ramping up website sales

While it’s common knowledge that websites are powerful marketing tools that should lead to increased sales, knowledge of exactly how that happens decidedly less common. If you don’t know all the ways your website is supposed to help...it probably doesn’t. Here I’ve compiled 10 tactics your site should take to support your sales team. Check each one off as you go and, if you’re missing any, let me know.

1. Show off more than just results

Do you know how clients decide who they want to work with? The end results are part of the equation, sure, but only about half of it. The other half is working together, leading up to the finished product. It follows that to win more clients, your site must show more of how you do your work, not just the output.

This actually isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You already have your internal process for producing results; simply share that process step-by-step (or milestone-by-milestone) and tie in some images. It might go something like this:

  • Strategy
  • Cool Thing We Came Up With in Strategy
  • Challenges in Execution, Our Solutions
  • Results
  • Quote From Client Showering You With Praise

Follow a formula like this and you’ll have a great start.

2. Show Social Proof

The last bullet above (quote from client) actually falls under this category. Social proof is any indicator that others have had a positive experience with your service or other offering. Testimonials, reviews, big name clients, and social media following, are all examples of this.

Oddly enough, I’ve had clients who are hesitant about putting testimonials on their website, and I usually point them to a study like this one where testimonials increased conversions by 34%. But you don’t really need a study for this - if you’ve ever looked at movie or restaurant reviews, you know how much others’ opinions matter in marketing.

3. Weed out Unqualified Leads

Too many leads is a good problem to have - unless they’re all unqualified. Generating the wrong kind of interest increases the workload on your sales and marketing teams, forcing them to spend time sifting through junk to find a few qualified buyers. Your website should do this for you.

Here are a few ways how:

  • Great design - if you’re getting too many people with low budgets, an updated design can make you appear pricier.
  • Request for consultation/info forms - Longer forms will get you less completions, but the people who make it through will be more serious about purchasing and you’ll have more information about them. Double win!
  • Look at your messaging - If you’re getting a specific type of inquiry that’s not what you do, take a look at your site copy and find out why visitors are getting the wrong impression. Updating once you find it is usually an easy fix.

4. Establish expertise and Client fit with your blog

On the flip side of weeding out bad leads is attracting your ideal clients. I’m sure you’ve heard how blogging can help SEO, and how effective content marketing can be, but I’m talking about something else. Regardless of how your are found, a well-kept blog can:

Establish you and your company as experts in your field (in the eyes of the visitor, at least)
Attract clients that share your philosophy

Let me give you an example of why #2 is important. We may have two site visitors with identical services, who are the same size, and both need a new website design. However, one has a “you’re the vendor, do what I say” approach while the other likes to work more collaboratively. I want the latter to contact us, and the first one to leave us alone! We accomplish this by writing articles like this, showing collaboration in our case studies, and in our services.

5. Build your email list

Email marketing isn’t as sexy as social media and content marketing, but it sure is effective. According to a survey in late 2014, it’s the most effective form of digital marketing:

digital marketing chart with email most effecive

The bigger your email list, the more return you’ll see from it. Your website should be helping by offering something that is truly valuable to visitors in exchange for their email. This could be a newsletter with unique content that they can’t just read on your site, an eBook, or something more interactive. We offer a free site audit that our visitors seem to really like, and it typically looks like this:

How is your current website doing? Take our self-audit and get your Problems Points score:

[button textcolor = "white" buttoncolor="#29ABE2" link="/audit-landing/"]Start my Audit >[/button]

Think of something you can offer that is well worth an email for your visitors.

6. Overcome Objections Before the Sales Call

The great thing about all content on your website is that it doesn’t come across as “salesy” as it would if you were to say the exact same things to prospect in person, for 2 main reasons:

  1. Salespeople are known (or perceived) to be fast talkers who will tell prospects what they want to hear. Websites say the same thing to all people, which feels more trustworthy.
  2. The website puts the prospect in control - they choose what links they click and what they read. This sense of self-directed discovery engenders more trust than having information pushed at them by salespeople.

Put this knowledge to work by making a list of the most common objections your sales team faces when talking to prospects, then updating the copy on your site to address these. If your conversations stall on cost, show how your features, service quality, etc. justify paying more.

As you’re doing this, it’s good to have your sales scripts handy, but don’t use them verbatim. Get creative - your website can do so much more than text!

7. Learn about your customers from site data

This is arguably the most important of the seven items here because it will improve how effective everything else is. The idea is this: whenever you create marketing material - whether that’s on your site, a brochure, or anywhere else - you’re operating from certain knowledge (or assumptions, in most cases I’ve seen) about your target demographic. You put together the ad/site/brochure according to these, send it out, and then….that's it?

Not for the website! There are powerful tools out there to track how people interact with your site, and you can learn a lot about your audience this way. For example, we were surprised to learn that our 2nd most visited page, after our home page, is the team page. This is why we now have pictures where we used to just have names and shorter bios. People care about our team, so we give the people what they want.

We also do this for individual blog posts when initially share them. We want to know that our content is engaging, and if our offers and share buttons are being seen. So, we track how far down users scroll. If we’re not getting much scroll, we may change images, section titles, or we may decide the topic is a dud. In any case, it will help our next post fare better.

Tools we recommend for doing this are pretty basic:

How to Tackle These

If you noticed a number of these that your site doesn’t do well, or at all, don’t panic. Make a list and knock one item out every two weeks. We’re also here to help if you need it.

Have fun ramping up sales!