Well-known management consultant Peter Drucker spoke about it a decade ago “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”
Sales are the bloodline of any business and acquiring new customers is a vital part that keeps your businesses afloat and growing. There might be few buyers paying a big retainer or simply attracting traffic visiting your site, how you obtain and retain clients is the ultimate goal. Before you launch your business ask yourself: Are you really prepared for more customers and orders? Are the platform and logistics geared to handle an inflow of visitors & queries?
Perhaps for start-ups, the client acquisition journey is hardly linear or predictable, that doesn’t discount the importance of thoughtful planning.
Even though the client acquisition process is not an exact science. There will always be things that can (and do) go wrong, speak to any business owner and will share the sentiments.
What’s your promotion strategy – E-mail marketing or social media? These 5 steps will help you establish what client acquisition is and how to execute them effectively.
1. Is your product ready for client acquisition?
You have spent countless hours (if not years) developing the product, once your product hits the market and begin to attract customers the execution of your user acquisition process must be planned out very carefully.
Before going live on the website ask and test the following:
- Is your platform ready for orders, or are there still bugs that will expose the faults in customer experience/ user journey?
- Do you have adequate customer support? Can your team respond to the questions & concerns of new customers in a timely fashion?
- Do people outside your company understand your product, In other words, if you explain it to a 5-year-old will they get it?
These are some questions that need answering before going live.
2. Why being prepared counts
English writer Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” once said, “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there.”
It’s essential to have a well-planned customer acquisition strategy, consider the following.
- Start off with a framework, even very basic plan, Yes, plans change (especially with start-ups).
- A plan of action for obtaining customers is strongly advisable as it lays down a foundation (You wouldn’t build your house on sand would you?)
- Make use of a document automation software (Built-in electronic signatures, workflow management, a document builder, and CPQ Configure Price Quote Software) I find pandadoc very user-friendly, cloud-based with loads of templates.
3. Build the right team
Regardless of the size of your team in start-ups, they are known to wear many hats, the ability to react quickly to hiccups is a game of inches.
Here are some scenarios.
- If there is an unexpected bug in the sign-up/sales process, how quickly can your development team react and fix the problem?
- Bad news travels fast, the incident of United Airline passenger being dragged off in April 2017 ( the video was shared 87,000 times and viewed 6.8 million times in less than a day.) A Wiki page was created in the process
- When customer complaints occur, be proactive with your efforts in communications/social media to fix the situation.
- In order to do that, your team needs to have a clear understanding of who to turn to when problems occur.
4. Estimate the Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC)
Do you have an estimate of your cost to acquire customers (CAC) laid out?
- CAC is the cost of all of your sales and marketing expenses over a given period of time, divided by the number of customers acquired in that period.
- An estimate will help you be prepared, you will have a better sense of your CAC once you begin acquiring customers, and it will change with time.
5. Create demand
It’s natural to want to get your product into the hands of everyone who needs it. But thinking about how to influence the masses leads to missteps in understanding what’s driving the decisions of the few people you have the best chance of reaching and impacting right now.