( Part 4 in a series, starting here)

You might have the skills of Leonardo and the knowledge the Jedi master, to contribute as a Go To Market leader, but to truly have impact and scale, you need to deftly wield influence, and lead in the style of the great evangelists like Martin Luther King; you must be a Go to Market Preacher.

Go to market leaders most often can not depend on organizational power alone to lead, because of the great diversity of their three key audiences, the external market, sales, and product development.   All three of these audiences are critical for success because the Go to market leader must influence not only deal flow through sales, available market through external audiences, but also the product roadmap through influence on product development teams.

When any one of these influence channels fails, than the go to market results become sub-optimal.  This is another factor that makes true go to market leaders so rare.  They understand how to influence all three of these markets, and by doing so, create a “virtuous cycle” of market growth and success.  Let’s take a look at how these influence channels interplay.

First and foremost, the great go to market leader leverages her market and competitive knowledge and her understanding of the product roadmap to maximize the value that the market puts on her solution, growing share and available market for the company.  Second, she combines her influence on the roadmap with a great sense of what sales needs to succeed, to drive pipeline faster and to bigger deals.  Finally, she helps sales to understand the market dynamic and better position their story and offer to the customers they connect with.

When you see a Go to market leader who has cultivated influence with key customers, analysts and partners, also hangs out with developers at lunch and in the break room, and is the one who sales calls when they need to open an opportunity, beat a competitor, close a deal or get a feature pushed through the dev pipeline, then you know you are looking at a great one.  We’ve all seen them, and many of us strive to be one.

In the final installment of this series, I’ll take a look at how organizations can empower and create great go to market leaders, and how marketers can manage their development to become one.


Ken Rutsky is a Marketing Consultant and B2B Market Leadership “Ninja”.  Ken helps  organizations and individuals climb the ladder to market leadership. His upcoming book is entitled; Launching to Leading: How B2B Market Leaders Create Flashmobs, Marshal Parades and Ignite Movements (Morgan James 2016)

I coach and mentor go to market leaders in B2B Organizations.  Let me know if I can help you grow your business and your career.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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