Fundamental go-to-market strategies are based upon asking the right questions as early as possible to align and focus scarce resources for maximum impact. Unfortunately, while this sounds reasonable, many nod their head in agreement only to act in a manner that is diametrically opposed to the premise.
Executives look to those employees who get things done. In today’s competitive markets there is not enough time to train, coach and mentor the masses. However, organizations seek out those that can hit the ground running and figure out how to get things done. One thing this group holds in common is that they ask the right questions early and often while the rest of the pack does not.
The key is to ask good questions upfront – i.e. know what to ask and when to ask for it.
- How can you know what you don’t know?
- How can you not be a burden to others to get up to speed?
- How do you not burn yourself out trying to get things done?
- How do you not miss the mark?
Why doesn’t everyone ask good questions? The top three reasons include: assuming, using bad information and not addressing the root problem.
Often times, people prefer to assume – some say this word is actually comprised of three words that provide a good explanation of why things went wrong. But why do some people assume?
Talking – some people confuse talking with communicating. Here, meeting times (formal or informal) usually mean the bulk of time is spent talking about things that are not core to the topic at hand. Individuals leave the meeting without clear direction and rely on their own interpretation of what was “talked about” as they move ahead.
Intimidation – there’s an old adage that says, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and reveal all doubt.” This may happen because the requestor is more powerful or simply louder than others in the group — and the doers are afraid to ask questions.
Too Busy – there is almost always too much to do and too little time to do it. In this scenario, an initial or partial thought is floated and others run to figure it out.
USING BAD INFORMATION
Garbage in, Garbage out – regardless of whether the problem was framed correctly, if inaccurate or incomplete data is used then it is almost certain that the results or findings will be flawed.
NOT ADDRESSING THE ROOT PROBLEM
Not the Root Problem – sometimes, what is thought to be the issue is actually a symptom and not the root problem. Solving for a symptom is frustrating for the owner of the pain as their problem is not solved. It is also defeating for the doers as they exerted time and effort that was in vain.
Asking good questions will help navigate to the core of a request so that resources can be efficiently and effectively allocated in order to provide the desired results — without the trial and error approach.
Fundamental Go-to-Market Strategies Requires Asking Meaningful & Relevant Questions Around:
- What is the fundamental marketing strategy?
- Is value being delivered to customers?
- What is the role of product, solution and industry marketing?
- Are there managed, repeatable processes in place?
- What is the integrated demand creation and management plan?
- Are we optimizing our investment in marketing?
- What is the overall go-to-market plan?
- Is the sales team enabled?
- What is the social media plan?
- What is the unique selling proposition?
In many instances, the initial question is not the root problem. When this happens, solving for this symptom stimulates an iterative process by the requestor until they figure out what they really need. Sometimes however this will result in an endless loop. Before launching a project, it’s important to know what is being asked for and why, before jumping into execution mode. Learning what is not a desired outcome is many times as valuable as understanding what is a desired outcome.