The 3-step agile planning process enables executive leadership to make informed decisions. It dictates the development and maintenance of the right path forward. These are the companies that are winning today.

Go-to-market strategic planning enables executive leadership to make informed decisions. It dictates the development of a path forward into the market. Coupled with an execution plan, shareholder value is created.

 

In the past, strategic planning was a one-time event. Executive leadership would fly from their regions to headquarters for the gathering with the chief. They would spend several days hashing out their five-year plan. Each would emerge with direction on how they would operate over the next twelve-months.

 

This old approach caused disconnect between the planners and those who execute. Lack of transparency is a weakness in this outdated model. After the strategy was rolled out to the field, feedback was neither collected nor acted upon. This inflexible and slow approach locked companies into long term plans while ignoring change.

 

Download the 2019 SBI RGM GTM Strategy to develop a Go-To-Market Strategy, and put your company in the best position to win against competition.

 

High-growth companies have adopted an entirely different method for go-to-market (GTM) planning.  They have ditched the cumbersome five-year plan in favor of a three-step agile approach.

 

 

1. Informing the Plan with a Fact Base: Building A Data Driven Foundation

 

Market leaders do not build their go-to-market plan without a fact base. Built upon this fact base are all the key functional strategies.  The functional leaders draw objective insights and ensure alignment.

 

Companies are swimming in data. The problem is, companies are still not using the right data to inform their decision making. As a result, executive teams are misaligned.

 

What complicates matters worse is that a series of small decisions get made in siloes. These decisions become costly as executives work hard yet fail to grow enterprise value.

 

Best-in-class organizations have addressed these complications with Market Listening methodologies. The organizational leaders come to agreement on the data they need. With a well-developed fact base, the leadership in an excellent position to make informed decisions.

 

2. Designing the Operating Plan: What are the Big Bets?

 

During this phase, choices are made. Market leaders operate with precision because as a team they agree on the big bets.  During this step, the fact base has uncovered a large set of potential initiatives.  Not all of them can be pursued, so they are prioritized.

 

Armed with their fact base, market leaders now move into the design of their big bets. Their prioritization provides clarity and focus.  The companies that achieve this can focus on tactical excellence. Not only do they do the right things, they do them right. These companies maintain a competitive advantage on a quarterly and monthly basis.

 

3. Executing the Operating Plan: The Agile Cadence of Market Leaders

 

No matter how well planned, no operating plan is perfect. Sometimes the big bets are wrong.  Perhaps they were right in the beginning, but the market shifted. To solve for the unknown, performance is monitored, and change is directed.

 

This requires a systematic, agile execution of the operating plan.  This is difficult and requires a level of operating discipline many organizations do not possess. Those who do this well have implemented an operating cadence that drives continuous transparency and objectivity. These companies are more likely to achieve their prioritized objectives because they can course corrections quickly.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Following an ongoing agile support methodology has its risks. In the months that follow the annual planning event, the strength of the message can weaken. If that happens, the field will lack the resolve to execute the plan.  They will follow their own undirected instincts and hatch autonomous plans.

 

The biggest risk is that most companies lack experienced practitioners who truly know how to execute an agile approach. This requires a highly disciplined process, daily communication, and a maniacal focus on customer feedback. If the team lacks the capacity and/or capability to execute, the entire system will fail.

 

The 3-step agile planning process enables executive leadership to make informed decisions. It dictates the development and maintenance of the right path forward. These are the companies that are winning today.

 

Download the 2019 SBI RGM GTM Strategy to develop a Go-To-Market Strategy, and put your company in the best position to win against competition.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Bernoske

Develops innovative revenue growth solutions and designs the SBI client experience.

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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