Prioritizing GTM Systems Investment

When you’re a startup, Rev Ops probably owns GTM Systems.
The focus is mostly on building features to address the needs of today. Sure, some planning is involved but it’s on a short time horizon.

At this stage, Salesforce architecture is more of a business challenge.
But this is what happens next.

  • Go-to-Market motions change and grow in complexity.
  • Cobbled together solutions degrade end user experience.
  • You add Product SKUs and experiment with pricing.
  • Marketing & Finance teams hire their own Systems Specialists.
  • You outgrow integration tools used at the start (Zapier, Make, Tray)
  • Data warehousing becomes a central piece of Internal Tools

At this point, Salesforce architecture is a technical challenge.
You Must Have:

  • Scalable features according to best practices
  • Proactive planning, rigorous documentation, and quality requirements definition
  • QA and Release Management process to minimize technical debt
  • Proper middleware to streamline, scalable integrations
  • Ability to operate on a multi-year, product vision for all Internal Tools

The worst thing you can do in GTM Systems is build first, plan second.
There is no such thing as prioritizing Salesforce architecture too early.

It’s the foundation of your entire Internal Tools infrastructure.

You can’t build a team only capable of executing.
At best, you'll have a team of Admins/Engineers and be forced to catch up.

At worst, you will completely outgrow your GTM Systems infrastructure.
A re-build will be necessary.
And you will need to pay expensive Consultants to do it for you.

Snowflake's Proactive Salesforce Hiring

Few companies know how to invest in Salesforce as well as Snowflake.

Between 2018-2020, the Sales org grew 15x - and so did the Salesforce team.
We analyzed the full sequence of hiring at Snowflake and condensed it into our findings and key takeaways:

Insights on How Snowflake Scaled the Salesforce Team from 0 to 65 people

And it all started with hire #1: a Director of Sales Systems.

The First Salesforce Hire at 18 Startups

Making the right hiring decisions for your Go-to-Market (GTM) Systems team is critical. It's not only about who you hire, but when you hired them.

Let's take a look into the experiences of 18 market leaders in Sales Automation and how they navigated the process of building their GTM Systems teams, specifically focusing on their Salesforce FTE hiring decisions.

When did they hire  their 1st Salesforce FTE?

  • Seed: 1 company 👏
  • Series A: 2 companies
  • Series B: 6 companies
  • Series C: 3 companies
  • Series D: 3 companies
  • Series E: 3 companies

Full Hiring Timeline of 18 Sales Automation Vendors, including Gong, Outreach, Salesloft, Clari, and 14 others.