Building Your Sales Team’s Newest MVP: Your Website

Sales HandshakeFor better or for worse, your landing page is a part of your sales team.  A crucial part in fact – especially if you are doing or have any intentions of doing digital marketing. If a customer is considering a relationship with your company and they want to learn more, who do they reach out to? Your sales team … or your website. If the realization that potential customers are going down an anonymous, digital path with your company (as opposed to connecting with your sales team) makes your stomach turn, you’re not alone.  Still, that knot in your stomach should be motivation to take action.

Ask not what your site optimizations will cost, ask what your un-optimized site will cost. Err. Something like that.

So, how can you ensure that your site begins to pull its weight as a proud member of your sales team? Simple – you should expect similar qualities from your site as you do its mortal counterparts:

Be Informative and Knowledgeable

There is nothing worse than speaking with a salesperson that doesn’t understand the product they are selling. Don’t let your website be that guy. It’s also frustrating to work with a salesperson who is knowledgeable but constantly requires a down-payment of information before reciprocating. Your customers are busy and they are probably researching competitors, as well. Don’t blow your chance by continuously dangling a carrot and wasting their time. Your site can leave something to the imagination: no need to share your trade secrets but you should provide enough information about your product/service and differentiation to help qualify customers.

Be Trustworthy and Professional

You would expect this of your sales team and you should expect it of your website. If your site is out of date (read: too basic, animated gifs, etc), it can create trust issues. The last thing you want is for customers to be afraid that they might get a virus, or worse, have their identity stolen. Make the investment to ensure that your site looks professional, has a privacy policy and represents your brand as you would expect of any other marketing materials.

Set Expectations and Follow Through

Your site should help manage consumer expectations in the same way that a sales person would. If your site lists a promotion or a sale, it should provide all of the information and exclusions. The same is true if customers are made aware of a sale through an ad and directed to your site.  As your consumers prepare to head down the funnel, your site should help them to understand next steps and when they can expect to hear back from you. Hopefully it goes without saying that your site shouldn’t have any broken links and all information should be up to date… but I’ll say it just in case.

Prepare to Follow-Up

Once a customer has shown interest, your sales team is probably already planning on how they will re-engage them. Your site should be no different. Make sure that you give site visitors a way to provide their information for a follow-up – whether it be a request for a quote, a request for more information, a contact form or whatever it is that works best for your business.

Facilitate the Sales Process

This goes right along with the last point. Make sure that you’re making it easy for your consumers to move down the funnel. Optimize your landing pages for sales and make sure the path to conversion is as short as possible. Your site should guide visitors through the process, just as your sales team would. Don’t forget: this also requires a seamless mobile experience!

Meet and Exceed Goals

How do you know if your salespeople are doing their job? You set goals and measure their effectiveness against it! Likewise, you should monitor site performance. You should set lead (or sale) goals for your site and work with on your site to achieve those goals. Understand common exit pages, top performing landing pages, conversion paths, and the list goes on. Understanding site performance will help you understand the path to improvement.