by: Ivo Atanassov
“Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have are enough customers.” – with this quote by Gabriel Weinberg, Svetozar Georgiev, co-founder of Telerik Academy and Campus X, opened the “Go-to-Market Strategy” 3-hour session, as part of the Dare to Scale Growth program. The event was dedicated to one of the main challenges that companies face when aiming to reach their target customers and thus attain strong market share.
Svetozar highlighted that defining the Inner, Middle and Outer circle of the GTM – the three core elements of the Circular Approach, are of pivotal importance for a product’s successful launch. He advised against scaling a team during the initial stages of the GTM strategy execution – instead he recommended validating the business model and value proposition by talking to people that are easy to reach out to. Once having achieved a deep market share (around 30%), Svetozar recommended going beyond that narrow market and finding a targeted channel to prove that the company can attract and convert cold leads. This Middle circle, also known as “beachhead market”, comes with its respective challenges – overcoming distribution roadblocks, and setting the right pricing, which is often done on a “trial & error” basis. Once these issues are addressed, the company can move onto the next stage – the Outer circle, which refers to the Total Addressable Market (TAM). Svetozar explicitly pointed out that TAM should not be understood as the whole world but as a market segment that is relevant to the company.
“Be obsessed about your competitors” – the serial entrepreneur advised the founders to monitor vigilantly their rivals. Through practical examples, Svetozar showcased the importance of creating meaningful campaigns and channels that can be used both as a differentiator from the competitors and also as a way to generate social media buzz.
In the Q&A session of the workshop, the entrepreneurs shared their go-to-market challenges, such as how to reach the right decision-maker in large organizations, ways to expand to wider markets, and how to adapt their proposition to the specific needs of each market. Svetozar encouraged the founders to run constant tests in all segments of their Go-to-Market strategy. He recommended several books on the topic, amongst which “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr and “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore.
The concluding hour of the workshop featured fruitful discussions and useful exchange of ideas among the founders. The team of Endeavor Bulgaria together with the entrepreneurs would like to thank Svetozar for leading the session and Campus X for hosting the first two workshops of Dare to Scale!
The Growth program will continue with the scheduled 1:1 mentorship sessions and the next workshop will take place on Oct 15th on the topic of “Perfecting the Sales Process”, to be led by Vladimir Davchev, Founder of HelloHungry and Endeavor Entrepreneur.