Putting Our Customers 1st

Selling for Startups is as Easy as Alec Baldwin

Warning. You should just scroll down to the last paragraph, watch the video,growth_is_good_image_thumb[10] and you will know the point of this post!  But for those of you that love to read here’s what we’ve identified as reasons your company is not growing as fast as you want!

There are many reasons why small companies don’t grow at the pace they expect. Most times these reasons are not because of a sub-standard product but because the company doesn’t sale or market itself effectively. This doesn’t require a huge marketing budget but a consistency and commitment to developing a sales a marketing department that is aligned and focused on the goals of the company.

We have identified the following sales challenges for the small business and startup and working with BSHG will help you overcome and generate more revenue.

Not Understanding Your Customer: Many startups start companies without a marketing plan and because of this operate without a real understanding of what the customers wants. Yes, there are generalities for each customer, improved sales, decreased costs, and increased productivity are a few but taking the time to understand the specific need of the customers is crucial to growing a business.

Talking Features Not Benefits: When you have a meeting with a client the more time you take understand his challenges and being able to talk about the features of of your product benefits his company the nearer the business is to closing.

Go Where Your Customers Are: It is so important to network especially for the small business. Networking serves as the first place to get feedback on your sales pitch, the potential of your product and to start developing long-term relationships.

Not Following Up Again, Again and Again: If it takes a customer 6 times to make a yes or no decision about whether they want to do business with you then the first no is just a starting point. The small business needs to understand that the relationship with a customer doesn’t end just because they are not ready to buy today but consider it a nurturing relationship. Stay in touch and always deliver on the big and small promises.

No Process in Place: The advantage that the small business and startup has today is the knowledge to create a sales and marketing process that can grow with a company. For those that want to attract investors tracking and sharing track basic metrics for their sales funnel; calls/emails, connections to decision makers, qualified leads, closed deals/deal value and time to close can make the difference between investment or not.

Don’t Ask and You Won’t Get: Always ask for the next step in your sales process or in the words of Blake from Glengarry Ross, “ A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing”.

C1st understands that Glengarry Ross is dramatic view of sales but we have to respect the commitment to sales. Enjoy the video. We hope its motivational but if your ears are sensitive do not play it and read the quotes instead.

What is Marketing?

In 1999 our founder, Maisha, left the Big Apple and a career in retail for a marketing specialist job in information technology. Her first day at OAO Technology Solutions was a bit mind boggling.   She was “familiar” with marketing lexicon but when she heard the words infrastructure, outsourcing and application development she knew she had a lot research to do.

So we thought this post will help you understand the language of C1st, sales and marketing and how consultants use it to help you build your business. It answers the question, “What is Marketing?”

Advertising –Normally, payment for the opportunity to encourage existing customers and potential customers to purchase or use a product or service on vehicles not owned by the company. Advertising vehicles include ads on magazines, mobile, online, radio, tradeshows, TV, sponsorships, and search engines.

Advertising also includes “free” vehicles such as posting flyers, business cards, and word of mouth.

Branding – A commitment to your customers through logos, websites, customer service, collateral, etc. that your company is and does exactly what it promises.

Call to Action – An expected response created by the marketing team for its target audience to follow.

Campaigns – A short term strategy that includes any marketing disciplines, social media, email, direct mail, advertising, and tactics to help an organization achieve its sales and marketing goals.  Normally a campaign uses a call to action that aligns with the goals of the company and has a start and end date.

Content marketing – To creating and share your own blog entries, videos, infographics and more to attract customer attention and drive sales.[1]

Corporate Communications –  the set of activities involved in managing and orchestrating all internal and external communications aimed at creating favorable point-of-view among stakeholders on which the company depends.[1] It is the messages issued by a corporate organization, body, or institute to its audiences, such as employees, media, channel partners and the general public. [2]

Direct mail – Advertising pieces that are sent via the mail.

Digital Marketing – The use of electronic devices (mobile, gaming, digital billboards, banner ads) to sell to consumers.

Email marketing – A marketing tactic that uses email to communicate with target audiences.

Influencers – Part of your target audience however these people have already established a following and can serve to spread a company’s message and help sell products. They can be negative or positive.

Marketing – The coordination of creativity, technology, tactics and processes that help an organization or person reach its target audience and create transactions between the two entities.  Marketing is a layered process that follows the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Attract)[3]  model for each launch of a new product and subsequent releases.

Network Marketing –  Click here to read what I found on the web from John Domzalski.

Public Relations – A marketing approach that uses press releases, speaking engagements, bylines, opinion articles, media relationships and other public relations vehicles to communicate with a large, broad audience company news, product announcement and other important news.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Promoting and increasing traffic to your company’s websites and landing pages through search engines. SEM can be paid or unpaid, Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Social Media – Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Websites and applications dedicated to forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and wikis are among the different types of social media. [4]

[1] 4 Content Curation Tools To Consider for Marketing, Jennifer Shaheen, Small Business Trends, September 15, 2013

[2] Reprinted from Wikipedia

[3]  This model has improved over the years and there are other models to incorporate customer retention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDA_(marketing)

[4] Reprinted definition from Tech Target’s What IS? http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/social-media

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