It’s no secret that without a well-designed and thought through website, B2B sales are hard to come by.
At the very least, organizations need to give prospective buyers an opportunity to read up on the company and get a feel for what it’s about. But only doing the bare minimum can be one huge, wasted opportunity.
A professional website, which is designed around a strong lead generation strategy, can become one of the greatest sales assets a marketing team has. And here’s why.
To increase your B2B sales, you need one or more of the following:
- More new leads
- Better qualified leads
- More conversions
- Shorter sales cycles
- Increased customer life time value
A good website can help you with these things.
To help you get started, here are three top tips that will help you improve the results you achieve via your website.
Tip 1 - Turn your website into a sales rep who generates leads
B2B website lead generation is the name of the game and it’s something we know a lot about. We cover it regularly on this blog because it’s at the core of how our software helps B2B businesses improve their results.
Online lead generation works like this:
You attract visitors to your website using various means and channels. You then offer them attractive information for free, along with something even more valuable in return for them giving up their anonymity. i.e. A piece of gated content they can only get hold of in exchange for giving you their name and email address. This is the first conversion.
Once your anonymous visitors have been turned into subscribers, your aim then is to build trust and likeability. To nurture the new contact you’ve made and work on turning them into a lead - someone who has the potential to become a client.
As they move along the buyer journey, you need to find out more about them (to qualify them) and vice versa they about you, before handing them over to sales at just the right moment.
All this can happen with the help of your website, if it is designed and optimized to do so.
If you are completely new to this concept, we recommend checking out our quick start guide to online lead generation.
Whereas, if you have been trying for a while now and want to boost your results, then look over our 45 best lead generation tips for some more ideas and inspiration.
Tip 2 - Have a solid qualifying and conversion mechanism in place
Qualifying and conversion – basically the B2B lead nurturing you are doing, is simply about having a system in place that allows you to get to know more about the people who visit your website.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to use our software. It’s the reason we created it in the first place, to help us with that part of the lead generation process.
Nurturing is a great way to build a relationship over time. Sending a contact relevant information via email at specific intervals is the most common method used for this kind of nurturing, qualifying and segmentation.
Sending out the same information to everyone in a database is pointless. People will just see it as spam, and that’s the last thing you want. The idea is instead to focus the information, so it reflects exactly what the person on the other end needs right now and will want in their inbox.
An added bonus of using a website for the nurturing part of B2B sales lead generation is that content marketing can also help to shorten long sales cycles. Particularly in industries where it takes a long time to educate and inform potential customers. Offering solid content and a website with lots of information can really help.
Tip 3 - Look beyond the short term results and build for the future
Creating a website with the sole aim of finding new customers is a very short sighted approach. Your website also needs to offer something for existing and returning customers, as growing loyalty, increasing business from existing customers and encouraging referrals are all just as important.
In today’s world, businesses need to make the most of ongoing and repeat business and your website can again play a crucial role.
It’s ok to keep the main website focused on generating new business. Just make sure it’s super easy for customers to find the pages relevant to them. For example, introduce a separate section such as a ‘knowledge base’ or ‘academy’ of some sort.
Many websites also go down the route of adding subdomains and developing websites specifically aimed at existing customers. As for us here at Lead Forensics, we offer a whole content universe to our existing clients which is available to them after login. That login is prominently displayed on our public facing website but a whole world of information lies behind it.
Also think about your customer service and finding ways to make it super easy for clients to seek help and for your team to help each other. Gather and use any feedback that comes in, to help enhance your entire process with a 360 degree customer view in mind.
The design of your B2B sales website
Redesigning your website to help increase your B2B sales, by way of providing strategic offers and other lead generation mechanisms, means focusing on two key areas - design and functionality.
The first step though is to pull together a strategy for how the website will work in helping you achieve your goals.
- What paths will visitors take?
- What kind of sales funnel are you creating on your website?
- How will you take the visitor by the hand and lead them step by step to the next information/offer/conversion?
Figuring out how to strategically position your website and help navigate people through it, is really important. Engage the services of a seasoned online marketer, or inbound marketer, who will be able to help you make your website more attractive to visitors.
Websites need great content - and lots of it! This content can come in a variety of different forms, from text, to images, video and other kinds of multimedia or interactive component.
There will, of course, be a basic need for content to first build the website, but then you need to keep it alive and active.
If you are hoping to attract business via organic search, you need to be updating the site regularly. This is best done weekly, as a minimum.
Have a team of professional content producers on hand to help you, for whatever medium you need, be it text, visual, interactive, or any combination therein.
The style and tone of a website is going to be key to its attractiveness for your target audience.
Stuffy corporate talk is a big no-no, even in B2B circles. People want to engage with a website, whether they’re checking out the latest fashion trends, or researching new techniques to improve workbench fittings.
Think about the tone of voice you want for your website. Your basic “this is us” type pages can get away with being a bit more formal (lawyers are a good example here), while your blog should liven things up a bit by showing some personality and even humor.
It’s important to show your personable and approachable side. People want to do business with people after all, whether it’s buying office stationery or children’s furniture.
Producing a style guide may sound like a lot of work, but as your website grows it will be vital to have, to help you keep everything aligned. What you don’t want to end up with is a mishmash of all sorts of different styles, language and tone. Overall, you want to keep it consistent and as simple and easy to navigate as possible.
There’s a rule of thumb in modern web design - less is definitely more. Stick to only the most important information and cut out the fluff and any other distractions that may water down your offering.
The technical bit
When it comes to the technicalities of putting a B2B website together, you have plenty of options.
One top tip is to have your web designer on retainer, so they can fix anything that needs attention once the newly designed site is live.
Updating content moving forward should be easy for you to do yourself and modern web design platforms will allow you to do this. Make sure you keep it updated, backed up, maintained and secure.
If you’re planning on using cookies and to collect data from visitors, then check you are acting in line with all relevant legislation for your area. The rules are different all over the world and you need to make the necessary provisions on your website.
It also goes without saying that your website must be responsive, so it automatically adjusts according to the size of screen it is being viewed on. Many websites today are being designed as ‘mobile first’ – i.e. for a mobile in the first instance. That is because the percentage of visitors coming through that channel continues to sharply increase.
Whatever you decide to do, just keep it simple. Have a clean and appealing design, avoid clutter and jargon, and lead your visitors by the hand from start to finish. Offer them a step-by-step way to learn more about you, your company and how you can help solve their problems and the conversions will follow.