B2B organizations should build go-to-market playbooks with just one purpose in mind: to deliver a superior and integrated buyer experience. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all playbook design because every organization is unique.

Common Challenges

Our research shows B2B portfolio marketing teams responsible for go-to-market strategy face the following challenges:

  • Functional teams tend to act in isolation, doing their own thing and focusing on the workflows and processes within their own areas. They’re not necessarily thinking about how their work plays a part in the larger, end-to-end buyer experience.
  • Cookie-cutter engagement strategies get created when the reality is that each go-to-market approach will require a different engagement strategy.

Four Steps For Successful Collaboration

The complexity of your organization can amplify these challenges, such as the number of offerings in your portfolio or how many market segments and/or buyers you target. An effective go-to-market playbook requires a collaborative process:

  1. Prepare: gather the prerequisites. The first phase is all about preparation and gathering the right inputs that will shape the development of the playbook. Required elements include go-to-market pathways with established goals, defined persona profiles, buyer journey maps, and messaging.
  2. Outline: identify the ideal buyer experience. The lengthiest of all, this step outlines the ideal buyer experience across the whole buyer’s journey. This is where the heavy lifting and collaboration happens. Program management is a big part of this phase. A strong program manager will bring all relevant teams together to map out requirements, roles, and responsibilities and determine where roles must work together to facilitate an orchestrated and integrated buyer experience.
  3. Build: construct the playbook. Building the playbook involves pulling all critical information into a shared digital space. The playbook consists of the inputs gathered in the prepare step and shared metrics. Playbooks also include high-level functional plans that each team socializes and validates with one another to ensure they’re creating a seamless buyer experience. Playbooks will look different as they’re impossible to templatize. Some organizations may choose to create a single PowerPoint document with links to relevant material. Others may create dedicated pages on a company intranet. The goal is to make sure the playbook itself is digitized, centralized, and modular so it’s easy to navigate and consume.
  4. Measure: evaluate and adjust. The final phase involves the establishment of a review cadence that balances the time to gather enough information with the frequency of the teams meeting. The program manager brings team members together to ensure the meeting is productive, the right stakeholders are in the room, and they’re prepared to talk about what’s working and what’s not working.

An organization may have multiple go-to-market playbooks because different pathways will require different engagement strategies. The four-phase collaborative go-to-market playbook process is a mechanism that brings all teams together. The truth is that the buyer experience is never owned by a single functional team. The entire purpose of the playbook is to have the right people in the room working together to create an integrated and compelling experience for the buyer.

Join Us At B2B Summit North America

For anyone attending B2B Summit North America in Austin next week, I hope you’ll join Barbara Winters and me on Tuesday morning for our session “Collaborative Go-To-Market Playbooks: From Insights To Action.” Reach out to me on LinkedIn if you’d like to start a conversation or connect!