Marketing challenges for startups and how Zoho SalesIQ can help

Marketing challenges are real. Especially for startups, amongst draining their resources on multiple fronts to bring their product to the market, getting their voice out and establishing their identity is a matter of survival.

In an interactive session with Yaagneswaran Ganesh, co-founder of SaaS Sprints, we discussed how startups can plan their marketing from day 1 and the marketing challenges they face. As a follow-up, in our next session, we discussed the five major marketing challenges that threaten startups' existence. In this article, we'll elaborate on those challenges and how Zoho SalesIQ can help startups nullify them. Here are some excerpts from the session.

Marketing challenges for startups:

Challenge 1: Startups don't have a clue who's visiting them

Challenge 2: Unaware of creating and qualifying leads

Challenge 3: Unable to pique the interest of prospects

Challenges 4 and 5: Personalization and automation

Marketing challenge 1: Startups don't have a clue who's visiting them

When marketers lay out their marketing plan for startups, they assume they have a clear idea of their target audiences. In reality, it's a different scene altogether.

During the previous session, Yaag also mentioned that it could take at least a year for startups to understand the market and their target audiences. If they don't know who's visiting them, who's using them, and how are they using them, how can they know if their business is valid or not?

Identifying who's visiting the website and how they interact with the content could help startups understand if they're moving in the correct direction. If they're not, it gives them a heads up to pivot their offering if needed.

You might have noticed that startups pivot based on how users use their products. Initially, the product might not have been intended that way originally. Slack is a perfect example here. When it started, it wasn't planned as a business communication tool but as an internal tool for an online game. The founders realized the financial limitation in that space and pivoted after identifying a use case that wasn't planned when they built the product.

They could do that was because they identified who was using them and how they were using them.

Hence it has become a thumb rule for businesses to get insights on who's visiting their website/product. Only when they do that, they'd know if their intended target audiences are checking their website. If they're not, they can identify who is using it.

How SalesIQ can help: Website visitor identification

With website visitor identification, SalesIQ can help startups solve one of their biggest marketing challenges.

On their SalesIQ dashboard, startups will get information such as who's visiting their website, the pages they're accessing, how long they spend on those pages, from where they're accessing, what kind of source they are, among scores of similar visitor info.

It helps startups understand their visitors and check if all is working the way they intend it to.

Marketing challenge 2: Unaware of creating and qualifying leads

Not all leads are created the same, and not all leads are the same.

From the cold, warm, and hot leads, startups must identify the hot leads and push them to the sales team for faster conversion. They should identify their warm leads and nurture them for eventual conversion. Also, they should filter their cold leads by educating them about their product or service offerings, so they'll come to you when they are in need.

Identifying, creating, and qualifying leads is the next marketing challenge in the funnel. With limited resources, a startup's marketing faces an arduous task. What can be done?

How SalesIQ can help: Lead scoring

When someone's interested in your startup's product, they will look at your website to learn about your offerings. The more they look, the more they're interested in your business.

To solve this marketing challenge, SalesIQ's lead scoring can help you filter leads based on pre-defined scores. Suppose visitors spend more time on your website, checking multiple pages to understand your product, watching your customer testimonial videos, and the like. In that case, they'll score high, and you can target them for faster and better conversion.

Case study: Using SalesIQ's lead scoring and triggers to increase our demo requests by 87%

When we, the marketing team at SalesIQ, were analyzing our website navigation and exploring options to improve our lead conversion, we observed that our prospects' journey starts from the homepage then goes to our features page, and then to other pages, landing finally on the pricing page once they're satisfied.

Based on the visitors' lead scores, we concluded that the ones finally landing on the pricing page were high-intent prospects. That's when we decided to set up a bot trigger on our pricing page.

The trigger (which we'll discuss in the next section) helps start a proactive conversation with the prospects, understands their requirements, and pushes them to the next part of the funnel. On average, we have seen close to an 87% increase in our demo requests and a sizable increase in our conversion.

Marketing challenge 3: Unable to pique the interest of prospects

After identifying, creating, and qualifying leads, the next part is grabbing leads' attention and initiating interactions with them.

Why should you do that?

Visitors will likely be interested in your offerings. This is evident from the lead score. In reality, visitors rarely initiate first contact. Decreasing attention spans make it challenging for marketers and startups to grab visitors' attention in micro-seconds to pique their interest.

How SalesIQ can help: Triggers

With triggers, you can invite prospects to interact by initiating proactive messages. You can set triggers based on various criteria. You can further customize the criteria based on your requirements.

Marketing challenge 4 and 5: Personalization and automation

Another marketing challenge startups face regarding customer engagement is personalizing their option to suit everyone. Gone are the days of mass marketing campaigns that target everyone in one go. Today, buyers feel enlightened and will not be persuaded by strategies that don't reflect their inner selves.

As important as offering a personalized experience to your visitors is, so is being available to them 24/7. That's where automation steps in. Startups can't afford to lose leads due to their unavailability and just have manual resources available around the clock. Automation helps resolve this issue.

How SalesIQ can help: Automation

Whatever features we've discussed above, be it visitor identification, lead scoring, triggers, or personalization, with SalesIQ, everything can be automated to suit the fast pacing days of startup marketing.

Triggers can be automated based on visitor identification data, and you can initiate a proactive chat for visitors with specific criteria.

With integrating SalesIQ with CRM, you can automatically push the data from your lead scoring results to your CRM for sales to follow up. 

With Chat Routing automation, startups can route their visitors to the exact department/teams they want to talk to for quicker clarification.

You can configure your chatbot to add dynamic suggestions such as the visitor's name. The next time they visit your website, the bot will greet and welcome them by their name, adding a touch of personalization.

In the ever-so-changing and noisy business ecosystem, marketing is crucial in getting your voice out and letting everyone know your presence. With Zoho SalesIQ, your marketers can easily navigate the major challenges and focus on bringing in revenue.

If you like to take SalesIQ for a spin? Sign up for a 15-day free trial—no credit card is needed. You can also schedule an exclusive Zoho SalesIQ demo now and check out how it can benefit your startup.

Related resources:

Predictive lead scoring for qualifying leads

predictive lead scoring

A marketer's checklist to improve website conversions

Checklist to improve website conversions


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