Top Five Ideas from GGV’s Q3 CEO Dinner on High Velocity Sales & Marketing


We held a great CEO dinner this evening on High Velocity Sales & Marketing in SF.  In addition to the 25+ CEOs in attendance from top notch companies, we had three terrific panelists – Heather Zynczak, CMO at Domo, Rita Selvaggi, CMO at AlienVault, and Matt Price, VP & GM EMEA at Zendesk. The conversation was lively and the insights were in heavy supply. Here are five of the highlights:

  • A great product that is easy to deploy and use is key to a successful high velocity model, BUT you also need tight alignment between Sales, Marketing, Product and Finance.  If a link in this chain is broken, the wheel will stop spinning fast and you can’t scale a velocity model.
  • Another key to successfully implementing a high velocity approach is developing content to draw prospects to you.  Focus on helping people solve problems in your content, not necessarily on the benefits of your product per se.
  • Sales people who flourish in high velocity companies need to be willing to re-tool, resisting the impulse to try to super-size every deal, instead attempting to optimize for a rapid sales cycle.  This often means smaller deal sizes that can be approved outside of a procurement process.  Also, in sales don’t be afraid to hire very junior folks who you can train from scratch.
  • When competing with traditional incumbents in larger deals with multiple decision-makers, you can still use the advantages of high velocity DNA.  For example, use your product’s ease of use to quickly stand up a live demo or a PoC if applicable. Your competitor wont be able to move at the same speed, accentuating the difference of your product approach.
  • Social media can be a very productive source of marketing leads, but you need to be prepared to run tons of customized campaigns to make these programs tenable. Used in this way, LinkedIn and Twitter can both be effective.

Thanks again to our panelists and participants for a great evening.

Congratulations Zendesk on a Successful IPO

Zendesk priced its IPO at $9/share on May 14th and achieved a first day close at $13.43, up 49% from IPO price.  Although the Zendesk IPO is only one small step in an exciting journey, the deal represents a greatRead More…

Rakuten – A Japanese Treasure

One of the best parts of my job is getting to meet and learn from visionary and inspiring folks.  Today I had the chance to meet in a small group with Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani, the Chairman and CEO of Rakuten,Read More…

Managing Growth in a Volatile Market

As featured in TechCrunch Over the past several years, founders have been operating in a steadily improving macroeconomic environment. Stock market performance has mirrored the economic recovery, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ having posted meaningful gains in four of the pastRead More…

Pre-IPO Imperative: Know Your Customer

As featured in TechCrunch. The IPO window is currently wide open.  Riding the wave of strong IPO performance over the past few years (the classes of ‘12 and ‘13 IPOs have on average returned 234% and 78%, respectively, according toRead More…

Highlights from GGV’s CEO Dinner on Mobile

My partners and I hosted a CEO Dinner this evening in SF on Mobile Commerce & Community.  We had a terrific crowd of about 30 CEOs in attendance from some of the top companies in the mobile arena.  Sam ShankRead More…

Hedge Funds Rising

As featured in TechCrunch. Scrolling through reports of recent venture financings, the names of the firms involved has changed quite a bit over the past few quarters. Of note, hedge funds have entered the later-stage, pre-IPO investment arena in aRead More…