5 Questions With Bowery's Revenue Council: Roli Saxena

5 Questions With Bowery's Revenue Council: Roli Saxena

March 4, 2022

Why did you join the Bowery Capital Revenue Council?

I love working in tech startups and have been fortunate to be part of several companies from their early-stage to exit (2 IPOs and 2 acquisitions). I am trained as an engineer and started my career in product and for the last 16 years have been in GTM roles in both early-stage and established companies. I find partnering with founders in company building and connecting product strategy to go to market very satisfying. And I would love to help Bowery Capital portfolio companies avoid mistakes and accelerate growth.

How has the go-to-market landscape for seed-stage startups changed in the last five years?

We are in the middle of a massive shift in the way people use and buy software. The center of power has shifted from the buyer to the end-user and the end-users now demand better experiences from the tools they use. Building products that deliver value to the end-users quickly has never been as important now as ever before. The role of Customer Success for growth has become critical and with Product Led Growth strategy—think Slack, Calendly, and Dropbox—companies are able to grow faster and more efficiently by leveraging their products to create a pipeline of active users who are then converted into paying customers.

What are some indicators of healthy go-to-market operations?

The answer is different for companies at different stages. For early-stage companies, it is important to focus on product-market fit and to prioritize delivering customer value quickly while building advocates. A signal of success at the early stages is usage, customer referrals, case studies, and customer NPS (a measure of advocacy). However, post-product-market fit and as you scale your sales efforts, metrics like pipeline, sales velocity, rep performance, payback period etc become more important.

What are the most common roadblocks you’ve helped startups overcome at the early stage?

Helping founders and companies in hiring exceptional executive talent and implementing a framework to make them successful, 2) connecting the dots between product, pricing, and sales strategy and 3) building operational frameworks to drive accountability and focus.

What one piece of advice would you share with a founder looking to scale revenue at the seed stage?

Three pieces of advice for founders - 1) Don't outsource selling too soon. You are the best sales rep of your vision of the product and you will learn a lot about your customer need and the market when you sell and 2) Hire for the stage you are in. Don't over hire especially in the early days. People have a very tough time scaling down and 3) If you care about diversity, start early. It is hard to change your companies demographics and culture later.


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