- 22nd Nov, 2013
As a growing number of businesses move to sell more complex products and services online, they are asking, what is the secret of a sales-focused website? How does a website connect with someone who has searched the web looking for a supplier of bathroom tiles, white goods or garden maintenance services? It’s different than selling CDs or books online.
Good sales-focused websites are those that closely mirror the face to face sales process which translates into six steps in the online world: prospecting, getting an appointment, qualifying the prospect, proving your product is what the prospect needs, establishing the credentials of your business and delivering a call to action.
The website must do what a competent sales person would do in the bricks and mortar world –take visitors through the ‘pages’ or steps necessary to cover all the key buying issues.
Prospecting is about attracting appropriate numbers of potential customers to your website, using search engine optimisation technologies, while to get an appointment a site must demonstrate attractive design and relevant content so the visitor will request information or leave contact details.
The website must also meet a fundamental requirement to demonstrate that the business clearly understands the prospect’s challenge and can deliver an effective solution. The site must establish this connection with the visitor as soon as they arrive or many will not bother reading any further.
When they read on, the site must answer such questions as ‘what can this product do for me specifically’ or ‘is this really what I am looking for?’ The site can best answer these questions by taking the prospect to a page of product features and functions, expressed in terms of benefits. It is essential that the visitor can find this page easily, that the content is clear and that the description of the features does not outweigh benefits statements.
The site must then show the visitor who else is using the products sold through the site by including testimonials or case studies and how credible is the supplier by publishing client lists and showing industry awards.
Having led the visitor through this process, the site should then deliver a clear call to action by answering the question –how can I find out more. Here the answers may be downloadable brochures, a free trial of a product or a demonstration. And last but not least have an easy to use ‘contact us’ page including email contact as well as phone contacts.