In last few years we have worked with over 100 startups and businesses through different programs in Impact Hub and if there was one thing that came out as most important from practice is the need to understand needs and behaviour of our clients for who are we solving the specific problem through our product/service. Therefore, in order to “tune” the processes for the next stage of growth, we need first to map out our clients/users/buyers.
Before I go into client mapping and how many people come to us when they buy, it’s important for me to say that the entrepreneurs we’ve seen in practice, startups and businesses that work with us, usually come up with questions as to what’s the format: “I do not know how to sell” or “I do not know how to do marketing” or a similar, quite general question.
Entrepreneurs rarely look at the process from the following angle:
“My goal is to sell N monthly. In order to sell N products or services on a monthly basis, I need to attract X people through marketing and to have Y people thought the sales process”
Only after the sale comes the quality servicing of the clients returning to us.
In the process, we usually pass some basic marketing and sales tools, i.e. how they can be systematized and worked. Depending on whether its a B2C or B2C business, different techniques and tools can be used and have different effects.
For example, for B2B sales of consulting services, most of the marketing will be focused on word of mouth – on recommendation, as this is the way in which consultants hire in a large number of cases, which means that marketing will rely on LinkedIn and possibly on Personal Blog, website, or someplace that confirms credibility.
On the other hand, if we are talking about a B2C business that sells products, it’s likely that the seller through the e-shop or Facebook will have a much higher number of visits and people going through the sales process, which again does not have to be the case. For example, there are B2C businesses that sell the product and use LinkedIn as the main channel of communication with customers. Why? Because they sell a premium product intended for a particular group that can be well segmented to LinkedIn.
When structured tools and techniques are used, the challenge for businesses is to structure the marketing and sales process and servicing process, as we go from knowing who our customers are and learning which buyers are on the move, which means that we need to better understand their needs and how to segment them. At a time when we know who our customers are or we have a good hypothesis that is somewhat validated, the question arises how to optimize our pay plan and how to measure how our customers come to us.
We get around, say, 10 or 20 clients a week. If we don’t record in the data, we can’t know if the person who bought it came by seeing a commercial on Facebook, an ad through Google Ads, someone recommended it or just walked in by accident. So we don’t know the efficiency of our channels. However, we do a bunch of things that give us a result that we are not very happy with so then we go back to “I do not know how to make a sale.”
Essentially, the question is scaled down to the following:
How do we connect marketing, selling, and understanding the customer into a single system where we have clear data that we collect at a certain level?
The idea is that the campaigns we are working on are linked to the rest of the system, which means that we link Google Analytics, the Facebook system, we measure certain hypotheses within our target groups and see what they are doing and we have to have clear metrics at any time.
Let’s say we’re selling pretzels and want to sell 100 pretzels per week and we’re working on a Facebook campaign to sell more pretzels. If we are doing a Facebook campaign, we need to know what our next contact point is which means that if we set up a campaign and said we target people who are close to us because we sell at location X, we need to know what the next qualification that of our lead.
The person passes a certain path from point A: “Hmm, I see a commercial or something appeals to me” to point B where she came and said: “I’m buying this because it solves my problem.”
There are N steps that are key to understanding how our customers behave. Which means that if we sell pretzels and we have a hungry person, and we target it through Facebook, she may think “Hmm, I’m hungry” and now she’s looking for some alternative. And popping out is an ad because we targeted her well, the person says: “Great, great – I like this”. She will perform some action there, and the action can be a click on a site or filling in the form or clicking “buy” if we have an e-shop. And then we see how many people came to this site, which we measure through Google Analytics if it’s on the site, and we see: of the 100% of people who came to the site, 15% filled in the application. Of that 15 % who filled out the form, we contacted everyone, but eventually a half or seventh of the 15% bought it.
Each of these steps is clearly measurable, where we can have a conditional-consequence chain from a macro perspective: how conversions look like, where people come from percentage, numerically and so on.
In order to link this from the lower perspective, we can identify the person by phone, email or a value, and we have to go back and say the following:
I just sold to you and now I’m asking in a very casual manner: “Hey, great! How did you find out about us?” Because on that basis we can say that out of 10 people who bought the product, 7 bought them because they saw the advertisement on Facebook. Therefore, our Facebook campaign shows itself as good because it brings us people who will buy from us, but it may not bring enough and we need to increase it.
There are two key things. One is to understand how our customers who paid for and purchased the product came to us and how they interacted online, offline or physically with our brand. Another thing is that it helps us to create high-quality marketing and sales campaigns that pull attraction on a site, landing page, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, a LinkedIn profile – a place where we want to distribute some information to people.
Identically, you can say that if we are doing a completely different type of marketing – for example, an affiliate program, where we have an ambassador of the brand or influencer who promotes our brand. It is important that we can know how many people we received from promoting this person, firstly because this person will receive some reward because he brought new people, and we see if this is a channel relevant to us.
The marketing-sales process and the customer service process must be strongly linked from the perspective of the data.
Overall different tools can be used.
For example, as an Impact Hub, we use HubSpot as a central database through which we monitor the behaviour of people on the site, through emails, as well as the entire marketing process and sale.
In the initial period, this tool can also be a spreadsheet in which you will record the channel that the customer came in. It does not have to be a complicated tool, but it’s important to catch the logic of how people find out about you, how they interact with you, and at what times and why they make the decision to buy your product.
On the basis of this, everything becomes drastically more efficient.
Some of the tools are Faunalytics and SalesForce – it all practically depends on how you use it.
FYI! – As a member of Impact Hub Belgrade, you have the great, 90% discount on the first year of Hubspot licence.