As early-stage investors, we often talk our portfolio companies through how to boost their initial traction and grow their revenue (hit the first $100k in MRR) to be Series A ready. Although there are still many uncertainties about the product and countless other things to figure out at the seed level, we frequently help to create the initial go-to-market (GTM) strategy that either helps to sell the product to support early learnings or scales revenues in a predictable/repeatable way. While these sales strategies require different approaches and techniques, this article will focus on “scaling up” further on for a very simple reason: if the company hasn’t managed to prove its viability or achieve some initial signs of product-market-fit, staying too long in the ‘sorting things out’ phase can be pretty dire for the success of the company in general.
As for GTM strategies, there are a few to discuss - bottom-up, product-led innovation or top-down - but they all very much depend on the problem your product is trying to solve. Some may have advantages over others but only in certain situations, for example, a product-led approach can help with winning your first users, but it can fail or seem insufficient while acquiring clients like enterprises, which tend to have a centralised procurement process requiring executive approval. As top-down sales might at some point be inevitable for many, especially to unleash millions in MRR, I will focus on a typical bottom-up approach with a direct cold outreach, where most InReach Ventures startups tend to begin.