a16z Podcast: Product-Market Sales Fit (What Comes First?)

One of the toughest challenges for founders — and especially technical founders who are used to focusing so much on product features over sales — is striking “product-market fit”. The concept can be defined many ways, but the simple definition shared in this episode is: it’s when you understand the business value of your product.

And that comes down to users, which is where the concept of “product-market-sales fit” comes in, observes Jyoti Bansal, founding CEO of AppDynamics (which was acquired by Cisco for $3.7B the night before it was to IPO). Bansal shares this and other key milestones and frameworks for company building in conversation with a16z general partner Peter Levine; enterprise deal team partner Satish Talluri (who was a director of product and growth operations there); and Sonal Chokshi.

So in that shift from product-market fit to product-market-SALES fit, how much should you optimize your go-to-market for product… and even the other way around? What does this mean for product design and product management? When should companies offer services? As for pricing, how do you know you’re not leaving value on the table? Again, it comes down to product-market fit: If your business case is strong, you will not be leaving money on the table, argues Bansal in this special podcast series on founder stories and lessons learned in enterprise go-to-market.