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The GTM Sales Advantage: Matching Skills, Compensation & Strategy Unlocks Revenue Growth

Updated: Apr 2




How Aligning Sales Teams to Your Go-to-Market Strategy Drives Revenue Growth

Salesforce, the $26 billion cloud software giant, once struggled with over-specialized and fragmented sales teams that failed to adapt to the company's evolving product lines and go-to-market (GTM) approaches. After realigning sales roles, compensation, and enablement around a unified GTM model, Salesforce achieved double-digit revenue growth. Their experience underscores how rigorously connecting sales strategies to business realities can unlock new growth. In fact, studies show companies with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations following a GTM mindset achieve 24% faster revenue growth.

The GTM Tactics Dictate Required Sales Skills Organizations employ six core go-to-market (GTM) activities that demand specific sales talents:

Inbound Sales: Servicing marketing-generated leads requires reps skilled in communication, qualification, product knowledge and patience.

Outbound Prospecting: Proactively identifying and pitching new accounts needs persistent "hunters" adept at data-driven personalization at scale.

Partner-led Growth: Driving revenue via relationships like affiliates and implementation partners calls for operational efficiency masters and cross-functional collaborators.

Event-led Growth: Promoting at conferences demands charismatic presenters and consultative road warriors.

Community-led Growth: Capitalizing on user groups needs authorities skilled at digital relationship building.

Product-led Growth: Converting freemium users to customers requires versatility in selling both individuals and corporate buyers.

GTM Tactic

Required Skills

Target Sales Hire

Inbound

Communication, qualification, product mastery

Process guru with deep offering expertise

Outbound

Prospecting, rejection resilience, personalization

Persistent self-starter skilled at prospecting

Partner-Led

Cross-functional collaboration, operational efficiency

Program manager adept at aligning incentives

Event-Led

Public speaking, live demos, relationship selling

Charismatic road warrior comfortable presenting

Community-Led

Subject matter expertise, digital communities

Deeply knowledgeable evangelist skilled at virtual rapport

Product-Led

Explaining user value, corporate sales skills

Dually-skilled rep adept at selling individuals and enterprises

Business Evolution Guides Sales Compensation As crucial as talent/GTM alignment is structuring compensation plans per a company's business maturity phase:
  1. Problem-Market Fit: Incentivize new pipeline traction over efficiency like higher variable pay for new logos.

  2. Product-Market Fit: Optimize for lucrative, sticky customers with incentives like graduated commissions based on lead scoring.

  3. Platform-Market Fit: Guide corporate strategy with comp plans like complex quotas weighting cross-selling new offerings.

Evolving compensation models as businesses progress is vital.

5 Steps to GTM-Focused Sales Strategy
  1. Determine Maturity & Priorities: Conduct an assessment to pinpoint where your company falls across the problem, product and platform market-fit stages. Use the results to prioritize goals like maximizing new acquisitions, driving expansion revenue, or scaling specific products.

  2. Map Roles to GTM Model: Audit all active go-to-market motions like inbound lead nurturing, outbound prospecting, partner co-selling, event marketing, and community building. Design required sales roles, skills profiles, and coverage models to excel across every critical capability.

  3. Assess Performance Data: Analyze performance metrics like quota attainment, sales cycles, average contract values and product mix across teams, roles and offerings. This can illuminate talent and coaching gaps, pricing deficiencies, and compensation plan misalignment.

  4. Evaluate Motivation & Alignment: Survey salespeople on clarity of goals and whether there are conflicting or redundant efforts across teams. Gather feedback on whether incentives and rewards are truly reinforcing the behaviors and results you want to drive.

  5. Build Comp Plan: Using insights gathered, construct a unified, multi-dimensional compensation strategy that flexes by customer segment, product line, recipient tenure and other variables to tightly align rewards with corporate strategy and field execution realities.

Uniting sales strategy with GTM mechanics supercharges revenue engines. While fast-growth companies hastily implement generic sales processes, a GTM-centric model aligning people, incentives and plays with business context equips organizations to outpace competition.

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