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“Zero to 100” for High Growth SaaS – A workshop on how to build your Go-to-Market




I have great pleasure in announcing a new program called Zero to 100 – Matrix Growth Academy. This program is my response to what so many of you have been asking for: a detailed instruction manual for how to take your startup from zero to $100m, with a particular focus on the area of building a go-to-market machine. So many of today’s founders come from a product or technical background, and have never been involved with sales and marketing. Right after starting their venture, they are hit with the huge problem of how to build their go-to-market organization and processes.

Conventional wisdom has it that when you find product market fit, you’re ready to start scaling and hit the gas. While this works very well for consumer focused companies, it doesn’t work for B2B startups. Founders are often surprised that when they turn up the spend in sales and marketing, sales don’t grow. That’s because there is an important missing step that hasn’t been clearly articulated that’s crucial for success. We call this gap the Search for a Repeatable, Scalable, and Profitable Growth process. While finding product/market fit  has been well covered in The Lean Startup and subsequent movement, there hasn’t yet been a curriculum created to cover this gap.

For Zero to 100, I am partnering with Stephanie (Schatz) Friedman, previously SVP of Sales & Customer Success at Xamarin (acquired by Microsoft). Stephanie is an expert on the details of how to build, motivate, and manage a sales organization.

While much relevant content is available on this site and elsewhere, we believe it has not been presented in a clear start to finish curriculum where the big picture is presented first, followed by the eight key stages. It aims to solve a fundamental problem: each stage of the go-to-market requires different focus, team structure and goals. Not focusing on the things needed to finish a stage, or jumping ahead prematurely is extremely costly, and often fatal.

Our first event took place on September 11th in San Francisco. Attendance was limited to startup founders and senior executives only to ensure a valuable networking experience. The event is designed to help create a unified growth team with people from Sales, Marketing Product, and Customer Success, so the heads of these departments are all in the target audience group)

To view the videos from the event, click here:

See below for more details on the content that was covered.

More about the event:

We have carefully constructed a sales and marketing curriculum which is founded on a systematic way of thinking about startup growth: There are eight stages that a startup needs to go through to build a repeatable and scalable growth process, and it is important for founders to do the right things at the right time.

This first event focused on the Zero to $20m phase and you will learn, for example, how to design a buyer-centric funnel; how to build and manage a sales team from your first sales hire to a fully scaled sales organization; what are the key drivers of success in a SaaS business, and how you as a founder or startup exec can apply the most relevant metrics to drive results as and understand your business.

This was the agenda outline for the day:

12pm- 1pm. Light lunch and networking

Founder roadmap – 7 key stages to get to a repeatable and scalable growth process: How to think systematically about startup growth.
Startup tactics are highly stage specific. The most common startup errors come from trying to force progress by skipping ahead. For each stage, we’ll discuss goals, focus, exit criteria, and most common mistakes. How these stages correlate with valuation and fund raising.

Product / market fit: How you know you’ve built a product that people want to buy.
Sell, Design, Build, not Design, Build, Sell. Customer development: overcoming your fear of sales, how to find and talk to customers, understand what problem you are solving. What are the true signs of validation?

Repeatable and scalable growth: How to create a repeatable, scalable and profitable sales machine.
Define your ideal customer, ideal target market, messaging and positioning, initial sales motion, initial lead sources, pricing, etc. When and how to add salespeople, scale the organization.

Funnel design: How to get inside your buyers’ head and drive higher conversions.
The five parts of a B2B funnel. Buyer centric funnel design, buyer persona analysis. How to turn your product into your best salesperson, decreasing the Time to Wow! PQLs versus MQLs.

Sales management: How to build and manage a high performing sales organization.
Your first sales hire, pipeline management, forecasting. How to prepare, run and debrief great customer meetings. Sales operations and the importance of data. How to hire a sales management team, sales team motivation.

The SaaS Business Model: How to use SaaS metrics to drive performance.
The three components of SaaS bookings. Customer and salesperson unit economics (CAC, LTV). Dollar vs logo retention, negative churn. Salesforce capacity and productivity.

Building a recruiting machine: How to source, evaluate and close the best candidates.
Sourcing, interviewing, reference checking, selling, closing, onboarding.

Organizational design and the role of the CEO
How the organization evolves at each stage, building a company operating system, how to work with your investors and the board.

6pm – 7:30pm: Cocktails and conversations with other founders and execs

Your hosts:

David is a 5 times entrepreneur turned VC and the author of the well-known blog “For Entrepreneurs”. ForEntrepreneurs has over a million visitors a year, and is Inc. magazine’s #1 and Forbes #2 ranked website for entrepreneurs. Stephanie has been an executive in 3 successful startups and has recently built the sales team for Xamarin from 0 to $50m (100 salespeople) in less than 4 years. (Xamarin was recently acquired by Microsoft.) We will draw in the following additional speakers to cover certain topics in more depth:

  • Pete Kazanjy, founder of both Atrium, and Modern Sales, the nation’s largest sales operations and leadership community. Pete is also the author of Founding Sales, the book on sales for founders and other non-sellers
  • Mark Gally, CEO of Zaius, a Matrix portfolio company that has recently successfully executed the Zero to 100 roadmap

David and Stephanie

To view the videos from the event, click here: