How do you take your product or service from the nosebleeds to your ideal client’s front row? The answer lies in your go-to-market (GTM) strategy, or step-by-step blueprint of how you plan to hit a homerun when your product or service hits the market.
What are the steps you need to take to ensure that your GTM strategy is a success?
Jed Karban, a selling futurist, sales executive, and strategist, is giving us his insight.
In this episode of Evolved Sales Live, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Jed to discuss the 5 steps every startup should follow to create a go-to-market strategy that actually works in 2022.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Jed Karban is a Selling futurist, sales executive, and strategist whose clients describe him as a creative business strategist, sales professional, and sales mentor. With over 10 years of experience as a Sales Leader, Jed helps elevate businesses and ensure that their map to success has everything it needs to stand out amongst their competitors!
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:04
Welcome back. I'm Jonathan Fisher, when it comes to sales, tactics and skills are of utmost importance, but without an effective overall strategy, even the sharpest team will fall short. To really get ahead, every company must have a top shelf go to market strategy. So how is yours working? Even if results seem good? Could there be hidden opportunities for improvement? And with all the changes in the marketplace in recent years, have you made all the necessary updates to keep pace? Well, our guests can help us with that. For over a decade now. Jed carbon has been making a name for himself as a futurist, consultant and trainer. His clients describe him as a creative business strategist and sales mentor. His specialty is helping translate brand identity into powerful and effective go to market plans that actually work in 2022. Jed, great to have you with us today.
Jed Karban 0:52
I'm glad to be here. As always, thank you so much.
Jonathan Fischer 0:56
So to start off, would you please share in more depth? What do you do every day?
Jed Karban 1:01
Well, every day, I'm a sales executive for one of the largest retailer, I should say manufacturers of appliances in the world on so I do that day to day. Beyond that, however, I also run a small company called in three as well as I am building out a community, an app to be used as a community for selling passive goods. So I do a lot, I'm happy to do it. But I learned something new every day that I tried to implement throughout all three spectrums of business.
Jonathan Fischer 1:36
Well, that sounds great. So it sounds like you're applying what you use every day. So that probably keeps you that much more sharp and your consulting work, I would guess?
Jed Karban 1:45
Absolutely. It forces me to really kind of be strategic and just about everything I do, whether I say yes to it or no to it. It just allows me to kind of get down to the nitty gritty and say, Okay, what's important? How do I develop a plan for it? And how do I go out and execute it? And those are the areas where I kind of use most of my skills for for sales and for executing business?
Jonathan Fischer 2:08
Yeah, excellent. Well, so our topic today is building a go to market plan that's actually going to work in 2022. We all know, there's been a lot of changes. I mean, there were already changes afloat. And I think that with COVID coming on, and the, you know, the the great resignation, there are all these different changes in the marketplace related to how we work, and how we get clients, some things probably haven't necessarily changed, maybe we just think they have maybe the way we do some of the same things. We need to do them differently now. So somewhere in that mix, I think a lot of mistakes are being made. I'm sure you see that as well, where where do you think folks are missing the boat in terms of business development right now?
Jed Karban 2:47
Well, I think it's mistaking that the old plan works, right is that the tried and true is the only thing that's going to get you there. I think with the issues that we're facing now in the business community, and also in the economy itself. I think our energies have to be focused on problem solving. I think in the past, we could look at our successes, and Gared the next step on our successes. And as we look at it today, it's really about, you know, solutions, what are we dealing with this problem with? And then strategizing from there, I think is the biggest difference. And so it brings us back to what is the strategy, you know, and really, it's just a business plan, maybe microcode for one aspect of the business or another or one region or another or one market over another. But it's truly just having a structured business plan that we go to take action on.
Jonathan Fischer 3:35
So I think most companies probably feel that they have a plan. What do you think the key elements are in an effective business plan in 2020? To break that down for us if you would bit by bit?
Jed Karban 3:50
Yeah. I think that's quite, quite true. They do have a plan. And I think it really does start with, you know, kind of making sure that that plan A is broadly understood. I mean, I'm talking about it from a perspective of how it's being leveraged to go to market that day, right? Not necessarily that year. I think we often overlook that ability to kind of sit and create time for planning. And I know that a lot of business owners out there are just in the mix of doing business, right? They got the day to day operations, and they have the challenges of all that comes with that. But they rarely get an opportunity to make time for actually reviewing that plan and communicating it to the parties that need to be communicated. So I think step one is really carving out time for reviewing your plan or creating a plan that's structured and going to be revisited regularly with you and your team if there's a team involved. Step two for me would be not just having you know, time Laird in for it, but actually kind of looking in specifics about what the problem is, what is the most glaring problem that you're Facing for some right now it's supply chain, and then it creates a customer service issue down the road. And it's really getting strategic about how you're going to address that problem. And I think the last thing I would say, as far as step three would be to build a network or a structure internally, or externally, if you're running solo, that allows you to have some accountability against tackling those issues that you have identified as the biggest problem that you face. Because as I believe it, most strategies are deployed against issues, not necessarily what's working right, we can kind of let those ride but when we come across that big, glaring issue, I think we don't know how to tackle that very well, because it's uncomfortable, right? And most business owners want to think, hey, we offer the best product, we offer the best service, we offer the best solution, everything's great until the customer, Google's down and we find the results, right? So it's a struggle for all of us. And I think it's a struggle for big corporations and small corporations alike. You know, how do we deal with those challenges?
Jonathan Fischer 6:04
Yeah, for sure. So I'm hearing several things underneath of that, in terms of missed opportunity, one would be assuming that the old way of talking about things in terms of just our solution is not going to get it done at these the more tunes maybe to a solution today. And then the other thing I picked up on there was that folks are running their business, whether that's the at the very top to sea level, probably down the levels of management. And they're not maybe taking that time to do an analysis of their actual go to market plan to see what could be improved, not just where there's a glaring problem, but where they could actually push for better results than they have today. So how did they do that analysis? And let's say that they take your advice, and they set aside a session, and they look at their plan. Just like you laid that out a moment ago? Where would you begin your analysis, if this were one of your clients, and start to see if you could tease apart where you know, this is this is a glaring problem. That's an easy one. Here's a hidden opportunity. Talk to us about that.
Jed Karban 7:04
You know, when we look at it from that perspective, I think we have to take an accumulation of the data, obviously, we're from a sales perspective, we're looking at sales, but then from a, you know, corporate collective, whether we're entrepreneur or not, we still have people that are part of our functioning team. And I think we need to look at that holistically and simply do the simplest thing, right? Take a pros and cons approach to it. On this side of the ledger, it's costing us money or business. And on this side of the ledger, we're earning money or business from it. And when we see those things, we can easily strike out in terms of what's our next actual plan that we want to address. And then we can benchmark it through simple SMART goals, or other measurements that are gonna allow us to kind of have a, a pace timeline to addressing those, those challenges that we're facing. But again, I would like to revisit just the fact that it's all about problem solving, because we don't need a plan if everything we picked up and turned to gold, but it doesn't. So I think when we look at it from our success, all those we can say, okay, these are the things that are resolved. But then now we need to go into the challenging areas. So for example, I've had clients with service issues, you know, they sell a product, it has a breakdown, you know, situation or clients upset about something with that product. But the service is delayed because of parts and supply chain and action remedy issues. So we have to look at it from that perspective. How do we target this specific need, and then we break it down into three goals. I said, you know, so layering down pros and con, I can get people registered for to offer more localized service to that consumer or in that market that I serve. Or I can go into? Well, it's really not that bad. It was a one off situation. So how do I remedy customer service and target it from that perspective?
Jonathan Fischer 8:53
What were some of the things that you needed to do practically speaking, how did you go about getting beyond grant Grant Hill? That's it sounds like an interesting case study.
Jed Karban 9:01
What's that? I'm sorry,
Jonathan Fischer 9:02
that sounds like an interesting case study. Tell us more. How did you How did you solve that those problems?
Jed Karban 9:07
Yeah, I think, you know, from from a corporate level, I had experience with that, in particular, and we were looking at service, it was a mighty challenge for us. Because we're, you know, at that time, I was surprising, are selling a premium product, which, you know, we think premium and it has no problems. But there are from time to time issues. And as you expand into the Midwest, where you have more rural communities, or I would say pretty much anywhere in the country. We're in rural, it's really even harder to deliver quality service, because you're relying on a different network for that. And I think collectively, you know, I was offered the opportunity to go and look at that in terms of how do we resolve this issue. And we came up with a really about a five step, you know, element, they're looking at it from the customer perspective. So how do we deal with this from the customer's perspective they call in or they go online to our website and the, you know, request a service call, and then there was breakage points from that standing point. So we had a really start then narrowing down the pathway for each of those breaking points, and then include the parties that were responsible for them. So I think, you know, that's a big part of our strategic plan, like I had mentioned in those three stops, you know, creating time for creating strategy for it, and then actually, you know, allowing others to work through it with you. And as we deployed it into those other service networks, because we are given lead on it, it was our job then to make sure that the network was in communication regularly. But also we were driving the network, here's the benchmarks that we agreed to. But then, you know, here's the testing points. And then now, here's the results. So now, what's the next step? And we just kept refining step after step. And I know it's, you know, a very generic answer to your question, but at the same time, it applies to any area of our business, right? As we look at the bigger problem, we really need to get it narrowed down to what is it doing to impact business? And most times what impacts business the most is the consumer experience. So if we can't deliver on that end to the consumer, how do we expect to grow our business and, you know, from a corporate perspective, or from a small business, my clients, we're wholesale clients, so I'm selling to them, who then we're selling to consumers on the end, right. So a lot of times our breakage was the communication between us and our clients, not necessarily us and our consumer. And once we determined that we had to get better at managing the relational expectations, as well as the process for those of our clients to go through in order to help their consumer. And so once we did that, the results were like, astronomically better. I'm talking into two and a half years where we really focused on this in my particular region of that business, we were able to double business, not, like incrementally grow up by like, take it from 15 to $30 million, and ship goods over a period of you know, two and a half years. And it was really from addressing the core issues that were a hand and that is actually Hey, sales are great. We like your product. Great. All that was fine. You know, the issues were relational. How do we get around this? How do we serve our customer better? And that put us into a mindset of accomplishing? How do we do this, right? And so the 19 strategies are the elements of how do we apply this to who and why we're, and when, right, and so as we really break it down, we have to look at the big picture, everything's going good, we offer a great product or a service solution, then we narrow it down to the focus of, okay, well, it's not so great in these areas, we have to get really specific, then we put together a plan in terms of like, okay, we want to see x happened by this, you know, or why happened by this. And then when we were testing dogs, we were gathering data to say, Okay, this is acceptable model, you know, issues, or this is a great amount of success. And then we were able to kind of detail and refine and put it back in the process. And that's why I mean, it's important that we scheduled time, all the time to really be looking at this strategically, you know, in terms of planning things, you know, so we can look at it from a sales perspective, we can look at it from ops per sec, how are we going to look at it, but we need to absolutely adopt it in part of our time, you know, what I know, the first thing people say is I don't have time, and that's totally good. You know, I get it, it's it's time. And it's money. But I don't know, if we always equate the two together, right, we say it's all about time, I don't have enough to get more to get done. I have so much more to do that just a one off situation until it's not right. And then it's costing us a lot more money. I mean, you could talk about millions of dollars, in some cases where we're losing, because we're not taking time, either individually with some networking folks that help us run our business, or coaches in this particular case, or is a collective corporation to say this is where we're really breaking. And when we do, how quickly are we gonna run to that that source object, right?
You know, a look at it from sports, you know, you're not going to win anything, if you're not planned and ready for execution. And you can learn from the game tape, right? You know, you know, I don't know how many coaches practice plays that are new all the time. I don't think they practice plays that work in game time situations all the time. I think their practice is the one where there was breakdown. And so if we look at it from a modern era, you know, there's so much data or tape to go off of that we need to be willing to study it and take accountability for it and put it as part of our plan. So if you are strategic planning, carve out time for that, get a group of people together, look at what's going to be accountable, how are they going to measure you towards it? And then, you know, you can get really nitty gritty on the detail of a specific goal or objective, which is what the strategy is for. I love
Jonathan Fischer 14:57
that you're creating a positive feedback loop out into the grid. in the marketplace, and then now you can offer that as an additional value in when prospecting
Jed Karban 15:03
and oh Jonathan, I really believe that that's, you know, the power of working together as partnerships, right. And that's what strategy is really kind of defining us and an alignment, or what I like to call the DNA of our partners. And I think, you know, we often get lost and like, this is our strategy, this is our strategy. But really, we should be building the strategy upon the needs of those we serve those that were, you know, prospecting those that we're actually trying to win their business with, because I think the more we understand how they operate, the more they'll be able to kind of align with us and what we're offering today, I think we have some great solutions. I think there's a lot of competition for those solutions. And I think, you know, our prospects, or our clients are actually going to choose one over the other based on, you know, that partnership and relationship, we talk about relationship winning all the time. It's what drives business. But in reality, I've been through a lot of different organizations and also different elements where I see that once we have the business, it becomes like, Well, why would you choose anybody else, and they don't, we don't, I think we often forget that this is a choice to continue working together a choice to continue being partners, and it's an ongoing process. And the ones who really, really win are the ones that intertwine their DNA is together with the final aspiration of whoever that end user is of our product or service is the one that's benefiting the malls, right? Because we get to leverage the fact that we're generating business for our clients, right. And I think there's no more powerful marker than those who can really say, my partner, Jed carve and helped me win X amount of business or introduce me to so on. So that let me, you know, secure business into the pipeline. And so I think that's what really kind of creates a leverage for any of us who are putting forth a strategic plan. And so, as I said, we have to make time for it through, you know, not only just analysis of the data, and our sales, and the results of those sales are coming and driving, but also how it's impacting other areas of our business to July deliver a really powerful response.
Jonathan Fischer 17:18
So Jed, I hear what you're saying, on analyzing your current go to market model. Here's a question for you. What if I'm a brand new startup, I don't even have client one? Or maybe I have one, you know, just for networking, I have a solution. I have one or a handful of clients, just from networking and my own connections? How do I actually build from whole cloth and effective go to market plan in this post COVID era?
Jed Karban 17:43
Yeah, I was asking those same questions about, you know, early February, when I had this idea, which, ironically, was spawned by a client of mine, he says, what do you what would you do if you had all the money in the world? And I said, Well, I probably change retail, right? And that's what one of my dreams is, is how do we shop online? And how do we integrate, you know, that into our community aspect, again, because it is a challenge, I really see that we're, you know, we have and we are moving towards as a generation, not just a society, but as a generation is that there's gonna be a whole new new wave of that. And when I was asked that question, I really started. Well, I've never ran a business by myself, right? I never built a tech company. I don't know what it looks like. And I think the first step I really took was, was reading information on how to build a business, right. And as I did that, one of the places I found myself doing a lot of research was LegalZoom. I know that sounds weird, but you know, they they work with businesses and small businesses all the time. And this is not a plug for them. I'm sure there's plenty of other resources, right, that will help us get started with the fundamentals. You know, I want to bring X to market and I need to understand what's involved with starting a business, you know, what are, you know, things I want to be faced with as a business owner. Because it can be scary, it can be daunting for a lot of people. The second thing I really did is I really drilled down into the the LinkedIn stratosphere. I mean, there's so many app experts on this marketplace, right? That you can really find an expert to handle is legal and expert has been an accounting expert that's been in, you know, product development, an expert that's been in distribution, and I started to really expand my network wants and needs based on some of the things I was reading about, you know, and then the next step was, okay, well, what I'm building has a lot to do with, you know, creating a network or a platform, which I'm not a tech guru, right. So I really started thinking about how do I learn from those and so I searched people in that stratosphere as well, right? How do I start a tech company and So it really it comes with being curious and asking questions all the time. But I think the first step, like I said, is get some support, understand how the business works.
And then secondly would be to really find people inside the business community, in this case, LinkedIn, that's going to help you fill those gaps where you have no knowledge, connect with them, get them to understand what you're trying to do without, you know, selling your idea wholesale. And allow them to get to give you some insight, follow them look at their content, what are they posting about, because each piece of that content is another data point, right? You know, this is what I do when I see x. And so any anyway, that would be step two, and then step three is really about, you know, finding tools that allow you to kind of map this out. And this is where the strategy really begins, right. And so for me, you know, I found a company called mural. And it allows you to kind of utilize these library of tools that are designed for planning and for customer experience. And for other elements that allow you to kind of have the blueprint already mapped out for you, all you're doing is filling in the sequences relevant to your business. And once I had that, you know, that's where my Canvas came from. That's where my customer experience map came from. It allowed me to kind of really go to market with those strategies involved. So I think, you know, again, it's preparing time, it's getting to know the network, it's filling the gaps, and then really finding the tools in order to do that. Right. And I, and I have a lot of other tools I've learned since then, you know, and again, it goes back to accountability. So the minute I got through all those elements of it, the people that I met through LinkedIn or through my network, I stay in touch with regularly, I go back to them and say, Hey, how does this look to you? This is sound right? And now that I'm in the development stage of this plan, I actually use my developers because they'll outpace me in development. And so it forces me to go back and say, oh, boy, I didn't think about that, or, jeez, I really need to, you know, work on this portion of my business strategy. Right? Again, it goes back to problem solving. I mean, and that's what every strategy should involve, is this problem solving. So I guess, as a startup, you know, look for the most obvious place, where do I learn about building a business? Secondly, you know, network with the people that are areas where you're not proficient, learn from them, talk to them, engage with them, right. And then next thing is, what are the tools that I'm going to use to bring this to life, you know, and for me, like I said, it was a mural, not plugging it. But it was such a use for a user friendly tool that allowed me to kind of game plan everything. I'm also involved with other small affiliates that have other tools, like project management devices. So I was able to benchmark and stage every aspect of my project in there, in order for me to kind of stay on track with my build. And then lastly, as we went into build, I started, you know, kind of revisiting that plan, every time I was working with my developers, in order to kind of go fill in those problems or gaps that they were having in terms of the operation on my app. So you know, is it it is a big, big world out there, there's tons of tools, tons of resources, but if you didn't, do we keep it simple, you you research a subject, you apply it, what you're learning, and then you go forth, right, and then you go back and repeat right? What I learned from this, so for those new startups out there, you know, there's a lot of ways you can start, but the first one is, understand what a business is, understand what's applied. And then secondly, you know, find a network to tap into who can be a great resource for you moving forward. And lastly, find the tools that you need, or don't know how hand, sometimes will you just think in terms of resources in terms of money, but there's a lot of tools for building a business that will make your life so much easier. And I'll end with this on this common, you know, the more structured you are up front, the better you are on the back side. So, again, being in sales for a long period of time, you know, a third two thirds of my life. I always close more deals when I was prepared for that deal way in advance. You know, I may spend 80% of my time planning and preparing so that the last one is really about in front of a customer selling and closing, you know, a deal, but all the work has happened beforehand. The same is true in the business world, right? All that work happens behind the scenes. It's just what the customer sees is such a small amount of what's actually happening. And I think, you know, as someone that's interested in these things, or had a desire at some day to, you know, create my own company. That was what I didn't know, right? I was just seeing the tip of the iceberg. I could do x better than my comp right or better than the competition. My ideas this sure you know, but I didn't see the whole underlying portion of it and that's where I had to learn the most out of and that's what I'm trying to apply and hope other founders follow suit because I know
In this regard that, you know, one of the things we see is oh, there's just another tech startup. Oh, there's just another app being built, you know, and there's a lot of funding for it. Right. There's a lot of resources for there's incubators or accelerators, there's etc. Some of these terms I Didn't Know About six months ago, but there are these things, and there's money there for you. There's grants there for you by the government, you know, but until you research them, or someone tells you about them, you don't know. Right? And I think that's the power of networking, doing the power of research. So I just encourage your your audience, and if there's founders or startups in that in to get nitty gritty on doing business, you know, you know, and if they need help, I'll be happy to help them and exchange. Yeah, some thoughts and ideas through LinkedIn, or you know, through my website, or they can call me as well. So great, excellent.
Jonathan Fischer 25:49
Well, I hope a whole plethora of resources out there for sure. And among those may even be our show sponsor, our show is sponsored a quick reminder by overpass.com overpass is the world's leading solution for hiring high quality salespeople fast with 1000s of highly qualified ready to work professionals waiting to meet you. Overpass allows you to hire a whole team in just days, instead of weeks. create your free account and see just how easy it is for firstname.lastname@example.org. Well, Jake, you've shared a lot of great insights for us today. I understand folks can go and find you on LinkedIn and get a link for a free quick session with you. Is that right? Just your name, Jed. Karban on LinkedIn.
Jed Karban 26:27
That's correct. Just Jed Karban on LinkedIn. And that's it. You'll see me there.
Jonathan Fischer 26:31
All right. And this building will be in the show notes. So folks, thanks so much for being with us for another fantastic episode of our podcast, evolve sales leader. Go make it a great successful rest of your week.
Jed Karban 26:41
Thanks so much.