Is your sales website doing its part to win over customers, new and old? A good sales website should be a tool in the arsenal of every sales team, a piece of passive hardware that generates goodwill and sales, either directly or indirectly. A website cannot be truly neutral, because the experience your potential and current customers have when they visit you will color their opinion of you in all other arenas-even if the vast majority of your business takes place in person or on the phone. So read on, and find out four simple ways to win customers with your sales website, turning an unknown factor into a strong weapon.
Little matters more to your visiting customers than how accessible your website feels. That comes down to a few key design choices, beginning with simple navigation. If a customer wants to find something specific on your sales website, be it contact info, company history, product details, or a purchase screen, there should be no guesswork involved. Similarly, signing up for a newsletter or site membership should not be an ordeal, nor should any other task. No proprietary media plugins, no resource-hogging flash interfaces, nothing that will slow down the average browser or confuse the tech-unsavvy.
Advanced computer users won't suffer from a simple website, but basic users will suffer from a confusing or advanced one. Keep it simple, keep it friendly, and you'll win points with everyone.
Content, content, content. Nothing matters more than content, but many websites are positively barren of any useful information or worthwhile reading material. Even sites that have something worth looking at in the abstract often serve up substandard material for their visitors. To put it simply: content creation demands professional attention for a professional site, not whatever your interns can throw together in the space of a few minutes.
Quality content also means original, unique content. Content your visitors won't have seen a million times elsewhere. Put good content on your sales website, content appropriate to your industry and business, and you'll see major results for the effort.
Even if you maintain a relatively static website, websites that don't show any sign of being updated put customers off. There's something about a 'dead' website that raises eyebrows, even if the website perfectly serves its nominal functions. So make sure your sales website has something 'alive' on it, some sign of motion and life and regular attention to put your customers at ease. If your site's blog hasn't had an entry since 2009, people will distrust everything else they see. If the blog isn't updated, maybe the rest isn't-maybe the prices are wrong, the content info inaccurate, the products discontinued.
If you're using your website to feed directly into your sales pipeline, you must do so without being obnoxious. Modern web users recognize the most blatant sales avenues on websites, so give up on the sort of trickery that worked in the early days of the internet. If you want to collect information, offer value-coupons, free e-books, quality newsletters. Something the customer will be glad to trade their information for. Your website should be a comfortable, pleasant place to visit that just happens to feed customers into your sales line, not the web equivalent of a mousetrap-a dollop of something interesting to catch customer's attention just long enough to doom them (to a purchase).
Overall, making a sales website that wins your customers over comes down to putting the work in to make a good website. There aren't many tricks worth pulling in the modern internet era, as users become savvier and the competition for web denizen's attention grows stronger. If you don't have anything worthwhile to offer, someone else will grab your customers away from you. And if your website is truly terrible, it will do more than fail to sell--it will harm your reputation and image.