Your company website is a key part of your sales team. Just like every other member of your sales team it should be tracked against sales goals and subject to an annual performance review.
Having a business website does not mean it is prepared to help with sales. If you want to track sales performance of your website, there is some setup required. This is not something a website out-of-the-box may have. But the good news is this does not require a major website overhaul, but a few small projects and maybe some maintenance. Especially if that has been neglected for awhile.
Here are some key areas to review on your current website.
Where does your website play a role in your sales funnel?
First we need to get clear about what your website needs to do to help with sales.
- Lead Generation – If the website is expected to generate new sales leads, you need somewhere on the site to collect those leads. Usually some type of online form.
- Move Prospects Through the Funnel – You need to create opportunities for Prospects to demonstrate they are interested in your products and services. Something beyond the initial sales call. Things like videos to watch, additional information to download or maybe interactive tools that help them select what to purchase. You can also decide if these items are available to the public or only to visitors sent specifically to your website.
- Close The Sale – Could your potential customers buy your product online? Could they initiate a contract? How could a new client start today? To close a sale, your website would need to be able to do things like except payments or signed documents.
- Retain and Renew Existing Customers – Existing customers are looking for customer service, like an easy way to contact support staff or support information they could access online themselves. Could a customer renew their current contract or buy more of what they already have? Don’t forget existing customers when creating content. This content will often be more specific. Directed toward an audience that is already familiar with what you do.
Pick one of these roles to being with. Once you are getting good results with one. For example, now that the website is successfully generating leads, we can look at how to move those prospects through the sales funnel.
Based on what you pick, make a list of the content you need on the website.
Time for a Little Technical Maintenance
Think of this like cleaning up the house before you have guests coming over. You want everything to look really good before everybody shows up. A few items you will want to check. Things that would give your guests a bad impression the minute they walk in the door.
- Old Dates – Get rid of events past. Expired specials or coupons. Also check the copyright date at the bottom of each of your webpages.
- Replace Bad Images – Replace photos that show old versions of your products. Fix images that are broken or do not display correctly. Especially fix any image that loads slowly. If you still have the same stock photos you used to launch the website, might be time for an upgrade.
- Security Messages – When users visit your site, are they seeing warning messages pop-up? Maybe your security certificate was not added correctly? Or you are using old code that users need to download before they can see something on your site? Clean all this up.
- Error Messages and Broken Links – I don’t think I need to explain how having stuff that doesn’t work on your website leaves a bad impression.
- Slow Loading Pages – Users have no patience. They won’t wait for slow web pages to load. If you want them to stick around long enough to become a sales lead, fix the pages that are struggling.
Enlist Help With a Content Review
Our goal is to make your company website a member of your sales team. That means your website is having conversations with your potential clients when no one else is available to talk. What does that conversation look like? Are you confident your website content is saying all the right things?
Enlist some help from your team members. I would definitely include members of the sales team. Read through your website. Make sure and check your list of products and services. Make sure everything is up-to-date and complete. I would also think about what new items you are really pushing and want to highlight. Plan on adding this to your homepage.
Don’t forget to look at catalogs and spec sheets, things you download. Make sure you have the latest version posted on the website. I would also clean off any old versions, especially if they are not available or would cause confusion in the sales process. You may not be aware they are still on your site. If the files are still in a folder on your website hosting account, search engines can still find them. That means people could still find them too.
Try to keep everyone focused on what the website says, not how it looks. Otherwise this exercise could become an unplanned website redesign.
While you are thinking about website content, is there content you could add to the website that would change on a regular basis? It could be a blog. Feature a product. Special offers. This could be especially important if your sales cycle is long and potential clients might visit your website multiple times during the sales cycle. It would be good to have something new to catch their interest each time they visit.
Setting Up Conversions Correctly
Conversions are activities visitors complete on your websites. Most business websites will use web forms to help users complete activities on their site. You will track how many people filled out the form as a way to measure website performance and sales goals. To make this easier, setup the forms correctly. Here are some suggestions.
- Consider moving them to their own page. – Put the form on their own page. Not a sidebar or a footer. Isolate them on a page, where the only activity is to complete this form. This will allow you to send visitors directly to the activity and not worry about them finding it on a page. This will also allow you to isolate the content of this page. Test titles, intro text and form fields to improve the performance of your conversion page.
- Make sure each redirects to a “Thank You” page. – To make things easier, when someone completes a form and hits the submit button, send them to a new page. Again, it will be easier to track performance and gives you an opportunity to introduce a follow-up activity. Users that complete the follow-up could be really targeted leads.
- Where do the emails go? If you are going to collect leads off your website, you need to make sure those leads get seen by the right people. Test your forms regularly to make sure everyone who needs to receive the website leads gets the emails from the forms. Especially test the forms if you are using an email that forwards responses to multiple people. Group emails can sometimes have trouble receiving website responses without messages ending up in the spam folder. Also, test the information you receive in the email notifications. The content of the notification should contain all the information collected by the form. I also like to have a backup in case an email is missed. Many tools used to create web forms allow you to collect form submissions in the backend of your website. If your business is subject to privacy rules, like GDPR, just make sure comply with data storage rules.
- Google Analytics – To make tracking your conversions easier, setup Goals in Google Analytics. Goals are a free tool included in Google Analytics that will make your reporting a lot easier. They do not work automatically, someone needs to set them up. If you have set-up your forms correctly, creating a “Destination Goal” should be pretty easy. Here is more information on how to do the setup.
- Attaching your CRM – If your company uses a CRM or Customer-Relationship-Management tool (like Zoho or Salesforce), you can setup your forms to send leads collected directly to your account. Each tool will have different requirements. Enlist your web developer to help set this up.
Mapping your Sales Goals to your Website Content
Need more ideas on how to use your website for sales? Check out the recording of our December 2018 episode of our webinar series, “Website Peak Performance”.