The greatest challenge facing CEO, CRO and commercial leaders is “Go-to-market”.
Sales-led used to be the agreed upon way to the best return of investment (ROI). It still works…at the beginning. Sadly, scaling through sales alone will require an ever-growing head count. As a result, you'll see your outgoings increase relative to your revenue growth.
Demand generation / inbound marketing, coupled with sales, allows businesses to decrease the cost of customer acquisition. As marketing is one-to-many, it'll have a far greater reach and ability to activate prospects than sales alone. Marketing also plays a role across the entire customer journey to attract, nurture, delight, retain, and expand accounts.
Then we move on to product-led-growth (PLG), which saw a boom with the success of companies like Slack, monday.com, Airtable and ClickUp. The idea is that you'll spend even less on marketing and sales when you have PLG in place.
I can't say I have ever seen a standalone PLG-led motion. Today, these businesses have marketing and sales-supported PLG, to reduce their cost of customer acquisition and maximise their profit margins.
What about customer-facing motions?
Maybe not considered a standalone go-to-market motion but the customer-facing roles of customer service and customer success play a massive part in ensuring your customers have a great experience. So much so that, if their experience is an overwhelmingly positive one, they will want to tell their friends about it. That means referrals, more leads, and (potentially) more revenue.
Customer success is also critical for revenue growth in terms of identifying risks of churn and mitigating it, while at the same time expanding accounts through upsells, cross-sells and obtaining referrals.
Finally, let's talk about partnership-led growth. I'm seeing more and more partnership-led models these days - I predict it will be the next big trend in go-to-market motions. The most successful example I've experienced is at HubSpot. They've changed their models a little now, but they'll attribute their growth to this partnership-led approach.
So what’s the answer?
In truth, I don't believe there is a single best one. I believe the best is a combination of different motions. Your solution, market, capacity, and capabilities should all play a role in the combination you choose.
My only advice is to make sure you've got revenue operations in place to make your strategy a reality. It’s only by establishing a strong team of operators building the infrastructure for your go-to-market motion, that you will find the results you are looking for.