Tips for Unleashing Your Business
from Soundview Exec Book Summaries 29 Nov 13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer,” wrote Business Guru, Peter Drucker many years ago. While none of the many books written by the father of modern management featured a Purple Monster on its cover, this mindset is behind “Feed the Startup Beast”, by Drew Williams & Jonathan Verney. A business needs to be “fed” if it is to survive.
A Seven-Step Plan Focusing specifically on business-to-business startups, the Authors show how to feed the “Beast” through a seven-step Marketing Plan designed to attract & convert prospects into customers. The interrelated steps are
1. Ask the Right Question. Survey your customers with only one question: How likely are you to recommend [my product or service] to a colleague or business associate?” The scores will tell you if your startup is a Beast ready to grow or not.
2. Listen to your “best” Customers, by first identifying them – and then show them that you understand their needs.
3. Focus your Resources. Lay the foundation for your marketing by creating the tools you need: a website, your Engagement Spreadsheet through which you can carefully track thousands of prospects, your Engagement Pages (the landing pages for prospects who find you) and your sales team.
4. Attract your “best” Prospects. The key to being found by prospects is your online presence – your success in showing up in search engines & social media sites. Hire an SEO expert if you need to. It will be worth the expense.
5. Pursue your “best” Prospects. Successful startups do everything to be found online, but they also take pre-active steps to seek out & engage prospects. While much of the conversation today focuses on In-bound marketing, Out-bound marketing continues to be relevant also.
6. Nurture your “engaged” Prospects. New Prospects are somewhat in the “dark”, but they need to see the “light” of what you offer – to be converted into customers & hopefully fans.
7. Grow! Measure your Success. A “Beast Dashboard” is used to track the conversion rates of prospects to “engaged” prospects to “sales-ready” leads to “customers” & then “fans”.
Tools & Examples Author Williams is a serial entrepreneur who sold one of his businesses for eight figures. Author Verney is a communications professional specializing in corporate story-telling. The result of this collaboration is a book that is rich in visual metaphors but grounded in real-world experience. For example, the authors describe a prospect’s “decision cycle,” which moves from problem awareness & solution education to vendor education & vendor consideration, and finally, vendor selection. In the Nurture phase (step 6), marketers move the prospect through this cycle by getting them to climb the “engagement ladder.” Thus, a startup might offer Analysts Reports & Buying Guides to lead prospects through the solution education stage. Webinars or white papers will respond to their prospect education needs, while video testimonials or demos engage them during the buying consideration phase. Custom analysis & Aids such as ROI calculators can help push prospects to take the final step and to become “sales-ready” leads. At this point, your sales team will take over. Humorous & energetic but also comprehensive & practical, “Feed the Startup Beast” is a valuable manual for entrepreneurs creating up their marketing approach to grow the Beast.
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