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A Go-to-Market Expert's Advice for Founders

An article we liked from Thought Leader Egan Montgomery of High Alpha:

WHY EVERY FOUNDER SHOULD SELL BEFORE THEY HAVE A PRODUCT

It’s difficult to bring a SaaS company to market these days. WHY EVERY FOUNDER SHOULD SELL BEFORE THEY HAVE A PRODUCT

Buyers are complicated. Marketing channels are multiplying. New competitors emerge seemingly overnight. 

Meanwhile, customer expectations are getting higher. Software users need more functionality from our products. They demand more value from our marketing, more knowledge from our sellers, and better support from our success teams.

No one feels this pain more than brand new software companies. Without customers, without a product, and without a large team, it’s easy to feel like new founding teams are on an island. In many ways, they are. 

With limited resources, these founders need to make some existential decisions about their business, and they don’t have the luxury of being wrong too many times (or for too long). 

More than 50% of startups fail within the first 24 months. That’s a pretty short shot clock, eh? So, what should we do? 

THE BEST LEARNING HAPPENS WITH CUSTOMERS  

There’s no way to guarantee success. We know this. 

All we can do is search for ways to mitigate risk in a venture that is otherwise fraught with risk. 

Picture this: Company A and Company B are incepted on the same day and set out to solve similar problems. 

Company A says, “We need a product!” and so they get busy building. For six months, the team is hard at work. They debate the roadmap. They argue while they whiteboard out pricing and packaging. They build slide decks outlining their ideal customer profile and buyer personas. 

Around month four, they hire a sales rep to sell the product when it’s ready and a demand generation marketer to drive leads for said rep. After six months, right on schedule, Company A launches the product. Yay! 

Guess what? Nobody wants it. 

The product isn’t selling. Prospects aren’t taking meetings. The rep is mad. The marketer is discouraged. Meanwhile, capital is running out and Company A has little to show in terms of traction. You know how this story ends. 

Ok, so what about Company B? 

They show up the same day as Company A, but rather than starting with building their product, Company B prioritizes getting their first customer. 

Company B designs a creative pilot program that involves some light tech and supplemental services. They offer...

Read the rest of this article at highalpha.com...

Thanks for this article excerpt to Egan Montgomery, the Director of Go-to-Market at High Alpha.

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