Unlike their B2C counter-parts, many B2Bs treat their websites as an online brochure. While it should showcase all that is unique about your company and express what you have to offer, it should also be treated as a lead generating tool with a focus on conversion.
Is your website pulling its weight?
In a full service marketing approach most, tools lead to the website. When we do Marketing Map sessions, invariably the website shows up as the second last and therefore most important step in a prospect’s path to that action step you want them to take to reach a sale. Does your site prompt them to take action?
Most B2B or professional service oriented sites provide information on themselves and their services, a standard contact page, and hope visitors make the leap, are motivated enough to take action. What if they don’t know what to do next, or aren’t quite ready to buy?
Tell them what to do and provide options.
We take for granted how we work with clients because we do it every day. If visitors haven’t worked with your kind of businesses or there are different possibilities, tell them what’s next, what’s involved, or how to go about engaging you. Instead of just posting your 1-800 number, direct them to call for what – a free consultation? Or, create multiple ways for them to engage you – can they click something to get a quote or ask a question?
Also, provide alternatives for less commitment. Many visitors, particularly if they found you through Google are window-shopping and may not be ready to buy. They also may not find their way back when they are ready. Come up with ways to bring them into your community for future contact. Ideas include newsletter or webinar sign-ups, information downloads that require information first, contests, etc.
The ideas for engagement above are known as calls-to-action (CTAs). Every page on your website should have a CTA driving prospects along your path to a sale or pre-sale action step. On some pages it will be more appropriate to drive them deeper in than to ask for commitment (Get a proposal on the home page… maybe too early). Think about what part of the journey they’d likely be in on that page of your site and offer something relevant.
Asking for the Sale
Remember that it’s okay to ask for a sale on your site. No matter what your industry, your website should help you work towards that goal. In websites for business-to-business that may be more subtle, but a brochure site won’t get you there any more.