Hi there Femstreet folks! I am Sandhya Hegde, a Venture Capitalist at Unusual Ventures, where I lead investments in B2B software. Founded in 2018, Unusual is silicon valley’s first full-service seed fund giving technical founders unparalleled GTM support across critical services like recruiting, sales, marketing, community and product-led growth. Our portfolio includes unicorns like Webflow, Carta, Harness and Arctic Wolf Networks. Prior to Unusual, I was an executive at Amplitude, a leader in product analytics and helped scale the business 30x in ARR. At Amplitude, I built and led teams across Growth, Marketing and New Products. While there, I also founded Amplify, the world's leading product-led growth conference with over 10k+ annual attendees and was a Product Strategy coach for many Fortune 100 companies including Walmart, Ford and NBC.
Over the past 6 years, I have been at the forefront of the product-led movement that has swept the world of enterprise software startups. Today I am here to chat with you all about testing your own startup ideas and how to set up a modern GTM motion for a SaaS startup.
If you are an early stage leader or considering starting your own enterprise software company with product-led growth, here are a few things to consider:
Find Hair-on-Fire problems - With increased access to financing, there has been an explosion of new B2B software startups over the past few years. Before you launch your company or new product, make sure you are tackling a hair-on-fire problem for your customers. Most startups and products die because they don’t have enough market pull.
Build Products that are Easy to Learn (vs Easy to Use) - With the consumerization of enterprise software, there has been an increasing focus on making B2B tools easier to use. However, some of the most valuable work tools are often not intuitive and have a learning curve. Successful product builders today are investing in making their products easy (and desirable) to learn.
Invest in Success before Sales - The days of the traditional top-down, relationship-based software sale are fast drawing to a close. While the Sales function will always be crucial for most B2B companies, the newest breed of successful startups are investing early in success to drive higher ROI from layering on sales.
I am excited to chat more with you about the nitty-gritty of these trends and exactly how to approach them! Post your questions below 👇
Was so great chatting with you all! Please feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org for anything about starting up :)
How does one go about launching a product which could be both B2B/B2C (eg canva)? Also how to know which segment to focus on?
Interested in hearing your advice on the early days of building out the Success function and processes. Any successes or mistakes from your career that would help those of us just getting started?
Also, how does one size the market which is a category creator? For example, a tool that could make any video base communication interactive (overlayed with questions etc). Now videos are used across the board in all industries and all sizes of companies. How do I calculate a realistic market size to know it is worth the time?
Hi Sandhya! 👋🏿 It's nice to "meet" you 😁. In your experience have you seen B2C or DTC brands make a successful pivot to B2B? If so, what do you think contributed to their success? If not, what do you think was the cause of their failure?
Hi Sandhya! Great post. We're building an easy to learn/use B2B tool for local governments. We're considering using product-led growth as a GTM since our tool is lightweight and easy to implement compared to the mammoth legacy systems governments onboard. Do you have tips on how we can launch a successful product-led growth GTM in a typically legacy systems-heavy industry (like gov)? Thanks!
Hi Sandhya! Thanks so much for doing this Q&A :) Couldn't agree more with point #3! A question I have is on team structure for marketing- what roles/skill sets/mindsets are crucial in a PLG marketing team in your experience?
Hi Sandhya, Could you give a bit of insight into the launch strategy you implemented for Amplify ?
Hello Sandhya ! Thank you for being generous with your time. I hope you and your family are faring well in these interesting times. Would you be open to trying out our software when we launch and providing your expert feedback ? Thank you again, Joana
Hello, Sandhya, great post! Can you give us an example of startups that invested early in success to drive higher ROI from layering on sales and exactly what strategies they implemented?