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GTM Planning Intelligence

Next generation GTM planning. Build GTM plans that truly account for how well you are able to perform.


GTM Planning Intelligence

Traditional Go-To-Market Planning is Broken

Building a plan always sounds good in theory. The reality is when it comes to execution, plans more often than not, get pushed to the side in lieu of running the business. “Stuff happens” along the way that the plan didn’t account for, and so performance is perceived to fall short of the planned outcome (e.g., revenue or bookings) causing organizations to throw out plans and focus efforts solely on execution. Is this really the right way to both plan and track execution? I suggest not.

Name a major construction project that was recently completed on time and under budget. Hard right? Similarly, consider financial planning models – they can only predict a ridiculously large range of outcomes due to the challenge of accounting for the inevitable ebb and flow of spend, buyer behavior, earning capabilities, and external influencers over a long period of time. It could be argued you are probably better off just going to Vegas and putting it all on black!  

The same can be said for GTM planning. Most organizations tend to establish aspirational plans at the start of the year and then simply charge off to the races trying to hit their number. When that number isn’t achieved, the blame lands on the shoulders of the sales, marketing and RevOps teams ability to execute. No-one really questions the feasibility and quality of the original plan.

This is backwards – what if the plan was flat out wrong in the first place? Achieving $20MM ARR – is that good or bad? It’s impossible to answer unless the plan that we are comparing against is a TRUE representation of our future state capability. Accurately predicting future revenue state is hard to do.

Add to that, today we live in a world where GTM performance statistics are common but how much do they really help us? A recently published 2024 B2B report1, stated that 69% of sellers missed quota in 2023 and that 44% of deals slipped. While these are valid statistics that we of course want to avoid contributing to, what if our target quotas and timelines were flawed the first place?

If more focus was given to up-front planning, resulting in more accurate forecasting, then our control over sustainable revenue growth would be greater. We would achieve far greater influence on our destiny. Begging the question, “how can we control our revenue destiny?”.

The GTM Planning Intelligence Framework

Let’s review the four steps within the GTM Planning Intelligence framework that, together, drive revenue outcome certainty.

1) Plan Within the Context of Your Capability

Don’t let your revenue goal aspiration drive your plan. Instead let your plan determine your outcome and then adjust and calibrate based upon reality. Build a plan that you can truly achieve.

Use a closed-loop revenue model (MultiplyGTM is built specifically for this), to determine the required volume of deals and leads needed to hit your number, and the timing and velocity of such required activity. From this, calculate required pipeline throughout the year, considering what you already have in-play. Determining such numbers is pretty much impossible in absence of a time phased closed-loop model.


Establishing a timeline for lead generation, pipeline, and deal wins

Once you have established required timelines and targets, critique what the model is telling you. The best way to do this is to compare your plan to what you have historically been able to achieve in the past. Again, DON’T rely on just comparing historical revenue performance – revenue is the outcome of your journey and not an input or driver of your model. Instead, you need to critique what it takes to successfully execute the journey itself.

Ask yourself the questions:

  • Can we realistically close the required quantity of new sales that the model is suggesting and in the timeframe it is suggesting?
  • Do we have sufficient headcount to support the required deal count and preceding marketing and sales activity?
  • Do we have the appropriate mix of product offerings at the right price point?
  • Do we have sufficient rolling-wave pipeline to maintain momentum?
  • Can marketing achieve required lead volume and timing in context of their budget?
  • Can we uphold the projected retention rates and avoid excessive churn based on our customer success investment spend?
  • Do we have the correct revenue source balance between new sales, expansion, and retention sales?

Traditionally, these questions are anecdotally answered to a limited degree. Now they can be answered through true quantification in the form of an achievability index. By measuring how achievable each of these revenue drivers are, we can now rely on an optimized plan that delivers sustainable growth. The plan becomes the blueprint against which we can subsequently track our GTM performance.

2) Quantify Your Trajectory Using the MultiplyGTM Index™

The MultiplyGTM Index™ is essentially a compare function, comparing key drivers of revenue growth to how you have been able to perform to date. The greater the jump your plan represents, the more aggressive the index score becomes. Not only that but understanding how your Index changes over time helps you pinpoint when to appropriately invest and execute your various GTM motions.


Quantify GTM Plan Achievability using the MultiplyGTM Index™

Don’t just focus on achievability of your revenue growth; at the same time, ensure you don’t sell yourself short either. Not only can the index highlight overly aggressive pinch points (Q4 2024 in our example above), but also points in time where you can actually afford to accelerate (Q1 2024)!

Ensuring a sustainable trajectory is key to revenue growth success. To re-iterate, revenue is the outcome of your GTM trajectory – focus on getting this right and the revenue will not only happen, but it will happen with certainty.

3) Track Impact Not Outcome

As the year progresses, the first metric we most likely think about tracking is revenue attainment. How close to our number are we? Again, a useful measure of outcome but not actually that useful when it comes to measuring our ability to actually execute and sell.

If we are short of our number, we need to understand why are we short? Where are our bottlenecks? Is it because our conversion rates fell short? Is it because we missed the mark in terms of top-of-funnel lead generation? Did our sales cycle extend? Did our pipeline drain too quickly and not replenish to support our quarterly revenue growth? The list of potential impact drivers causing a revenue miss goes on and on.

Pinpointing the root cause of outcome, on a quarterly or even monthly basis, gives us the opportunity to course correct. If we get to the end of Q3 and decide to remediate, we most likely have already missed the window of opportunity to get back on track.

Manually collating GTM performance data to compare against a plan is painful, time consuming and error prone. MultiplyGTM overcomes this challenge by automatically scraping performance from the CRM and calculating the impact on your plan targets and outcome.


Performance Analysis Using MultiplyGTM Metrics

Prior to tracking performance, during the planning process itself, the MultiplyGTM engine automatically interrogates historical performance to help keep you grounded in your model building. In the case where such historical data is not readily available, use embedded benchmarks to ‘calibrate’ your plan, resulting in an achievable MultiplyGTM Index™ score.

Subsequently, during execution, the MultiplyGTM engine automatically monitors performance by examining CRM activity. Such real-time reporting gives you a true ‘state of the union’ view of the health of your GTM journey as well as the opportunity to pro-actively adjust the relevant impact drivers to get back on track, as needed.

4) Plan Calibration

Using the metrics outlined in step 3, you get the benefit of knowing where and when GTM performance is deviating from plan before they impact your outcome – future points in time that unless acted upon, will veer you off course and further away from hitting your revenue goal.

Knowing how to appropriately react and respond to these decision points can be complicated. Do you up the ante on lead generation? Do you invest more in sales enablement? Do you bring forward specific lead generation campaigns? Do you launch a new offering sooner?

The real challenge in answering this is that each of the impact drivers have a non-linear relationship with revenue outcome. Adjust one impact driver and the impact on other drivers is altered! This ‘whack-a-mole’ problem results in multiple paths and multiple outcomes.

To overcome this, worry less about landing on the perfect revenue remediation path – it simply doesn’t exist. Instead, explore alternate paths and compare their achievability, by using the MultiplyGTM Index™. From here, you can make an informed decision as to which scenario to base your updated plan upon.


Building a Remediation Plan to Uphold Your Revenue Goal

It’s OK for the plan to change as the year progresses. In fact, it would be more of a misstep if you didn’t re-plan as your to-date progress evolves.


One of the ironies in GTM planning is that while its purpose is to predict the future, the value (or not) is dependent upon being able to incorporate the impact of future events. In the case of GTM plans, tempering forecasts with historical performance and your ability to accelerate going forward is a very powerful means of predicting future events and how to best respond to them.

While sales performance could simply be boiled down to ‘how close to our number are we?’, understanding the root cause of performance (GTM impact drivers) is a much more effective approach when it comes to driving revenue certainty. Building certainty into your revenue trajectory (the path to generating revenue), naturally results in certainty in your outcome.

Being able to quantify the achievability of a plan, while a cutting-edge concept, is one that should not be underestimated. Math doesn’t lie. Tracking the achievability of your plan and execution performance using the MultiplyGTM Index™ ensures you are marching along a sustainable path to successful revenue growth.

Lastly, don’t think of your GTM plan being a set-in-stone. It needs to evolve and adapt over time. GTM planning in context means that your plan will support your desired outcome, reflecting both the good and bad that has already occurred while accounting for future events and motions that will drive your trajectory.

1 Ebsta 2024 B2B Performance Report

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