gtmPRO

Intro to gtmPRO

November 30, 2023 Gary & Andy Season 1 Episode 0
gtmPRO
Intro to gtmPRO
Show Notes Transcript

If you got asked to present a Go-to-Market plan to the Board, how would you feel?

gtmPRO is designed from the ground up to help revenue leaders at lower middle market companies (<$50mm in revenue) take on this challenge with confidence.

Your hosts for gtmPRO include:

  • Gary Schwake - Managing Partner at Yield Group (Go-to-Market advisory firm), Operating Partner at Boathouse Capital, Limited Partner at Stage 2 Capital and 2x Founder.
  • Andy Monahan - Partner at Yield Group, Operating Partner at Boathouse Capital and an OG data-driven growth expert (AOL, Capital One).
  • Tiana Quiroga - Manager of Marketing & Community at Yield Group and empathetic moderator of the podcast

Revenue leaders at lower middle market companies face unique challenges that the commonly available “hyperscale” thought-leadership doesn’t adequately address. They are simultaneously a Coach, a Player and, without a lot of guidance, an Executive.


Gary Schwake:

Welcome to the GTM Pro Podcast, your essential audio resource for mastering the boardroom. Here we share insights and guidance for revenue leaders at B2B software and service companies, especially those with less than 50 million in revenue. Why? Because the challenges faced by companies of this size are unique. They are too big to be small and too small to be big. This dynamic pushes revenue leaders into executive leadership without a lot of help or support. We are here to provide that support. Your journey to boardroom excellence starts now. All right, welcome to the inaugural GTM Pro Podcast. We're excited to be here. My name is Gary Schwaake. I am a managing partner at Yield Group, a boutique go-to-market advisory firm, also an operating partner at Boathouse Capital and a limited partner at Stage 2 Capital, which is a venture capital fund focused on scaling Series A, series early Series B companies around go-to-market.

Andy Monahan:

Andy. Hi, andy. I work with a bunch of startups, help grow them grow in a bunch of different ways. I've grown a bunch of divisions within larger companies as well. I, too, am a operating partner with Boathouse Capital and looking forward to this podcast.

Tiana Quiroga:

And I am Tiana. I am here because I feel like I am you. So I am AB to be marketer, community marketing, community manager, marketing here, and I just wish to think in executive level and I keep to translate and simplify our host's knowledge to our own.

Gary Schwake:

Outstanding. All right, so why does the world need another podcast? Well, I guess focusing first and most specifically on the lower middle market and that is very much a private equity term to describe companies that are between $5 million and $50 million in revenue because middle market means a lot of different things, and so that's the lower middle market, so we focus exclusively there. It's a place that's near and dear to our heart. We've been involved in early stage, we've been involved in Fortune 500 companies, and at this stage it really appeals to us, and it's for a variety of reasons, one of which is that so much of what companies of this size here out there is venture capital backed advice. It is a completely different playbook that's all about shoot for the moon, and there are so many awesome companies out there that perhaps raised VC capital at one time but are no longer on that trajectory and actually need to be very capital efficient about how they grow. They're still growing well, they're fantastic companies, but there's a different set of playbooks that apply, and so that's a focus for us. The teams here are very lean. The revenue leaders are both players and coaches, but they're also being frankly, pushed into executive leadership roles without a lot of support or guidance. It's not like you've had layers of senior people to learn from over the course of your career. You come in as a functional leader and all of a sudden you're presented to the board of directors, and so that creates this void of information and knowledge about how do I actually do this job at this size company, if I'm a marketing leader or sales leader or customer success, even product, even executive leader. Who's trying to think about this? And one of the other things that's fun about the lower middle market is that, for us anyway, is that they're big enough to have these complex problems. They're big enough to have some resources to solve them, but at the same time, they're not so big they can't just hire an army of people and throw a bunch of money at it and blow through the wall. So to us, the lower middle market is an enormous space. It's filled with fantastic companies and it's largely underserved, and so a lot of what you're going to hear on this podcast is us taking some really great concepts from around the world and right sizing them or value engineering them or, frankly, reprioritizing them for companies of this size and those dynamics.

Gary Schwake:

Okay, so let's talk a little bit about the three pillars of GTM Pro. One is we realize as revenue leaders ourselves that there's way too much content in too little time the amount of content out of the web. To try to figure something out, just go search for anything regarding a go-to-market guide or template or what have you. There's just a sea of noise, and you just don't have the time to curate all that information and go through it. So we do this for a living and we advise companies, we invest in companies, and so we are living this every day in this size company, and so we think we can really help cut down, be a filter for you, if nothing else.

Gary Schwake:

The other one we've already mentioned is this hyperscale guidance that proliferates everywhere LinkedIn, the web, blog posts everything just doesn't apply in many cases to these companies of these size. There may be pieces of it that make sense, but it may be in the wrong order or wrong size or, frankly, you just don't have the scale or resources to pull it off, and so that's part of why we're here as well. And then, lastly, mentorship matters. There is this really avoid of mentors, executive level mentors at this size, where it's not uncommon in a venture backed situation, where the revenue leaders at certain companies, even the next layer down, will be provided advisors At bootstrapped and often private equity backed companies. That's less true, and so there's this void of guidance and where to turn to how to become an executive leader. So those are the pillars there, and I'll stop there because I've talked the whole time. Andy and Tiana, what would you add to that, if anything? Or Claire?

Andy Monahan:

Just on the hyperscale guidance I mentioned, having taken Reforge at a company of about 25 million in revenue, it's a great program. But it's a case in point where I really at that point in time just didn't have a lot of practical use for a lot of what was coming down from that training and it was at best a little confusing and at worst it was totally unusable for my situation. So that was actually an impetus for some of the things that we've put together for GTM Pro.

Tiana Quiroga:

Well, counting on the too much content and too little time. Well, I just feel like online today you can just find a lot of different types of content that explain a lot of different things, and sometimes it's too general. Sometimes it's just a little hard and complicated to understand it, especially when you come up to a functional role. Nobody teaches you how to be there and nobody teaches you how to think from outside of scope, from an executive level. You just think about your task and the requirements that they set out for your job specifically, and sometimes a lot of that information is just we're just drowning on too much information and sometimes it doesn't really make sense to us because it can't be applied to our specific situations. To Gary's point, and I just feel like it's overwhelming to constantly try to learn from everything that's been put out there, and this is a filter for it. This is something that we can. Just we reduce it to our specific cases and that's how you try to learn from them and understand them.

Gary Schwake:

Yeah, that's a great point. I think, trying to take something in the abstract and apply it, you end up with more questions than answers. So hopefully we're going to give you more answers than questions and, probably more importantly, ways to think about tackling the problem versus just some tried answer. So, with that in mind, purpose and what you can expect out of this podcast one is we desire to be a trusted partner for you, revenue leaders at lower middle market companies. We want to be able to provide relevant guidance to help you navigate these complex challenges, because they are complex.

Gary Schwake:

You're dealing with a system not just running marketing or running sales or running CS At this size company. You have to think about how you integrate with these other organizations and really drive the outcome of the system, not just your department. And then, really, the other piece we've talked about is helping address this imposter syndrome that every one of us has. Every one of us has this imposter syndrome, but it's particularly acute for those that are thrust into these executive leadership roles and they haven't had any real guidance to do that. So we would just help break down some of the myths around that so that you can move forward confidently.

Andy Monahan:

It really ties to the coaching and mentorship and we talked about. Everyone needs a coach, the best athletes out there. It's not a sign of weakness, right? Michael Jordan had a coach, so it's not a bad thing to ask for help.

Tiana Quiroga:

No, not at all, especially when you actually just put out there and just try to figure out life and work. It's sometimes just too overwhelming, and having someone to listen to that has already been through that experience. We all do that, from walking to talking, to learning anything at all. We always have guidance, so this is just a true way to get there.

Gary Schwake:

Yeah, and so we talked a little bit. Let's just be specific about who should listen here Local revenue leaders at lower middle market companies. This is built for you and it can include CEOs, founders as well, because many times they are also revenue leaders Marketing, sales, cs, revops. We're going to cover the breadth of go-to-market. It's not just about selling. It's about an economic equation about how this all fits together. So that's a good fit and let's talk a little.

Gary Schwake:

We'll cover a couple of scenarios where, speaking of a system where these are common challenges faced by companies of this size and types of things that we'll be working through. So not uncommon for a new private equity group to come in a board of directors, say we need to go up market and immediately we start changing motions to do that. But really thinking through with an organization of this size, how do we set that up for success? It is a multi-pronged approach that really, to do it well, involves product marketing, cs, sales, ops, everybody and getting everybody rowing together in the same direction at the same time. That's critically important. A great example of that happens all the time Everyone is very similarly launching new products or into new segments. We're going to take this product and move over to this segment, or we're moving from a one product company to a two product company.

Gary Schwake:

All of that methodology applies, and there's lots of ships along the shore a wreckage that we have seen along the way with companies not doing that well Really thinking. In another case very common where we see two companies coming together as an acquisition we are part of a company that's been plugging along for five, seven, 10 years and suddenly we acquire another company. That's part of the vision. How do we bring those two things together? And then the other thing that we're hearing more and more is how do we transition a sales led organization into a product led organization? And the reality is it's probably gonna be a hybrid organization, and that, too, is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of stuff out on the web about product led, but it's very different when you're starting product led versus transitioning to incorporate some product led motions there, and there's good ways to do it, a bad way. So those are just some examples.

Andy Monahan:

So somebody who's had success in a particular method of product led may very well not be right for you, so just following that advice oftentimes is a pitfall.

Gary Schwake:

Right, taking the playbook off the shelf and applying it without thinking through that the inputs is dangerous. So, anyway, we are glad you're here, we're excited to kick this off. We're gonna see where it goes. We're gonna cover a different set of topics every week. I think for those of you who are interested in expanding into really being an executive leader and thinking as an executive, go-to-market person, regardless of your function, you're gonna enjoy your time here. We really wanna hear from you as well. We want ideas on topics, any questions you have.

Gary Schwake:

The intent is to make this, as we said, a relationship and really be. We can't provide guidance if we don't know what you're looking for. So please feel free to shoot us an email at gtmpro, at yieldgroupco. It's dotcocom and we'd love to hear from you and look forward to chatting more. Okay, so other things. Finishing up here real quick.

Gary Schwake:

We're gonna kick off this off here shortly, but we definitely want you to subscribe to the podcast for updates. Visit, in this case, gtmproco for additional updates. We're gonna be putting up resources. We've got weekly GTM shorts. We're gonna be doing a monthly deep dive and potentially even more frequently than that, really going into those very challenges and topics and how you do that, and so, again, we're thinking of this as us open, sourcing what we're doing and learning with our clients, with our private equity partners, how they're seeing the world, and taking all of those things that we see behind the scenes and making that information available to you as revenue leaders, but, more importantly, wanna make it an opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas as well, so we encourage you to jump in. All right, well, I think, for episode zero. That's a wrap, andy Tiana. Anything to add?

Tiana Quiroga:

I think that's a wrap.

Gary Schwake:

Okay, we'll see you shortly. Thank you for tuning in to GTM Pro. For you to become a pro, we're here to foster your growth as a revenue leader, offering the insights you need to thrive. For further guidance, visit gtmproco and continue your path to becoming board ready with us. Share this journey, subscribe, engage and elevate your go-to-market skills. Until next time, be a pro.