Often times I meet people who question the value of a focused, operational communications strategy. The argument is that there are plenty of other more important jobs to get done before looking coherently at communications.
Allow me as a former communications professional to take a step back and look at the kind of value, great communication can unlock for a startup. I will do so over a couple of posts here, and today I will be looking at one of the really easy ones to measure:
Normally, when we think of sales, we think it of it as an effort to get our offer in front of the right people in order for them to make a decision on whether they want to buy our solution or not. The more we work diligently with sales, the better we will be at getting it in front of the right people, the more hot leads will be created, the better conversation rates will be and – ultimately – the more we will sell.
So what role does communications play in that? Let’s look at it from a structured operational perspective:
Let’s assume you have your OKRs in place. You know what your objectives for the upcoming quarter(s) are, and you have identified the measurable key results that will support you in understanding what kind of progress you’re making towards reaching those goals.
If we look at sales, the objective could be to launch a new product successfully, and a key result could easily be to get 200 new hot leads and book 50 first sales meetings.
Ok. Where does communication come into play here?
When you look at the job of getting 200 new leads, you need to figure out where to find them but – more importantly – WHAT to tell them in order to get them interested, so they become a hot new lead, you can work with.
In order to know what to tell them, you need to have a clearly crafted value proposition and a wording of it that resonates with the intended target audience, so you can optimize your conversion.
That’s all about communication and getting the actual words right.
Furthermore, in order to be on the radar of your future customers, when you try to convert them into hot leads, you need to have created awareness and a presence about your startup, your brand and, most importantly, your product(s). And you need to have done so in a way that is available and convincing in a way that sits well with your future customers.
That’s all about communication, too.
Finally, when you have the sales meetings, you need to ensure that the people you meet get hooked enough to buy. They need to be convinced by those final killer arguments for why your product is the solution to their problem, and doing so in a scalable way requires not only a solid structure but also – again – the most effective words.
Surprise, that’s communication too.
All in all a focus on great end effective communications is a powerful an extremely valuable driver for driving sales. It’s not just a marketing job – and yes, marketing is communications too. And communications is not only about PR and looking good on SoMe.
So do yourself a favor and prioritize your communications efforts in your startup. Doing it right can – almost – be translated to money in the bank.