You've set your objectives, determined the steps required to get there, and analyzed your market to figure out the best sales channels to use (face-to-face, telesales, direct mail, etc.). There is still one critical element to your sales strategy that you may have overlooked.
For the most part, the company website is part of the marketing strategy, not the sales strategy. But industrial businesses that do not factor the website into the sales process could be limiting their potential for success.
Why should you include your website as part of your sales strategy? Here's two reasons:
1. Customers will research you online.
It may have happened right after you set your first in-person appointment. Perhaps they stumbled upon it by chance months ago. They could be there while you are on the phone with them, or check it out as soon as you leave their office. Regardless of when, rest assured that if your company has a website, your customer will find it and look you up.
If you have no website—or worse, no online presence at all—it's going to make your customers less comfortable working with you. To not have a website in today's B2B market is to essentially not exist. Customers are going to want to research your company to verify the claims made by sales people, seek out additional details that may not have been discussed, and to come up with questions to ask sales people during an initial or follow-up meeting. If they can't do these things, you could risk losing the sale.
2. Your website acts as a sales person when your sales people aren't around.
Your sales staff can't be on call 24/7. If you sell nationally or internationally, customers could have questions and want information during times when sales personnel are not available. In those cases, your website can and will be the turn-to source for information. As such, your website should offer complete details on your offerings and capabilities, as well as testimonials, FAQs, and downloadable CAD files where applicable. Most questions a buyer might ask, your website should be able to answer.
Even if timing is not an issue, potential customers may not want to call a sales person just for one or two questions. In that case, they will turn to your website for answers. If you apply these tactics of successful sales people to your website it will increase the likelihood of winning the sale.
How to Leverage Your Website in Your Sales Strategy
The most effective way to leverage your website as part of your sales strategy is to make sure it offers as much information as possible. Full product catalogs, equipment lists, specifications and tolerances and more should all be readily available on your website. What's more, your website should be well organized and easy to navigate.
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