AWS Conference in Seoul + GTM

I had the pleasure to discuss my passion (solving GTM) at an unfamiliar spot, a wedding banquet hall in Seoul, Korea. Above left is a picture of the banquet hall in a wedding, while above right is a picture of the AWS Partner TechShift conference.

There I shared my thoughts on how Korean SaaS companies can Go-To-Market in the US.

It can be summarized in one photo:

Relationship GTM → Digital GTM

Traditional Korean GTM is based on relationships, which is usually culminated in a drink. It has many advantages — including some great relationships. But, relationships are very difficult to scale, especially in a large country like the USA.

So, the key to US GTM is to find, nurture and close customers — even if you have NO PRIOR relationships. Sounds impossible.

We are seeing companies do this and grow by leveraging:

  • Modern GTM technologies (such as Salesforce for CRM, Marketo for Marketing Automation, Engagio for Account Based Everything, …), combined with
  • Digital Platforms (from Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce AppExchange, Marketo Launchpoint, …), and operated by
  • Innovative marketers and sales people using science and data — and creating compelling content.

The chart below shows how these elements can work together:

Basically, companies can:

  1. Acquire Names of potential customers who want to buy using targeted outbound, quality inbound, customer virality, PR or any other method.
  2. Nurture those Names into Qualified Leads using Marketing Automation plus relevant content and product experiences. Obviously, a critical nurturing tool is the company’s own website.
  3. Close those Qualified Leads by building a relationship with the potential customer through helping the potential customer.

Of course, it helps if the product is suited for Digital GTM. That requires a product which is easy to understand, easy to use, easy to deploy, and easy to find value.

Effective Digital GTM requires answering two questions: Who Buy? and Why Buy?

Any Digital GTM strategy must answer two key questions: Who buys? and Why they buy?

One good source for answers is asking and analyzing the happy customers. Hopefully, those answers are reinforced by asking the same questions to unhappy customers and analyzing lost deals. Specific questions are shown in the green column of the chart below under Customer Success.

Then using the answers (to Who Buy? and Why Buy?) to align Sales and Marketing with Customer Success

The chart also shows how to apply the GTM answers from the happy customers (customer success) to the company’s sales and marketing functions.

GTM consists of three functions: Sales, Marketing and Customer Success. Ideally, the GTM strategy is aligned if the three GTM functions have the same answers to the two key GTM questions (Who buy? and Why buy?).

Let’s take the first row of the chart (Who buy?) as an example. By knowing the title of the active user, the company knows the title of the potential champion. The company also knows what title to target for outbound or qualify on inbounds for leads. The target customer (who buys) is aligned if the same person is the lead who becomes the deal champion who becomes the active user.

Aligned Digital GTM → Surfing GTM

When a company aligns the key Digital GTM questions (who buy? and why buy?) with its marketing, sales and happy customers — and with a strong nearby wave, it feels like the company is surfing to greatness.

How AWS Helps GTM?

I wanted to speak at the AWS conference, because AWS has helped many Storm portfolio companies with their GTM, thus driving faster growth and delivering financial returns for everyone (including us).

Their assistance is summarized in the slide below:

AWS Presentation

Storm Ventures
Venture Capital