GTM Trek

What if you had a team of seasoned VCs, founders, and executives to help you develop, execute, and fund your GTM (Go-to-Market) strategy and plan? With our GTM Trek, now you do.

After 15 years of working with companies like Anaplan, Apptio, Dollar Shave Club, Glint, Mint, Nest, and Zuora and many more, we know that entrepreneurs encounter countless – and oftentimes unexpected – challenges along their startup journeys. We’re here to help. Submit your most pressing startup questions and gain insights from experienced experts.

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Ask us your most pressing startup questions! Get personalized entrepreneurial advice from Team Shasta (including our portfolio execs).

Epic Product Development

We live in a product first world. Compelling products meet the needs of a user and show value to the buyer. In some cases, the user and the buyer may be the same. In others, they can be located in different divisions or geographies. Entrepreneurs and founding teams that have insight into what parts of their product customers engage with and which parts they don’t, can make strategic decisions that improve retention and satisfaction.

If you understand your customers’ pain points and what products and services matter and will delight customers moving forward, you can adapt your strategic roadmap to provide more value over time, and in doing so, increase the lifetime value of your customers. Being smart and strategic about a product, and product marketing, is the most efficient way to generate and scale revenue growth.

Marketing & Sales

There are countless companies with great products who lost because they got out-marketed or out-maneuvered by rivals. Sometimes they didn’t manage their customer relationships well. Or they failed to deliver on what they promised. Phil Knight of Nike said it best: “It’s hard enough to invent and manufacture a product but then the logistics, the mechanics, the hydraulics of getting it to the people who want it – this is how companies die, how ulcers are born.”

We believe the difference between a good company and a great one depends on how well sales and marketing is executed. There’s a host of questions to think about as you bring your product to market. How much do you charge? Do you offer different pricing points? What’s the branding and packaging look like? How do you get folks to buy? And keep buying? Once you develop your GTM strategy, test it. And test it again. Once you (mostly) prove your GTM strategy, then raise capital and invest behind it. Nothing incinerates cash like a misguided GTM strategy.

Passionate Teams

Ultimately, it takes an exceptional team – one with the instinct, drive, grit and obsession – to build a life-changing product and bring it to market. It’s their unique perspective on how to solve a problem that makes the difference. As a company grows, the founding team also grows and evolves. The person who may be extraordinary in their role during the first million or a couple million dollars of sales may not be the right person to take the company to the $20M level. There’s probably a different person than the executive who has the skills to run a company from $20 – $100M to scale the company to $300M because it’s a different level of organization. And that’s true in every functional area. Once you identify your objectives, how do you staff against them? What’s the team that goes with that? Do they share your passion and vision? Are they aligned with the company culture and values? Take time to build your team thoughtfully. It’s truly your biggest asset.

Partnership & Fundraising

The relationship between a founder and her or his investor runs deep – it’s a long-term partnership which can last ten years or more. It’s a marriage involving an enormous amount of time together in ongoing discussions, meetings, and decision making. Choose your Board very, very carefully and make sure that the individual team members will work well together. Extensively reference both the firm and your specific partner so you really understand what you’re getting into. Partners sometimes leave so you want to completely buy into the firm, its values, track record, and its partners. At the end of the day, your investors are the only people you cannot get rid of.
With fundraising, there are a lot of nuances. But in broad strokes, you need to raise enough money to comfortably get to the next milestone – be it an exit strategy or another round of capital. Ideally, it’s two and a half years of capital. Your company’s valuation should be in line with the progress to date and the expected progress for the next round. If the valuation is too high, it may make raising the next round problematic. Think ahead as much as possible and seek advice.