Buyer preferences have changed. A lot! 

Most prospects will now only engage with sales reps when most purchase decisions have already been made -- leaving your sales teams entirely in the dark for the first 60% to 80% of the buyer’s journey for a typical IaaS, SaaS, or Fintech startup.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Companies with a robust digital presence -- that prioritize differentiation, thought leadership, competition positioning, sales cycle acceleration, and inbound website revenue growth -- get to participate in these early, high-formative stages of the research and decision-making process -- when all of the crucial education and trust-building happens.

So what can you do to (a) make sure that your company gets in on these opportunities and (b) more accurately project website revenue?

Your Website Revenue Projections and Sales Forecast

For starters, let’s be consistent with how we describe the process; it’s more about getting better at projecting website revenue than having a perfect attribution on forward-looking return on investment (ROI).

Anyone that naively believes that their attribution will ever be perfect should stop right now and see if a bridge is for sale in Manhattan.

For everyone else (hopefully that’s you too:-), ask yourself:

  • What's the ideal client profile?
  • How much does that company spend with your company? (often a huge guess here for infrastructure, software, and Fintech startups)
  • How many clients like this do you want/can you handle in the next 12 months? (your goal)
  • What do you think your close rate will be? (for startups, with no accurate, meaningful historical benchmarks, use industry averages -- perhaps 10% to 25% of qualified opportunities)

Quantify the Number of Sales Opportunities and Leads Needed

Now you know how many sales opportunities need to be website-driven in the next year. 

From there, you can back into how many marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and website visitors you need. 

Now build your digital marketing and sales enablement strategy to support the website. 

(Don't make that an afterthought or your website will be more like an abandoned shopping mall than your most productive salesperson.)

Avoid Client Acquisition Cost (CAC) Perfection Early On

Different entrepreneurs and investors will care more/less about client acquisition costs (CAC) early on. The goal is to get paying customers/clients showing success with the product/service and worry about refining/optimizing CAC later.

But this approach will be vastly different depending on whether bootstrapped, seed-funded, degree of urgency, and experience level of the founders in their target market.

Big picture: Once you see your website as a revenue growth engine, that's the moment you should stop taking go-to-market strategy advice for your website designer. 

And instead, shift your approach to focusing on goals, plans, challenges, timelines, content/thought leadership, differentiation, and competitive marketplace realities.

How do you manage your website revenue projections for your IaaS, SaaS, or Fintech startup? Let me know in the comments.

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