Like many online businesses, at Apptegic, we have an Inside Sales team and we have a website.  Both are selling. It's 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.

StageTacticsInside SalesYour Website as Sales Person
UnawareGrab AttentionInitial email with pithy subject and  phone call with relevant messageGreat landing pageGreat home page with tagline, image, video
AwareEducate on pain they have and solution you haveNurture emails with  relevant content.Case Studies,  References, Blogs, White papers, WebinarsCTA: Get on mail list. blog  rss
InterestedMatch pain to your solutionOnline meeting asking the right questions, discussing right solution, demoDetailed features pages.  Competitor comparisons.Online demoConnection to Sales peopleCTA: Sign up for demo
DesireEstablish BANT, Remove objections instill urgencyBuild relationship, ask questions, provide answers, motivate, sellFreemium, Free trialShort term discount, money back guarantee, buy now,Happy customers, testimonials
PurchaseMake as smooth as possibleEdoc sign, no surprisesOnline purchase,

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, it's up to the visitor to find the resources section. The website needs to become a consultative seller.
  • You are scattering repetitive 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

StageBehaviorChange web experience
UnawareCame from StumbleuponFirst Visit from Search EngineHighlight explainer videoHighlight home page
AwareFirst Visit from Bookmarked siteSecond visit or moreWelcome back.Ask what is their interestGive brief tourHighlight content based on what saidHighlight one CTA that is a low barrier to entry to get name. Once that is accepted, have next CTA ready.
InterestedOnsite for > x minutes or > y clicksThird Visit or MoreDownloaded some collateralHighlight more content like what they looked at before.Highlight stronger CTA (pop up a subscribe to demo)
DesireFourth visit or more.Multiple visits to pricing page. or time on pricing pageStarted to fill  in sign up formSigned up for demo.Highlight buy now CTAHighligh talk to a person options
PurchaseBeyond 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.

Conclusion

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.