Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. LLR Collaborate attendee on the best advice they’d ever been given

LLR Collaborate returned in person this year for the first time since 2019. Our portfolio company Sales, Marketing and Product leaders convened in Philadelphia to connect with their peers and help each other elevate their Go-To-Market organizations. Sessions and conversations covered a range of critical topics, from market selection to product launches to the relationship between go-to-market and finance.

In the spirit of collaboration, here are some of the most helpful insights from the day’s discussions, with links to other LLR GrowthBits where you can dive deeper into certain ideas.

Carla Piñeyro Sublett, former CMO of IBM, delivered a keynote on how go-to-market leaders can work more effectively together when they operate from a place of love rather than fear in the workplace.
Keep sales and marketing data up to date year-round for Go-to-Market planning.

A common challenge with yearly planning is not having the accurate data you need to influence decision-making. Staying on top of your data is a year-long effort. Examples of data points to track include a sale’s leads-to-close, sales-to-revenue and revenue-per-employee ratios.

You will reap the benefits of greater efficiency and alignment when you can quickly pivot your organization and plan based on readily available, quality data.

Look at the big picture for annual Go-to-Market planning.

In the annual planning process, look back at your overall corporate strategy and ask yourself, “how does our plan for the upcoming year align with the company’s 3-5 year goals?”

Tap into qualitative data for market selection.

It’s not just about asking yourself, “could we serve this market?” Always ask, “should we serve this market?” Tap into qualitative market data and a clear set of criteria that aligns to your overall growth plan and goals to think about where you can be most successful through market expansion.

Don’t just rely on buyer surveys in the market selection process.

Buyer surveying is a helpful, qualitative testing exercise when evaluating a new market. However, unless you have a broad survey scope (not just conversations with 10-15 buyers), don’t rely solely on surveying to determine whether expansion to a certain market is the right move. As you grow, prioritize creating a dedicated Product team to own and expand this process in order to gain a deeper understanding of potential new markets.

Kristjan Lillemets (Magaya) and Phil Haussler (Quantum Workplace) participating in a Collaborate session on product roadmaps that build measurable business value.
Align product launch deliverables to bookings and retention goals and check on them often.

When launching a new product, establishing deliverables and goals is essential, but don’t fall into the trap of set-and-forget. Check in continuously on whether the impact of your product launch process aligns with your initial hypotheses regarding bookings, renewals, retention, and other goals post-launch.

Source ideas from sales and customer success for your product roadmap.

When building your product roadmap, create a space or utilize a tool for sales and customer success to contribute ideas, feedback or requests based on what they hear from prospects and clients. They might not all be actionable, but it’s important to evaluate all ideas to better align your product roadmap with reality. Some examples of product feedback tools our teams have found helpful include UserVoice, Zonka Feedback and Qualtrics.

Find and better engage your prospects without form fills.

Buyers want to be unknown and operate anonymously. Even without form fills that reveal names and email addresses, you can still know enough about who they are and what they’re interested in through intent data. Intent data is the secret weapon marketers can use to engage their audience in a respectful way and provide high-quality meaningful prospects to sales.

Position your content strategy by looking externally.

When creating content, marketers often make the mistake of looking inward for ideas. If you aren’t looking externally, you’re missing a lot of opportunity to deliver value by engaging customers and prospects in the topics they’re really interested in.

Find out where they “hang out” and join the groups they’re part of, then listen to what they’re talking about to better position your content strategy.

Leah Shlyakhov and Leigh Wager (MedBridge) engage in a Collaborate session around market selection strategies.
Focus on pain points and adding value for outbound marketing.

Keep two things in mind:

  1. Not everybody is in the market to buy what you sell, and you can’t talk to everyone in the same way. Think about how you can provide value to them until they are ready. (ex. What’s important to them right now? What are their motivators and pain points?).
  2. What value can you add? Play more of a consultant role during your outbound approach, raising questions like: What’s going on in the market? What is the cost of their pain points? How do both factors impact their business overall?

Help guide prospects toward achieving their objectives even if they are not in a position to buy your product yet.

Drive expansion with a customer health score based on relationship and impact.

Customer health boils down to two things: relationship and impact. Ensure you have effective relationships with enough of the right people on the client side. Also, make sure your clients understand the value they’re receiving from your product, not only as a team, but also individually – for both buyers and users.

Foster allyship with your CFO by understanding their goals as well as their expectations of Go-to-Market.

CROs and CMOs spend a lot of time trying to understand their customers. They should do the same with their CFO, not only for budget support but because the CFO is likely the right-hand to the CEO and has a direct line of communication with board members and investors.

Get to know your CFO’s goals (could it be cost control, profitability, organic or M&A growth?), their prior experience (are they a first-time CFO?) and their role within the management team. This can be tremendously helpful for sales and marketing as they approach budgeting, forecasting and reporting. The CFO can be Go-to-Market’s biggest advocate with stakeholders if they understand your function, especially if/when you miss your numbers.