A client shared some great stats with us recently: their website is responsible for an increasing number of leads, and it’s showing a great conversion rate.
We weren’t amazed by this. Your website can be a very effective salesperson. In fact, recent studies showed that company websites are, after referrals, the second most effective source of new business. Optimizing your website ranked last year as the marketing investment with the highest ROI. Online marketing’s overall ROI surpassed that of traditional marketing in 2009, and the gap between the two has been rising steadily ever since. Anyone who is still relying on traditional marketing instead of investing in their online presence is wasting money.
So, happy as we were to see our clients’ great results, we weren’t seeing anything new. What was new to me was the note he added to the email he sent out to his salespeople sharing these numbers. He said that the website was more important than ever, so it was more important than ever that the sales force be familiar with it.
This got me thinking, and maybe it should do the same for you:
- Is your message on the website a good match for the message your salespeople are sharing? If not, which needs updating?
- Does your website provide sales tools for your salespeople, in the form of infographics, product information, and blog posts or white papers that they can send to customers for follow up? If so, are they using those tools effectively?
- Does your website capture leads for your salespeople? Are the website and the people in competition, or do they work together to get people into the store and names into the database?
A University of Chicago research report in 2011 concluded that only 16% of all transactions in the United States take place entirely online. There is still a place for human salespeople, particularly for companies using their website for lead generation rather than direct sales. The key to making the human/website sales process work at top effectiveness is making sure that the two sides of the coin work well together.
Introduce your website to your sales staff, and find out whether there are updates for your website that would improve the process and results for your salespeople.