How to Drive GTM Growth in a Slow Market

17 Aug 23

The first episode of SBI’s new podcast discusses how companies can optimize for growth amid today’s sub-optimal economic environment.

Over the past year, CEOs have been hunkering down, preparing their organizations for a recession that never came. Even though this air of uncertainty remains in the market, business leaders know that they can no longer afford to wait and see what happens next.

We need to have a growth strategy because eventually, people are going to get used to the new reality of interest rates and where they sit, and they’re going to get used to the idea that it’s a new world.

This set the tone for my conversation with Scott Gruher, SBI President of Consulting on the very first episode of SBI’s GTM Value Creation Corner Podcast.

Scott highlighted three key challenges that many companies are facing in today’s market. Firstly, increased cost of capital, particularly with employment costs. Secondly, sales pipelines are growing but deals are taking longer to close, and sales reps need to talk to higher level executives than before to get a deal through. Lastly, low morale across sales teams, as an effect of the economic uncertainty.

While these factors remain beyond the control of CEOs, the best that CEOs can do is to focus on the things that they can control—making strategic decisions to drive both short-term impact and long-term growth.

Questions CEOs need to ask 

One prevailing question has helped growth leaders drive more revenue from a somewhat underutilized source: “How do we do a better job of selling to companies that have bought from us in the past?”

Buzzwords like ABM/ABX and customer marketing are being used more by CEOs these days, though many have yet to figure out clear tactics and roles across sales, marketing, and customer success to drive effective customer marketing. Scott remarked that the leaders that have been the most effective at this are very focused on two to three outcomes with the same KPIs across the organization. To these leaders, this isn’t ABM, it’s targeting based on strong segmentation data.

Another question that I've heard a lot from leaders in the market concerns leadership talent. How do CEOs know if their current sales or marketing leaders are the right people for the job today? Are these leaders—who had the skills to tackle yesterday's challenges—equipped with the right skills to tackle tomorrow’s challenges?

Scott added that many CEOs often jump to this question without first asking if their company has a clear commercial strategy in the first place, or the right processes or organizational design—which are questions that should be addressed before looking at talent.

The discussion on what’s being talked about in the market today also touched on mergers and acquisitions (M&A)—with unfavorable market conditions, what’s the right approach to M&A?

We both agreed that companies needed to take their time with M&A and be cautious not to lose any customers in the process, as CEOs need to focus their resources on what really matters. To set the foundations for a successful M&A, CEOs need a simple and clear plan on cross-selling without making any overly disruptive changes—in order to get some short-term wins before going deeper into how to drive even more value for the business.

The full 16-minute recording of Episode 1 of the GTM Value Creation Corner Podcast is now available on our website for free. Visit this link to listen to the podcast now.


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