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The Importance of a Go-To-Market Playbook

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Ellen Terlizzi

April 26, 2023
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I’ve spent the last nine years in the startup world holding various positions within the sales organization. Never has my title been Sales Enablement or Revenue Operations but I’ve created so many process documents that I often joked with my team members that “there's a guide for that” was my favorite phrase.

When working with early-stage startups, documenting the go-to-market (GTM) strategy usually coincides with hiring the first GTM rep. While this approach is reasonable for enabling the new hire to reference relevant materials during their onboarding, the founders may be overlooking a greater opportunity to facilitate a more effective and efficient ramp. By creating and documenting GTM efforts early and making continuous improvements throughout the process, startups can optimize their procedures and resources, reducing unnecessary time wastage and resulting in improved efficiency and ramp timeline.

In short, documenting the sales process requires a significant amount of time and effort. This can be a challenging task for any founder, especially when trying to balance founder-led selling without a deep understanding of the right sales process. However, it is crucial to start documenting the sales process early on.

When collaborating with the Bowery Portfolio, we begin with crafting a GTM playbook, a foundational exercise for training and enablement materials. Founders can prepare their sales team for success by dedicating time and resources to documentation from the outset, enabling the Bowery Team to appraise the current GTM funnel, make informed decisions, and surmount any obstacles that arise.

During the initial stages of selling, the crucial step is to document and align the responsibilities and pain points of your buyer personas with your discovery and qualification process. Discovery isn’t a step in the sales process but more of an artful dance that requires preparation and skilled navigation to gather the right pain points and articulate the value of your solution. By documenting the current process and thinking through qualification, founders begin to see gaps and areas of opportunity to run discovery differently, in a more impactful way.

This exercise may reveal surprising inconsistencies in your process. For instance, although your current documentation of buyer personas is comprised of two to three titles, a disparity is evident when evaluating your open pipeline with regard to who has made purchases or been involved in deals. This requires more time spent on evaluating your personas, value propositions, and how these roles may impact your sales process.

This resource is bound to evolve and should do so over time. Without a solid foundation, identifying areas for improvement to increase conversion rates and guide prospects through the process becomes difficult.

You may have guessed it, but I’ve created a guide and enablement material to support the Bowery founders through this process which you can review here:

Additional Resources to support your efforts:

3-Step Guide: How to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) by Kathryn Aragon

Sales Hacker. (2023, March 28). Ideal Customer Profile: How to Create One & Use it to Close More Deals.

Hubspot’s Make My Persona Tool

2033 HubSpot. (n.d.). Make My Persona.

Xtensio’s How to Create a User Persona

Xtensio. (n.d.). How to Create a Persona: Step-by-Step Guide.

Gong’s Your Guide to Sales Qualification by Jonathan Costet (2021, January 2). Sales Qualification: How to Qualify a Prospect in 3 Easy Steps. Blog.

9 Essential Stages for Every B2B Pipeline by Dan Tyre

Hubspot. (2021, June 15.). The Essential Stages of a B2B Sales Pipeline.

If you liked “The Importance of a Go-To-Market Playbook” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog.

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