What Is the Format of a Go-to-Market Plan?

Whether you’re launching a new product or service—or developing your organization’s larger marketing strategy—having a solid go-to-market (GTM) plan is vital. And whether it’s your first proverbial rodeo or you have experience with GTM strategy, a go-to-market strategy template helps to ensure that you’re giving yourself the greatest chance of success possible.

In this article, we’re going to provide you with a quick overview of all things GTM—from the must-have components to some best practices for presenting your plan to stakeholders.

What Is the GTM Strategy of a B2B Company or Startup?

A company’s GTM strategy provides a framework for launching a new product, service offering, or brand identity. No two go-to-market strategies are going to be identical, since different companies offer different products and services, to different markets, with different advantages and disadvantages. 

Within the broader context of business, a GTM strategy ensures that there will be plenty of interest in what’s being offered, laying the foundation for attracting, engaging, and converting prospects.

And when it comes to creating a go-to-market strategy for startups, the aim is generally the same as the types of GTM strategies described above. The key difference relates to what’s going to market; rather than a specific product or service, a startups’ GTM strategy relates to the entire brand. But whether you’re launching a product, service, or brand, the same general principles will apply. 

No matter what your launch goals are, you’re going to need a decent understanding of the market and potential demand for what you’re launching. You’ll also need to deliver the right messages to the right audience to generate traction and drive success. In other words, there are certain must-have elements that any successful GTM initiative should take into account—which we’ll cover next.

What Are the Elements of a Go-to-Market Plan?

Broadly speaking, a GTM strategy consists of a five essential stages or steps:
  • Defining a specific market(s) for the product, service, or brand.
  • Understanding your customers’ expectations, priorities, and pain points.
  • Determining a distribution model that is effective and logistically efficient..
  • Creating effective product messaging to connect with customers and communicate value.
  • Evaluating pricing and payment models to ensure that your pricing will neither undervalue your offerings or turn customers off with too-high prices.

What Is the Structure of a Go-to-Market Strategy?

Here’s where things can get a little tricky, since—as Harvard Business Review notes—“every product requires its own GTM strategy, and no two GTM strategies are the same.” With that being the case, there is no widely-accepted format for a GTM strategy—the content or substance of your strategy is more important than the format or template you use. 

That’s not to say you can’t use a pre-existing GTM strategy framework template—if for no other reason than to ensure that your plan is a sound one, and that you’ve thought everything through.

How Do You Create a Go-to-Market Strategy Template?

Creating a B2B go-to-market strategy template helps an organization build a well-rounded GTM strategy. As you get more experience with developing GTM strategies, you can further refine your template, making it easier to create additional strategies as your business continues to grow and iterate its offerings.

Developing a GTM strategy template doesn’t have to be overly complicated—in fact, it shouldn’t. Remember, the template itself isn’t the point; think of a GTM template more like a checklist than a specific form or format.

Can I Build a Go-to-Market Strategy Template in Word or Google Docs?

Yes! Especially if you’re trying to get a strategy together quickly, almost anything will work; programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs are easy to use, and provide enough functionality to customize your template over time. 

A website like SmartSheet is another helpful resource, as they offer a number of ready-made templates for GTM and similar initiatives. There, you can download a go-to-market strategy template for Excel, Word, and similar programs. (Note: While SmartSheet does require a subscription, you can access and download their templates with a 30-day free trial.)

How Do I Present a GTM Strategy to Stakeholders?

Once your GTM strategy is together, you’ll need to convince stakeholders that the plan is a sound one. In smaller organizations, simply sharing a go-to-market strategy PDF or other digital, shareable document may be all you need to do! 

In other instances, however, submitting a plan will just be the beginning of the process. You may need to present your plan in front of stakeholders, allowing them to ask questions and give their input before ultimately signing off on the plan. In these cases, you won’t need to create this from scratch (though you certainly can). Instead, you can use a program like PowerPoint (PPT) or Google Slides to create an effective presentation. 

Unsure where to start building out your go-to-market strategy? This McKinsey PPT template provides an excellent starting point. This template does have a price tag of $119, but for many companies it’s worth it to know they’re working from a template created by ex-McKinsey & BCG consultants. It also includes strategy examples from Fortune 500 companies.

If you’d prefer a go-to-market strategy template PPT that is free to download, SmartSheet offers several ready-made, customizable templates you can download (when you try SmartSheet for free).

Aptivio: Your Go-to-Market Partner 

Throughout this article, we’ve primarily focused on how to structure or format your GTM strategy. What we haven’t talked much about, however, is the importance of accurate, contextual data for that strategy. That’s where Aptivio can provide the mission-critical advantage of real-time, reliable information. From defining your market to developing a nuanced understanding of how your customers prefer to buy, what factors influence their decisions, and more. 

By empowering you with the insights you need to envision, refine, and execute your GTM strategies, Aptivio enables AI-powered revenue growth. We provide the data you need, without requiring you to perform tedious manual tasks or settle for guesswork. From configuring your GTM playbook to generating a revenue pipeline based on intricate buying signals, Aptivio’s got you covered. Why not book a demo to see it in action?