Understanding Go-To-Market Motions: Something Something-LG

You’re trying to sell your product, perhaps aiming to establish product-market fit, or maybe you’re already there but are experimenting with different strategies to reach your target customers. Then an investor asks about your go-to-market (GTM) motion, and you’re stuck. Is it PLG, ELG, SLG with a component of PLG, and a sprinkle of CLG? What on earth are we talking about?!

In this blog, we’ll decipher the various GTM motions in ways that make sense, helping you identify the motion you’re currently using.

Introducing the XLG Concept

Recently, we’ve come across the term XLG, where ‘X’ stands for the motion and ‘LG’ stands for Led Growth. This framework helps bring some order to the myriad of GTM strategies. Let’s break down some of the most popular XLGs, including their acronyms, meanings, and real-world examples.

Product Led Growth (PLG)

One of the most famous XLGs is Product Led Growth (PLG). In this motion, the product is king, and the customer is at the centre of every interaction. The product itself drives acquisition, expansion, and even retention. Notable examples include Canva, Zoom, Slack, and Airtable. These companies have successfully leveraged their products to attract and retain customers organically.

Sales Led Growth (SLG)

The (gran)daddy of GTM motions is Sales Led Growth (SLG). This approach relies on sales reps, outbound emails, phone calls, and generally lots of proactive outreach. Companies like Salesforce and Oracle exemplify this approach. If you’ve encountered organizations that rely heavily on a sales team to drive growth, you’re familiar with SLG.

Ecosystem Led Growth (ELG)

Ecosystem-led growth (ELG), sometimes referred to as Partner Led Growth, prioritises partnerships to drive acquisition through partner networks. Microsoft generates 95% of its business this way, and more companies are adopting this GTM motion. By leveraging an ecosystem of partners, businesses can achieve substantial growth, with leaner sales teams.

Inbound Led Growth (ILG)

Inbound Led Growth (ILG) focuses on content, SEO, and primarily digital strategies to educate, drive awareness, and acquire customers. HubSpot made this motion famous with their renowned content flywheel. ILG is all about attracting customers through valuable content and a robust digital presence.

Community Led Growth (CLG)

Community Led Growth (CLG) creates and engages with large communities of users to drive adoption, advocacy, and loyalty. This GTM approach is particularly impactful in driving brand awareness. Companies like GitHub, Notion, and Figma have mastered CLG, fostering strong user communities that champion their products.

Choosing the Right GTM Motion

While there are more GTM motions and acronyms out there, the ones mentioned above are generally the most used. Here’s a piece of advice: don’t treat a GTM motion as your business’s personality. Your product needs to reach customers in the most effective way for your specific product, vertical, and audience. Don’t feel tied to one motion because it’s what you’ve always been known for, or feel pressured to conform to a community.

Blended approaches are normal. PLG and SLG work great when targeting different market segments (SMB to Mid-Market, Mid-Market to Enterprise). SLG and ILG aren’t mutually exclusive. And ELG? This approach is gaining traction in this era of sustainable growth across businesses of all sizes.

As your business grows and surpasses revenue milestones, blended GTM strategies make more and more sense. Ultimately, all these strategies boil down to one thing: Go To Market. Find the mix that works best for your unique situation and evolve as your business grows.


Deciphering the alphabet soup of GTM motions can be challenging, but understanding the core principles behind each one can help you choose the right strategy for your business. Whether it’s PLG, SLG, ELG, ILG, or CLG, the goal is to effectively reach and engage your target customers. Embrace flexibility, experiment with different approaches, and adapt as needed to drive your business forward.

Do you need support with your GTM strategy? Our team is here ready to help you. Book your complimentary 45-minute sparring session and let’s help you with your growth!

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