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3 Tips to Integrate Measurement into GTM Planning

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Hi All! This week’s topic is Measurement & Analytics. Aligning Performance Measurement into your GTM planning is essential to drive the right business and people outcomes - especially now as we are in planning season. In today’s newsletter, I cover 3 Tips to Integrate Measurement into your Planning Processes to ensure better business results.

What are your thoughts on go-to-market measurement in the context of planning? Share your ideas on The Buzz Community.

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3 Tips to Integrate Measurement into GTM Planning

During your GTM planning, it is essential to ensure that each initiative’s measurement is tightly integrated into the planning process. Without that effort, each initiative is doomed to failure. Not that it will not succeed tactically, but understanding how it contributes to business outcomes will help design the initiative itself and success analytics.

This is why attribution systems regularly fail marketing and sales leaders. There is little alignment between overall business goals and an initiative’s tactical outcomes. It is the planning process that allows us to explore this misalignment and course-correct for the upcoming year.

Tip #1 - Measure from the Top Down

If you haven’t read Marketing by the Dashboard Light by Pat Lapointe, do it now. While focused on B2C marketing examples it provides excellent conceptual frameworks to understand how to measure marketing in the context of business outcomes. And many of the lessons can be applied to sales and customer service initiatives, as well.

In the B2B environment, measuring marketing, sales, and customer service performance (people, processes, and outcomes) is essential to understand how your company’s activities are contributing to the business. It is the collection of these activities that deliver revenue, margin, and stakeholder happiness.

To begin, map your corporate goals with real numbers to GTM efforts. All your activities in some way must contribute to these corporate / business goals (e.g., revenue). If not, they should fall off the plan. Additionally, use the annual or semi-annual planning process to ensure this alignment is baked into each activity your team is planning at the tactical level.

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Tip #2 - Tactical Planning Starts with Outcomes

All too often, I see B2B corporate leadership start the annual planning process with tactical things we need to accomplish in the next 12 months. But a winning executive team knows to start with the desired outcomes for next year. And those outcomes are tied to the PnL - revenue, margin, and stakeholder value. Then, determine the collection of activities that contribute to achieving those goals.

This preferred approach must trickle down to all planning activities since it creates a culture of alignment and collaboration. As we plan our go-to-market initiatives we need to see the forest and the trees to ensure that we are delivering business value. This is one of the most critical aspects of the CROs / CMOs job: to ensure the alignment between activities / initiatives and business outcomes across people (e.g., MBOs); processes (e.g. tactical outcomes); and building that culture of accountability.

Tip #3 - Don’t Forget the Humans

When I audit B2B GTM measurement programs, one glaring omission that I see over and over again is including people and teaming success metrics in their overall plan. Meaning, aligning initiative (OKRs) and human success metrics (MBOs) into conformity. As CMOs / CROs we need to ask ourselves if our team and human management metrics are in alignment with our overall business and initiative goals. Likely they aren’t. Misalignment can lead to a conflict of priorities among team members and create confusion on which deliverables are more important for the organization to achieve desired goals.

Even at MSFT, we had two processes for Annual Business Planning, one focused on strategy and initiatives and a second that focused on the “HR” elements (e.g. Headcount). Additionally, as a GTM leader I had limited, if any at all, control on the MBO construct for my team. As a manager, this led to a dual structure and little empowerment for the team. Sure we were keen on achieving the success of an initiative getting launched, but ideally, I should have had the ability to create incentives for initiative adoption, internal NPS / CSAT, and similar program successes to drive the right priorities and behaviors within the team itself. This is a gap that we could overcome, but it required ad-hoc solutions versus a system of team excellence. As you plan, don’t forget the individual human factors that can improve the outcomes.

What are your thoughts on go-to-market measurement in the context of planning? Share your feedback on The Buzz Community.


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