Go-to-Market Boot Camp for Startups: Field Sales

watch time: 55 minutes

World-class companies aren’t built on technology alone; even the very best products don’t sell themselves. That’s why a smart go-to-market and sales function is critical to capturing market share and growing the company to scale and profitability. (This is true even for products that have a viral, “bottom-up motion” from a loyal base of grassroots users in the enterprise).

But whether top-down or bottom-up, how do you actually build your go-to-market model and sales strategy? How does — and should — the process, the people, and the organizational structure evolve with it? Many first-time startup CEOs and sales heads at startups wait too long to build these out because they don’t recognize what’s needed early on and don’t know what comes next. What would such an operation look like at scale?

So in this episode of our Company Building 101 series, a16z market development operating team head (and former sales VP) Mark Cranney condenses insights from his go-to-market bootcamp for portfolio companies; it’s part of a broader program to help accelerate startups’ time to market as they build up their own sales and marketing muscle. While the full- to multi-day bootcamp covers everything from marketing, prospecting, and channel partnerships to customer success, forecasting, and hiring, this one-hour episode focuses on field sales. “It’s a little bit of a firehose,” shares Cranney, “But it exposes what it will take for companies to become truly world class.” Especially if they want to sell innovation to complex enterprises like the government and the Fortune 500/Global 2000.