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Scale Up

Secrets of top performers: A deep dive into effective GTM strategies 

Jeremey Donovan | January 23, 2024| 1 min. read

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In the fast-paced SaaS sector, your go-to-market (GTM) strategy often determines the fine line between success and mediocrity. With a surplus of advice and best practices available, it’s challenging to discern which of these are truly effective. Here at Insight, we conducted an in-depth study involving 106 companies to identify the GTM practices that set top performers apart from their counterparts. 

Best practices from over 100 software companies

We scrutinized 85 practices across nine foundational sales categories. The objective was straightforward yet ambitious: uncovering the GTM strategies that drive high performance. The nine categories we looked at are the foundations of best-in-class sales practices.

  1. Sales strategy
  2. Sales process
  3. CS and support process
  4. Compensation and quota
  5. Pipeline and forecast
  6. Team leadership and effectiveness
  7. Tech and data governance
  8. Hiring and talent management
  9. Order-to-cash conversion

It’s important to acknowledge that our findings are based on correlations, not causation. However, the consistent over-indexing of these practices among top performers provides compelling evidence of their efficacy. These practices highlighted in our report offer a roadmap for companies aspiring to climb the ranks in their respective markets.

Four Ps stood out as indicative of exceptional performance.

Four Ps of high performance

Our findings suggest that exceptional performance in the SaaS realm is a function of four critical dimensions: partner, pipeline, people, and process. Let’s delve into the top four practices that markedly distinguish high performers from the rest. 

1. Partner: Active management of partner channel conflict

Top performers excel in managing partner channel conflicts through robust rules of engagement and efficient systems like deal registration. This practice is particularly relevant in today’s era of efficient growth, where leveraging channel partners can significantly reduce sales and marketing expenses. Moreover, a strong channel partner network is often a testament to a product’s market fit.  

2. Pipeline: Maintaining a robust sales pipeline

Our research also highlighted the importance of maintaining a sizable sales pipeline tailored to meet booking goals, factoring in sales cycles and win rates. Top performers are adept at ‘reverse funnel math,’ a technique that helps in setting precise pipeline generation goals for each seller. This focus on pipeline generation and opportunity qualification is a common trait among high performers.  

3. People: Low seller attrition rates

A low seller attrition rate, well below the industry standard (<25% per year), is another hallmark of top-performing companies. This outcome is influenced by many factors, including effective hiring, onboarding, ongoing enablement, balanced sales capacity, and a healthy corporate culture. 

4. Process: Alignment between sales and marketing

Finally, alignment between sales and marketing, especially regarding top-of-funnel strategies for each segment, stands out as a critical differentiator. In an era marked by tight budgets and increased competition, aligning sales and marketing efforts around target accounts and value-added messaging is crucial for capturing and maintaining market share. 

Engaging multiple personas at every sales cycle stage is also paramount. Top companies enable their sellers to map stakeholders based on their influence and authority. This practice is critical for outperforming peers, as it ensures a deeper and more strategic engagement with potential customers. 

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In summary, our study reveals that the secret sauce for high performance in SaaS companies lies in the effective implementation of the 4Ps: partner, pipeline, people, and process. While these findings are grounded in data, the art of execution remains crucial. Companies that skillfully apply these insights are more likely to find themselves leading the pack, outshining their competitors in the relentless race for business growth. Download the full report by filling out the form below.

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