seniority of the sales leader or who makes the most noise. Marketers lack real insights and are beholden to who yells the loudest on the sales team. Marketing is not talking to sales with a clear outcome and set of learnings. He mentioned that if you have no real dialogue with sales, the issue isn’t a sales problem; it’s a MARKETING problem.

To us at Personal ABM, it’s not a sales or marketing problem – it’s a GTM problem as teams should be working together as 1 team to get tier 1 accounts to revenue faster at a higher deal size. In the podcast below, Kristina Jaramillo (President of Personal ABM) shares how teams need to go beyond aligned and become integrated to GTM as one team.

Here Are the Key Points from This ABM Done Right Podcast with Kristina Jaramillo

  • We need marketing to go from reactive to proactive, where we’re influencing ideas, reframing thoughts, and driving the right selling conversations (and the internal conversations that buyers have that do not include sales and marketing!)
  • We should forget about “marketing sourced revenue” and focus on how we can change sales and marketing motions, interactions, and experiences so we can fill the revenue gaps. How can we fix the business problems that are tied to the fundamentals of revenue: stage progression, sales cycle time, win rates, deal sizes, ARR, NRR, and GRR? We need to fix these issues and win as 1 team, so it’s not a marketing problem – it’s a GTM problem.
  • It’s not a sales problem when accounts go dark. Kristina shares she’s speaking to marketing at an AI communications tech firm with deal sizes of more than $500K. This firm is building a pipeline using tech like Demandbase, but accounts are going dark, especially after sales engagement. But they don’t have a sales problem as many would mention. They have a GTM problem as sales and marketing align on target accounts and the communications, but they are not integrated to provide accounts with a more personal, relevant experience across all channels. There’s a hand-off vs. a handshake where both teams work to get accounts to revenue with a more custom, personal experience that’s needed to drive high-value deals. There is no account-based enablement where there are marketing insights on what buyers engaged with and, more importantly, why there was intent so sales can align with future customers and their strategic priorities. The sales team’s LinkedIn profiles are not created to speak to target accounts (they’re resumes that are not tailored for relevance and do not teach for differentiation.) There is no content for specific conversations that sales need to have. No content that reframes specific thoughts and ideas as all the content is thought leadership top of funnel information that does not drive change. There was no content to drive internal conversations. Most importantly, there wasn’t a cohesive account experience that drives trust across the organization, so investing in their platform can become a priority. You see, it’s not a sales problem – it’s a GTM problem.
  • It’s not a sales problem when sales are challenged to close deals fast. Kristina talks about an AI firm that is not closing deals with accounts like MasterCard that they’ve talked to for 14+ months. It’s not a closing issue. It’s not that they need closers like the CMO mentioned. It’s a GTM problem where they are not aligning with the accounts’ strategic priorities to create urgency. They are not influencing the internal conversations that sales and marketing are not part of and multithreading across the organization. Marketing should not be done when accounts get in the pipeline – we need to be working together as 1 team.
  • It’s not a customer success problem that 82% of buyers are indifferent, disengaged, or actively looking for another vendor. It’s a GTM market problem that involves everyone, including leadership. Kristina talks about a client that almost lost their P&G account, which made up at least 30% of their revenue. Account teams focused on the activities they completed and generic benefits that can also be gained from much larger, national competitors that can offer better pricing. The client didn’t have stories, content, messaging, and the right interactions that showed P&G’s leadership the gaps that they filled and the impacts they had across the organization and to their customers. They didn’t show the competitor-specific gaps that would impact their strategic priorities, their finances, their operations, and their customers like Walmart. By changing sales, marketing, and customer success motions and by integrating the teams, we were able to help our client protect not only their P&G account but also expand it.
  • While there may be process gaps that impact sales, marketing, and customer success teams, companies have a GTM problem as we should be going to market as one team. There’s a lot of talk around “alignment,” but alignment is not enough. We need to be integrated and moving together to win, protect and expand accounts. We need to go beyond aligning on target accounts and responding to sales requests. All teams should be working hand-in-hand and not moving without the other, just like in a 3 -legged race.


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