Radical Scale: Building a better Go-To-Market function

By Parasvil Patel

Radical Scale is a regular feature that explores key strategies for growing early stage technology companies.

Over the past several months the Radical Impact Team has hosted expert roundtables with our portfolio companies. We’re now sharing the key strategic and tactical insights from those sessions. Previous features include:  

This issue of Radical Scale looks at how to build a go-to-market (GTM) function that is aligned and set up for success. We thank André Martinelli for sharing his insights.

Key strategic takeaway

An effective GTM function is rooted in a well-structured sales organization with clearly defined customer parameters. It requires organizational roles that are clearly defined, processes that ensure smooth transition of leads/customers and information, measurement of relevant metrics, and a well thought through incentive structure. Ultimately, target customer segments will guide all the organizational decisions required to successfully execute on the growth plan.

While proper incentives are necessary in establishing alignment, a strong culture and non-monetary recognitions are essential to implementing a strong GTM function.

Process

  • Identify your buyer (persona, size of organization, industry, etc.) and align all the GTM departments around meeting the needs of the buyer. Most of the decisions that need to be made around GTM organization choices such as hunter vs. farmer sales roles or the need for separate account and customer success managers will depend on the details of the buyer.
    • For example, if you are only selling a small number of less complex products and services, your customer base is fragmented, or the product has a high NPS and renewal rates, choose to go with a unified hunter/farmer role. Otherwise, it might be better to split into separate account executives who “hunt” for new logos and account managers who “farm” these logos for expansion.

Metrics

  • Align all GTM departments around revenue growth vs. department specific goals (e.g. MQLs).
    • For example, use expected revenue growth (based on leads) to compensate demand and lead generation teams, closed revenue for sales teams, expansion revenue for account managers, and consider revenue retention for customer success teams.

People

  • A small revenue operations team can serve as a “force multiplier” for building a strong and aligned function. Revenue operations teams can support departmental leaders in thinking through implications of strategic and organizational decisions using data.
    • Note: a high-functioning revenue operations team is not the same as a team of CRM or sales tech tool administrators. While both are competent in using the tools, the former is focused on generating business insights while the latter is focused on ensuring the tool supports the process.

Experts

André Martinelli is a consultant supporting technology companies develop and execute successful GTM strategies. Prior to starting his consulting practice, André was a Director (GTM) for Vista Consulting Group (VCG), the operations arm of Vista Equity Partners. Prior to VCG, André was a Managing Director at Blue Ridge Partners, a management consulting firm focused on accelerating profitable revenue growth. Earlier in his career, André also worked as a PM for a SaaS startup, and held a number of growth-focused positions at Baxter International. André received an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and an AB in Economics from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

About the Radical Ventures Impact Team

The Radical Ventures Impact Team is dedicated to helping its portfolio companies achieve global scale by providing deep technology expertise, go-to-market guidance, talent acquisition, strategic communications, and policy support.

If you want to learn more about Radical or its GTM impact efforts, please reach out to Parasvil Patel at parasvil@radical.vc.

© 2021 Radical Ventures Investments Inc.