GTM 86: Learnings From 6 Successful SaaS Exits with Katrina Wong

Katrina Wong is the Divisional CMO / VP Marketing at Twilio Segment. She has a proven track record for launching products in new markets and helping companies move up to the Enterprise. She has also created award-winning integrated campaigns with data storytelling. Prior to Twilio Segment, Katrina worked at Zuora, Salesforce and SAP. She started her career as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. With over 15 years of marketing experience, Katrina is passionate about helping companies through stages of substantial growth including helping 6 companies exit successfully – from pre to post IPO as well as notable acquisitions.

Discussed in this Episode:

  • Marketing plays a crucial role in preparing a company for a successful exit by building awareness, generating pipeline, and creating a compelling narrative.
  • The ability to execute and operate day-to-day is essential for achieving results and improving performance.
  • An operational mindset and execution excellence are key to the success of a company.
  • Building cohesion within marketing teams and aligning on goals and strategies leads to better execution and business results.
  • Hyper-specific messaging and an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy can break through the noise and make marketing efforts more relevant and effective.

Highlights:

(05:54) Unlocking the secrets to successful startups and exits.

(08:19) Operational excellence: the key to startup success.

(13:38) Marketing’s pivotal role in preparing for a successful exit.

(20:29) Narrowing down your ideal customer profile (ICP) without breaking the bank.

(22:49) A time machine trip: innovative program implementation at Salesforce.

(25:49) Unlocking potential: a leadership journey.

(27:33) Challenging the ‘fire fast’ mentality.

(32:35) The power of integrated marketing and team dynamics.

(35:26) Navigating company acquisitions: strategies for success.

(39:00) One thing revenue leaders believe to be true that Katrina thinks is bull$***.

(43:00) One thing that is working for Katrina in go-to-market right now.

Guest Speaker Links (Katrina Wong):
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/katrinawong11/

Host Speaker Links (Scott Barker):
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ssbarker/
Newsletter: thegtmnewsletter.substack.com/

Sponsor:
Today’s episode is sponsored by The ELG Conference, presented by Crossbeam and The ELG Alliance. The smartest companies are embracing Ecosystem-Led Growth, or ELG.

Join us at the gorgeous Proper Hotel in Austin on May 15-16 and hear how the top SaaS companies are leveraging partner ecosystems in their GTM motions aka Ecosystem-Led Growth. Early-bird tickets expire next week.

What you’ll get at ELG Con:

  • Case studies from companies like Datadog, Cloudera, and more.
  • A chance to tour (and maybe even race on?) Austin’s F1 track.
  • Candid, off-the-record conversations — no recordings here.
  • A highly curated group of 200 GTM leaders, 85% director level and above across Sales, Marketing, and Partnerships.

Claim your tickets today, including a limited number of special two-for-the-price-of-one tickets.

The GTM Podcast
Don’t miss The GTM Podcast dropping every Tuesday discussing true stories and experiences including trials and tribulations in the Go-To-Market world.

Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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