November 15, 201891-94440 18040suresh@ensoconsultants.com

IMPORTANCE OF “GO TO” Market strategy in Funding

Importance of “GO TO” Market in Funding

You may be an established business, growing and scaling rapidly; a startup, after early success poised for expansion; a firm entering a new geography or launching a new product; you may wish to take your local business global, after an initial success in one or two countries. You may be an eCommerce firm or a Technology business looking into rapid customer acquisition. You may be trying to get Series A or B or C Funding from a VC or looking for Private Equity placement or a Joint Venture partner.

In any of the above scenarios, the priority is to design a structured Sales and Marketing program so that your promotions are well directed to attract new customers and Product or Service offerings are optimally designed to offer maximum value to your customers. The price points, discount structures, promotional plans or partner engagements will require careful analysis and review from time to time as buyer behavior and usage patterns may not remain the same in all geographies or at all times. The planning and timing of the Sales and marketing activities plays a vital role in Growth and the prospects of your expansion funding will be as good as your Sales and Marketing Plan.

What is Sales & Marketing Plan?

Sales is about proposing a product or service and completing the transaction for a consideration or price between a seller and buyer.  It can be direct sales or thro partners like resellers, distributors, dealers, retailers or references.

Marketing is all about how you can sell more stuff, more often to more people at a higher price. It is all about targeting, bringing the right prospects and creating an environment where sales can occur.

Digital or Internet based marketing campaigns add more complexity as visitors or customers can be from anywhere and seller has no clue about potential visitors. There are more and more tools coming up to analyze surfers and target right audience to improve chances of a sale.

Market Analysis, Customer Analysis, Customer Profiling, targeted promotions, personalization, offering the right product or service at right price, using digital, web, social media or TV, Print, or other media to build the brand and lure new prospects and PR are continuously done and all are part of Sales and Marketing.

One has to study all the above processes closely and if required seek the help of external consultants to devise a proper Sales and Marketing plan so that various activities can be prioritized, budgeted, measured, monitored, reviewed in order to make changes or corrections to improve the effectiveness of the entire process by optimizing the expenses and maximizing the returns.

In short your profitability depends on how well you understand your environmental variables like Market, competition, customers, substitutes and how you can adopt to changes in environment and is an art rather than a science.

What are the contents of Sales & Marketing Plan?

  • Business Objectives and Revenue Model
  • Customer Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Risks (Business, operations, cost structure)
  • Product Plan
  • Sales strategy- Direct, Indirect (Resellers, Distributors, dealers), Web
  • Partners, Alliances, Influencers
  • Marketing strategy
  • Advertising
  • Digital/Web promotions
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Implementation Plan, Milestones, Targets, Objectives
  • Forecast and Budget
  • Team structure and roles
  • Metrics and measures of each activity
  • International or special initiatives

The degree, complexity of the above will depend on the Size and Scale of operations and planning shall be done on a month on month basis for a year. Periodic monthly reviews shall be conducted and corrective actions shall be taken to improve effectiveness.  A disciplined approach to sales and marketing will reduce the burn rate and help you to understand the changes in the market dynamics.

By P.N.Suresh, ENSO CONSULTANTS

suresh@ensoconsultants.com

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