It’s our birthday! 🎉
A lot can happen in five years… For a growing child, they would start walking and then talking, dressing themselves, heading off to elementary school and exploring the world. In the bigger, broader picture, we’re already a few years deep into a global pandemic, with vaccines and preventative medicine in the headlines almost daily.
As a business, five years can make or break you. A lot of small businesses, especially tech start-ups, just don’t survive. In fact, in the United States, about 20% of small businesses fail within the first year.
But bant.io is special. With a fully remote and international team spanning 9 countries and 15 different time zones, our wonderful team has found a way to make this thing work, allowing us to continue helping business owners grow their ROI and succeed – Something that’s important to us at our very core.
And since businesses don’t go through growth without a few valuable lessons, let’s reflect on five of the most important things we’ve learned as a flourishing company.
1. Experiments are vital to growth
Sometimes, we feel like mad scientists with crisp white lab coats, putting together different concoctions to see whether we’ve finally cracked the recipe for liquid luck. And that’s okay!
Our Customer Success Team is always running experiments for our clients, ensuring that what we’re doing for their lead generation is the best plan possible. Sometimes, our experiments fail. Maybe the Social Outreach module isn’t a great fit, but the Email Outreach has landed them a ton of hot new prospects to reach out to.
“What I’ve always loved about experiments is they produce honesty,” said Stephen, bant.io Head of Growth. “It can be easy to dismiss an idea because of a personal bias, but what works for you might not work for your audience. Experiments also tell a story. They can often spark a new thought, idea, or concept that can help your business flourish.”
Internally, we love to test the waters with new platforms or tactics to get our own name out there too.
Our marketing department, for example, recently ran a Twitter contest, randomly giving away $1000 in Amazon gift cards. The contest totally flopped, with only a handful of Retweets and not much else to show for it. But, we learned a lesson! And next time we run a social media contest, we’ll look back on these results to fine tune how, when and where we give away another $1000. (Pro tip: Follow us on Twitter to make sure you’re involved in the next giveaway!)
2. Company culture is still important for a remote team
With employees all over the world, sometimes it gets a little difficult to manage meetings and schedule team building exercises. But we make it work! As long as our team remains in consistent communication, our COO, Jaclyn, manages to do a pretty awesome job of keeping everyone on track without micro-managing.
“One other thing that contributes well to our company culture is that we treat our team members like the adults and professionals that they are,” said Jaclyn. “My motto is that if you feel like you cannot trust someone to manage their own time or responsibilities, then they are probably not the right fit.”
bant.io also recently introduced a Wellness Program for employees, offering a monthly stipend for gym memberships, yoga classes, rock climbing adventures and more. Getting out of the home office and spending time focusing on your mental and physical health is just as important as work deadlines and sales results, and we want our team to know that it’s okay to step away and take a break! It’s not only good for their bodies and brains, it’s good for our business too.
3. Providing value means more than having a solid product
Value might mean something different from business to business, but generally, providing more than just a great platform or great product to your customers is the best way you can ensure you’re giving them more than they asked for.
At bant.io, we do this in several ways.
First, we offer a handful of free tools on our website that allow any sales professional to check their email syntax and grammar, use our free high-performing outreach templates, or even find emails for any company. None of these tools are kept behind a gate, meaning anyone on the internet, including our customers and prospects, can jump onto our website and supplement their marketing or sales process.
Specifically, our email finder tool is a great resource for professionals looking to connect with their prospects and build their outreach list quickly.
“Finding that key person’s email address that you want to really target in a specific company or a specific area is the number one thing you need to be able to do, and be able to do it quickly to build your prospect list,” said Colin, bant.io Customer Success Manager.
Second, we provide resources on how to use our free tools. 😉 Watch as Colin walks through the Email Finder tool and shows you how to use it in this video:
4. Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution
Part of what makes bant.io so different is that our Customer Success Managers strive to get to know each client, their business and their goals before we build any assets or start any campaigns. This allows us to tailor or solutions to what best fits their audience and gives us an advantage on targeting their idea prospects.
With an array of different outreach methods at our fingertips, we’re able to fully customize each client’s program.
Our email outreach module, for example, works great for a business who relies heavily on email communication to do business. Griffin Networks, for example, is a full-service IT solution that really needed to get their messaging in front of businesses needing networking, phone systems, VPNs and more.
Through a series of four email outreach sequences, we were able to reach over 12,000 prospective clients with a 40% open rate, ultimately delivering 85 hot leads to their sales team.
“We’re looking forward to notching up our advertising in the future and enjoying the strong results that bant.io is able to deliver,” said John, CEO.
On the flip side, if the business model lends itself to something a little more community-based, and have a decently active LinkedIn presence, we might choose to use the social outreach module, as is the case with Steady Content.
Steady Content primarily uses blogging to generate leads and sales through SEO and social media. Looking for a better way to distribute their content, they reached out to bant.io to combine their blogs with our outreach.
Our team was able to provide over 25,000 impressions and 18 leads from the social outreach module alone.
“We’re impressed by both your work ethic and the results that you were able to generate for our company,” said Matt, Founder and CEO of Steady Content. “We’re very glad that we chose bant.io over any other lead generation service.”
5. Nothing will ever replace personal connection
“There is a saying that people don’t buy goods, they buy people,” said Dana, bant.io Sales Representative. “You can have the best service in the world, but if you don’t make the effort to build a relationship, however brief, it’s hard for people to trust you enough to make the investment.”
She’s totally right! Personal connection is imperative in almost all aspects of life, and sales and marketing are no different – Something we’ve learned as we’ve built campaigns for clients and spoken to our own prospects.
Connecting on a human-to-human level, either by sharing problems, discussing interests or just beginning a conversation with a simple “how is your day going” can really help open someone up to the idea that you’re a human just like them on the other side of the screen.
Even better, asking someone how you can help them, instead of focusing on how can you get them to buy your product or service, gives you another level of value that you can provide to deepen the relationship and strengthen the bond.
While we’re very excited to celebrate our fifth birthday, we can’t get too hung up looking at the past. There’s a lot more to look forward to at bant.io, including new features, like our Appointment Booking service; new tools, like our Cold Outreach LinkedIn Examples (CLOE); and new dashboard features constantly being rolled out around each corner.