Annual Planning Checklist—Imperatives for GTM Revenue Leaders

It’s hard to believe, but 2020 is already here. Many revenue leaders are thinking through a combination of New Year’s resolutions, action planning with their teams and preparation for annual kickoffs and strategy communications. Consider the following recommendations to add to your checklist as you prepare your GTM organization for growth:

  1. Conduct a health check with your key customers. Knowing you customers is a key input to any successful plan for 2020. Your customers are doing similar reflection and planning activities and will likely be open to questions and providing feedback. Reach out to key customers, thought leaders and new customers (even former customers, if possible). Probe for how your company is doing–are you providing delight or pain points? What messages and value propositions are resonating? Is the buyer journey changing? Is your competition doing something different or better?
  2. Develop smooth applications and workflow revenue motions. Applications and workflows are the new value proposition. Customers will reward life sciences and analytical instruments companies who are able to identify, differentiate, optimize and expand value associated with utilization of their products and solutions (e.g., not simply the features and benefits of the products themselves). Marketing, sales and service teams need to evaluate and evolve their approach, messaging and models to drive plays that enhance customer utilization. GTM leaders should ensure there are smooth handoffs between marketing campaigns, sales plays and service plays around a prioritized list of applications and workflows. This will have the effect of not only delighting customers, but also creating a common cause and purpose across different functions.
  3. Target white space & “gray space” through a better use of processes, tools and data. Customers change and you need to update your segmentation and targeting methodology to keep pace; without regular updates, you commercial team is at risk of wasting time on the wrong customers. This often leads to suboptimal growth. Leading companies regularly conduct annual segmenting and targeting exercises based upon traditional inputs like company size, number of employees and industry vertical as a starting point to optimize go-to-customer activities. Leading companies also re-evaluate and prioritize high-growth markets (e.g., cell therapy, genetic testing, food and beverage, high-growth biomarkers, oncology and others) to drive differentiated growth. This information can also help inform specialist coverage deployment, key/focus account planning, territory design and goal setting.
  4. Uncover and scale commercial productivity enablers. Your commercial teams are well aware of time sinks, such as poorly defined jobs, poor processes or tool gaps. Poll your team to understand baseline productivity (e.g., revenue per head), as well as key inhibitors and enablers for field teams, inside teams and specialists. Find latent capacity and shift low-value activities to inside or admin resources. Ensure good cross-functional alignment, particularly for field service and sales that can unlock upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Promote tools and enablement resources (e.g., playbooks, analytical tools, coaching/leadership programs) you may have overlooked or under-resourced.
  5. Enable Self-Service digital channels across high priority customer segments. Buyers increasingly like to digitally self-enable (the ability to research an offering, pilot, transact, and self-support). Customers still appreciate an old-fashioned white-glove customer experience, when it’s necessary and expected; however, more and more they will rely on the internet and other self-service digital technologies to meet their most basic needs. This is good news: companies that invest in self-service will not only better meet buyer expectations, but also enjoy lower lifetime costs for acquiring and retaining customers.
  6. Assess sales compensation plans for strategic alignment. Sales compensation is typically one of the largest components of SG&A, and 80-90% of clients report adjusting compensation plans in some fashion every year. As strategy or the market changes, the behaviors that make your team successful will change as well. As behaviors change, so too should incentives that drive these behaviors be tweaked or even overhauled. Re-evaluate your core compensation plans and the associated goals to drive optimal pay and performance alignment.
  7. Create a culture that balances customer and employee experience. A significant threat to driving consistent, profitable growth is attracting and retaining top talent. With a hot job market, competition for talent is increasing and skillsets needed to sell applications and workflows are more advanced. Maintaining competitive pay and compensation are only part of the solution. GTM revenue leaders are wise to develop and execute employee experience culture initiatives that provide an employee experience that provides work-life flexibility, delivers coaching and professional development, and provides a sense of mission tied to customer value.

Need help strategizing and executing your go-to-customer model? We’re here to help. Contact an Alexander Group practice lead today!


Life Sciences Virtual Roundtable Sessions:
Topic: Industry Predictions for Revenue Growth
February 11, 2020 from 2:00-3:30 EST | Register Today


Insight type: Article

Industry: Life Sciences

Role: C-Suite, Front-Line Sales Management

Topic: Revenue Growth, Strategy

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