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When Should a Startup Implement Marketing Automation Software?

When should a startup implement marketing automation? It’s a great question and we decided to answer it with 10 reasons every startup should implement marketing automation.

If you’re a startup you’ve got a lot of things on your mind. We totally understand, we were a startup once. We’ve been through the struggle, and it’s not easy. Fortunately we’re a bunch of sales and marketing-minded people that have an affinity for building cool software. We liken the Amazon model wherein they build solutions for themselves and then sell it. Amazon created their ecommerce platform for book sales, built out capacity, then began to lease that capacity to other businesses. Bang! The Amazon Web Services (AWS) offspring appeared. AWS is now the cash cow for Amazon, and they’re making billions from it. We’re not that greedy now…but we enjoy building software to help our company and then sharing the software with others, at very competitive rates – especially for startups.

If you’re an early stage startup with seed stage funding or Series A, or even B funding, and you haven’t implemented marketing automation yet – it’s time! Here are 10 reasons why a startup should implement marketing automation:

1) Implement scalability (ideal for future fundraising)

Startups typically have limited resources. Resources spanning from time, to humans, to money – there’s no doubt there’s a shortage for the average startup. It’s impossible to grow your business by adding more resources. In short, you’ve got to do more with the resources you have. You’ve got to be more efficient. Marketing automation is the means to scalability and efficiency.

2) Create a customer acquisition machine

Marketing automation has many offshoots, such as Lead Liaison’s Sales Enablement, which integrates with marketing automation and helps sales reps book more meetings. When sales automation and marketing automation work hand-in-hand it’s a customer acquisition machine. Wouldn’t it be nice if your startup can begin to forecast how many meetings and demos you can book with automation at the core to help book those meetings?

3) Emphasize sales and marketing (most startups are enamored with prod development)

It’s the classic example of the ostrich with their head in the sand. Startups have horse blinders on. They typically have a myopic view of their product/service that they’re creating. They want to perfect it. They spend countless hours tinkering, revising, tweaking…to no end. At some point you’ve got to draw the line in the sand, create your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and go to market. Even if your product/service is not 100% ready you’ll be able to land some customers – which is gold for startups. Customers should define your product, not you.

4) Cost isn’t a barrier. Minimal upfront investment. Cash flow is critical.

You’re probably thinking you cannot afford marketing automation as a startup. Some companies, such as Lead Liaison, have specialized programs that offer qualifying startups a 90% discount on Services. Most companies can get a full sales and marketing suite of products for less than a few dollars a day. Stop eating out for lunch, pack a brown bag lunch, and use that money for a sales and marketing platform. Your brown bag lunch will buy you a digital sales rep and marketing assistant, another way to think about the software, which you won’t find on job sites for that kind of money!

5) Measure Efforts

What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done. Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, this metaphor holds true. Track website visitors, form conversions, social media engagement, prospect engagement, qualified leads, and more. Start looking at your business from a holistic perspective with a lifecycle funnel that tracks prospects from anonymous through to customer and beyond. Spot check your growth or track trends over time as your database and business grow.

6) Gives investors visibility into your business.

So you got your funding. Maybe it’s an initial round or follow up round. As a startup one of the hardest things is to hold periodic meetings, prepare your data, present at the board meeting, etc. That’s time consuming and it can be a drag. It’s a heck of a lot easier if the data is prepared for you via an application. Alternatively, if you give your investors a login to your sales and marketing automation platform so they can see firsthand how their money is working for them.

7) Recover lost time.

Without marketing automation, or sales automation, you’re going to do a lot of things manually. Save yourself the pain of shopping for disparate email, form, landing page builders and bring a single platform into your company. As noted above, it’s about efficiency. If you can do less but accomplish more why wouldn’t you do it?

8) Attract new personnel.

As a startup it’s hard to recruit talent. There’s got to be something in it for new hires. As a company, you’ve got to give them a reason to want to work for you. A professional sales and marketing platform can make eyes glow. It’s a platform that can help attract talent. If they know you’re investing in your company and you care about sales and marketing, it makes a bold statement. Use marketing automation as a magnet and don’t look at it as a deterrent.

9) Care for your customers.

Startups don’t have a lot of customers, and most don’t have any as they’re just starting up. But once you get those customers you’ve got to take care of them. But, therein lies the conundrum! How can you care for your customers if you’re too busy creating your product/service. Take some of the pressure off by implementing client communication plans to nurture your new customers. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll build stronger relationships.

10) Get with the times.

Marketing automation is like CRM 10 years ago. It’s a necessary thing. If you meet a company these days that does not use marketing automation it makes you wonder what they’ve been doing. Also, most startups have much more mature competitors. Rest assured your competitors are using the latest and greatest tech. And rest assured they’ve paid a hefty price for it.

Thank the lucky stars that you’re a startup. Take advantage of your status, and sign up to marketing automation while you can get your discounts. To learn more about Lead Liaison’s Startup program click here. To refer a VC, incubator, accelerator, or University Startup Program to apply and help their startups click here.

Lead Liaison Press Release

Lead Liaison Launches Program to Help Startups

Dallas, TX – Lead Liaison, a software provider that helps companies build scalable sales and marketing processes, announced today the launch of their Lead Liaison for Startups Program. The new program provides premium sales and marketing solutions at a deep discount for qualifying startups. It also offers VCs, incubators, and university startup programs an opportunity to provide more value to their portfolio of companies.

“We have a special place in our hearts for startups,” says Alan Page, VP of Customer Success at Lead Liaison. “Not that long ago we were in the same position, and we remember how challenging it could be at times. As a startup, you tend to take an ostrich-like approach to business. Most companies have their head in their sand, obsessing over technicalities and product development. Sales and marketing tends to be the last thing on their mind. Sales and marketing is also not a natural skill for most technical founders. Our platform alleviates pressure on startups and gives them a foundation, as well as a head start, to focus on sales and marketing. Over the years, we have successfully built first-class solutions that accelerate sales and marketing initiatives and we’ve grown our business rapidly by using our own software. Now’s the time for us to ‘give back’ to those in a similar position.”

Startups often struggle with taking their businesses to the next level of growth. Lead Liaison designed their Startups Program for companies that need a helping hand as it relates to customer growth and retention. The program includes an array of sales and marketing solutions coupled with free education and world-class support.

What’s more, Lead Liaison’s discounts are far deeper than comparable programs. An investment in Lead Liaison’s Startup Program is 86% less than big-name competitors such as HubSpot. Discounts are valid through 2nd and 3rd year as well, which is 50% longer than competing plans like HubSpot.

Solutions in this program include a marketing automation platform, a CRM, website visitor tracking, event lead management, sales enablement, and more. Lead Liaison’s goal is to become a startup’s system of record for all marketing and sales initiatives.

“There is a uniquely low discount on all of their software, which we found extremely appealing…” says Ryan Cochrane, Head of Commercial Operations at Good-Loop, a startup delivering impactful, purpose-driven digital advertising.

Good-Loop achieves this through offering viewers a free charity donation in exchange for watching an advertisement. This moment of shared good between the brand and the viewer combines with the ad to create a powerful halo effect, leading to improved brand perception, recall and engagement.

“We aren’t limited to specific solutions offered by Lead Liaison under their Startup Program, it covers their entire suite of sales and marketing software. We have looked, and we haven’t found a program like this from any other provider. It’s affordable for startups of all sizes, as it’s a small investment with a monumental return. We’re using their software to identify people and businesses that are visiting Good-Loop’s website and for striking up more conversations with non-profits and brands looking to advertise in specific channels.”

Lead Liaison developed their software from client feedback and from the needs of their own startup challenges. The company was founded in 2014 and has continued to be privately funded throughout the lifetime of its existence. Rather than acquiring software and bolting it into their solutions, Lead Liaison has built everything from the ground up – giving startups one ideal platform to build and scale their sales and marketing operations.

You can learn more about Lead Liaison for Startups by clicking here. To become a Startup Partner (VCs, Incubators, Accelerators, or University Programs), click here. And to refer a partner, click here.

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237).

How Marketing Automation Levels the Playing Field for Startups – Marketing Automation for Startups

How Marketing Automation Levels the Playing Field for StartupsAll companies can be vulnerable, but startups can be particularly vulnerable as they experience the pains of the growth stage. In the past, there were relatively few ways to level the playing field, giving startups the ability to compete with the big boys in business. Technology; however, has changed all of that and is now making it possible to minimize growth pains while providing even startups with the ability to compete with much larger companies. Introducing marketing automation for startups.

Marketing automation, in particular, is proving to be incredibly beneficial for startups. By giving startups the ability to operate much in the same manner as established businesses, marketing automation provides the opportunity to target audiences with accurate messaging with only a minimal amount of effort. When handled correctly, marketing automation provides entrepreneurs with the chance to make the sales process far more consistent and ultimately more successful.

Avoiding Potential Downfalls in Marketing Automation

If there is a potential downside to marketing automation it is that too many entrepreneurs look at it as a get rich quick strategy that doesn’t require any work at all. While marketing automation can help to level the playing field, it is important to separate fact from fiction.

First, it is important to understand that marketing automation is not some type of magic ATM that will deliver qualified sales leads without any effort. Marketing automation can be effective, but it will only automate what you tell it to do. If you have not already taken the time to target your audience or completed your content mapping strategies, there is not much that marketing automation can do for your business.

Another common misconception when it comes to marketing automation is that it will generate results overnight. Marketing automation works by compiling information based on lead scores, buyer behavior, and sales feedback. This is not a process that takes place overnight. Meaning, you cannot expect rapid results. Marketing automation should be viewed as a long-term investment.

It is also important to understand that while marketing automation is effective in terms of process management and lead nurturing, it does not actually generate leads on its own. Basically, it warms up the leads you give it.

Marketing Automation Strategy Tips

In order to make the most of everything offered by marketing automation, including the ability to compete with larger companies with more resources, you must make certain you have a plan in place. Furthermore, this plan should be scalable and capable of growing with your business as it matures. When planning your strategy for marketing automation, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always think ahead and ensure everything is scalable.
  • Ensure you have enough resources to avoid becoming bogged down.
  • Commit to a documented process strategy.
  • Create a long-term strategy calendar.

Strongly consider marketing automation for startups if your buisness is in this category. Developing a plan for how your startup can benefit from it can help you leverage the power of marketing automation regardless of the size of your business. Find out more about how your startup can benefit from marketing automation.

Sales Success for Startups

Sales Success for StartupsLooking for some sales success for startups? Startups face unique challenges from a sales perspective.  Typically these challenges include:

  •  Lack of name recognition
  •  Lack of education about the problem that your product or service solves
  •  Lack of confidence in prospective buyers, who don’t want to be burned by being early adopters
  •  Limited sales and marketing resources

How can your organization compete with a competitor that has years of experience in your industry, 100X more money to spend and a staff that is at least 10X the size of yours?

From my experience, you need to follow three pieces of advice:

1.)    Don’t wait for everything to line up.  The most successful sales organizations are also the most aggressive leaders in adapting to guerilla techniques such as the use of marketing automation.  This makes even more sense when you consider that every day that you delay is an opportunity for your competitors to exponentially increase their advantage on your company in the market place.

2.)    You need to either find a tremendous amount of funding to catch up to your competitors; or you need a brilliant alignment of sales and marketing strategies that leverage technology and eyeballs to pay attention to your messaging.

3.)    Find your differentiator and champion that message so that you can rapidly gain sole position as the industry leader in that area.

In the last two years, I have seen some impressive results from marketing automation alone.   While many lead marketing automation providers do not even use their own technology; I will provide you with some insights into what we have produced internally with our own software:

  •  171% increase in revenue year-over-year
  •  632% better brand recognition amongst those surveyed
  •  980% increase in engagement with prospects
  •  Our close rate went from 13% to 38%
  •  28% of our existing customers upgraded in 2014 as a result of our education programs

This all occurred without increasing the size of our sales staff.   We maintained the same budgets +/-10% in all other categories.  Of course these rules go for established companies as well.   Are you losing market share? Not growing as fast as you would like?  Feel like your cost of growth is too high?  Feel like your company is unable to compete without additional funding?  If so, we’d love to talk with you and share our experiences to see if they might help you.