Marketing & Sales

We believe the difference between a good company and a great one depends on how well
you execute on marketing and sales. As Phil Knight of Nike says, “It’s hard enough to invent and manufacture a product but then the mechanics of getting it to the people who want it – this is how ulcers are born.” Let us help.

What is your opinion on channel partners versus direct sales and how that percentage should vary over the journey of a startup?

There are four distinct sales motions within enterprise B2B selling: A) Field direct sales used most frequently with large ticket items and in large accounts. B) Inside direct sales used most frequently with medium ticket items and the mid market. C) Online selling where orders are taken over the internet with little sales involvement used for small business or smaller workgroup/indiv [...]

Answered by: Michael Lock, Advisor

How do you build awareness for your product/ service while you are still in stealth?

Unless you are a celebrity founder or have raised a bunch of capital, it can be difficult to build awareness before your product launches. With so many start-ups trying to be the next big thing, it’s hard to be heard over the noise. That said, there certainly are some tactics you can employ. First, tease interest by sharing at least the target market and strategic approach of your product. It [...]

Answered by: Mike Trigg, Advisor

When do you start charging customers?

I personally wrote this stupid thing on our website that said, "At Marketo, your success doesn't have a price." It was there on the website for a number of years and I was so proud of that we didn't charge for services because we were so customer-centric and we're just going to help our customers be successful. Boy, that's a mistake. Then, sales started to evade the topic. We had a hard product [...]

Answered by: Phil Fernandez, Founding CEO, Marketo

What’s your view of the freemium model?

I think the Valley is particularly enamored with the freemium, free trial, low friction business model. There was a healthy Board debate at Zuora many years ago where we talked about is there some easy button or quicker insertion point for billing? Ultimately it relates to departmental buying and if it's multi-departmental, you need to look at the product characteristics. If you have a product tha [...]

Answered by: Jason Pressman, Managing Director

Additional Q&A's

October 23, 2019

When looking at Total Addressable Market (TAM), how small is too small?

December 3, 2019

Should you perfect your SaaS metrics early on?

June 13, 2019


April 26, 2019

How did you handle customer adoption and renewal challenges?

December 3, 2019

Is every customer a good customer?

October 16, 2019

How do you prepare to meet customer demand as you move from beta to launch?

April 25, 2019

Is identifying your TAM a one-time effort?

April 25, 2019

Any false positives with customers as you scale?

July 16, 2019

What is the best way to segment emails?

May 30, 2019

What’s the Art of Telling a Great Story?

December 3, 2019

Do you need an experienced CMO or marketing expert on your startup team?

November 11, 2019

How do I ensure that my marketing and communications materials are reaching my target audience?

December 3, 2019

Should SaaS companies have a lot of professional services revenue?

June 17, 2019

What can we learn from Marketo’s Rocket Ship Growth to $5B?

April 19, 2019

How did you get customers to let you plug it into the heart of their business?

June 21, 2019

What’s one of the most successful acquisitions you’ve seen?

April 26, 2019

What’s the art of telling a great story?

April 26, 2019

How do you show the business value of professional services?

December 3, 2019

Is there a one-size fits all go-to-market strategy?

November 11, 2019

If your target market is 10,000 clients that you can map as a power curve, where do you start?

June 21, 2019

What can we learn from the Qualtrics acquisition?

April 25, 2019

When you scale the business, how do you systemize the selling process?

December 3, 2019

Is there a magical inflection point?

November 13, 2015

How do you brand connected hardware devices?

May 29, 2019

How did you get the idea of a billing & invoicing company system for subscriptions & make it into something big?