Comprehensive 6-Step Go-To Market Strategy for SaaS

You’ve got a product that has been making waves. It has already proven its worth, with revenue streaming in, showcasing its potential and the value it brings to its users.

However, like many SaaS businesses in their early stages, while the product has found its initial set of customers and generated revenue, it hasn’t yet achieved the predictable growth trajectory that’s so crucial for long-term success.

This is a pivotal moment, a crossroads of sorts. The next steps taken will determine whether this product becomes a mainstay in its market or fades into the background. The key to unlocking consistent and scalable growth lies in a robust go-to-market strategy.

This strategy serves as the bridge between your innovative product and its potential users. Drawing insights from successful founders and industry experts, this article will guide you through a comprehensive 6-step strategy to ensure your SaaS business not only thrives but also stands out in a competitive market.

Understanding the importance of a Go-To-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy is more than just a plan; it’s the lifeblood of your SaaS business. It consists of everything from understanding your target audience to crafting the perfect message that resonates with them.

By focusing on a go-to-market plan, you’re prioritizing scalable growth over mere product-market fit. Ensuring that the product reaches its intended audience in the most effective manner, resonates with their needs, and ultimately convinces them of its value.

Why Do You Need a Go-To-Market Strategy?

A GTM strategy is the bridge between product development and market success. It encompasses everything from understanding the target audience, their pain points, and preferences, to crafting the perfect message that resonates with them. Without a solid GTM strategy, even the most innovative products can get lost in the noise of the market, struggling to gain traction and achieve predictable growth.

Moreover, a GTM strategy is crucial for resource allocation. It ensures that marketing and sales efforts are directed where they’ll have the most impact, maximizing ROI. It provides clarity on which channels to focus on, how to position the product against competitors, and how to continuously engage and nurture potential customers.

Key Questions for Your Go-To-Market Strategy

Before diving into the strategy, it’s crucial to address some foundational questions:

  1. What’s your target market, and which segment is underserved? Who are the major competitors in that segment? Are you creating a new category or targeting an existing one?
  2. What urgent and frequent problem are you addressing? Why does this problem exist, and what macro trends are causing it?
  3. How will you implement your knowledge about the market, macro trend, and customer profile to run a successful GTM machine?

Why Do You Need a Brand Strategy?

A Brand Strategy is the compass that guides and defines a company’s identity and public perception. It delves deep into understanding the essence of the brand, its values, core proposition and how it wants to be perceived in the minds of consumers. Without a robust brand strategy, even the most compelling businesses can become indistinct and irrelevant.

Furthermore, a brand strategy is pivotal for cohesive communication. It ensures that every interaction, whether it’s an advertisement, social media post, or customer service call, echoes the same message and values. It offers insight into how to differentiate from competitors, the tone and voice to adopt, and how to consistently resonate with and captivate the target audience.

Key Questions for Your Brand Strategy

Before embarking on crafting your brand strategy, it’s essential to ponder some fundamental questions:

  1. Who is your core audience, and what are their aspirations and challenges? What emotions and experiences do you want your brand to evoke in their minds?
  2. Who are the key players in your industry, and how does your brand differentiate from them? Are you redefining an existing brand space or carving out a new niche?
  3. How do you define your ideal and initial customer profiles in detail? What’s your positioning, value proposition, and strategic narrative that resonates with this audience?

Building your GTM Strategy with the Upmarch Framework

Step 1: Calculate your Total Adressable Market (TAM)

Begin by defining your target market. Are you entering a new market or an existing one? What’s the urgent and frequent problem you’re addressing? This step is crucial as it lays the foundation for your entire GTM strategy. It’s important that you understand the size and potential of your target market.
It’s crucial to pinpoint your target market and identify the significant, pressing, and recurring issue you aim to address.

This aspect is arguably the cornerstone of your Go-To-Market strategy. While it might seem straightforward, take a moment to jot down and succinctly describe your target market in five key points. You’ll soon discover the intricate details and subtleties involved in this process.

Step 2: Define the problem you’re solving, and your purpose

Go beyond just identifying the problem. Understand its nuances, the pain points associated with it, and the macro trends causing it. This will help you resonate better with potential customers and address their specific needs and how your product addresses them. What does your product (and thus brand) help them with and which impact are you making?

Upon doing so, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of your new market. You’ll have a clearer picture of your buyer personas and the motivations that drive them daily. This significant event or trend, once discussed, will resonate with them. They’ll identify it as either an opportunity to seize or a challenge to overcome, making them more inclined to consider your software solution.

Understanding these aspects can provide clarity on your mission and the specific problem you aim to address, forming a solid foundation for your strategy.

  • Product vs Sales Led
    Companies can be product-led, sales-driven, or a hybrid of both. It’s essential to understand how your customers prefer to buy and tailor your approach accordingly. Remember that the market decides this.

Step 3: Ideal Customer Profile and Initial Customer Profile

A common mistake founders make is not having a detailed customer profile. Understand the firmographics, demographics, psychographics and triggers associated with your potential customers. This step is pivotal as it ensures your marketing and sales efforts are directed at the right audience.

As you craft your ideal customer profile, always bear in mind that specificity is the gateway to prosperity.

For B2B SaaS, it’s essential to consider factors like company size, their revenue streams, geographical location, and the tools and software they currently employ (which ideally should be less advanced than yours). Moreover, it’s crucial to identify the overarching macro trends impacting them and find a way to align with the ongoing internal dialogue they have about these trends.

Remember, even in a B2B setting, you’re ultimately engaging with individuals. It’s vital to comprehend their roles, aspirations, and the messages that will resonate most profoundly with them in terms of your marketing and Go-To-Market sales approach. Additionally, while crafting a GTM strategy, it’s not just about defining an ideal customer profile. It’s equally important to outline your initial customer profile.

Who are the first hundred customers you aim to onboard? What are their characteristics, and how do you plan to broaden your reach with an effective customer acquisition and lead generation strategy?

  • Niche down (riches are in the niches)
    In the seed phase it makes more sense to niche down as far as possible. This way the ROI on marketing efforts will greatly increase. Try to find your ideal niche size in the iteration phase. Scale-ups, with a larger market share, have more strategic options as far as the niche size goes. In general the rule of thumb is that the bigger the organisation, the broader the niche.

Step 4: Research Competitors & Find the Underserved Market

Once you’ve identified your target market, delve deeper to understand the competition and the gaps they’ve left. Recognise where competitors are positioned and how you can differentiate from them. This will also guide your positioning and pricing decisions. Lay this against the things your customer values most, to find a positioning that wins.

Regardless of whether your focus is on Small and Medium Businesses (SMB), mid-market, or enterprise, a formidable competitor is almost always present. Thus, understanding the competitive landscape across these segments becomes vital. Engaging in this analysis, you’ll begin to discern who your actual competitors are and strategize on how to effectively differentiate against them.

For instance, if the enterprise sector is dominated by well-established players, competing as a startup might be a daunting task. Consequently, your efforts might be more fruitfully spent in the SMB or mid-market segments. If numerous low-cost players saturate the market, making differentiation a challenge, venturing into the mid-market might be a viable alternative.

This does come with its own set of challenges. Venturing into the premium, enterprise-level market means navigating complex sales, but usually results in lower churn by nature. On the flip side, targeting low-cost and SMB segments might yield higher churn due to the potential instability of smaller businesses.

After mapping out the competitive landscape, decisions regarding your positioning and pricing can be made with a clearer perspective.

  • Segmenting the market
    Considering the complexity of your product and the size of the deals can help in segmenting the market. Understand how customers want to buy and how to price your product effectively.
  • Competing in the Market
    Identifying green spaces and opportunities is vital. Know your competitors, where to compete, and how to differentiate yourself in the market.
  • New vs. Existing Market
    Your messaging and approach should vary based on whether you’re targeting an existing competitor or building a new category. In a new category, there’s a blank slate, while in an existing market, unique differentiation becomes crucial.

Step 5: Messaging and Strategic Narrative

Once you’ve gathered all the insights, it’s time to craft your messaging. Define your positioning, value proposition, and strategic narrative. This is the essence of your product marketing and will play a significant role in how potential customers perceive your product. A cornerstone of your startup strategy framework, essential for achieving product-market fit.

How do you position yourself? What’s your unique selling proposition? How do you communicate your message? What’s the compelling story that not only resonates with the entire market but also sets your product or service apart?

I’ve often observed founders bypassing this crucial phase, hastily diving into advertising campaigns, inbound marketing, or outbound efforts. When questioned about their GTM strategy, a common response is their intent to onboard a content creator to produce a plethora of blog posts. However, this approach, in isolation, doesn’t constitute a solid strategy.

Such founders often haven’t invested the time to truly understand their market and target audience. They haven’t explored the reasons behind their existence, the prevailing macro trends, or their competition.

Most notably, they haven’t pinpointed a genuine value proposition or honed their messaging—both of which are vital components of an effective marketing blueprint.

What will they communicate to a potential buyer to stand out? What unique value will they offer, and why should prospects take notice? All these considerations form the foundation of the value proposition, messaging, and strategic narrative.

  • Strategy and consistency above all
    It’s imperative not to overlook this phase. Proceeding to the subsequent step—mobilizing your strategy—without this groundwork means you’ll be shooting in the dark, lacking a clear aim and impactful ammunition.

Step 6: Execution, collecting data and iteration

Execute your GTM strategy, monitor results, refine based on feedback, and ensure your brand and product message remains consistent across all touchpoints. In essence, a GTM strategy, when combined with a strong brand strategy, ensures that a SaaS product is introduced to the market in the most effective way, maximising its potential for success and growth. In short: your chosen market segment and messaging will guide how you activate and execute your GTM strategy.

In rolling out your GTM strategy, it’s essential to map out the customer journey, encompassing both your sales strategy and marketing funnel—a process I often refer to as the “Ultimate Sales Funnel.”

However, before diving in, there are specific pivotal questions to address:

  • Question 1: Should your approach lean towards outbound, inbound, partnerships, or marketplaces?
  • Question 2: Will your organization be driven primarily by sales or marketing?
  • Question 3: Will you adopt an inside sales model, field sales, or a hybrid of the two?
  • Question 4: Do you have the resources to onboard a dedicated sales team and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)?

Your primary objective is to attract potential customers and either convert them into leads or initiate a sales dialogue.

By thoroughly addressing these questions, you’ll be able to craft a robust GTM approach, and we’re here to guide you through this process.

Integrating Brand Strategy and Go-To-Market Strategy for a powerful synergy.

Your brand strategy and GTM strategy aren’t isolated; they’re two sides of the same coin. While your brand strategy shapes your identity, your GTM strategy defines how you present this identity to the world. By ensuring these strategies are in harmony, you create a consistent and powerful market presence. Here’s how:

  1. Clear Positioning: A well-defined brand strategy establishes a clear positioning for the product or service in the market. This positioning ensures that the GTM strategy targets the right audience with a message that resonates, differentiating the offering from competitors.
  2. Consistent Messaging: Brand strategy provides a consistent narrative and tone of voice. When this is carried through to the GTM strategy, it ensures that all marketing and sales efforts communicate a consistent and memorable message to potential customers.
  3. Emotional Connection: A strong brand strategy often taps into the emotional needs and desires of the target audience. By infusing the GTM strategy with these emotional touchpoints, businesses can foster deeper connections with their audience, making conversion more likely.
  4. Trust and Credibility: A robust brand strategy builds trust and credibility in the market. When a GTM strategy is backed by a trustworthy brand, potential customers are more likely to engage, believing in the promises made.
  5. Guided Decision Making: A clear brand strategy provides guidelines on aesthetics, messaging, and customer interaction. This guidance ensures that the GTM strategy remains aligned with the brand’s values and promises, leading to more effective campaigns and initiatives.
  6. Enhanced Customer Loyalty: A brand strategy aims to create loyal advocates for the brand. When these loyal customers are integrated into the GTM strategy, they can act as brand ambassadors, amplifying the reach and effectiveness of the GTM efforts.
  7. Feedback Loop: A strong brand strategy involves listening to customers and iterating based on feedback. This feedback can be invaluable for refining the GTM strategy, ensuring it remains relevant and effective.
  8. Unified Organizational Effort: A clear brand strategy ensures that every department, from product development to sales, is aligned in their understanding of the brand’s values and objectives. This unity ensures that the GTM strategy is executed seamlessly across all fronts.

In essence, while a go-to-market strategy outlines the tactical steps to introduce a product or service to the market, the brand strategy provides the foundational understanding of who the company is, what it stands for, and how it wants to be perceived. When these two strategies are aligned, businesses can ensure that their market entry is not only tactically sound but also resonates deeply with their target audience, leading to greater success in the market.


Navigating the steps of a GTM strategy is one thing, but the magic truly lies in its execution. It’s about moving forward with precision, efficiency, and an unwavering drive. This is the essence of our Go-To-Market program at Upmarch. We equip you with a tailored GTM strategy template, rooted in the insights and methodologies we’ve discussed.

Our mission? To guide founders like you in scaling their B2B SaaS ventures, aiming for milestones like the $3M ARR and beyond. We delve deep, from honing in on your ideal customer profile to crafting a compelling value proposition and optimizing your sales funnel for maximum conversions.

If you’re poised to elevate your startup’s trajectory and keen to master a GTM strategy that truly resonates, explore our program further. With Upmarch by your side, not only will you have a strategy, but you’ll also possess the momentum to make it truly unstoppable. Ready for your march upwards?

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a go-to-market strategy?
    • It’s a plan that outlines how a company will sell its products to customers.
  2. Why is segmenting the market important?
    • It helps in targeting specific customer groups, ensuring more effective marketing and sales efforts.
  3. How does a manifesto benefit a SaaS business?
    • A manifesto clearly communicates the brand’s purpose, positioning, and value proposition, enhancing marketing efforts.
  4. What is product-led growth?
    • It’s a business methodology where the product drives acquisition, conversion, and expansion.
  5. Why is continuous iteration important?
    • Markets, customer preferences, and technologies are always evolving. Iteration ensures that the business remains relevant and competitive.
  6. Who is responsible for the GTM Strategy?
    • In short: you. As the founder, you should be responsible for the GTM while this is one of the core components of building a successful startup. Once this is fleshed out, you can hire people to execute. But like all strategic work, it should stay with the leadership of the company.
  7. Sales Driven vs Marketing Driven organization
    • Choosing between two distinct SaaS sales models significantly impacts your growth strategy. For your Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy to be effective, you must decide which model best suits your business.

      Start a Trial: Opt for this if users can experience an “a-ha moment” within the first five minutes of signing up. While they might not achieve their end goal immediately, capturing their interest early on ensures they return to your product. This approach leans towards a marketing-led growth model.

      Talk to Sales: In a competitive and well-defined market, customers’ buying decisions aren’t solely based on quick realizations. They have specific requirements and seek trust and a unique relationship with the provider. Such customers prefer direct interactions to gauge if your solution stands out from competitors, indicating a sales-led growth model.
  8. Which Go-To-Market Model to Go After? Direct Model vs Channel Model
    • Before diving into your Go-To-Market strategy, it’s essential to determine the most suitable approach for your target audience and business type: a direct model or a channel model.

      Direct Model: This involves reaching out directly to potential customers, presenting them with a solution to their problem, and persuading them to purchase it.
      Channel Model: Here, you identify entities already selling to your target audience and collaborate with them either to sell your product or introduce you to potential customers. Essentially, this model leverages existing sales channels.
    • For early-stage companies: the direct model is typically the better choice for several reasons:

      Being a small player, major channel partners might overlook you. While they might engage in preliminary discussions, they often adopt a wait-and-see approach, gauging if the market resonates with your offering.

      Founders might be lured by the channel model’s appeal, where the channel partner handles sales, sparing the need for extensive sales or marketing teams. However, in the initial stages, most channels might not prioritize or even acknowledge you.

      The direct model is particularly beneficial for startups aiming to validate their concept, gain momentum, and achieve product-market fit.

      Once committed to the direct approach, the subsequent decision is whether to adopt inbound or outbound strategies. Typically, it’s advisable for early-stage founders to begin with inbound and social methods, but understanding the nuances between inbound, outbound, and partnerships is crucial.
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