PART 6 – Marketing, Selling

things that
I learned
from my
startup
experience
Suhas Dutta
“

“
Robert Louis Stevenson
So far…
• In the previous part of this series, we went through funding and
investment solicitation.
Idea
Starting

Executi...
In my experience, marketing is about…
• Marketing is really about story
telling, and it overlaps to a
large extent with se...
Marketing is a continual effort
•

Your
efforts
towards
marketing have to be
continual and maintain at
least a minimum lev...
Field of dreams. © Aaron Dryden
Plan for marketing
•

You will need to plan
marketing, and go per plan.

•

The plan will help figure how much
you need to...
Advertising
Advertising, besides through social
media can also be:
•

On web related media
– Direct advertisements e.g. go...
The most powerful marketing tool
• Word of mouth is perhaps
the most powerful of all
marketing mechanisms.
• Word of mouth...
Social marketing is great, but…
• Though
necessary, clearly not
sufficient
for
your
marketing efforts.
• Advertising of al...
Making yourself visible
•

Find a way to be visible:
–

Network through industry groups, without overdoing it.

–

Try to ...
Glamour and glitz?

• Glitz and glamour has its place in marketing and it
does cause brand recall for sure.
• If you have ...
In my experience, selling is…
• Selling, usually preceded by
marketing
is
all
about
converting the story that you
narrated...
30 second sales pitch
•

Know exactly where to go – and it is okay to communicate the end result to
the person you are pit...
While selling
•

Identify your customers well. If
you are creating a pipeline,
there is no point chasing
potentials which ...
If you have a sales person / team
•

Ensure that the sales person /team
–
–

Is able to do a demo (if appropriate) on her ...
Closing a sale
•

Understand that you should be
involved in closing sales – in the
beginning and for every possible
large ...
Closing a sale
• Understand the client’s sales
process, know the people
involved and set timelines.

• Try not to pull woo...
APPENDIX
APPENDIX: Useful starting points
• Trust based selling, by Charles H. Green
• HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations Ebook ...
APPENDIX: Go to market process
There
could
be
various
other
methodologies, prescribed or subscribed by
various organizatio...
APPENDIX: How does “SEO” work?
Getting
Found
Search
Engine
Optimization

• SEO does not work
effectively in isolation.
Don...
• I have shared experiences and lessons that we
learned from marketing and selling our services. I
deliberately did not ta...
• Have questions or feedback? Write to me.
• If you need a little help in terms of mentoring, reviewing
material, vetting ...
OUTSOURCING STRATEGY

IT ADVISORY

LEARNING STRATEGY

RETAIL

OFFSHORING STRATEGY

PROCESS ENGINEERING

TRAINING

CONSUMER...
30 things   6/7 - MARKETING /SELLING - 30 things that I learned from my startup experience: Part 6/7
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30 things 6/7 - MARKETING /SELLING - 30 things that I learned from my startup experience: Part 6/7

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This is the sixth of the seven part series on my experiences from Entrepreneurship. The previous parts covered the idea formation, the starting, the execution, funding etc.
This part covers marketing and selling your products.

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30 things 6/7 - MARKETING /SELLING - 30 things that I learned from my startup experience: Part 6/7

  1. 1. PART 6 – Marketing, Selling things that I learned from my startup experience Suhas Dutta
  2. 2. “ “ Robert Louis Stevenson
  3. 3. So far… • In the previous part of this series, we went through funding and investment solicitation. Idea Starting Executing Funding Marketing Selling People Emotions Learning Results • Whether its for your product, or to get investment you will need to spend serious effort and brain power in marketing your product and selling. That is what will be covered in this sixth part of the series. • I don’t intend covering “how to sell” in these slides. You will find plenty material all over which would cover that.
  4. 4. In my experience, marketing is about… • Marketing is really about story telling, and it overlaps to a large extent with selling. • Story telling is about creating an emotional connect over a period of time and love for the brand. – That is how companies are able to sell their logo merchandise. • Ask yourself again – do you have a compelling story about your product or service? • Ask yourself again – how well do you know your customer?
  5. 5. Marketing is a continual effort • Your efforts towards marketing have to be continual and maintain at least a minimum level. • The focus of the effort through a particular medium or a product feature can vary. Marketing type / language should vary if you are targeting a wide spread demographic. • Have seen and experienced, that during cash crunch marketing spend gets chopped. Bad thing to do.
  6. 6. Field of dreams. © Aaron Dryden
  7. 7. Plan for marketing • You will need to plan marketing, and go per plan. • The plan will help figure how much you need to spend, what you expect to get for that spend. • There will be times when you will need to be flexible and change plans too. • As mentioned earlier your marketing strategy has to be all encompassing, and work in an integrated fashion across media. • But you can choose to spend more in certain areas than others depending on what the target demographic of your product / service is. for
  8. 8. Advertising Advertising, besides through social media can also be: • On web related media – Direct advertisements e.g. google ads – Surrogate advertising by paid publications on popular websites • On print – Regular advertisements – Paid press releases, interviews and features. All magazines, trade periodicals and newspapers do this. • Radio / FM – not very costly, but has decent reach • Television – of course, costs a lot and will be unaffordable unless you get plenty funding. Works well.
  9. 9. The most powerful marketing tool • Word of mouth is perhaps the most powerful of all marketing mechanisms. • Word of mouth spreads on the basis of your delivery to customers. One failed delivery can ruin a lot of previous hard work and success. • Needs a lot of hard / smart work to achieve this, but has no real direct cost in a way.
  10. 10. Social marketing is great, but… • Though necessary, clearly not sufficient for your marketing efforts. • Advertising of all kinds will be required and so will be some press coverage from time to time in electronic and other traditional media. • And word of mouth marketing still is the most credible.
  11. 11. Making yourself visible • Find a way to be visible: – Network through industry groups, without overdoing it. – Try to get public speaking slots even in smaller conclaves, industry groups, conferences. Most of these events are visited by potential investors and clients. – If you have large amount of experience in a relevant area, check if you can be a mentor-onpanel somewhere – If you can get your writing published, do so – The corollary to that is, you will need to polish up your public speaking and writing skills. • Get some press coverage if you can manage to, either on traditional or electronic media. Newspaper coverage, of course, has the widest reach. • Little bit of advertising in conclaves, conferences, meet ups etc. does go a distance because of the focused audience and doesn’t cost much.
  12. 12. Glamour and glitz? • Glitz and glamour has its place in marketing and it does cause brand recall for sure. • If you have the funding, use it effectively to your advantage. • Getting funding from celebrities does help in marketing too. E.g. yatra.com (Salman Khan), justdial (Amitabh Bachchan), ubqool.com (Juhi Mehta)
  13. 13. In my experience, selling is… • Selling, usually preceded by marketing is all about converting the story that you narrated while doing marketing. • No one cares how many ads you run, but did you make an impression? Did you capture the customer’s imagination and manage to relate it to your product / story? • It really is about whether you managed to get a share of the wallet of your customer, or not.
  14. 14. 30 second sales pitch • Know exactly where to go – and it is okay to communicate the end result to the person you are pitching to, upfront. • Prepare, prepare and prepare: – Bullet point it inside your head, so that you remain on your prepared pitch and don’t stray too much. – Tell them a story – have mentioned this a few times already. But a long winded story doesn’t help. Time yourself while preparing. – Run the sales pitch with your friends and colleagues and ask for feedback. • Eliminate jargon – in the last three years, while selling a software based service to schools , I learned quickly to stray away from tech jargon and focus on the benefits and the service. Not many will catch your jargon anyways, and some people get turned off by jargon too. • Ensure that your pitch engages and invites conversation and participation. A bored potential customer most likely won’t convert. While preparing this slide, I found some material on businessinsider.in which rang all true from my experiences, and I repurposed to some extent. These basics worked for us, especially because I have never been a direct salesperson before.
  15. 15. While selling • Identify your customers well. If you are creating a pipeline, there is no point chasing potentials which will surely not convert. Qualify your leads and keep funneling. • Don’t let the sales be all the responsibility of sales people (if you have any). Get on the road, meet real customers. • You need to be bi-polar in a way. While you aggressively sell, you need to be very aware of the deficiencies in your product. Your being critical of the product will help improve it. • Be gung-ho about the product but be honest to the customer.
  16. 16. If you have a sales person / team • Ensure that the sales person /team – – Is able to do a demo (if appropriate) on her own – • Understands the product / service that they are to sell, very well. Creates and runs the relationship and ensures delivery (of the product / service) Make them accountable – – To report their efforts, visits etc every day or every other day – • For not just sales, but collection and recoveries To be on the road for most of their time, but report into office either every evening or at frequent intervals. Sit with them – For weekly face to face reporting – And go through the pipeline, and help qualify leads
  17. 17. Closing a sale • Understand that you should be involved in closing sales – in the beginning and for every possible large sale later. • Create some sense of urgency by using a carrot (discount, promo offer or the like). Keep some cards up your sleeve which you can reveal at this time. • In some cases the fear of competition helps too – that if the person across the desk doesn’t deal with you, you will deal with their competitor. Be careful how you play this though. Ask for it. It is okay to tell the client that you want their business.
  18. 18. Closing a sale • Understand the client’s sales process, know the people involved and set timelines. • Try not to pull wool, try not to use tricks. If you are having to do this, you most likely do not have a sale, or this will come back to haunt you later. • Be prepared to walk away as well. But stay confident and positive. Treat the prospective customer as a customer. • People say “winners never quit”. I think winners always quit, in every field. It is just that they know when to quit. [isn’t that what Seth Godin says in The Dip] Win credibility in the sales process and open doors for repeat business
  19. 19. APPENDIX
  20. 20. APPENDIX: Useful starting points • Trust based selling, by Charles H. Green • HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations Ebook + Video Case Study: http://hbr.org/product/hbr-guide-to-persuasive-presentations-ebook-video/an/11150V-KND-ENG?referral=01121 • Marketing Simulation: Managing Segments and Customers V2: http://hbr.org/product/marketing-simulation-managing-segments-andcustome/an/7018HB-HTM-ENG?referral=01121 • Dismantling the Sales Machine: http://hbr.org/product/dismantling-thesales-machine/an/R1311H-PDF-ENG?referral=00929 • How to Sell in 60 Seconds: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/65972
  21. 21. APPENDIX: Go to market process There could be various other methodologies, prescribed or subscribed by various organizations. The basics of the process are still more or less about the same. Implementation JV / Partner Evaluation Market Entry Internal Diagnostics Market Assessment Market Diagnostics Market Dynamics Metrics Customer Feedback
  22. 22. APPENDIX: How does “SEO” work? Getting Found Search Engine Optimization • SEO does not work effectively in isolation. Don’t let digital marketing companies tell you that. • You will need to generate Social Media Lead Generation Getting Shared Generating Leads Idea courtesy: Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute – Content through press releases, blogs etc besides doing keyword population for search engines to find you. – Interest in your product, leads through combination advertising, and use social media. or a of of
  23. 23. • I have shared experiences and lessons that we learned from marketing and selling our services. I deliberately did not talk about how to sell, or how to market because you will find plenty of that material on that web and in many books which you can choose to read. • Go on to the last part of this series which will talk about people, partnerships etc..
  24. 24. • Have questions or feedback? Write to me. • If you need a little help in terms of mentoring, reviewing material, vetting a plan or the like…I would be happy to help a fellow entrepreneur start her/his journey. It will cost you just a cup of coffee. • If you have already started and could do with some strategic advice, helping create your business plans or your investment pitch, marketing strategy, fulfill your company’s training needs, need advice on the pitch etc, please feel free to reach me. • My coordinates are: – reach@delhigate.com – linkedin.com/in/suhasdutta/
  25. 25. OUTSOURCING STRATEGY IT ADVISORY LEARNING STRATEGY RETAIL OFFSHORING STRATEGY PROCESS ENGINEERING TRAINING CONSUMER PRODUCTS CIO ON TAP PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONTENT DEVELOPMENT STARTUP ADVISORY +91 9980711477 | +91 9980525553 reach@delhigate.com

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