You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule. For example 80% of your business is driven by 20% of your sales. This same rule can help improve your sales through integrating strategic online marketing and design strategies. In fact it’s actually quite easy to do , when you know where to look. The place we like to start is … what drives you nuts about your offline sales process?
Maybe it’s getting to the “right” person in an organization if you’re B2B, or maybe the due diligence your customer feels they need to do prior to signing the deal with you, which takes weeks if ever at all. Maybe it’s your competition not being entirely honest and causing greater grief in re-educating your prospect before they’ll take the leap of faith.
Whatever it is (and there may be many components that bottleneck your sales cycle) you’ll be happy to know that your web site and the presence you put forth online can help, if not completely curb these challenges. In fact, your online presence encompassing marketing and design can very quickly improve sales by 80% or greater.
Analyze and Document your Offline Sales Process
Start by having a clear understanding of your entire sales process. Document this process from the point that you show up on a prospects radar, to what’s the sequence of steps that lead the prospect to the finish line of becoming a client. Be clear and add time-lines to each sequence. Averages will due, but be brutally honest.
From this you will be able to decipher bottlenecks in the sales process, areas that you cringe at, and gaps that seem to generate sales potentials into invisible people! Some things to look for are:
- Common Objections
- Consistent need for specific information
- Gaps in communication
- Curve Balls – someone new shows up in the deal
- Contract challenges
High-Lite the areas that cause the greatest grief – the reason 80% fall off – and begin by laser focusing on those issues.
Nurturing Information – Transparency
Understanding your clients’ pains which generate interest in your service, concerns which are generated from learning about your service, to finally the fears in taking the leap of faith to sign on with you, all provide you extreme leverage in dealing with your prospects. Utilizing your online presence to answer all of these doubts and questions in a time controlled fashion with refreshing transparency will not only make you stand out from the competition, but will simplify and expedite your sales process.
Let’s say for example you know that your contract is where you commonly see potential clients b-line for the door. Knowing specifically what challenges you will face at this point in the sale enables you to slowly and gradually begin educating the prospect via your website, email campaign, or even blog posts. They learn on their time through suggested discovery.
Maybe your termination clause is the issue. So you subtly begin to slowly educate your client on why a termination clause in an agreement is beneficial to them (i.e. provides better pricing, forces the vendor to stay with you, etc) and how this will force their own team to stay committed to the project to fruition. At contract signing time – these details are no longer shocks to the sale, but anticipated benefits.
Suggested Information - You Might Be Interested
Often a common challenge we hear about from clients is the challenge of getting to the right person in the sale. There are a lot of strategies to help solve this online, but the easiest and for some reason most missed opportunity, is to simply create content geared towards that audience. If you’re creating content that the person who makes the buying decision would be interested in and benefit from, then you’ll have far quicker engagement from that person.
Add to this strategy, targeting your specific audience on the web (which is easier than targeting offline) specifically in the areas where these people “hang out”, and volunteer this valuable content on an ongoing basis – will change the dynamics of your offline sales forever.
Do you consider your offline sales process with everything you do online?