How Palladium Helps tech Startups Achieve Product-Market Fit
At the startup, product and company go-to-market are synonyms. It's a time of rapid iteration and discovery not only at the product-market adoption level but at the company level too. It's a time to declare about the company, fighting or moving competition, and take place within a segmented niche. And all these should happen in a strong coherence with product development and customer adoption.
It's time when you, as a founder, should lift two separate entities within the condition of a complete intersection. And in 80% of cases, this all happens within the Seed round, peculiarities and restrictions of which often become a dead hole.
Here are some words about the main roadblocks pre-PMF startup founders face, why they happen, and how to overcome them all while maintaining the proper scale velocity.
Palladium is Hogwarts for pre-PMF tech startups
Scaling within the Seed round is crucial for B2B tech startups, as it's the only time you can prove your idea and ensure the product can acquire the necessary adoption level to take a strong position within the market.
You should start to generate positive revenue. It won't be enough to maintain velocity, but investors will see the potential to secure your upcoming growth opportunity.
Now a few words about Palladium, if you don't mind.
Palladium is a tailored scaling agency for B2B Seed invested startups. We've taken the burden to change the status quo in tech startups' scaling process.
Our one and only vision is to create a world where pre-PMF B2B startups are not just surviving but thriving, creating jobs, driving innovation, and making a difference in the world. We believe that we can make this vision a reality by working together.
Besides our core services, we strive to create a supportive and inclusive community where startups can connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, share knowledge and resources, and learn from one another.
Let a 30-minute intro call with Palladium be the first solid step towards your company's future! 🦄
It's not an easy move: common scaling roadblocks
The seed round is soil for unable-to-bootstrap startups but very loose soil. “Finally, I can develop the proper product version” - say 85% of founders we meet. But the catch is it's not about only engineering and product development anymore.
Much more comes with a Seed round. It's not only funding but also a timeline that defines all your future success and the possibility of it after all.
Many more functions come into the game: Product management, Product marketing, classic Marketing, Sales, Demand Gen, and Recruiting processes…
All that merge and fuel your product and company go-to-market. And you'll face many challenges. We never say you won't. Even with our help, you will. But the core thing here is not to avoid challenges but overcome them. Overcome with the fastest speed and minimum losses, so they practically do not affect product adoption ability and scale velocity.
Now let's dive deeper into the core roadblocks on the way to product-market fit.
Fast budget burnout
Besides all unexpected expenses that can damage budget forecasting, there are several other budget allocation issues often overlooked by founders.
As we said earlier, many founders focus all forces and budget on development. They are burning out all funds for "perfecting MVP." And when the time comes to show numbers - numbers that should be obtained from the market, product data, and real users, they go looking for those customers. But end up understanding they can't afford a year's salary even for SDR.
"Achieve PMF road" is not about product perfection. But about testing what you have and only then iterating. This should be a short period (not more than 18 months) when product development recedes into the background.
The second budgeting issue is confusion about allocating a budget within market adoption activities. What channels cover, what hires make first, what marketing does, sales enablement, and so on. If these moves are chaotic, in continuous testing mode, and not based on actual market data (as your product doesn't have enough data at this moment) - you will burn your budget fast and to no avail.
Uncertainty when PMF is achieved
At Palladium, our fav phrase is: product-market fit is not a destination but rather a way. And this phrase correlates strongly with the scaling situation we observe within many startups.
Product-market fit is not a checkbox to mark and go ahead. It can be regressive. You could recede to the beginning if you did it wrong. It can be a year after, but it's real.
And what's more critical, PMF is not a single metric to reach (amount of users, as many think). It's a cohesive product and company condition held by many metrics simultaneously. It lies in the direct and organic growth, retention, churn rates, in-product engagement and adoption, and NPS score. It's essential to get qualitative indicators of product performance along with engagement. You can't go far with one metric while ignoring the other. It can be a ticking bomb.
When you have a close fit between your product and the market, it can often feel like the market is dragging you forward rather than like you're trying to wedge your product into the market.
Lack of acquisition resources
This is the most popular and probably the least requiring explanation issue. Quite obvious. Having a handful of clients means not having excellent acquisition materials.
All your current users, if you have them, are early adopters. Not problematic, not big-case-solving type, not demanding. They are open, non-conflict, and prefer to solve their problems independently. This is what they do best, but this takes you bread simultaneously.
You should have as many decent materials and proof to catch such a decent fish as the early majority market, which you don't have. But could have, though.
That's why at Palladium, we pay great attention to your acquisition process and its acceleration to the maximum possible speed. You can receive all you need, even if you do not have clients. When you learn the market through deep and meaningful interviews, you'll have all you need to say, communicate, and position within the product and company in your palm.
Poor brand positioning
From our perspective, poor brand positioning is not about underdelivering the message, spending little money for branding, or not having a catchy website and collateral.
First of all, it's about failure to FIND, FORM, and DELIVER the real product value. Not a technical value or feature excellence, but a real tangible value your customer gets as a result of using your product.
Low retention rates
Retention is part of an “awareness -> acquisition -> adoption -> revenue -> retention -> referral” loop. Yes, we think of it as a loop, which it very much is and should be.
When you think of this journey as a linear process rather than a loop, you will use up all the fuel by the end of the journey, and you will have to start all over again. But having it as a loop, you will always have a supply of fuel increases with each lap.
Retention is the first metric you should have product-led entirely. Because you can't do that with different pricing tricks or something else, it's not stable and scalable.
Low retention rates point to many things that can be potentially wrong: lead scoring, in-product onboarding process, the main problem your product solves, unclear positioning, poor UX, lack of core features, extreme competition, poor CS, misaligned expectations, and so on. It's an art and science to define which exactly affects your retention.
Inability to support more users
As your startup grows, you may struggle to scale the infrastructure and support systems to meet the needs of an expanding user base.
Your Customer Support and Success departments should grow simultaneously with the number of users to keep the quality. A Sales team or Product-led sales should also scale fast to keep up with the growing pipeline.
This all becomes hard, immovable, and wooden if done without effort in the first place.
All your departments and company org, as well as technology, should be built with scalability prioritisation from the outset investing in a structure that can easily accommodate future growth.
It's a huge responsibility to lay the proper foundation for Product Marketing and Marketing itself and then align them to receive cohesive and smooth growth within the product and company go-to-market plans.
Not knowing where to start, overfocusing on one resultless channel or approach, or the contrary, attempting to be present everywhere - just several core challenges you can experience.
The hardest part of establishing the proper marketing processes inside tech companies is the necessity to divide products from the company. But the paradox of startups is that you should develop both simultaneously. And we found out that many founders struggle with the required level of distinction, which always leads to blurred and unstable scaling processes.
Hiring team members
Hiring is one of the most painful moments for startup founders, taking overheated job market and highly competitive industries.
Basically speaking, a good VP level can hire at least 2-3 decent specialists in their departments. So the main challenge is to hire a good VP level, which is risky, costly, and requires a more decent strategy than “hire that guy from Monday.”
But it all is done at the post $1.5M traction. How to survive before that when you, as a founder and CEO, have another ten roles to cohabit?
This is what Palladium was created for. To support, lead and scale B2B tech startups while easing the founder's burden 90% of the time.
Detour all roadblocks with Palladium!
At Palladium, we envision a world where every pre-PMF B2B startup has the opportunity to thrive and grow. We believe that by combining our expertise, creativity, and passion, we can help unlock the full potential of these startups, empowering them to create positive change in the B2B world.
We understand the importance of speed and agility in today's fast-paced business world. We move quickly and decisively, focusing our energy and resources on the most important tasks at hand, and we are not afraid to pivot or adjust course when needed.
We approach every challenge with a positive attitude and a can-do spirit. We believe that anything is possible with hard work and persistence, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve their goals, even in the face of adversity.
Palladium takes only 6 startups each year. 6 startups will be 100% prepared for stable, fast, and continual growth within a year! Are you with us? 🌒
Our services are the most secure gear to climb the mountain
At Palladium, we don't clutch at straws. We don't aim to show how cool we are the first week. On the contrary, we prove our expertise daily which looms in the whole picture within a year. Our approach is grounded in thoroughly analysing everything, starting from the market and ending with customer interviews.
Palladium is not only the agency but a place where all the magic for pre-PMF startups happens. It's a place where you and your company can spend a fruitful and life-changing year. It's a place of growth, community building, and support for all your future steps.
Our services are not generic, like SEO, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and "the more you buy, the better." We invented unique services that help us drive the real difference and reach your ambitious goals within a deadline. We are not about a one-size-fits-all approach but personalisation and flexibility in the first place.
Want to take a look at our core services? You see, we are different. You can't deny that
Achieve Product-market fit
We put all efforts into proper market and audience research. It fuels all other activities like brand positioning and lead scoring. But most importantly, it's a foundation for stable PMF, which came to stay.
Find revenue flows
We believe in the possibility of positive revenue generation even within pre-PMF conditions. And for us, it's not about testing every revenue stream to see which works. But about building the right, scalable, and stable hypothesis on the data we get from the market and your current customers.
Create an early brand strategy
Palladium puts huge attention on the positioning and messaging communicated to the audience daily. We don't work to scale the number of people who know about your product but to form the proper value proposition and solidify your pricing and market position.
Develop Inbound flywheel
We create a sustainable inbound marketing strategy that helps you attract, engage, and convert your target customers. Our team works with you to create high-quality content, optimise your website, and build effective lead-nurturing flows.
Layer PLG & SLG strategies
Nowadays, most tech products shift to the PLG vision, trying to get rid of sales. But a few know that combining is a key to real growth. Sales shouldn't be buried but reformed and enforced by product. At Palladium, we help to layer these two strategies, defining which parts of growth and revenue generation should be product-led and which sales-led, and where sales can enhance the product, as well as the contrary.
Form revenue team
At Palladium, we call it the revenue team for 2 reasons: first, it's not traditional salespeople but a fusion of marketing, reps, and customer success aligned into one powerful flywheel to drive the growth and streamline acquisition and retention processes; second, revenue generation is what drives growth for the business, so people working on that should understand what their primary goal, which is perfectly revealed in the name, is.
Lead scoring & qualification
We develop lead-scoring materials based on our audience research, customer interview data, and previous sales data to maximise your conversion rates. Our team works closely with you to define lead criteria, set the lead scoring model, and create effective lead nurturing flows.
Nurturing materials & flows
We identify and develop all necessary materials for further audience education on your product and difference, including competition covering and blocking materials.
Website copy & CR optimisation
We make your website the lead converting machine, preparing for further content development, SEO optimisation, and streamlining the user experience.
Retention rates optimisation
Along with acquisition strategies, we work on product retention rates, burning churn, and making retention product-led.
Lead-gen channels set up
All lead generation processes are chaotic, unpurposeful, and unscalable without the work we do before user acquisition. We build the proper foundation. So when you start lead generation, you won't face huge churn rates, subscription cancellations within the first months, or low product adoption and retention rates.
In-house team hiring & onboard
Right before the Series A round, we help you to execute the first hirings into your growth marketing team and onboard them within established processes.
Prepare for Series A round
One of our primary goals is to prepare you for Series A, ensure you reach all requirements, consult you on the best possible solutions, and prepare you for exponential growth right after fundraising, revealing your best growth options.
What's unique in Palladium's approach?
Not to say a lot of words, we prepared a comparison table for you.
6 startups will dive into the purple magic of Palladium 💫 Don't you want to be among them? Who said that scaling the product should be boring?
Why partner with us?
Palladium is not an average agency. We don't aim to take your money, show “satisfactory” results and repeat that with someone else. We scale every company as if it's ours. We are happy to take responsibility.
Moreover, Palladium is a real magic place where you get magic letters instead of boring prospecting messages. It's where you can dive deeper into the sacristy of purple magic and its subsequences for pre-PMF startups.
Take place among braves and innovators!
We position Palladium as a boutique agency to keep the quality high and do our best for each company. That's why we can take only six startups each 12 months. Among 305 million startups created annually, only 6 have the strong guarantee and confidence to reach goals and grow into decent enterprises.
Startups are known for their ultra-high mortality rate. On average, only about 10% of all startups survive and become full-fledged business enterprises.
Where would you be today? Which side? Let's take this road together!