Founder-led Selling: A Design Pattern for Iterative Startup GTM Development & Execution

January 19, 2017

The following is an overview of founder-led selling and provides a design pattern to help early stage startup founders and their teams think through the earliest stages of their go-to-market strategies. This deck is the distillation of my experience from founding and then running sales at TalentBin, writing Founding Sales, running the Modern Sales community, and advising a couple dozen early stage B2B startups on their GTM strategies over the last three years.

Through this deck you’ll learn that at each stage of GTM, there are a set of things that should be focused on (and others that should specifically not be focused on). You’ll see that not focusing on the things that need to be done at a certain stage in order to get to the next, or prematurely focusing on the things called for at later stages, can seriously damage the enterprise value creation.

After years of experience helping countless teams through this process, I have seen too many early stage companies fly themselves into the ground because they’ve failed to master their GTM approach. They continue to fail simply because they don’t have access to good information. With this deck, I am hoping to change that.

Share this information with your early stage B2B founders, sales leaders and others in the industry and keep them from flying into the ground. They’ll thank you.


Pete Kazanjy is a serial founder, and seasoned early stage Saas executive, advisor, and investor. Pete founded TalentBin, a category-defining talent search engine and recruiting CRM, which exited to Monster Worldwide in early 2014. At TalentBin, Pete went from product and product marketing founder generalist, to first sales rep, first sales manager, first VP of Sales, all the way to leading new product sales for 600+ sales reps at Monster worldwide. After Monster, he wrote a book on sales for founders, Founding Sales, documenting all the mistakes he made along the way, and solutions to them, so future founders can accelerate their go to market acumen. Pete also founded and runs the canonical invite-only nationwide sales operations and management “salon” (The Modern Sales Pro salon), featuring 1200+ members from a who’s who of sales operations, enablement, management, and leadership from leading sales organization's. Most recently, Pete founded a stealth HR Technology company in the performance management category, seeking to bring data centricity to the world of performance instrumentation and management. Prior to TalentBin, Pete worked in product marketing and product at VMware, having graduated from Stanford in 2002.