How GTM Leaders Carve-out a Competitive Advantage

Devon O’Rourke is the Founder & Managing Partner at Fluvio and the host of the Embracing Erosion podcast on the Compete Network. Here are three takeaways from his conversation on the Competitive Enablement Show

‍♂️ You can’t bring a product to market without fully understanding the market ‍♂️

“I don’t think you should be building a product and then backing in and trying to find a market fit.”

You might think this order of events is so obvious it doesn’t bear repeating.

But Devon has seen the cart before the horse approach many times in his career. And it almost never works.

Bringing a product to market requires a deep understanding of that market, and your potential position within it.

“Companies should look at opportunities based on different competitive ecosystems, look at the companies that are within that space, identify a gap or a unique position that they could have, and then build for that.”

A strong go-to-market motion requires nimbleness and effective reaction to changes in your landscape.

Moreover GTM is not a linear process from A-to-B.

(It’s definitely not a process from B-to-A like Devon alluded to above.)

So Devon’s advice for anyone looking to build a strong GTM motion is to understand the market first.

Only then can you make informed decisions about the product-market fit.

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Decisions are two-way doors; and iteration is a virtue

“The best GTM leaders move really quickly and they understand that decisions most decisions are two-way doors.”

Virtually no decision you make is irreversible — a decision so bad it blows everything up.

At the same time, you can slowly bleed your company or product to death by not making decisions fast enough.

Especially in GTM-world, as Devon suggests, she who hesitates is lost.

“A lot of people are hesitant to make decisions; they feel like once they make a single decision, it’s done. In reality, there’s almost no decision that’s a one-way door.”

During his time at Amazon, Devon learned the best leaders encourage their teams to be nimble, move fast, iterate, learn, adjust and optimize.

It’s a mentality that serves him — and his customers — very well when bringing something to market.

Because a GTM market motion is never linear. And requires continual adjustment to the reality on the ground.

Listen to Klue’s Sr. Director of Product Marketing Jason Oakley talk to Devon O’Rourke on the Embracing Erosion podcast

Know your competition before you go-to-market

“Leadership should have a firm grasp on the market ecosystem and the perception of each of the players in the space.”

Grasping the macro factors of one’s market are a must for a successful GTM motion. Know your TAM, know your ICP, know where the market is heading in the next several quarters.

But you also need understand the companies playing in the same ecosystem as you.

Devon says leadership needs to have an informed opinion on their competitors’ position in the market, and how their own company will compete.

“Now, I don’t think leadership is required to go super deep on each player at the feature level. But they need to have a macro view on the space they operate in.”

It stands to reason why Devon doesn’t recommend leadership teams become totally immersed in the nitty-gritty of the competition.

Because that’s what Klue’s for .

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