Sales and marketing can make or break any startup.
Without a great marketing strategy to bring in leads, and effective sales techniques to convert those leads into actual revenue, a new business may not ever get off the ground.
Here are the top 15 sales and marketing tips every startup should know.
1. Have a Clear, Formal Strategy
In the hectic early stages of starting and building your business, you may be tempted to “wing it” when it comes to sales and marketing.
The importance of a formalised sales and marketing strategy should not be underestimated.
This will define your audience, clarify your message, help you decide where to focus your energies, and keep you on track to reach your goals and objectives.
2. Get On The Front Foot With Marketing
It may be tempting to wait until your products or services are fully developed, tested and launched before getting started on marketing.
However, it’s never too early to start marketing your brand. Get in early to build your image, generate interest and create a customer base.
That way, when you are ready to launch, you will have already completed the ground work.
3. Focus On Inbound And Outbound Marketing
A successful strategy should focus on both inbound and outbound sales. In order to effectively pursue both, it is important to understand the difference between inbound vs outbound sales
In a nutshell: outbound sales are those which result from sales calls, emails or other outreach, whereas inbound sales are customers who come to you after finding your business online, coming across some content you produced, or saw your company mentioned in the media.
Your sales and marketing strategy should include creative and proactive strategies which encourage both inbound and outbound marketing methods to maximise the sales potential, and ultimately revenue, available to you.
4. Define Your Audience
In order to know what approach to take in selling and marketing your startup, first you need to define who your audience is.
Work out who you are trying to reach with your marketing. Who is your ideal customer? What segments of the market are you missing or do you want to reach better? Once you have defined this, then have it dictate everything else you do.
5. Define Your Message
Another element which is key to your marketing strategy is your message. Develop and define a clear messaging strategy to know what you want to say to your customer.
Once your message is defined, keep this in mind for all aspects of your sales and marketing. Your message should come across in everything you do, in the best way possible.
6. Know Your Point Of Difference
As part of defining your message, it is important to be clear on your company’s unique point of difference. Rather than comparing your products or services to others, tell the market what you have to offer.
Furthermore, tell them what this means for them: sell the benefits, and the benefits of benefits that you have to offer.
7. Use Content Marketing To Build Your Brand
Content Marketing is the advertising of 2018. This strategy involves producing content which is interesting, useful or entertaining to your customer base.
Once you have started to distribute this content, be it blogs, social media posts, videos or webinars, customers will start to know and trust your brand.
The great strength of content marketing compared to traditional forms of advertising it offers something of value for your customer base, rather than simply pushing your product.
8. Use Link Building Techniques
The benefits of link building should not be underestimated. Link building is a very technical, resource intensive marketing strategy.
However, once these efforts have been invested, you will find that they pay off through greatly improving your site’s SEO as well as driving organic traffic to your site.
Having links to your business from reputable, well-known sites represents an invaluable recommendation for your company to potential customers.
9. Use Measurable Marketing Methods
As a startup, one of the best things you can do is experiment with different marketing strategies and techniques. Try different ideas to see what works for your brand and what resonates with your audience.
In order to experiment and see what works best for your business, you need to be able to measure the results.
Implement strategies for measuring the results of your advertising and marketing techniques. This will help you to shape your marketing strategy going forward.
10. PR Is Not Dead
In 2018, there are many innovative and dynamic modern strategies for sales and marketing. However, this doesn’t mean you should overlook more traditional strategies such as public relations.
PR which is responsive to the changing landscape of communications today can be highly effective in getting your message out and form an important part of marketing for startups. Great PR not only gets your name out there, but builds credibility for your brand.
11. Lead Flow
A big part of the sales and marketing picture is bringing new leads to your business. However, equally important is converting these potential customers into actual sales.
Lead flow is the process of how well your leads progress through the sales funnel. Having an organised lead flow for your business will mean you maximise the number of leads which translate to actual sales and revenue.
12. Be Responsive To Your Customer
For decades, the most successful companies have been those who know what their customers are saying and adapt accordingly.
The great advantage of the interactive nature of digital marketing is that it is pretty easy to get a picture of what your customer base thinks. Study what they are saying about you on social media, read reviews meticulously, and tune into forums.
Then, most importantly, be responsive: use their feedback to improve your processes and approaches, not just in terms of customer interfacing, but in how you run your business more generally.
13. Create Opportunities For Your Customers To Talk To You
It is critical to set up one or more ways that your customers can give you feedback on your company. This could be online feedback forms, a live chat app, forums or comment sections on your blog.
Firstly, this will obviously help you in getting a better picture of how your customers think, allowing you to be more responsive. However, it will also help you build relationships and foster loyalty with your customers by showing you care about their needs and what they have to say.
14. Encourage Repeat Business
Attracting and converting new customers can be time intensive, expensive and frankly pretty difficult. For this reason you want to hang on to the customers you already have!
Encourage existing customers to stay with you and purchase your products or services a second, third and many more times. There are a range of ways to do this, including loyalty programs, discounts and offers for returning customers, and building a sense of loyalty from your customers by creating a strong community.
15. Leverage Different Aspects of Your Marketing To Support Others
One of the great strengths of marketing in 2018 is the incredible opportunity to use certain marketing techniques to support others. Be sure not to miss out on this synergy of inbound marketing always be looking for potential ways that your inbound marketing techniques can work together for even greater results.