Strong go-to market strategy demands an honest assessment of the business and the key objectives set by leadership to ensure you are in alignment.  You may find building prospecting development strategy is not an effective use of your resources in your current state during this exercise which will save you months of work.

Overview of the work involved and the time it takes to complete lesson

This lesson can take some time if you don’t have your conversion data and you want to be certain of your processes. Completing this lesson may also involve leadership input if you haven’t been given clear goals. If you already know your goals and either use our benchmark data or have your own conversion metrics handy, you will be able to complete it quickly.

Estimated time to complete: 45 Minutes if you have information available (10 Minutes of reading + 25 Minutes of Ideation and Information Gathering +10 Minutes of Calculating)

Steps to set goals

  1. Review the state of your business and resources available for your effort
  2. Define what the primary goal is of your efforts that aligns to the key business objectives of your service
  3. Identify the KPIs that will need to be met to achieve your goals
  4. Calculate the milestones needed to get to your primary goal
  5. Review your milestones against current resources and adjust expectations accordingly

1. Review the current state of the business and resources available for your effort

You must quantify ACHIEVABLE metrics to meet your goals.  To do this, you must first understand where you are and why you are contacting your prospective clients. Then honestly review your resources.. Managing expectations and setting achievable goals is key to growing your go-to-market strategy.

2. Define your go-to-market goals and key objectives


3. Identify the KPIs that will become the intermediary milestones needed to be met to get you to your primary goal

4. Calculate the milestones needed to get to your primary goal

To figure out how to get to your goals, turn your funnel into a pyramid and work backwards.   I built a cell referenced calculator that does most of the work for my clients.  If you want to take a look at it, feel free to reach out to me over LinkedIn or email and I can share it with you.  You’ll see screenshots of it below.


To calculate:

  1. Start with you Average Contract Value (ACV) as it is a good indicator to benchmark conversion metrics (if you don’t have your own already) and convert your goals to activity KPIs.
  2. Choose a primary goal, only one
    1. If your goals are tied to a dollar amount, convert them to # of opportunities you will need to reach that number. We want to identify the activities needed to reach your goal and it is much easier to visualize with numbers of opportunities instead of dollar amounts.
    2. To find the number of opportunities needed, divide the dollar amount by your ACV:(Revenue Generated) / (ACV) = # of clients/users
      (Dollars Generated) / (ACV) = # of opportunities
  3. Work backwards from your goal to get to your KPIs by multiplying your current KPI by your conversion rate

Every business is different so it is best to use your own conversion rate metrics, however, here are some benchmarks:

5. Review your milestones against your current resources and adjust expectations accordingly

A dedicated Sales Development Rep can average 80-120 manual prospecting activities a day as long as it isn’t heavy research.  Paired with automation, you can take on the lionshare of the number of activities needed to reach a reply. To make sure that no leads fall through the cracks, however, you will also need a process to handle the replies and to set meetings. This requires diligence and attention.


As I mentioned before, these activities and conversion metrics will be highly dependent on your business and your market.  At Apollo we have found ACV is a good indicator of activity conversion benchmarks; here are the averages we are currently tracking:

Next Steps

Now that you have a clear idea of what you are going to do, you will next need to figure out how you are going to do it. In the next lesson, I will give you an overview on collecting and organizing the information you will want to have on hand to build out your go-to-market strategy.

Click here to go the Lesson 2: Repository

This is part of an 8 part academy series called 8 steps to build an effective go-to-market strategy.  Feel free to jump to other parts in the series if you’re further down the process or want to review concepts on a certain topic.  This series is being released over a period of time so if there isn’t a link to the topic, it is not available just yet.  I’m available on LinkedIn or Email if you have any questions, want to add some of your own insights, or want me to send you a notification when another article posts.  I’d love to hear from you.

Syllabus – Overview and Guiding Principals

1| Set foundational goals to set yourself up for success

2| Repository: Collect all content and research so you don’t waste time

3| Positioning
3.1| Total Addressable Market (TAM), Target Market (TM), Customer Profile (CP) : Creating Focus
3.2| Key Buyer and User Groups : The people who you sell to and benefit from your service
3.3| Persona Framework: Get to know your groups intimately and turn them into personas

4| Targeting
4.1| Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) = Target accounts + Entrypoint Personas : Prioritizing your highest value effort
4.2| Trigger based targeting : Automatic reasons to reach out to any account that meets your ICP

5| Messaging
5.1| Key Benefit Statement : A distinct and tangible message so your persona knows you’re built for them.
5.2| Email Templates: 7 Proven email templates for every step of your campaign

6| Sequences and Plays: The pre-determined structure for messaging and actions needed to ensure followthrough

7| Execute
7.1| People: Understand the different roles people can play in your organization and when best to use them
7.2| Structure and Process: Define the structure and processes needed to be followed to ensure your systems are operating effectively and efficiently with no lead left behind
7.3| Technology: The difference of Marketing Automation, Sales Automation and CRM and how to make them work in harmony

8| Analyze: 
Measure your results against your goals

8.1| Iterate, Optimize and Keep Following Through