A couple of years ago, a colleague and I began developing a process-oriented way to lead companies toward gaining market traction. The idea was born out of a conversation my colleague had with a partner at Sequoia Capital about how to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, the classic high-burn, low return tactics of typical B2B software start-ups.
So to oversimplify, the classic failure might look like:
- Build financial model based on revenue and go-to-market assumptions and present to the Board;
- Develop product;
- Hire VP of Sales w/ relevant contacts;
- Build sales plan based on promises to the board;
- Hire field sales team;
- Hire marketing person to support sales;
- Burn cash, miss milestones;
- Go back to board with new assumptions;
- Build sales plan based on new promises;
- Rinse. Repeat.