How to Build the Best Go-To-Market Team for Your Startup

You have a viable product and now it’s time for rapid growth. In order to achieve this, you need a talented and tenacious go-to-market (GTM) team.

Putting together the right GTM team can seem like a daunting task and is largely dependent on your strategy. Typically, you need a team that will be able to cover the necessary touchpoints at each stage of the sales cycle. 

In this article, we’ll outline a framework for building a go-to-market team for your startup, covering which roles to hire, when to hire them and what their key responsibilities are.


GTM Roles and Responsibilities


Generally speaking, within every GTM team, you’ll have several senior positions and a number of teams reporting to them. 

Your average go-to-market team structure might look a little something like two reps, an account executive, and a sales manager. 

Your first GTM hire geared towards sales should be a seller and not a manager. We’ll start with the reps and work our way up in terms of seniority and technicality.

Go-To-Market Team

SDR – Sales Development Representative


Sales development representatives (SDRs) are inside sales professionals who are focused on sales prospecting. SDRs contact new leads, qualify them, and move them farther down the sales funnel than sales executives (quota-carrying salespeople) do.

SDRs follow up with inquiries and offers or contact prospective leads. They mostly use the phone, email, and social media; in other words, SDRs target prospects from all angles so that leads are aware of who they are and what their products are all about.

An SDR plays a similar role to a consultant, actively listening to prospects and offering the best course of action. The prospect’s business model is understood by SDRs, who also assess whether your product is a good fit and inform leads about how your solution may help them solve problems and advance their company.


  • identifies sales opportunities from marketing campaign leads
  • contacts new customers through emails and cold calls
  • introduces the business to prospective customers



BDR – Business Development Representative


Gartner defines a BDR as an employee responsible for generating new business opportunities by qualifying leads and prospecting existing business accounts to engage with potential buyers.

In some instances, a BDR is just another name for an SDR, so their responsibilities are very similar. They are both the first point of contact for a potential new client. They contact prospects by phone or email to further the sales discussion after discovering them, either via their own research or with the assistance of a Business Development Associate. This normally involves scheduling a meeting or phone call for the prospect with a more experienced salesperson, typically an Account Executive.

Like an SDR, a BDR is responsible for:

  • identifying sales opportunities from marketing campaign leads
  • contacting new customers through emails and cold calls
  • introducing the business to prospective customers

But, BDRs also:

  • Determine the needs of the customer and recommend the best products or services.
  • Increase customer happiness by personalising product solutions.
  • Create enduring, trustworthy connections with clients
  • Set up meetings or calls between account executives and potential clients.




What’s the definitive difference between an SDR and BDR? Well, the general consensus seems to be that both SDRs and BDRs work on outbound, but SDRs handle inbound as well. 

You could say that a BDR’s main objective is to prospect outbound leads, while an SDR concentrates on vetting leads from inbound marketing. This is the ideal setup. Plenty of companies will use SDRs and BDRs for the same tasks or even interchangeably. 


Sales Manager


A sales manager is in charge of managing a company’s team of salespeople. Pretty straightforward. 

A sales manager’s responsibilities may vary depending on the size of the organisation they work for, but typically they create a sales plan, conduct data analysis, assign sales territory, facilitate training, coach the members of their sales team, and participate in the recruiting and firing process. 

They also set sales targets and quotas and could get involved in resolving customer complaints regarding sales and service.

In conclusion, they’re in charge of:

  • managing local and regional sales teams
  • addressing client complaints about purchases and services
  • creating budgets and approving spending plans
  • keeping track of client preferences to decide where to concentrate sales efforts
  • analysing sales data
  • using sales projections to evaluate the profitability of various goods and services
  • calculating discounts or special pricing schemes
  • arranging and managing sales staff training initiatives


Account Executive


An account executive is a person primarily in charge of a long-term client relationship. They’re present for the entire sales cycle, right from the start of the business relationship until the end. Once a contract is signed, it’s then their responsibility to fulfil the contract terms and keep the client happy. 

They also find leads, close sales with current or potential customers, and help their businesses expand by working in a variety of sectors. But their main objective is always to find opportunities, and new clients, and develop them into profitable long-term relationships.

Their responsibilities include:

  • closing deals and negotiating with clients
  • addressing the needs of clients and building partnerships
  • picking up new customers through prospecting and outreach
  • coordinating account-related internal tasks to make sure customers receive products and services
  • helping new customers with any issues


Sales Engineer


If your company delivers very technical or scientific products, it’s a sales engineer’s job to sell that. 

They need to have a thorough understanding of the components and operations of products or services, as well as the scientific principles underlying their operation. They could also be directly involved in product development.

Some of a sales engineer’s other responsibilities include:

  • helping sales representatives pitch solutions to potential customers
  • planning, preparing and carrying out strategic agreements in complex sales cycles in collaboration with sales executives
  • successfully connecting proposed solutions to consumer needs and complaints
  • creating and delivering effective presentations and demos that express the value proposition’s uniqueness clearly
  • communicating client needs to the R&D teams effectively for upcoming product improvements
  • gather and record competitive intelligence


Solutions Architect


Solutions architects go deep. They conceptualise, outline, and oversee solutions

This person creates the link between a business issue and the technological solution, outlining all the steps and conditions necessary to make the solution function. In essence, it is a solutions architect’s job to help solve very technical problems.

Although this might sound like something that’s done internally, there are organisations that offer solution architecture consulting as a specialised set of services.


Some of their responsibilities include:

  • identifying the best technological solution to address current company issues.
  • describing to project stakeholders the software’s structure, traits, behaviour, and other features.
  • defining the solution’s requirements, development stages, and features.
  • supplying guidelines by which the solution is outlined, managed and delivered.




It’s important to build your GTM team with key roles that can create and execute a successful GTM strategy.

These are just a couple of the roles we’ve covered in our GTM talent guide. For the full list and a breakdown of the bench-marking stats for each role, download our free guide as a kickoff point for your own GTM Sourcing Strategic planning.