Like many online businesses, at Apptegic, we have an Inside Sales team and we have a website. Both are selling. Its a symbiotic complementary relationship where the prospect is moving between the website and the Sales team as they move down the funnel.
We are used to comparing our websites to another company's websites and our Inside Sales teams to another company's Inside Sales teams. That is useful. But what if we all evaluated our websites against our Inside Sales team. How would our websites rate? Would they measure up?
What follows is what I think would be a typical review:
1) You have got the knowledge to communicate effectively to a prospect at each stage of the buying cycle. Great job mastering this.
Your Website as Sales Person
Initial email with pithy subject and phone call with releveant message
Great landing page
Great home page with tagline, image, video
Educate on pain they have and solution you have
Nuture emails with relevent content.
Case Studies, References, Blogs, White papers, Webinars
CTA: Get on mail list. blog rss
Match pain to your solution
Online meeting asking the right questions, discussing right solution, demo
Detailed features pages. Competitor comparisons.
Connection to Sales people
CTA: Sign up for demo
Establish BANT, Remove objections instill urgency
Build relationship, ask questions, provide answers, motivate, sell
Freemium, Free trial
Short term discount, money back guarantee, buy now,
Happy customers, testimonials
Make as smooth as possible
edoc sign, no surprises
2. But you have to listen more than you talk. You have to sell consultatatively. Tailor your questions and comments to the prospect.
Many people prefer not to talk to a salesperson but rather to leverage the website. This gives the website as salesperson a leg up. People go to it, seek it out. But, the website-as-salesperson squanders this good will by:
- You always saying the same thing regardless of the prospects stage. The home page is always grabbing attention, its up to the visitor to find the resources section. The website needs to become a consultative seller.
- You are scattering repititive calls to action across the interaction. Often the website will show the same call to action that the prospect had already seen and responded to before. Many times you present a call to action for a much earlier stage than where the prospect is currently.
Overall, dealing with the website-as-salesperson is better than dealing with a bad sales person but its not like dealing with an excellent sales person who is a guide.
3. What I want you to work on is being more responsive.
So how could the Website as Sales person do a better job? By making the website more responsive to the person who is visiting in terms of their interest and stage. You can do this in two ways:
● Watching the visitors’ behavior and dynamically adjusting website content and messaging based on this
● Asking the visitor a few key questions to gain insight and then adjusting the website content and messaging based on this
A few basic principles:
● Don’t keep showing a call to action that has already been accepted or that is past the user’s stage.
● Have a series of relevant content that is presented to the visitor and move through it, if the visitor has already downloaded it
● Tailor proposed call to actions and present content to the stage, attributes, and behavior of the visitor
4. Here are some practical ways that you can be more responsive to your prospects:
Don't just have content for each stage. Identify each prospect's stage and give them the appropriate web experience to them
Change web experience
Came from Stumbleupon
First Visit from Search Engine
Highlight explainer video
Highlight home page
First Visit from Bookmarked site
Second visit or more
Ask what is their interest
Give brief tour
Highlight content based on what said
Highlight one CTA that is a low barrier to entry to get name. Once that is accepted, have next CTA ready.
Onsite for > x minutes or > y clicks
Third Visit or More
Downloaded some collateral
Highlight more content like what they looked at before.
Highlight stronger CTA (pop up a subscribe to demo)
Fourth visit or more.
Multiple visits to pricing page. or time on pricing page
Started to fill in sign up form
Signed up for demo.
Highlight buy now CTA
Highligh talk to a person options
Beyond this step in the purchase funnel
Likewise, identify each prospect's role, pain, and interest.
- By the kinds of pages and content they visit
- By asking them right onsite
And then tailor the content displayed based on role, pain, and interest.
All in all website, you are precocious. You have a ton of content for every situation. That's great. If you could just learn to listen and respond to what your prospects are telling you by their behavior, you'd be a great member of my Inside Sales team.