A business’s website is one of the most powerful sales tools a business can have. A web site presents a global, 24-hour marketing opportunity but, how do you make it bring in as many sales as your best salesperson does? This article explains how to make your website the most effective salesperson
For most businesses, the main purpose of their website is generating sales, whether that is direct online sales or just getting the potential customer to call them or go in-store. To achieve sales on your website, you need to define exactly what the goal is (eg. buy from the online shopping cart, submit a quote request or fill out a contact form), then create a sales funnel to drive them to that goal. Every aspect of the site should be focused on getting them there, from the navigation, to the design, to the content, so they can quickly and easily get to that point as soon as they land on the site.
Here are some tips to make your website the most effective salesperson in your business:
Drive traffic with landing pages – Get potential customers coming directly the designated sales part of your site with landing pages. Run advertising campaigns on Google AdWords or your alliance’s websites that link directly to your shopping cart or to specially designed landing pages with limited navigation options, concise sales-focused content and a simple form. You will get more conversions if you direct visitor’s to the right page rather than waiting for them to find it themselves.
Professional design – This is basic, but so essential. The quickest way to turn away potetial customers and miss out on sales is an outdated, poorly designed website. You only have 3 seconds to capture the interest of a visitor before they hit the back button so you need a clean, modern design with lots of white space, plus your logo, some nice images, and content that immediately shows the visitor what you do and why they should choose you.
Promote it throughout the site – You can’t control what page someone lands on first when they get to your website. It might be your home page, or a landing page, or an article with keywords they typed into a search engine. So every page on your site has to somehow promote the action you want the prospect to take. For example, in the sidebar you could advertise a featured product, have a ‘start shopping now’ button, or even a small enquiry form built into the design.
Get the right functionality – Your sales funnel needs to be backed up by leading-edge software. You need a content management system so you can control the content and navigation yourself, a shopping cart that makes it easy for users to buy and allows you to manage all your inventory and accept online payments, as well as forms that email the enquiry to you instantly. Also, your website needs to meet international usability standards so all consumers can access the site easily.
Make your site user-friendly – Think about the sales process from the customer’s perspective. What will they expect from your site? What will they want to know about you before they buy or contact you? Firstly the site needs to be simple and clear to use with informative, accurate content, and then you should back that up with material that will persuade the customer – your unique selling proposition, any guarantees you have, case studies and testimonials from your customers.
Use autoresponders – To minimise buyer’s remorse and show your professionalism, set up automated emails to go out to customers when they make a purchase or contact you. A ‘thanks for your purchase email’ will make the customer feel secure about their purchase and a ‘we’ll be in touch soon’ email will let the prospect know you value their enquiry. Plus, both give you the opportunity to interact with the customer through another method and promote your business.
Have a backup plan – Not every visitor to your site will take the desired action straight away, so you need to have strategies in place to capture their details for your database. Great incentives include a newsletter signup, a free ebook or a competition, and make sure you keep the form simple (just first name and email) because most people won’t bother filling out a long form. Set the form up so the prospect gets added to your database automatically, then send them regular email marketing to keep your business top of mind.