There is no substitute for great sales talent. Hiring weak sales reps is like driving a car on bald tires. They can get you from point A to B, but you can never gain traction.
The same can be said of your website. You can have an attractive, functional website, but does it sell? If not, this is your opportunity. Make your website sell as well as your best salesperson.
Sell Like You’re In Person
Your sales process is a key indicator of what information to place on your website:
- What stories and case studies do you share when you’re with a customer?
- What questions do you ask to qualify if the customer is a fit for your services?
- How do you educate your customers?
- What information do you present, and at what stages of the buying cycle?
- How do you present pricing?
What you talk about in a sales call is what goes on your website. Give your customers the information they need to buy.
One of my favorite examples of a website that sells is the Nest Cam website, formerly Dropcam. The site has a very deliberate structure: what the product is and what it does; common reasons customers use it; how it works; exciting features; and next steps (buy now).
Nest gives a product presentation in a straightforward, linear fashion. They give the customer time to digest and explore, but they also guide you to their desired outcomes: ask more questions or buy.
Drive For Next Steps
Nest Cam drives towards “Buy Now” on its website, because it’s a consumer product. B2B companies don’t (or can’t) use the same blunt call to action.
Sales people understand the logical next steps in their sales process.
For example, when I sold CRM software in the early 2000s the first objective was to deliver a product demonstration. This was the qualifying step: is the customer ready for a demo, yes or no? If yes, I had a prospect. If no, I’d answer their questions and put them back into our drip marketing programs.
Software companies will often lead with “Request Demo” as the primary call to action on their website. This is the logical next step in the buying cycle. Pressly does a good job of this. “Request Demo” is in the top menu, and “See It In Action” is embedded in the main pages. There’s no mistaking where Pressly is leading its customers.
What are the logical next steps on your website? How is your website driving customers to the next stage of your sales cycle?
Avoid Talking Yourself Out of the Sale
Brevity and simplicity is at the heart of great selling.
One of the key differences between a rookie and a senior sales rep is their ability to give the customer just the right amount of information. A common mistake rookies make is giving too much too soon, and running the risk of overwhelming the customer.
Sales managers describe giving too much as “talking yourself out of the deal.” Websites are guilty of this too. Companies have so much to say and so many scenarios to cater to online, and as a result they add page-after-page-after-page of content.
Websites that sell are minimalist. They don’t overwhelm their customers with tons of options and information. They get to the facts: About, Services, Products and Features, Pricing, Contact.
B2B sites are guilty of talking themselves out of a deal. With menus upon menus and no clear roadmap for customers to logically navigate the website. This is an issue to solve up front.
What If You Fired Your Salespeople?
I have been looking to app websites lately for inspiration — sites like Pressly, Nest Cam, and Co.Schedule. These websites are the salespeople. The app sites are mastering the art of making their websites sell as well as a salesperson.
The challenge I pose to you, how can you present your products and services with similar clarity?
How would you present your services if you fired your sales team — if your website had to do it all? How would that influence your design, layout, and content? And as a bigger question, how would it change your investment in digital marketing?
Now add the salespeople back into the equation. Imagine if your website was pulling its weight and selling as well as your best salesperson. How much would that improve your organization’s sales performance and the effectiveness of your sales team?
When you treat your website as a member of the sales team you will hold it to a much higher standard.