Startup Marketing and Sales: How to Manage Them

As you think about your marketing and sales effort it is wise to have a structure in mind that you can use to manage your own and investors’ expectations.

I like to think about efforts to promote and sell a product as a combination of a marketing cloud and a sales funnel.  The cloud encompasses all the activities a company undertakes to market its offering to target customers; its web site, use of social media, content and email campaigns, using these to nurture leads.  The funnel is the process it undertakes to qualify leads and convert them to sales.

Marketing

Initially, your marketing cloud will be small and not very robust – few early stage companies have the resources necessary to fund a full on marketing effort.  Nor should they:  part of the early stage marketing and sales process involves testing your offering in the market, tuning your pricing and bundling and evaluating target verticals, pivoting when need be.

As you grow, you will develop your marketing cloud to focus connecting with and nurturing leads (Potential customers), not so much the branding that traditional, larger marketing efforts

Sales

You will likely make the initial sales that your company wins, working, scrambling and shifting to capture your first customer, pushing for betas and landings some logos for your web site.  This phase, while exhilarating (At least when deals close), it isn’t a process that you can use to scale your sales efforts.

Although it may not seem so in the early stage, the sales funnel can be structured and managed.  Thinking about buyer behavior (timing budget, time taken to make decisions).  You should anticipate a time when you will scale the process, making it repeatable.  Translating your missionary pitch to something a sales team can use takes time, effort and thought; you will  rework you pricing and bundling a few times as you tune things to find the message that resonates with your targets.

 

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