Episode 

Where are the next big GTM startups going to come from?

November 25, 2021
6 Mins
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Where are the next big GTM startups going to come from?

Host
Dinesh Katiyar
Partner, Accel
Guests
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Where are the next big GTM startups going to come from?
 Mins Read
6 Mins
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Host
Dinesh Katiyar
Partner, Accel
Guests
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Summary

In 2014, when I first invested in Mindtickle, a sales readiness platform, most companies focused on process improvements for sales optimisation. There were no such things as tools for sales, except for perhaps CRMs, and even large teams barely had anything helping them sort through and optimise all the leads they were getting.

Fast forward to today, and a sales tech stack is one of the first things a new sales leader is supposed to set up. It has even become part of leadership KRAs. Most founders know that a good sales tech stack is now essential to help run businesses efficiently.

As the segment and awareness grew, Mindtickle has also become a key player in the space.

But, these last couple of years, the world is changing. On fast-forward.

The way B2B buying and selling happens is changing too.

The world is moving from a seller-centric approach to a buyer-centric approach, a trend accelerated by millennials and Gen-Z buyers, who love to buy things online.

The seller-centric world meant a sales force that pushed products, found more ways to get it in front of the customer, and because there were only few channels of communication, made sure they left no stone unturned in one-upping competitors.

In the buyer-centric model, buyers now have a weapon that they did not have before: The internet. They now know what they want, evaluate vendors continuously, and ask for demos proactively.

The salesperson's job now starts after the demo, not before, as it used to.

The transition from a seller-centric to a buyer-centric behaviour

Bundled with this is the fact that the lifecycle of software companies are becoming faster and more complex. In the old model, updates and releases happened intermittently, and at times cost money too.

But software companies release updates and upgrade the product continuously, again making the sales process a little more complicated.

Lifecycle of Software Companies - The Old Way
Lifecycle of Software Companies - The New Way

But sales technology has not kept pace with all these changes in the way products are built and sold.

One way to look at where these gaps are is to see where the best practices are, what is being used by every single company, but has not yet been productised.

From that lens, here goes:

1. Customer success:

Organisations that frequently interact with clients post purchase and deliver quick time-to-value for customers are rewarded handsomely with trust and future expansion potentials.

Case-study:

For most clients, UiPath starts with one team and a few automation workflows. Staying closely in touch with clients from Day 0 and expanding both use-cases and functions, they have been able to grow their top 50 accounts by 81x since the first month!

Source: UiPath's S-1 document

2. Driving Product Adoption:

A product is only as good as the features that users know about. Elaborate products where users aren't able to navigate or use features get replaced quickly. Effective product adoption requires consistent user education, nudges and sometimes, training too.

Best-in-class products like Slack have onboarding flows and processes that set up users for successful adoption. Some other companies have communities and forums that drive user engagement. Most organisations try to build them in-house but few do it well.

Case-study:

When you just start to use Slack, you receive nudges to try out multiple key features - channels, messages, notifications and even your profile! No wonder Slack is one of the fastest growing SaaS companies.

3. GTM intelligence:

Buyers start researching about tools much before they actually reach out to the company. Being able to identify potential customers before they reach out to you is game changing. GTM teams are today adopting different technology and intent signals that can help them identify these potential clients.

Case Study:

Slintel enables companies to gain insights about which companies use a certain product, when their renewals are due and when they last visited your website.

If you're building something that would help companies become best-in-class at GTM, we would love to chat with you. Please write to me at dinesh@accel.com.

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