Early-Stage Start-Up CEOs Face Important Go To Market Decisions.
As a Series A, B or C stage CEO, you are faced with important go to market (“GTM”) decisions very early in the life of your company. You have a great technology vision and spent countless hours building a product with an early technical team. Your product is now out in the market and you most likely have somewhere from 1 to 20 customers where most of these customers came from previous friend, family and co-worker relationships.
Now what? The next stage of growth is defined by the quantity, quality and repeatability of your customer acquisition and this is often outside your comfort zone. You may be wondering why customers seem to be interested in talking to you, when they figure out how to find you, but then the sale cycle takes forever, if it ever closes. You are probably under the gun to prove success so you can be in a position of strength to negotiate your next round of funding.
At AccelG2M, we recognize a company’s GTM strategies and decisions typically fall into three (3) stages.
- Customer Proof: Gaining customer feedback through a set of paying customers
- Sales Repeatability: Creating a repeatable sales model supported by market awareness
- Market Expansion: Accelerating growth through demand generation and successful sales
The following table outlines several of the core strategic and execution decisions in each of the three categories.
Evaluating your Challenges
Most companies expect to be able to sell to many customers very quickly and believe hiring the “perfect” sales person or VP of Sales will solve their problem. Your sales team COULD be your problem. However, the more common reason you are not progressing from Customer Proof to Sales Repeatability is due to your product’s fit to the market. You should probably be spending more time evaluating the simplicity of your product messaging, determining who is your target market, refining the target persona in your ideal prospect, experimenting on how to best reach that target persona with the right message, methodically determining if the prospect is qualified (not just interested) and THEN accelerating how you close the deal with the right sales team.
At AccelG2M, we help companies understand why they are stalled in one stage and how to quickly progress to the next growth stage. The success and fun of building a hyper-scale company is highly influenced by the alignment, focus and discipline of your entire team as you execute on your GTM strategies.
In our upcoming 9-part blog series, we will discuss in more detail the strategies, choices and metrics for measuring success as you accelerate your go to market through each of the growth stages.
by Herb Cunitz & Mitch Ferguson
See the menu above for more information about Herb and Mitch and contact information.