At High Alpha, I’m intricately involved in the early days of our companies’ lives, helping them develop their early go-to-market (GTM) strategy and messaging. In these early days, we think a great deal about focus in the business and finding the white space area you can own—your “wedge”.
Recently, I have read/heard a number of people talk about the importance of focus in your GTM strategy. Marcin Szelag, a Partner at Innovation Nest had a great way of putting it in his post (before) Growth:
“What I have learned so far is that without knowing your customer you will not get far in sales. When you are small it is hard to sell to everyone. You need focus to best optimize your resources and skills. Test various segments to find out which one works best for you, at least at the beginning. Test the different channels to find out which one converts the best — there are only that many of them. There is no point in thinking about growth if you can’t find at least one process and channel that is predictable and scalable.”
When talking to VCs, they want to know if your GTM is reliable and repeatable — can someone other than the founder sell? Narrowing your marketing, finding your wedge, and testing will help you figure out that successful segment and channel that can get you to that first $100K and $1M in ARR.
Alex Bard, CEO of Campaign Monitor, had the most impressive way of describing the importance of focus I’ve heard when he spoke at High Alpha’s November Speaker Series:
“Companies don’t die from hunger. They die from indigestion. You need to have ruthless prioritization.”
Companies often try to do too many things — they try to boil the ocean with their sales and marketing, but you cannot be all things to all people. You need to have some version of focus and prioritization when thinking about customer segments and the value you provide.
You have to keep in mind: it’s much easier to go from 10 customers who love your product to 1,000 customers that love it than to move 1,000 customers who like your product to 1,000 customers who love it.