Kicking off proper B2B growth marketing in a startup : What you don’t know will take its toll

Kicking off proper B2B growth marketing in a startup : What you don’t know will take its toll
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In today’s world of B2B marketing, the way a company builds its sales and marketing infrastructure can (and will) make or break it. Usually, the foundations are laid in the early stages. 

While nearly every sales or marketing executive knows that they need to be on top of B2B ABM and Outbound Marketing, at least in theory, their knowledge about these domains is often too limited for the supervision that needed to run a successful operation. 

It doesn’t help that these disciplines, like almost every other in the fast-paced tech industry, are constantly being upended. The strategies you used just a few short years ago are, in most cases, no longer relevant. 

After more than 8 years running a global tech and B2B startup-marketing agency focused on young startups, I’ve helped more than 80 companies build their initial global marketing and growth infrastructure and set relevant KPIs. 

Being that most of these startups were in their early stages and so were working with small teams, we had to fill the internal marketing ‘know-how’ void and work on the growth strategy, architecture, and operation plans, before we moved on to the actual implementation. 

It still never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge the decision-makers are still missing — be the founders, CEOs, CMOs, or marketing professionals. They’re often missing the basic foundations required to really get the gist of outbound, prospecting, ABM B2B growth, and more so that they can achieve their objectives. 

For all these reasons and more, we at G2Mteam created an in-depth professional guide focusing on how to build prospect databases, run inbound and outbound activities, and connect between sales and marketing to establish awareness, positioning, and no less important, supercharge business opportunities. 

This article brings some of the guide insights to you so that you can use them to cultivate a robust marketing foundation.

Want to get your hands on the guide? No problem, Just fill in your details below. Otherwise, continue reading to at least get some highlights. 

 

BUILDING PROSPECT-DATABASES & KICKING OFF B2B ABM, SDR & OUTBOUND OUTREACH

 

The Sad Reality; Most Founders Don’t know enough  

When you onboard your product or R&D operation, don’t you make sure that there is someone you trust around to oversee the setup? Someone who knows something about the challenge??! 

Same should go for sales and marketing. 

 If I had a penny for every time I was asked to run spray and pray campaigns targeting totally static, pre-purchased prospect lists, I’d get myself a time-machine and travel back to 2008, when Facebook stock was cheap and that tactic was still relevant. 

So here’s the deal. You startup guys please wake up, because things sure have changed a lot in the last 2 years and are changing again while I write these words… 

The B2B tech marketing ecosystem is maturing, giving way to new solutions that make it easy to connect with real-time databases and extract highly-relevant, super tailored prospect lists. From here, other tools help sales and marketing smoothly collaborate and use multiple inbound and outbound techniques to hunt down only the right people, and continue doing so until the goal is achieved. 

Of course it won’t help you if the product is sh%t, if your solution just doesn’t solve a real pain or if your business model (or pricing model) just doesn’t make sense. 

But, assuming that you are good, a proper sales and marketing operation will make or break your startup.  Therefore, you still need to AT-LEAST know the fundamentals to make sure that you don’t fuck up your marketing: The people and agencies you hire for the job, the expectations that you have, the investment that you’re shooting for, and the things that you don’t really need (cuz you just don’t know enough and you don’t make any sense) 

The guide speaks about outbound prospecting, accompanying inbound activities, tools, and technologies that are “startup” friendly. It also shines a light on prospect databases — what I consider to be the fundamental pillar that connects between the teams (sales and marketing). 

Here are some highlights:  

The Prospecting List Playbook

 

Every prospecting operation must begin with a list. Pitching people that never heard of the brand is an almost impossible mission. 

So, therefore, when done properly, this list serves both outbound and inbound sales and marketing outreach in parallel.

This means that having sales and marketing fully aligned and coordinated around personas, accounts, MQL, SQL and sales opportunities definitions (and KPIs) is essential. This can be achieved by running dedicated all-hands strategy sessions, where you co-define these metrics and set KPIs together. The key is a scoring mechanism for each prospect, so both marketing and sales know-how to treat each lead.  

Get this — database building has moved way beyond purchasing static lists at exorbitant prices or just scraping online databases. 

There are plenty of new, innovative tools that help with building ultra-targeted databases that are also continuously updated in real-time. I weigh into their differences in our eBook

While the prospect database should definitely include a segmentation and scoring mechanism, it should also list industry influencers, potential partners, and ‘non-whale’ leads who can impact brand awareness among those oh-so desirable whales. 

Also, keep in mind that as you scale, you’ll need to think about maintaining your database in a collaborative tool like a marketing automation solution that comes with a CRM.   

Creating a communication plan that defines the type of outreach (message and content) you’ll deliver at each stage of the funnel is key before kicking off any significant efforts. Top funnel activities target prospects that aren’t familiar with the brand, yet, and as such should be easy-going and distributed through specific channels. Mid-funnel activities focus on prospects that have displayed awareness for your brand (and as such are scored accordingly ). There, the content is much more focused on the solution and its utilities. 

Tracking engagement is key to scoring as part of the database. This is also called nurturing leads — meaning provoking them to engage with ads, or posts, or emails, or any other form of content until they have reached a score threshold that moves them down the funnel – towards becoming a sales opportunity. 

Some solutions automatically update scores according to engagement activities. This comes in handy when the scale of new leads justifies an investment in automation capabilities. 

Tracking and automation also enable you to automatically wake up sales (alerts) when MQLs are becoming SQLs and it’s time for a 1ON1 action. 

Sales and marketing collaboration is key throughout this process. But, how is it done practically? Both teams should be committed (and rewarded) on their ability to generate business opportunities. They should both agree on the funnel, stages, effort, and content. 

Ensure that communication and cooperation is running smoothly with weekly meetings that include all process stakeholders. Marketing should update on their campaigns, SDRs should present findings from their discussions, including the objections they’re hearing, while sales should present their conversion metrics. 

Proper attribution tracking is critical- to get both marketing and sales aligned on exactly how to grow sales opportunities, not just leads.

Einav Laviv
Einav Laviv is a tech marketing expert, a startup founder and the CEO at G2Mteam, that supports Israeli startups with full stack global marketing services. She lives, breathes and loves startups & marketing: B2B, B2C, Mobile, online and product
Einav Laviv
Einav Laviv
hello [at] g2mteam.com