Last Friday, we started our “How Marketing Can Help Sales” series with some ideas regarding how advertisements can be used to benefit the salesforce. This week, we thought we would cover a different angle. As the marketing team works on your company’s website, how can there be assurance that the website will also be a strong tool for sales? Here are our five recommendations on that topic.
1. Make sure your email address and phone number is prominent in the masthead of your site
These days, a lot of people are navigating the worldwide web via a smart phone. Especially if you are in the service industry, someone accessing your website may be looking for immediate assistance. If your email and your phone number are easily accessible, someone can simply “tap” that information on a smart phone and they will be connected to your company. This can give your company (and your sales team) an upper hand. If someone has to search for contact information, they may quickly move on to a different company’s site.
2. Include calls-to-action on every page of your website
It can be easy to focus so much on what you want to say about your company that you forget to guide visitors to your website to actually make a purchase or contact you directly. Any page on your website should have some sort of call-to-action that invites the visitor to a key contact page, RFQ page, or something similar. This not only helps you track how much traffic you are getting and how qualified that traffic is in terms of potential sales, but it also will drive more people into your sales funnel.
3. Keep the focus on the customer
When working on a website through a marketing perspective, it can be easy to emphasize the company’s story, the best qualities of the company and its products, and more. However, it is important to remember that your website is equivalent to the first “salesperson” your prospect may talk to. It is often going to be the first “touch” a customer or prospect has with you. Consider how a person on your sales team would greet a prospect. Sure, there will be some talk and promotion of your company, but the best sales people know that if you really want to grab someone, you want to talk about them. Your website should reflect an understanding of the types of problems your customers face. Then talk about how your products or services can help them.
4. Present products so that visitors to the website understand what you’re talking about
It is typical of humans to talk about things in ways that we are comfortable with moreso than in ways that might make others feel comfortable. For example, your company and your marketing team know all about your products, so it is very easy to talk about them using jargon and technical details that no one else would be able to thoroughly grasp. While you don’t want to talk down to potential visitors to your website, you’ll be helping your sales team if you present your products in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner. This is where some SEO experts can truly hurt your sales efforts. An over-emphasis on keywords can make your copy virtually inaccessible to people who are trying to learn about what your products do. It is a good idea to have someone who is not familiar with your business read through the site first before you launch. If they get totally lost, most other people will too.
5. Don’t just add an analytics program. Use it.
It’s fairly instinctive these days to add some sort of analytics program to a website. Google Analytics is one of the more commonly used programs because it is tied to Google (obviously) and because it is free. However, many companies simply install the analytics program and then forget about it. Marketing and sales personnel can find a treasure trove of information if the analytics program is mined regularly. Companies can learn how people are navigating the website, what pages have the highest bounce and exit rates, whether one page is leading to an RFQ page more than another, and more. True, this means an increase in time and coordination, but it is well worth it.
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelaypablo/860181962/ via Creative Commons
Five Tips Friday: How Marketing Can Help Sales, Part 2