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5 Questions With Bowery's Revenue Council: Wendi Sturgis

January 11, 2022
5 Questions with Revenue Council Wendi Sturgis 2

Why did you join the Bowery Capital Revenue Council?

I had the incredible opportunity to co-teach a class at Columbia Business School with Mike Brown a few years back and got to know him and the ethos of Bowery Capital. I am passionate about giving back to other entrepreneurs so it felt like a great opportunity to give back to the community.

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

There are so many flavors of GTM now and so many more insights, toolkits, and information readily available. Product led growth is a great example of something that was barely on people's radar five years ago. Start ups have so many more options and opportunities to consider as they think about starting to scale their teams. The one area I think is still the hardest is your testing motion for your product / ideas / fit. You still have to grind it out with hand to hand combat in the beginning to determine the right messaging, sales motion, pricing, and product gap areas in your vision.

What are some indicators of a healthy go-to-market operation?

I think the most important indicators to get right early on are pipeline velocity, inbound lead volume and quality (lead scoring), gross and net retention, average time to close, and ramp time of sellers (seller productivity).

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

So many startups focus on sales and driving ARR that the customer success part of their business gets neglected. All of those early customers were a hard fought battle and they are key to building your customer advocacy program… so getting customer success on track is something I have helped with a lot. Hiring the right DNA CSM's that match your culture is first, then investing in some key processes earlier than you might think (like an NPS program). Then look at your customer referral program to keep the funnel growing and feedback coming in.

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

A board of advisors can do wonders to help you get access and insights that will help you hone your product market fit. You’re never too early or too small and there are amazing executives out there who can help you beyond just GTM advice or lead generation.

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