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Why your website is a sales tool — not a marketing tool Blog Feature

David Little

Account Executive, 7+ Years Of Digital Marketing Strategy & Project Management Experience

December 26th, 2019 min read

Whose responsibility is it to create a website strategy and experience that is going to drive the right traffic and produce high-quality leads for your business? It is up to marketers, or is it up to the sales team?

The truth is, it is the responsibility of both teams. The marketing team must create a website that is going to drive the best traffic and produce results; however, it is equally the sales team's responsibility to help produce content that buyers need and want.

If this is true, the website should no longer be seen as a marketing tool. It is a sales tool, and both sales and marketing are responsible for its success.

I know it is hard to view a website as a sales tool and not a marketing tool. I mean, after all, everyone wants a site that has a beautiful design and modern functionality. However, the purpose of a website is to help potential buyers learn about what your company does and how you may help them in the future.

If educating potential buyers is our goal, then marketers have to stop viewing the company website as a marketing tool and start seeing it as a sales tool. Think of the last time you were on a beautiful website and you could not find what you needed?

What did you do?

Most likely, you did not marvel at the design and search for a telephone number to call. You just went elsewhere.

Unfortunately, visitors are probably doing this on your website as well.

But if you start to think of your website is a sales tool and not a marketing tool, you can bring an end to this.

You must remember this, though: Your website needs to generate leads, and your website needs to help the sales team close deals faster.

But how, you ask? Well, let's jump in!

Building a lead generation machine

Every company wants to generate more leads, but many don't know how to do so. Should you cold call, put up Facebook ads, blast that 10-year-old email list?

While all of those tactics can help, the most proven way of generating the best leads is creating content that your potential buyers need to have to make the best purchasing decision.

According to a recent study, buyers do over 70% of their decision making before they ever talk to someone at a company.

Now, when we have that at the front of our mind, we know we have to be the ones educating buyers on the problems they are facing and the questions they have about solutions.

However, most marketers might not know what their potential buyers care about, and this is where the sales team’s responsibility for the website comes in. They are the ones talking to potential buyers daily, and they hold the keys to creating the best content for your website.

Now, to make it easy, here at IMPACT we have learned that the topics your potential buyers care about can be boiled down to what we call the Big 5.

  1. How much an item costs
  2. What potential problems buyers might experience after purchase
  3. How do various products or services compare with each other
  4. What are the best or worst solutions for a certain problem
  5. What do customer reviews say

You can use these topics to get specific questions that only your sales team can address.

Ask your sales team, “What type of questions do you get about our pricing, and how do you explain your answers?"

The resulting content is going to drive the best traffic, generate the best leads, and result in real sales because it directly addresses questions on prospects’ minds.

Creating the content your potential buyers care about is the first step towards making your website into a sales tool. This becomes even truer when we take the steps to create a website experience that is obsessed with our potential buyers.

When your team starts creating Big 5 content, you are going to build trust by addressing the very questions that your prospects have, and when you build trust, you put yourself in a position to win people's business.

Close deals faster

Having a website that is a sales tool and not a marketing tool allows your sales team to use the site to further educate prospects after a first call. Here at IMPACT, we call this “assignment selling.”

Assignment selling is the process of intentionally using educational content you have created about your products and services to resolve the significant concerns and answer the burning questions of prospects so they are much more prepared for a sales appointment.

IMPACT partner Marcus Sheridan describes assignment selling in his book They Ask, You Answer.

Just like the content that is going to drive new traffic and leads to the website, this content is meant to be used by the sales team and should address questions that they get on every single call.

A great way to start writing content that can help the sales team close deals faster is to ask them about the 25 most common questions they get on every call.

Then, take it one step further by asking about specific product lines, services, or any other subject that a prospect might have questions about.

When assignment selling is working to its highest capability, our team at IMPACT has seen the close rate increase by 5%. This is a great way to put your sales team in the best position to close new sales.

Here is an example of how we use assignment selling here at IMPACT:

If a member of our sales team has a call with a prospect who is interested in a website redesign, before the next call the sales rep is going to assign them “homework.” This could be having them read the services pages about our website redesign process along with a few blogs that are going to address any questions around price and what makes a good website.

This way, when the rep gets on the next call with the prospect, the conversation starts with, “what did you learn and what option do you think is best for you?” When this happens, the buyer knows that they are making their own decisions and not being twisted into making a purchase they are going to regret later.

Website content that the sales team needs

There are very specific types of content that are going to make your website the best sales tool it can be.

Quick content

When creating new content for the sales process, articles can be the fastest resources to develop.

The best way to create articles is by asking your sales team how they would respond to specific questions. For example, all companies get questions about price: what is the average price, what causes the price to go up, what causes it to go down, and so on. Using these questions to write an article is going to help drive better leads and help close opportunities faster.

Buying guide

Many times when someone thinks of a downloadable asset, they think of ebooks and white papers. While these offer great value, they often take much time to create and require a ton of research.

But one resource that could be an easy win and a great collaboration of the sales and marketing team is a buying guide. Most customers want to have a resource to give them the peace of knowing they are doing everything in their power to make the best decision.

Creating a buying guide gives your prospect everything they need to make the best decision, and you are going to be the one to control the narrative of what is the best solution for the problem they are trying to address.

Video

The fastest way to build trust and to communicate the value of something is through video. Here at IMPACT, we have identified what videos have the most significant impact on the sales process, which we refer to as the "Selling 7."

These seven video types will help build trust faster and result in your website being the best sales tool possible.

  1. 80% videos - 80% videos are those that answer the most common questions all of your prospects ask (and probably proactively answer a few they haven’t thought of). Overall, roughly 80% of all common questions can be addressed in a 5-10 minute video.
  2. Employee bio videos - Let’s face it, meeting new people and entering business relationships can be tricky territory. With video, however, some of the friction can be alleviated. People can see your face and learn to recognize your voice, mannerisms, and energy.
  3. Product/service page videos - You can have the most thoughtfully designed web page with the most beautiful graphics and words, but it won’t compare to a high-quality video that allows a potential customer to truly see a product.
  4. Landing page videos - They help the landing page visitors realize it's in their interest to share their contact information with your company since these videos provide a passive engagement medium where visitors can experience your message with minimal effort.
  5. Cost videos - Customers are scared away when you don't talk about price, so you should be willing to discuss the factors that affect cost.
  6. Social proof/testimonial videos - Potential clients want to see other companies like them that work with your company so they can start visualizing their own success.
  7. The “claims we make” video - At the end of the day, words aren’t enough. One of the most effective ways to show what makes your company special is with video. If there is a complex process, don’t just say “our process is complex” — show how it is complex and how that adds value to your product or service.

Now what?

Until your whole organization understands that your website is its best salesperson, you will face an uphill battle making your website a sales tool.

The next step I would recommend is to share this article with the rest of your team and get their thoughts and start having a conversation around making your website the best sales tool possible.

Once you start seeing your website as a sales tool, rather than a marketing tool, you will tailor your content to potential customers. In turn, you can build trust with prospects and shorten your sales cycle. 

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