How the top Kiwi and US tech businesses are using sales and marketing to grow
The 2018 Market Measures survey is complete, and we’ve crunched the numbers so that Kiwi tech companies can gain insight into how to grow their business through sales and marketing, by learning from the best.
So what actionable insight have we gleaned from the 2018 survey? We've distilled the results down into 9 growth hacks; specific recommendations to help your tech company grow, based on the data we’ve gathered. As any tech business owner will know, growing a business is tough. But we can learn from those who've been successful, and that's what the Market Measures survey and report is all about.
Growth hack 1 – Hold marketing’s feet to the fire: marketing in tech companies needs to step up. Sales are carrying too much of the responsibility; there needs to be better alignment between the teams. The comparison between Kiwi and US companies is stark; the survey found that Kiwi sales teams are doing a lot more than their US counterparts. Marketing need to start generating more qualified leads, because growth comes from making marketers responsible for generating those leads for sales, and for sales to commit to processing those effectively.
Growth hack 2 – Get out more: Kiwi tech companies are not aggressive enough about exporting. It's a big world out there. Kiwi tech companies need to focus on grabbing a slice of the international market. It’s essential for achieving growth. Of the high-growth Kiwi companies in the survey, 87% of them are selling their products offshore. It’s an incremental process – start with a profitable niche in Australia, then launch hard into the US.
Growth hack 3 – Turn your website into something useful: a comprehensive website is essential for any business and especially those in the tech industry. Yours needs to be the central hub of your marketing strategy. The survey found that only 26% of Kiwi companies are focussed on growing website traffic as one of their two main marketing priorities, compared to 54% of US companies.
Growth hack 4 – Do more content marketing, but don’t be boring: the website mentioned in Growth hack 3 needs to contain comprehensive, dynamic content that engages your target audience. Video is the preferred channel for content. According to a recent global survey, 54% of consumers preferred video for brand or business-related content. In our survey, only 14% of companies planned to add Facebook video as a content distribution channel compared to 41% in the US.
Growth hack 5 – Use marketing automation technology: you're a tech business, so use technology. Marketing automation is key to improving efficiency and data visibility. Platforms like HubSpot help tech firms build and run marketing programs more efficiently, and making the results much more visible. The survey showed that 53% of companies are using marketing automation, with HubSpot being the platform of choice by some margin.
Growth hack 6 – Grease the funnel: do you understand your customer acquisition funnel? Knowing how people find and buy your product is essential. It’s also important to be focussed on sales efficiency, which is about acquiring more customers at less cost. The survey found that only 10% of Kiwi firms have ‘reducing the cost of generating new contacts, leads and customer acquisition’ as a marketing priority in the coming year, compared to 29% of US companies.
Growth hack 7 – You need more salespeople: making use of technology again - it's all about improving the efficiency of your sales team. There have been major advances in marketing technology that mean a wide range of options that will help increase sales productivity. On average, US tech companies will use 4 sales enablement tools per team. In the survey high growth Kiwi companies use 2.9 and the rest 1.9.
Growth hack 8 – Don’t be so low-tech: you need more sales people, and the tools to help them become effective and efficient. In too many Kiwi businesses there are ‘lone wolves’ – an elite salesperson who is expensive and not easily scaled. What's needed is the ability to build structured, repeatable sales processes that enable a bigger number of lower level sales people to sell effectively.
Growth hack 9 – Love your customers: it's all about making the customer experience as positive and successful as possible. The rise of digital marketing has meant businesses can reach more potential customers than ever before, but there’s been a reduction in the number of people who actually trust those digital messages. Word of mouth remains as powerful a marketing tool as it ever has been; recent HubSpot data shows that 81% trust their friends’ and family’s advice over advice from a business. The better job you do for your customers, and the better their experience with you, the more you’ll grow your customer base.
These marketing, customer and sales growth hacks were identified by benchmarking the 2018 survey data against two groups:
- A subset of high-growth New Zealand companies that participated in the 2018 survey.
- Similar report data from the US.
The report on the survey also looks at data based on:
- Location - the geography of those surveyed.
- Type - what kind of business are they?
- Size - what's their turnover?
- International markets - where are they exporting to?
Growth is essential for the success of any tech company. We might be way down at the bottom of the world geographically, but Kiwi tech firms have proven they can compete on the global stage, by exporting their products to international markets and offering them something unique.
Founded in 2009 by Concentrate, and supported by Swaytech since 2011, Market Measures is a national study that benchmarks the sales and marketing activity of New Zealand and US technology companies. Since that time Market Measures has built a strong body of knowledge, and we share it with Kiwi tech companies with the aim of helping them fuel growth.