"I don't think you'll see a change in websites until company executives first begin to see the value of taking a strategic approach to the marketplace and internalize how radically customers have altered the way they shop for B2B goods and services."
My knee-jerk response is to say that marketing tools ARE sales tools-just at differing ends of the buying process. And, that's what dictates tone, style and context. At least that's how we should be thinking about this issue.But, unfortunately, there's still this divide between marketing and sales. And that's a topic beyond this blog post. For this post, let's stick to the B2B website.Want to know an interesting thing about your website? Buyers at all stages of their buying process are likely to spend some time there (or try to find an interesting reason to do so).
If you haven't incorporated content for all stages of the buying process into said website, you could be missing out on getting your prospects all the way to the sales-opportunity stage.Why?Because buyers won't always come to you directly for information. Like Michael said, the buying process of today is radically different from what it used to be. Buyers don't need sales reps as much as they used to. Heck, we're all used to turning to Internet search to find the answers to questions.
Why would you think it would be different for your buyers?This said, at some point your buyers will be hand-in-glove with sales, but do you really want to leave that occurrence to a hope and a prayer?Of course not. What you want to do is make sure that you have the right information at the right time for each and every buyer...or do the best you can to make that so.Ask yourself what would happen if your sales rep was on a sales call and his laptop died. Could he use the prospect's computer, go to your website and employ it as a backdrop to continue to persuade the buyer that your company is the right choice?
My guess is no.I'm not talking about embedding slide decks, although that could be a great idea if they're focused on solving problems important to buyers and not loaded with company-focused pablum. I'm talking about relevant messaging that backs up the ideas your sales rep is presenting. Enough to give the prospect the insight that they can visit the website themselves for validation that what the sales rep tells them is true.
The biggest problem here is that companies still think marketing and sales are working toward different goals. They shouldn't be. Everything marketing does should be toward gaining the predisposition of prospects to buy from your company. That's a sales focus, folks.
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