So you’ve got your super sexy website. It’s top-of-the-line Web 2.0, certified to work in every browser, responsive to cell phones and tablets. It pops up one of those obligatory annoying little boxes to grab email addresses. There are big bright pictures, headlines and customer testimonials that make your company look like god’s gift to the world. There’s even one of those friendly little chat boxes down in the corner offering a live rep to answer any questions.
The site is rockin’. Traffic is flowing and potential customers seem to be poking around everywhere. There’s a lot of interest and curiosity.
So why is it that while your website is on fire, your sales team looks like it couldn’t generate enough heat to melt an ice cube? Content, my friend, it’s the content (or lack of it).
Lay Out The Welcome Mat
Content is king. Potential customers that come to your site and get nothing but sales pitches are not going to stay very long. They want content. They want real content, and they want content that gives them the information they need to finally make that decision to get in touch with your sales team.
There is no better way to speed up your sales pipeline and help your team close more sales than to give your potential clients tuned and tweaked content that guides them towards the decision you want them to make.
Get Them Through The Door
You need to stop thinking like you and think like them. If they aren’t banging down your door trying to get their hands on your product or service, it’s not their fault, it’s yours. You need to deliver what they want, not what you want them to want.
A recent marketing survey shows that 74% of Web surfers say they trust the non-sales content they find on business websites. The survey also showed that 29% will change their mind and decide that information is not credible if there is just one single mention of a product or sales pitch.
The bottom line is that people are looking through a website because they want to be educated. They want to find real information and use it to make their own decision. If you can give them real, truthful and valuable information, they will trust you and come to you when they’ve made their decision. If they think, even for a moment, that you’re just blowing smoke trying to close a deal, your credibility is shot, but they’re still going to make a decision. (The wrong one, in case you didn’t get that.)
Invite Them to Stay For A While
You can lead potential customers along their journey from discovering you to buying from you without sounding like a carnival barker trying to sell his amazing, miracle cure-all elixir.
There are four key stages that a potential buyer goes through as she grows into a customer. If you provide content that caters to each of the four stages, you can guide the buyer to the decision you ultimately want her to make.
Need Is Recognized – The potential buyers realizes she has a need for something. There is some sort of problem that must be solved and she cannot solve it without a product or service offered by someone else. At this stage marketing material should help the buyer to analyze his problem.
Options Are Evaluated – The buyer evaluates different solutions, looking at things like cost, reliability, service and performance. At this stage marketing material should help the buyer differentiate between the different options she might have.
Buyer Resolves Concerns – The buyer will use things like news, testimonials and websites to resolve concerns she may have before making their decision. Now marketing materials should focus on showing the buyer how to reduce risks concerning their purchase.
Buyer Negotiates Purchase – The buyer will purchase the product or service she has decided upon. At this stage, the marketing material should guide the buyer towards closing the deal, solidifying the decision she has made.
Your company’s marketing materials should have content geared towards all four of these stages. You can catch potential customers and turn them into buyers at any one of these points if you’re offering content that will be relevant to them when they need it. Best of all, when buyers reach your sales team, they will be able to close more deals and close them faster than ever before.