Your early GTM strategy when you're optimizing for PMF
How to approach go-to-market while you're still iterating to reach product-market-fit.
We have been seeing a lot of startups running this approach over the past years.
If your current focus is speed of iteration while going for Product-Market-Fit, this strategy can be extremely powerful. Of course, it really depends on your business and pricing model.
1) Start targeting SMBs
In 2022, we're fortunate enough to have a robust ecosystem of well-funded startups that are moving extremely fast and hiring quickly. This means 3 things for you, as a founder:
- They have quick buying cycles and generally few decision-makers
- They have the ability to buy with large ACVs
- Their teams are growing, and therefore your opportunity to upsell your product is fantastic
Focusing on the first point, you want to be able to move fast to get your product adopted. Especially if PLG is part of your acquisition strategy - however, ensure you always talk to users even if you're counting on building a self-serve model.
Looking into the second point, playing this strategy will allow you to grow extremely fast, get to a certain point in ARR, while iterating quickly. Ensure you're superserving your users and building what they want so you can get to PMF.
If your product is good, you will have the ability to land and expand within your users, which demonstrates retention and shows signals of PMF.
2) Move upmarket and start speaking with Enterprise clients
Congrats! You've reached PMF, you have a solid series of logos, and have demonstrated value creation for your customers. You can start targeting Enterprise clients now.
Selling to Enterprise is very different from selling to SMBs. You will have to deal with longer and more complex sales cycles (a minimum 6 months), ensure you have a strong sales methodology (MED(DP)IC(C) for eg.) and the resources to deal with their requests.
Enterprise clients will also require different products compared to SMBs: ensure you add the needed layers - security, compliance, etc.
Because selling to Enterprise is different, you'll have to split your sales teams between SMB and Enterprise. The first is about volume and velocity, the latter requires reps and managers who have sold to Enterprise before and been successful in the space. Build the right team, listen to your customers, build something that people want... and don't forget to have fun!