June 30, 2022

GTM and Lead Generation: Why you're going at it the wrong way

Rethink lead generation and GTM by prioritizing market validation and strategic planning first. This approach ensures a strong foundation for identifying your ideal customer and achieving product-market fit, key to sustainable business growth.

GTM vs Lead Generation

Lead generation versus Go-To-Market strategy - or GTM strategy as it’s commonly known. What’s the difference? For many small businesses, especially B2B startups, this differentiation is crucial. Before we explore that, let's narrate a tale familiar to many team members in a startup.

The Story

Leadle Consulting: At our core, we help B2B startups with their GTM strategy, market validation, and lead generation designed to optimize revenue growth.

SaaS Founder X: Interesting! We’ve charted our course, but we're primarily seeking some potent lead generation strategies and service offers that can accelerate our campaign, secure more victories, and trigger our growth rate.

Leadle Consulting: That’s promising. How did you arrive at your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and finalize your value proposition?

SaaS Founder X: We relied on introductions by our investors and utilized our own network to interview potential customers.

Leadle Consulting: That's laudable, but remember, there's a distinction between building customers based on familiar contacts and real-time market validation, which is pivotal to customer satisfaction.

SaaS Founder X: We remain confident in our product idea though.

For numerous new founders and small businesses, adopting this approach is natural. They're deploying what they believe is best for their product management. However, this might not always align with market demand.

Analogy 1

Here's a parallel: a car advertisement claims a mileage of 22 km per litre* (asterisk intended). The ICP you carve out from known contacts is akin to that claim. However, a cold outreach scenario - an integral part of the sales funnel - is similar to a real-life test drive of the car to gauge the actual mileage. Does it genuinely deliver 22 km per litre?

Even the most proficient sales team and the top-notch lead generation strategy might falter without a well-structured Go-To-Market plan, despite your team members' efforts. That’s why achieving a product-market fit is essential in this early stage.

So, what is a GTM strategy? How is it different from lead generation, and why is it vital for customer loyalty and customer interaction in your target market?


A GTM strategy is a strategic plan aimed at positioning your products and services for a successful launch. It assists in customer discovery and market development for both existing markets and potential ones. It’s essentially the blueprint that early-stage companies follow to attain a competitive advantage, identify their ICP, and validate their assumptions bundled in their product features.

Several B2B startups jump headfirst into lead generation without sufficient market validation. They're often driven by the need to display a measure of traction and ROI to investors within close timelines. The entire B2B SaaS ecosystem operates at a high pace -- and that’s understandable. However, completing the GTM discovery and validation before launching full-scale into lead generation is the better investment for achieving product-market fit.

I love giving analogies... so here's another one.

Analogy 2

It's akin to distributing vaccines without rigorous trials. Quite alarming, isn’t it? This scenario mirrors GTM and lead generation. Before administering vaccines (or executing a mass lead generation campaign), you need to verify its efficacy. At the end of the day, sales function more scientifically than aesthetically. This scientific aspect involves experimentation, which is what GTM strategy aims to do.

GTM: How To

How do we design an efficacious GTM strategy that resonates with the target audience? Here’s a tried and tested step-by-step procedure Leadle Consulting employs:

Step 1: Define the problem

Firstly, while designing a robust GTM strategy, you must identify the problem. Simultaneously, you need to outline the solution and the benefits your target customers would derive. At this stage, these are assumptions.

Step 2: ICP value proposition

Next, frame a hypothetical ICP value proposition to address the identified problem.

Step 3: Initiate Messaging & Discovery Outreach

Begin the process of messaging and discovery outreach. This makes for your initial point of contact with potential customers, determining if your product or service aligns with their needs.

Step 4: Schedule Discovery Calls

Avoid overselling here. Adopt a discovery stance and use these calls to validate your assumptions, rightly channeling customer feedback.

Step 5: Validate ICP and VP

The final step involves using customer feedback to validate your ICP, value proposition, and strategic positioning.

In contrast, lead generation is a tactical process that deals with the upper and middle layers of the sales funnel, helping you tap into your ICP, eventually generating high-quality leads for your product or service.

Lead generation on the other hand is a subset of GTM. It's a tactical process that helps you tackle the top to the middle of the sales funnel and also helps you tap into your ICP to generate high-quality leads for your product or service.

Analogy 3

Jumping directly into lead generation for your B2B startup's products and services without establishing a foundational GTM strategy is impractical. This method is about as effective as trying to navigate early-stage product management with your priorities reversed—much like wearing your underwear over your pants. Unconventional attire might get attention, but it doesn't lend credibility, just as diving headfirst into the sales funnel without a well-conceived Go-To-Market plan may get you noticed, but won't win the market's confidence. Avoid putting the cart before the horse; prioritize customer discovery and market development to form a durable competitive advantage.

So, before you scale your outreach, ensure your GTM strategy is validated in real-time and not just through feedback from known contacts as it really helps you achieve market validation. Right after market validation, lead generation helps you scale the process and generate revenue while maximizing growth.


After ensuring your team members are on board with a GTM strategy that's been put to the test, next comes market validation. This isn't just receiving good feedback from existing markets—it's about a rigorous process involving potential target customers and adjusting your product features based on in-depth customer feedback. A successful GTM strategy aligns your value proposition with the needs of your customers based on accurate market demand, bolstering customer interaction and, inevitably, customer satisfaction.

Then, representing the crown jewel of a B2B startup's efforts, lead generation comes into play to reign in the growth rate by orchestrating meetings with prospects that embody your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This strategy aims at cultivating customer loyalty through high-quality service offers and constructive customer feedback, thereby boosting revenue growth.

Establishing product-market fit is a benchmark for the successful SaaS Founder, reflecting a harmony between their product idea and the real-world needs of their target audience. A meticulously strategized Leadle Consulting advised GTM strategy and sales strategy, realized through effective lead generation, is the ticket to sustainable growth for small businesses.

If you need assistance in achieving product-market fit or deducing how to adaptively use customer interaction to advantage your growth rate, let Leadle Consulting guide you through the complexities of a Go-To-Market plan and lead generation. Leave a comment and we will get back to you with the personalized attention your B2B startup deserves.

Stay informed on how to effectively design your GTM strategy, confirming a fit between your customers based and prospective feature sets, by visiting our other blog posts.

If you want to know more about why scaling up with a solid GTM strategy is important now more than ever, check out our other blog!

View other blogs ➞

Newsletter Signup

Unlock the power of selling with Leadle's exclusive monthly newsletter, The Selling Power. Stay ahead of the game and join our community of informed individuals by signing up with your email today.