Paul McDonaldSaaS product, sales, and client success leader

Senior Director, Industry Strategy, Oracle Utilities: I help utilities decarbonize by influencing energy consumer action. I'm responsible for strategic Opower accounts, growth strategy, and organizational planning.

Director, Global Solution Architecture, Oracle Utilities: built the Oracle Utilities cloud architecture practice. Integrated Opower and Oracle sales & support teams post-acquisition. Served as lead cybersecurity contract negotiator. Rolled out unified Opower+Oracle GTM messaging strategy.

Director and Principal, Solution Architecture, Opower: designed & operated Opower’s solution sales process as we launched six new products, dozens of service offerings globally, and integrated operations with Oracle. Recruited, trained, and led a rowdy global team of Opower solution architects. Personally architected deals totaling $325M in bookings, including the largest transaction in Opower history.

Associate Director, Technical Operations, Opower: Cut client launch time by 50% in our 100-person client services dept. with agile delivery strategy & process automation. Launched Opower’s second product & business line: behavioral demand response. Launched Opower’s professional services practice.

Manager, Consulting Services, CGI: led teams through all phases of enterprise software system implementations for some of the world’s largest government organizations with global operations.

Recent Answers

You might need to do both, and it depends on your ideal customer's buying patterns. If that buyer typically purchases your product and your competitor's product in a single transaction, and that buying pattern makes sense, you gotta to build, buy, or partner to offer your competitor's product. If you don't, you could quickly get shut out of the market altogether.

Partnerships are messy, but they're so fun. It's good to have friends in the market, and making the choice to partner can really clarify your company's purpose: the problem you want to be known for solving better than anyone.

Last thought: when you do pick a truly new problem to invest in solving, just make sure it's one you and your team care deeply about. You only got so much time to play with--do you really want to use it building a better mousetrap?

It's easy to get hung up on the word "strategy." There's no magic in it: a GTM strategy is just a documented set of decisions and a plan.

It's words on paper, and the purpose of it is nothing more than alignment. To hit your sales, revenue, and margin targets, you've gotta get and keep everyone on your team aligned on what needs to be done, why, by whom, and when. A good GTM strategy document answers all the questions mentioned in other answers. Questions about buyers & pain points, budgets, product overview, competition, differentiation, pricing, partners, sales & marketing plans, success criteria, etc.

A great GTM strategy, however, will inspire your whole team to row hard in the same direction and make some magic together. The way you engage your team (or don't) in the process of creating your GTM strategy, and the way you communicate it, makes all the difference. Give me a call if you'd like some help getting that right.

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