Know Before You Go (To Market)

Know Before You Go (To Market): Key Go-To-Market Research Questions

Authored byAva Anderson

You’re going to market with a new product or service. You know you need a product roadmap, a sales plan, and strong marketing. You need to understand your market segment(s) and generate a pricing strategy.

But have customer insights sufficiently informed your go-to-market strategy? If you can’t pinpoint how the voice of the customer shaped your strategy, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Go-to-market research can help you better align your plans with real world success.

What Customer Insights Does Your Go-To-Market Strategy Need?

Your go-to-market strategy needs to entice early adopters to try your product or service so you can generate use cases and positive feedback. That means that marketers need to ensure that:

  1. Customers find your product or service at their time of need.
  2. Buyers think, “Huh, that makes sense and seems relevant to my business case. Tell me more!”
  3. Customers begin the purchase or trial process.

But how will customers find you, and what will persuade them to buy? You need to know where they’re looking for solutions, as well as when and why they decide to make a purchase. You need to know what features will actually get customers to fill out that lead form. Also, you need to understand the red flags that scare buyers so you can avoid them.

How Go-To-Market Research Can Help

We asked our Director of Systems Design Philippe Boutros to highlight just a few of the personas and questions that will help you uncover the insights you need to shape a solid go-to-market strategy.

The Right People

Go-to-market study participants should be recruited from current & prospective customers, partners, former members of competing sales teams, competitors’ customers & partners, and market influencers.

The Right Questions

Some go-to-market research questions need to clarify the buyer’s journey. These insights empower companies to position products or services in the right place at the right time. We’ll also cover some questions that will reveal customers’ key buying criteria, so you can be sure you’re highlighting the features that catalyze a purchase.

Gain Insight Into The Buyer’s Journey

Understanding how potential customers choose the type of solution you’re offering lets you focus your marketing spend where it will do the most good. It can also clarify “dos and don’ts” for the sales cycle so you don’t make missteps that cost you crucial early adopters.

Here are some questions we typically ask during go-to-market research projects to address the buyer’s journey.

  • How do you identify possible solutions?
  • Where do you go to find information on how to buy [product/service]?
    • Specifically, how do you learn about updates in the field?
    • Are updates in the field something you pay attention to?
  • What evaluation steps happen before you contact a vendor?
  • Do you need to perform a “proof of concept” to make your decision?
  • How do you go from a long list to a short list?
  • How do you want to be supported by a vendor in making your decision?

Know Customers’ Key Buying Criteria

A solid go-to-market strategy requires insight into the organizational challenges and customer hesitations around adopting solutions like yours. That way, you can address these issues in your marketing and sales materials.

You also need to understand the larger ecosystem of the buying process. For example, how do customers need the solution to integrate with existing infrastructure? What information about pricing do customers expect to see at different points in the buyer’s journey?

Examples of questions that target key buying criteria include:

  • When was the last time you bought [product/service]?
  • Why did you make the purchase?
  • What could trigger you to switch away from your current solution?
  • Are there organizational impediments to purchasing [product/service]? What are they?
  • What are your biggest fears about choosing this kind of solution?
  • Is this sort of purchase bundled in with the purchase of other [product/service]?
  • What does [product/service] absolutely have to be compatible with? What would it be nice for [product/service] to be compatible with?
  • Which pricing model do you see as a good fit for [product/service]?

Be Prepared

Louis Pasteur said “fortune favors the prepared.” You’re confident you’ve got a great product. Now arm yourself with customer insights to build a strategy that effectively sells it.

With custom go-to-market research and marketing services, Cascade Insights helps companies seize opportunities in the B2B technology sector. We work with everyone from enterprise tech stalwarts to up-and-comers in fields such as FinTech, MarTech, Health Tech, and more.

Special thanks to CEO Sean Campbell, President & CTO Scott Swigart, and Director of Systems Design Philippe Boutros for advising on this article.

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