Automate your marketing and sales with Polish start-ups
The automation of marketing and sales is a fast growing field, which soon may become a must for every competitive company to step in. Originally associated with large companies, it's getting popular across a wide range of businesses worldwide.Polish startups have a large market share in Marketing Automation, delivering advanced solutions for finding prospects online and turning them into buyers. Meet SALESmanago and Growbots
The automation of marketing and sales is a fast growing field, which soon may become a must for every competitive company to step in. Originally associated with large companies, it's getting popular across a wide range of businesses worldwide.
According to the State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce report, companies considered best-in-class are 67% percent more likely to use marketing automation. As MarketsandMarkets forecast says, the marketing automation market reached $3.65 billion in 2014 and will have grown to $5.5 billion by 2019. The term marketing automation refers mostly to software that enables companies to automate repetitive, but extremely important tasks of finding new potential customers (lead generation) and serving them appropriate content to turn them into actual customers. Polish start-ups are increasingly willing to step into this data-driven field.
The SALESmanago marketing automation system is being developed by Benhauer, a Polish start-up from Krakow that managed to position itself among the most successful solutions across a wide range of companies and markets, especially in Europe. Another start-up, Growbots, which calls itself the Uber for the sales industry, is developing an artificial intelligence-based solution to automate the whole process of user acquisition so that the sales team may focus on closing sales. Growbots was one of several lucky start-ups admitted this year to the famous 500 Startups accelerator.
Why to automate with Polish start-ups?
Data-driven automation of marketing and sales is still a fairly young field:
“The three years of our experience is very little in comparison to the success we achieved and we still keep growing fast. Even though in the US market the marketing automation solutions appeared a bit earlier, it is still on an early stage of adoption around the world,” says Agata Szkarłat, SALESmanago's Chief Marketing Officer.
This is why the majority of companies, rather than try to pick one of available solutions, wonder why they should go for it at all. The answer is simple – efficiency. The automation of marketing and sales makes it easier to perform two indispensable tasks for every company – finding new prospects and establishing a relationship with them. As companies have more and more clients, it's difficult to communicate with them in a personalized manner. With marketing and sales automation, you can use available data (i.e. their browsing history on your website, social media data, online forms) to determine their profile (job, interests etc.) and send them communicates such as emails containing the most relevant information. Not only can you automate the process of finding new clients, but also the process of convincing them to make a purchase by educating them about the benefits (lead nurturing).
Growbots: our software will replace sales people
“When marketing and sales departments gather information separately, several communication problems appear. Handicapped data flow increases the cost of marketing and decreases the effectiveness of sales process, targeting potential clients with offers not adjusted to their individual needs,” continues Szkarłat.
Łukasz Deka, Growbots' co-founder and Chief Product Officer, agrees:
“Creative sales folk waste more than 50 percent of their time at work on manual and repetitive tasks. Imagine their productivity if we took this 50 percent of boring work away from them and gave them the opportunity to do what they were born to do – close deals. In my opinion, automation is absolutely crucial in every aspect of life.”
Growbots, founded only about a year ago, is a unique offering, which doesn't define itself as either a marketing automation tool, or a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Instead, goes with outbound sales automation. What does it mean?
“Growbots is the one and only solution where, after setting up your target customer profile based on more than 15 criteria, you’ll automatically get a list of prospects already deduplicated with your CRM. And after assigning them to an automatic email campaign, you’ll see the power of Growbots. Our software will fill up your leads table with prospects in just a few clicks,” says Deka.
Unlike most of marketing automation solutions, focused on finding new prospects based on their activity in your channels (mostly your website, forms, newsletter), Growbots searches them globally and then continues with emails, targeting prospects based on both their preferences and how close they are to actually making a purchase, guiding them throughout the whole process referred to by sales people as a sales pipeline.
“We’re going to create Artificial Intelligence for Sales. Our software will replace sales people in almost every aspect of their work – they’ll need only to close the deal with a call. All things before and after will happen automatically,” believes Deka.
Not just for enterprises, also for start-ups
Back in the day, large enterprises developed automated solutions for their own use, spending significant amounts of money in the process. Today, innovative start-ups are capable of developing more affordable alternatives. Even small businesses can find solutions tailored to their needs.
“Marketing Automation is used by all sorts of companies. Depending on their size and needs, different automation suites are available. Big companies are more likely to implement the full version of SALESmanago, while for instance smaller e-commerce stores use our simplified product Marketingmatic, so the level of implementation may vary depending on the financial and human resources of any company,” says Szkarłat.
While some automated solutions may seem expensive, considering their efficiency in finding and persuading new clients, they may still be well worth of the money:
“We are running in closed beta right now, and the number of customers is restricted. Right now we have 20 customers. I wouldn’t consider our price tag high, because ROI is noticeable from the beginning. If you close a $10k deal using Growbots, then our pricing is not high at all,” believes Łukasz Deka.
European market more fertile for start-ups?
As the world's biggest and innovative market by far for all sorts of marketing and sales solutions on the web, the U.S. seem like a promised land for companies such as SALESmanago and Growbots. Not to mention, it provides the best funding opportunities. For Growbots, those opportunities materialized in a deal with the Silicon Valley based 500 Startups accelerator, known for involvement into companies such as MakerBot, Behance or Viki. Just how important is the U.S. market for Polish start-ups?
“It is true that U.S. is a fertile ground for marketing automation, but it’s not the only one. The fact that other leading MA platforms are being developed in the U.S., make us focus more on the rest of the world, providing our solutions in over 40 countries. Polish market is also very worthwhile, because of the huge growth of e-commerce field. As leaders on the European market, we found it even more fertile than the American one,” says SALESmanago's CMO.
“This was one of the reasons we started there, but now we can see that more and more companies here in Poland are willing to find new customers via outbound channels. You can find plenty of global B2B businesses in our fast-developing country, and they are more than welcome to work with us. Another reason why we started in the US market was that if you want to get funding from US investors, you need to be there, have customers there, etc. And that was our goal: to attract top-class investors from Silicon Valley,” adds Growbots' Łukasz Deka.
What is the future of Polish start-ups?
As the field of automation is still young and Polish start-ups have a lot of growing to do, one can imagine that they're quite busy. Future plan include expanding to new platforms and opening new offices in different parts of the world.
“Our plan now is to expand beyond e-mail marketing and focus on mobile. As long as we realized that mobile is the future we recently developed another solution: APPmanago (www.appmanago.com), which helps automating mobile marketing. Again, we become pioneers on the European market and plan to make mobile marketers and salesmen work more effective and easier,” says Szkarłat.
“We’re still developing both the team and the product. It’s quite a challenge, because when you’re growing 10 percent week over week, the developer team has to keep up, as does the rest of the team. We’re developing advanced Artificial Intelligence. and that’s our main focus. We’ve just moved into our amazing new office in an old cheese factory in the center of Warsaw and we plan to expand. By the end of the year we’re planning to have around 30 devs in our team. About the product: we’re going to replace sales people with software at some point, so you can imagine that there is a lot of work to be done first. We’re already a global business, with customers from many different countries. As part of our worldwide expansion, I need to mention that this year we’re opening an office in San Francisco and hiring Account Executives and Customer Success Managers in the US,” adds Growbots's CPO.
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