For many enterprise startups, the dominant initial go to market (GTM) strategy has been growth and sales. However, a bottom up GTM is not enough to unlock the full potential of a market. The introduction of top down sales is one of the most important inflection points in many enterprise companies.
Do you even need top down sales to scale?
- Initial growth is often the result of the product
- As products proliferate through enterprise customers, there's a limit to users who will discover it or pay for it on their own
- Yet, enterprise-wide deployment creates new users and use cases
When should you add top down sales?
- The bottom up flywheel is working
- Achieving between $20M to $30M ARR in bottom up-driven sales is a strong leading signal
- Certain penetration statistics can also be a leading indicator
- The bottom up motion serves as an important pipeline generator for the most successful top down sales
- The business is demanding a top down solution
- Critical to remember that individuals don’t buy enterprise features, businesses buy them.
First leadership hire and rep compensation
- First leadership hire must be a:
- Collaborative decision maker
- Analytical and technical orientation
- Long term relationship building
- Enterprise sales experience
How do you compensate your team?
- Align their team’s activities with the goals of the business
- Tie these plans to the work that the individual sales rep is actually in control of
- Incentivize the team to ensure that both the initial landing and net expansion are successful
How do you reconcile top down with bottom up pricing?
- Hybrid model: Full transparency for smaller self-serve customers, paired with the ability to negotiate custom enterprise pricing
- Products with competitive environments
- Majority of sales leaders believed a hybrid pricing model inclusive of discounting worked best for their companies
- Self serve applied to enterprise sales: This approach entails full pricing transparency and a zero exceptions approach to discounting
- Works for companies with limited competitions and newer use cases
When do you start focusing on customer retention?
- Nearly all sales leaders we spoke with wished they had focused on retention sooner.
- It should be built up alongside the sales effort
- As the company scales, the role of customer success will evolve
- There is no right way to scale top down GTM operations
- A truly successful go to market transformation requires product marketing, customer success, and product infrastructure also