12 Ways to Prepare your B2B Tech Startup To Enter a New Market
August 16, 2022 Edwin Kooistra
Strategic business planning is a critical stage when preparing to launch B2B tech startups into new markets. In 2019, Small Business Trends identified that 2 out of 5 technology startups tend to be profitable, while the others breakeven or liquidate.
CB Insights identifies ten important factors why startups fail:
- No market need: 42%
- Ran out of cash: 29%
- Not the right team: 23%
- Got outcompeted: 19%
- Pricing / Cost issues: 18%
- User unfriendly product: 17%
- Product without a business model: 17%
- Poor marketing: 14%
- Ignore customers: 14%
- Product mistimed: 13%
Having data driven go to market strategies are essential when it comes to a highly competitive industry, with similarly designed products. Tech companies generally perform considerable research that analyze their existing business, validate startup ideas, plan product launches, identify ideal customer profiles, discover marketing channels, and create content that offers value to audiences.
12 Actionable Steps to Launch a B2B Tech Startup into a New Market
- Analyze your Existing Business
- Validate your Business Idea
- Product Launching Stage
- Know your Ideal Customer Profiles
- Build an Engaged Audience
- Focus On the Value
- Positioning, Messaging & Sales Strategy
- Identify your Growth Channels
- Map Customer Touch points
- Leverage your First Users
- Measure your KPIs
- Create Customer Feedback Loops
Before diving into new markets with a new tech startup business, entrepreneurs are suggested to follow certain actionable steps to ensure success.
1 – Analyze your Existing Business
Tech startups must begin evaluating themselves through a personal audit that highlights the strengths and failings of their existing business model. While this may be problematic since the business is still in its infancy, a thorough SWOT analysis is essential to take the next step to launch into a new market.
These analyses answer important questions related to financial requirements, marketing penetration, threats to the startup, and capabilities of your team. This analysis allows the business owner to make a self assessment of what they have and what they need to successfully engage the new market.
2 – Validate your Business Idea
Validating the tech startup idea simply means to determine if the products & services have a target audience. Market validation can allow startup owners to identify if their services will sell and if they can indeed make a profit in the long term.
There are five core aspects that validate business ideas as Harvard Business School identifies:
- Develop product goals and hypotheses
- Analyze market share and size
- Keyword research
- Conduct customer interviews
- Real time product testing
3 – Product Launching Stage
The product launch is a critical stage that must be broken down into smaller processes to make it more manageable and successful. Tech startups must understand the capabilities & limitations of their product as they will be selling these to B2B buyers, a highly informed segment.
Tech startups should preferably have a dedicated team to manage the product launch including development, marketing, sales, operations, and project management. Marketing who are at the forefront of the launch should be equipped with the necessary product and audience knowledge.
Product launches demand that marketing teams have a ready buyer journey to engage audiences, make them aware of the solution, and convince them to convert.
An interesting Forbes blog post identifies talented teams, in-depth research, and credible advisors as the winning formula for a successful tech startup launch.
4 – Know your Ideal Customer Profiles
Ideal customer profiles are researched to identify the perfect customers who will be interested in your products and have the willingness to purchase. The customer profile is made up of vast demographic and psychographic data acquired through database research, interviews, online surveys, industry reports, and other relevant sources.
An ideal customer profile template allows marketing & sales teams to target audiences who will find the product extremely helpful in solving their pain points. Profiles also enable teams to create more appealing content, conduct relevant marketing campaigns, and engage directly with them for feedback.
5 – Build an Engaged Audience
Building a loyal and engaged audience remains a very important aspect of launching a tech startup in new markets. Like we mentioned above, marketers must identify and research their ideal target customers to develop a loyal brand following.
This is usually accomplished by providing value to audiences even before they enter the sales funnel. Marketers can use various techniques including live consultations, events, emails, blogs, whitepapers, ebooks etc. to regularly engage customers, building trust and loyalty.
6 – Focus On the Value
Understanding pain points and use cases are essential to formulate a product capable of solving them. Marketing, sales, and operations must focus on the product’s minimum viable value. Since it is a new product for a new market, SaaS companies must work to enhance their product value through customer feedback & reviews.
7 – Positioning, Messaging & Sales Strategy
The product positioning and sales strategy are usually developed once target customers are identified. This requires a clear understanding of the target audience, competitors, and the industry. SaaS businesses must identify their pricing strategies, customer segments, marketing channels, and direct competing brands for better strategy formulation.
8 – Identify your Growth Channels
Marketing teams who plan to launch a startup in emerging markets need to test different channels to measure the CAC, CLV, and ROI. For example, in SaaS, large businesses consider email marketing to launch a product as one of the most successful strategies. Then there is the startup that can focus immensely on organic channels to grow their audiences.
9 – Map Customer Touch points
Marketing & sales teams must map the entire buyer journey, streamlining it at every step while identifying all possible customer touchpoints. Identifying the first touch and last touch interactions of customers with the brand can significantly improve the sales process. Mapping touch points also informs marketing teams which channel works better in terms of conversions, and who the ideal customers are.
10 – Leverage your First Users
As we discussed above, loyal followers are at the heart of a tech startup’s success. These are customers whose reviews will build trust among target audiences, and their feedback will improve the product design.
Leveraging your first users to become brand advocates has long been a highly pursued strategy for successful tech startup launches in new markets.
11 – Measure your KPIs
Another essential element to launch your B2B startup in a new market is identifying, targeting, and monitoring relevant key performance indicators. From building communities to driving traffic to your blog, as we mentioned every touch point should be monitored for raw data.
Comparing regular KPIs including traffic, click throughs, goal completions, user journey maps, and other data identifies areas of improvement for both marketing and sales teams.
12 – Create Customer Feedback Loops
A customer feedback loop simply means a consistent cycle of collecting customer feedback, reviews, opinions, and complaint data. By regularly engaging with customers and considering their ideas and thoughts builds brand loyalty, while SaaS providers develop highly customer focused products.
Launching a successful B2B tech startup requires professional expertise and a sound action plan. SaaS providers must formulate crucial strategies including team management, product development, marketing & branding, sales, customer services and success to create a defining footprint in the B2B sector.