Integrated go-to-market planning is changing the profitability playbook for tech companies



The platform for orchestrating performance.

The technology industry has taken its knocks in the last few years. Like your industry peers, you may have had to make difficult decisions in your organization, including abrupt and sweeping workforce reductions. Though hard to swallow, the message was difficult to miss—investors expect not just growth, but profitable and sustainable growth. In the past, tech companies competed to win by doing whatever it takes—increasing headcount, marketing spend, and allocating valuable resources—to achieve growth at any cost. But as it turns out, it cost a lot. Today, you’re forced to navigate an unfamiliar environment in which investors are laying on the pressure to balance growth and profitability. Which means you need a plan to adjust your go-to-market strategy and meet the requirements of this new era.

The goal posts keep moving

This shift in investor demands is new and changing the way we do business. Data shows us that as recently as 2022, the top quartile of tech companies were growing fast, above 60%, but were operating with a negative cash flow. Fast forward just one year to 2023 and that growth rate has slowed to a more sustainable 40%, with these top companies now operating with improved free cash flow of about 14%..

But it’s not just investor expectations for profitability changing the game. Customer demands are also growing—alongside their negotiating power. Renewal rates are no longer guaranteed, and retention rates are also dropping as customers scrutinize budget spending and scale back investments in new capabilities, functionality, and add-ons. As many tech companies must contend with slashed budgets, go-to-market teams are forced to figure out how to do more with less. 

You can dream big

Attempts to build go-to-market strategies that enable technology companies to manage growth against the cost of sales often fall short because go-to-market teams—in sales, marketing, customer success, professional services, and the extended enterprise—operate and develop their plans in silos. The disconnection that results makes it difficult to share datasets and insights or collaborate efficiently with other teams across the organization.

With disjointed operations and data stuck in silos, tech companies are hard-pressed to make strategic business shifts in how they go to market. If your valuable data is hard to find and out of date, you won’t have confidence that the decisions you make are the right ones for your company. You need assurance that your data is accurate and current and that everyone is looking at that data through the same lens. In an ideal world, you would have a single source of truth to rely on—a product of data integration across the business and driven by consistent data standards. Because when you have that confidence, you can answer fundamental questions pertinent to your go-to-market strategy, such as: 

  • Do you know your best opportunities for growth by solution, industry, account, and region?

  • Are your sales and marketing teams aligned on those priorities and set up for success?

  • What about your internal resources and investments—are they aligned to support those opportunities?

Turn that dream into reality

You can break down silos in go-to-market planning using platforms such as Anaplan. We unify all aspects of the go-to-market plan and cycle across Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, and Professional Services teams, helping you confidently answer crucial go-to-market questions..

This shift from siloed and static go-to-market planning brings powerful benefits.

1. Intelligently adjust market segmentation to target the right opportunities

Instead of relying on a single segmentation model based on historical data, Anaplan allows you to perform multi-dimensional segmentation that considers a range of inputs, including propensity to buy. The whole go-to-market organization can work with the same visibility into this data, allowing the business to align quickly on sources of growth and prioritize consistently across Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and Professional Services. 

2. Improve market coverage

Integrated go-to-market planning allows organizations to shorten manual workforce planning tasks across sales territories by two-thirds. You can more easily identify where to focus top sellers to develop the best opportunities and ensure appropriate coverage across all sales channels (field, hybrid, digital, channel). This clarity means you avoid duplication of effort and can align on the best strategic opportunities to maximize your returns across the whole go-to-market function.

3. Make sales incentives more appealing

The sales team is the engine of your organization, and incentive management is critical to retaining key talent. Integrated go-to-market planning speeds up sales reporting, improves the accuracy of incentive calculations, and allows organizations to pay top performers quickly. You see improvements in retention rates in the sales team and you can also have confidence in the accuracy of data across the go-to-market organization to model future sales compensation scenarios.

4. Flex your go-to-market execution as needed

When sales quotas still aren’t locked 90 days into the new fiscal year, you know it’s hard to make up the lost ground. Integrated go-to-market planning allows you to confidently release those quotas within one month of the new fiscal year and make necessary adjustments based on local conditions. The benefits to seller momentum and productivity can significantly impact overall performance in the year.  

Make an impact 

When your organization’s go-to-market functional teams are integrated in the ways we have outlined here, you will know which markets to prioritize and focus on and be prepared to pivot quickly in response to market needs. With careful, integrated go-to-market planning, you can feel confident that you’re focusing on the right things and allocating resources efficiently and wisely. Spend time on the best bets for your business growth — effectively “doing more with less.” And hold on to your top talent by keeping your sales team motivated, engaged, and appropriately incentivized. 

Learn more about how Anaplan improves go-to-market planning in the technology industry.