Fast, Efficient, Productive: 5 Takeaways for GTM Growth

Last week, ZoomInfo co-hosted an event with Bain & Co. at Forrester’s B2B Summit North America. Our session included go-to-market efficiency insights from ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck and CMO Bryan Law, as well as Bain Partner Mackenzie Bushy and Dell SVP of Global Sales Operations Prabha Ramakrishnan. 

Here are some of the most important takeaways from the discussion, including essential research on effective go-to-market tactics and the results of our “speed to lead” experiment. 

1. Efficiency is the New B2B Buzzword

Companies in the long bull market that followed the Great Recession often prioritized growth over profitability. But times have changed. If your company isn’t prioritizing an efficient go-to-market (GTM) strategy to acquire customers quickly, you’re going to fall behind. ZoomInfo has built its own business on execution and efficiency, and it’s our priority to help our customers do the same. 

As Schuck put it, there are really only three ways to drive sales efficiency. First, generate more leads of the same or better quality, at the same or lower cost, at the top of the funnel. Second, convert more leads into closed-won opportunities, or convert the same amount of leads at higher average sale prices. And finally, you have to convert leads faster and drive velocity.

2. GTM Plays Unlock Efficiency 

Running repeatable, customizable plays allows any company to industrialize excellence — your entire team can run the same motions used by your best sales rep. 

This approach starts with intent signals that identify who’s in-market, so you can get your team in front of the right prospects at the right time, and follows up with plays targeted to those prospects. About 60% of your leads should be coming from GTM plays each quarter, according to Bushy. 

We’ve open-sourced our best plays for you and your team to use. Check them out here

3. Speed to Lead Matters

According to research from Bain, only 5% of customers are in-market at any given time. That means you’ll fail 95% of the time if you’re solely relying on cold outreach. 

“Ultimately, what we’re all trying to do is make sure we allocate our resources in the best way possible, and that’s to make sure that our salespeople, our marketing spend, and our marketing resources are all aligned at the companies that are going to make a spending decision in the near term,” Schuck said.  

That means you should be prioritizing those that are the most interested — and that can be as simple as reaching out to the prospects who come to your website and take the time to fill out a lead form.

We ran a little test on our event attendees to see how fast they’re responding to these hot leads. Our CMO, Bryan Law, filled out a web form on each of their websites, and only 35% of the companies responded. 

They’re not alone: most companies don’t respond to hot leads quickly. 

At ZoomInfo, we strive to respond within 90 seconds to every hot lead. We know that prospects convert better when we respond faster, and if we can respond to a lead in under 90 seconds, it exponentially increases the likelihood of conversion.

4. Sales Productivity > Sales Capacity

“We did research with Google and found that 95% of customers already know about your product before they ever get to your sales rep,” Bushy said. In order to capitalize on this, it’s important to realize that we are in a new era of sales priorities. 

More is not always better, especially when it comes to running an efficient GTM team. Higher headcount does not equal higher profitability, a realization hundreds of tech companies are reckoning with right now as we’re all being asked to do more with less. 

Historically, most companies add a dollar into sales and marketing spend, and get about a dollar in revenue. But the most successful companies have been able to amplify their sales productivity along with their GTM efficiency.  

And according to Bain research, they’re three times more likely to outgrow their competitors.

Dell is an example of a company that has prioritized GTM efficiency. 

“Go-to-market design and serving up the right information to our sales reps to the right point in the sales journey has been hugely beneficial to our wins in the market,” Ramakrishnan said.

5. Sales and Marketing Alignment is Key

Do your sales and marketing teams have the same objectives? Do they think about and measure those objectives in the same way? Do both teams have a consistent, data-backed view of the world? If not, it’s time they get on the same page. 

“As our marketing leader, I report into the same person that our sales leader does,” Law said. “We have a centralized revenue operations team that can be our Switzerland and say, ‘this is working, this is not,’ and I think it’s that forced accountability and alignment, and the feedback loop that’s really critical.” 

If you’re interested in learning more about how ZoomInfo can help you supercharge your GTM efficiency, sign up for a free trial