Eight Tips to Conquer the Sales Learning Curve

Not too long ago the sales and marketing game was very different. Magazine ads, phone books, cold calling and feet on the street were some of the primary outreach methods and the only way a prospect had to get detailed information about a new product was to pick up the phone book and start dialing around.Not so anymore.Technology has changed, and so have buyer behaviors. Instead of tossing out the first pitch, sales is often getting into the game well after the seventh inning stretch. Product research begins with a click of a mouse, and buyers are “self-selecting” more than ever before.Key Takeaway: A website optimized for search engines that provides the content prospects want is built to lure prospective buyers and capture leads is table stakes in today’s competitive B2B market.93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.1SEO leads have a 14.6% sales close rate on average, compared to 1.7% for outbound leads.2On average customers will contact a sales rep when they independently completed about 60% of the purchasing decision process.”390% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.4

So what makes a good website?

  • Attractive, responsive design
  • Simple navigation
  • Good mechanics
  • In-depth analytics
  • Strong calls to action and lead capture
  • Strong CONTENT to appeal to each stage of they buying cycle
  • Multiple link backs from reputable sources

Attractive, Responsive Design

Attractive, Responsive Design 

According to a study from the University of Missouri Science and Technology it takes less than 2/10 of a second to form an impression of a website.

Why does this matter? First impressions count—and favorable ones positively reflect the professionalism of your brand. The reverse is also true. 

Websites need to look good and function well no matter where they are viewed. More and more that is not on a traditional monitor. 

In fact, 63% of “experienced B2B buyers” research or purchase items using a tablet or mobile device.

Key takeaway: Websites should not only be attractive on desktops and laptops, for maximum effectiveness they should leverage responsive design techniques to be optimized for use on mobile devices. 

Navigation For Dummies

You shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to navigate your site. This may sound like common sense, but all you’d need to do is peruse the internet for about five minutes to see why this is so important. 

Designing a good site-navigation starts with understanding the core information that your site visitors care about. After that it is about making it easy for them to find it. 

Key Takeaway: Keep the user experience in mind when designing page flow. By naming pages appropriately and including keywords in your page titles, you will enhance the site’s searchability as well as its usability. 

Good Mechanics

While what visitors see on your site is important, the parts of the site they don’t see are important, too. The way that you build and maintain the code on your site plays an important role in ranking well for Google searches. 

The way that you build and maintain the code on your site plays an important role in ranking well for Google searches. Here are a few simple ways you can make it easy for Google to help buyers find your site.

  • Use compliant HTML and CSS
  • Put your page titles in <h1> tags
  • Include page titles and meta descriptions on all pages
  • Include alternative text on all images 
  • Submit your site maps to Google

In Depth Analytics

Unless you know where site traffic is coming from, how people are finding you and what they are doing when on your site it is difficult to get better. Recent statistics from Content Marketing Institute show that only 44% of marketers have a documented strategy.

 The rest just wing it. Given the amount of insight you can get from Google’s free Analytics tool, that will help drive and measure strategy, (and the overwhelming statistics that tie strategy to effectiveness) “winging it” just doesn’t make sense. 

Here are some things to look for:

How are you being found? 

  • Referral Visits: Visitors that are referred or sent to your website by other websites 
  • Organic Visits: Visitors who come to your website from unpaid organic or natural search engine results. 
  • Direct Visits: Visits to your site where the user types your URL into their browsers or when a visitor uses a bookmark to get to your site. 
  • Top Non-Branded Keywords: Keywords typed into the search engine that are used to find your services that do not include your company name

Where do website visitors go once they get to your site? 

  • Landing Page: The pages through which visitors entered your site.
  • Top Visited Pages

How long do website visitors stay on your site? 

  • Bounce Rate: Visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page 
  • % Exit: The percentage of site exits that occurred from a specified page or set of pages. 

Where, how, and how often are website visitors contacting you? 

  • Number of contact forms completed
  • Most effective calls to action
  • Number of contact form completions per total number of site visitors

Other stats to look at:

Unique Visitors: The number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website 

Pages Indexed in Google: Pages from your site in Google’s Index. If pages are indexed, Google can easily direct people to your site. 

Link Popularity: Number of links to your site from other websites on the internet and the quality of the sites that link to you. 

Strong Calls to Action and Lead Capture

Getting visitors to your site is great, but when it comes down to it, what we really want to them to do is convert. In an e-commerce situation that means “buy.”  In a B2B environment that means the visitor fills out a form so that we can collect their information, allowing a member of the sales team can immediately reach out.  

Strong calls to action are part message, part design.

  • You can say all the right things, but if they don’t stand out on the page, you’ll miss out on conversions.  
  • You can make your call to action look good, but if you just have a button that says “Click Here,” you’ll also miss out on conversions because you didn’t write a strong enough message.

When crafting effective calls to action, consider, SIZE, SHAPE, COLOR, PLACEMENT, and WORDING. 

Strong CONTENT to appeal to each stage of they buying cycle

 Strong CONTENT to appeal to each stage of they buying cycle

 Content is such a big part of making a website “work” as an inbound lead generation tool that we have devoted multiple full e-guides, blog posts and infographics to the subject. 

Distilling the content message down to its most basic, here are some core things you need to remember. 

  • To be effective you need to consistently add fresh content.
  • A documented strategy complete with editorial calendar is essential.
  • Make sure you know your audience and write to their needs.
  • Produce useful and engaging content that’s more educational than promotional. 
  • Write for each stage of the buying cycle. 

Multiple link backs from reputable sources

Quality links are inbound links from reputable external sites back to yours. These can be achieved in a number of ways – from writing awesome content that others want to use to bolster their own ideas to guest blogging, to and syndicating content on sites like Slideshare, and more. 

Conclusion

All of the steps listing on the preceding pages are geared primarily towards what is known as inbound marketing – at pulling people in from the world wide web and, in the process, generating leads for your sales team to follow up.   A good website, however, will have value that extends beyond inbound.  In fact, in most cases it is foundational for a successful outbound campaign, whether it be via email or via direct phone calls. 

 As most good inside sales reps will tell you, one of the first things an interested prospect will do upon hanging up the phone with you is visit your site.  A website that is in tune with your brand and provides content that supports the sales message is extremely valuable.  A poorly designed website with an outdated message can be a hindrance.   

 A website is only a small part of an effective sales and marketing effort, but like your CRM system, and your sales representatives themselves, it is foundational.

If you are looking to truly leverage the power your website as a sales tool, you not only need an attractive and functional site that makes use of the inbound techniques suggested in this e-guide, you need an integrated system that includes relationship building, outbound email sends, lead nurturing, and follow up. 

The NuGrowth Solutions and NuGrowth Digital teams can help. Working together, we are a full sales and marketing engine  that incudes CRM implementation and management, inside sales and relationship building, content creation and marketing automation. We have the infrastructure, the capability, the tools, the processes, and the reporting in place to run sales and marketing campaigns with the dedicated cadence necessary to be successful.

As one client so aptly put it, “There are good ideas, and there are good ideas that work. The ones that work require a dedicated cadence.” The NuGrowth sales and marketing teams create and sustain that dedicated cadence so our clients can concentrate on what they do best.  Call 800.966.3051 to find out more.