How to build a GTM Operating System at your company?

How to build a GTM Operating System at your company?

Wondering how to get your teams to take driven-driven decisions? Here's a simple 3-step framework to plan and roll out necessary measures for your team to get there and eventually build out a dedicated GTM Operating System.
Krishna Srinivas V
Krishna Srinivas V
Jun 3, 2021
How to get your teams GTM Operating System ready?

As we rally teams to adopt a GTM OS for the growth teams, one of the questions we get asked often is how to get my team ready?

The fact is there is no simple one-size fits all approach when it comes to setting up the GTM OS™.

At Dataflo, we have been meticulously planning and documenting every step of our journey as we build a GTM Operating System™ and found a robust framework that will help fast-growing teams to help set it from the ground up.

The 3-step framework helps to plan and roll out necessary measures for your team to get there. Depending on your team’s maturity and growth, you can just jump to the steps you want to. 

A. Creating a data-driven culture

B. Tracking & Measuring KPIs

C. Setting up a dedicated GTM Operating System

A. Creating a data-driven culture

The first and most important step to getting your team GTM OS ready is building the foundation for a data-driven culture - while a lot has been said about the importance of data for strategic decision making, the ground reality is there is a still a big gulf between how leadership envisions the data culture and what actually happens in the day-to-day.

So the first step in setting up a GTM OS is fostering an environment where the data culture is embraced top to bottom. 

Here’s how you can get there: 

  1. Tell the data story and why it matters 
  2. Define what is success beyond numbers 
  3. Encourage individuals to come up with ideas 

1. Tell the data story and why it matters

Creating a data culture in an organization is a lot easier when the teams get the full picture behind your decision and why it matters both for the company and the individuals.

We all have an instinctive tendency to resist any kind of change because it almost always means more work - whether it is more time discussing the monthly reports, or more toggling between tools and exporting data, setting up new processes is not going to be a walk in the park, especially in the short-run.

That is why it is important to get the team embrace your idea - start off with an honest assessment of how things are at present, what prompted you to consider a change and how the new measures will help teams get where you want to be.

Give an elaborate walkthrough on what the change means both at a functional and an individual level - this will get the teams to embrace new initiatives rather than forcing down ad hoc efforts.

2. Define what success is beyond numbers 

The next step is defining what success means - what is the goal that you want to achieve at the end of a given time period after you roll out the new changes. Once again it is important to lay out the distinction between what is success for the team and the individuals.

For example, the advantages of setting up a GTM OS are obvious. From the team’s perspective you can surface new insights that will directly impact your bottom line. 

In parallel, each team member will save at least a couple of hours every week that they currently spend in toggling between tools and preparing reports manually that they could spend elsewhere.

By clearly communicating how the new set up will improve the operational efficiency, you can get the team to rally behind the idea and even actively participate. 

3. Encourage individuals to come up with ideas 

A data-driven culture can truly flourish only when there is active participation from the entire company - rather than map out an entire plan and hand it over to the team, the best way to truly make them feel part of it is to make them be it.

The best way to go about it is setting up a system of internal feedback loops where new ideas are not just encouraged but rewarded. Recognizing the efforts of your team to help set up the foundational blocks is the best way to create a data driven culture.

B.Tracking & Measuring KPIs

The second phase of getting your team to adopt a GTM Operating System is setting up data analysis processes that will help track and measure the performance of your GTM teams.

Here is how you can get there:

  1. Aligning teams towards your North Star metric
  2. Identify what KPIs you want to measure 
  3. Fix data hygiene issues  

1. Aligning teams towards your North Star metric

“A North Star metric is the one measurement that’s most predictive of a company’s long-term success. To qualify as a North Star, a metric must do three things: lead to revenue, reflect customer value, and measure progress” - Mixpanel

North Star metric is the single most important number that your entire company moves towards. It is so fundamental for modern-businesses because it ensures that every individual in the company is working towards the same goal at any given time.

The North Star metric acts as a reference for your GTM teams to break it down into smaller KPIs to ensure that every function is aligned towards your long-term goals.

2. Identifying what KPIs you want to measure 

With the entire team aligned towards your North Star metric, the next step is consistently  measuring progress - this is where Key Performance Indicators give you a clear picture of how your teams are faring against the goals set at the beginning of the month.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a measure of how your teams are performing to meet the overall business goals and objectives. KPIs can be used to track the performance of the different functions within an organization as well as individual team members.

This is an aspect where teams often fall into the trap of going after measuring KPIs that do not give the complete picture or worse, an inaccurate picture setting you up for ill-advised decisions. 

Wondering how to set up KPIs for your team? Here is a comprehensive guide on Key Performance Indicators.

3. Keeping an eye on data hygiene 

Data-driven decision making is highly rewarding when done right - but the tricky part is getting your workflows right. 

The very nature of data analysis workflows, at least the way things are set up currently, is prone to inaccuracies that could lead you to the wrong conclusions.

Toggling between applications in your tech stack, preparing data exports, importing into a spreadsheet software, and finally viewing them in a data visualization tool - there are just one too many steps in data analysis with possibilities of a misstep anywhere in the process.

Even a small error in one of these steps can easily break your process when analysing data.

That is why it is crucial to ensure the hygiene of data you use to make strategic decisions across functions - checking your automation workflows and reassessing your approach to data analysis every few months helps make sure that you are always working with the most accurate set of data points.

C. Setting up a dedicated GTM OS 

As your functions and processes mature, data-driven decision making becomes an essential feature of your GTM efforts across Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success.

At that point, scrambling between spreadsheets, or toggling between different tools in your tech stack is simply not feasible nor is it efficient for your operations.

This is when a dedicated GTM Operating System™ will become the most important part of your tech stack when it comes to data analysis.

What is a GTM Operating System?

A GTM Operating System™ is a data-driven approach to align the goals and efforts of the Growth teams (Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success) in your company.

It helps you streamline internal processes, facilitates smooth hand-offs, and ensures that the customer-facing functions in your organization are on the same page at all times. 

A well-oiled GTM Operating System acts as the single source of truth across Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success setting up a Growth Flywheel at your company.

How do you know if you are ready to invest in a GTM Operating System?

If any of the points below describe your current data analysis workflow then it is high time to set up a dedicated GTM Operating System for your GTM teams: 

  • Wasting several hours every week on data analysis
  • Toggling between multiple tools to get data reports 
  • Struggling to find meaningful insights based on the reports 
  • You are working out of several spreadsheets when it comes to analyzing data

Conclusion

As teams scale and functions mature, you want to take data-driven decisions at every turn, particularly when it comes to your GTM teams who are directly responsible for increasing your bottom-line. But the important part is setting up your team up for success - approach to data-driven decision making should be gradual and iterative. Follow this simple 3-step framework to get your company GTM OS ready!