12 Key Questions Your Go-to-Market Model Needs to Address


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What does “go-to-market” mean to you? Many companies react to new challenges in their business environment by declaring that they need to change the way they go to market, but as Scott Santucci of Forrester pointed out recently, this frequently used term has a variety of interpretations…

I prefer a broad definition, and believe that an organisation’s go to market model ought to embrace all the elements that enable them to identify, engage with, persuade, and profitably satisfy a growing customer base.

From this perspective, a successful go-to-market model needs to go far beyond defining sales channels and establishing pricing policies – it has to capture the essence of how a company chooses to do business, and help to align the entire organisation behind this.

12 Key Questions

With that in mind, I’d like to share 12 key questions that I have found very useful in encouraging clients to think though some of the most important elements of their go-to-market model. I hope that you might find them similarly helpful:

  1. What are the common characteristics of your most valuable customers and prospects?
  2. What are the most significant issues you enable your prospects to address?
  3. What are the common trends and trigger events that might cause your prospects to start searching for solutions?
  4. How and why do your prospects choose to buy, and what are the key stages in their decision making process?
  5. What terms would your prospects use to describe what they are looking for when they search for solutions?
  6. What are your prospect’s most significant alternative options for solving their identified issues?
  7. What key business benefits will your prospects enjoy as a result of implementing a solution to the issue they have identified?
  8. What unique advantage does your solution offer over other options available to your prospect?
  9. What are the most effective ways of connecting with your most valuable prospects and generating qualified sales opportunities?
  10. How do you intend to systematically convert qualified sales opportunities into customers?
  11. Which people, and which organisations, are most influential in shaping your prospect’s thinking – and influencing their buying behaviour?
  12. What are the key measures, metrics and goals you are going to use to measure the success of your go-to-market model?

There’s a logical sequence to these questions: without a shared understanding of what an ideal customer looks like, and without anticipating the issues that will cause them to act, it’s hard to establish a repeatable, scalable and predictable sales and marketing machine.

Download Our Latest Guide

If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to read our latest guide to building an effective go-to-market model, which expands on each of 12 questions – you can download a copy here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Bob Apollo
Bob Apollo is the CEO of UK-based Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, the B2B sales performance improvement specialists. Following a varied corporate career, Bob now works with a rapidly expanding client base of B2B-focused growth-phase technology companies, helping them to implement systematic sales processes that drive predictable revenue growth.


  1. Bob: this is a great list of questions. Still, I searched for the word ‘strategy’ among them, and I think there is room for opportunity . . . By understanding and connecting with a prospect’s strategic need, a vendor’s solution has staying power. By contrast, many salespeople stay in the “pain point” weeds, which are often ephemeral, at best.

    Strategic needs are more enduring, and projects are less likely to become “unplugged,” or lost to no decision.

    You started on that idea with question #8, “What unique advantage does your solution offer over other options available to your prospect?”, but it went in a different direction.

    I suggest adding, “What strategic advantage or capabilities does your solution offer/provide to your prospect? Is your product/service mission-critical in order for them to achieve their business objectives? More important, does your prospect agree with that assessment right now? ” to round out the list.

    This requires putting “pain–feature/capabilities–benefit” aside for the moment, and thinking about consequences and impact to the prospect’s strategic goals. It’s longer-term, more abstract, and harder to uncover the information, but from a sales perspective, connecting to a prospect’s strategic needs are way more solid than addressing operational need alone.

  2. Great point, Andrew. When I work with clients I try and dissect needs and classify them according to their impact on a prospect’s buying decisions.

    In short, I believe interesting needs can get you considered. Important needs can get you evaluated, but only business-critical/strategic needs are likely to get you bought.

    That doesn’t mean that marketing to interesting or important needs is a bad idea; just that you need to either connect those needs to something that is business critical or recognise that your chances of winning are slim.

    To your other point, I think that sales people would do well to explore the consequences of inaction whenever they uncover a pain. They need to understand how that pain relates to a business-critical goal, who else is affected if it isn’t resolved, and what would happen if the issue isn’t addressed.

    All to often, the answer to the latter is “the business would carry on pretty much as today” – and that probably isn’t the answer the sales person should be looking for.


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