There are many reasons for an industrial website’s failure to deliver anticipated results. The list is long – poor search engine optimization, bad user experience, content that doesn’t match visitors’ needs and/or lack of calls to action to name just a few.
However, there is one common trait that I have noticed for many industrial websites to underperform – there is very little thought given to how and where the website fits in the sales process.
The focus of most industrial website redesigns is on everything but its role in the sales process. Search engine optimization (SEO) is obviously critical to the success of your online marketing but you are seriously underutilizing your industrial website if all it is doing is attracting traffic.
In today’s world of Sales 2.0, industrial websites have to do much more than just feed the top of your sales funnel. It must enable sales. This post is not an in-depth discussion on the vast topic of “Sales Enablement.” I want to touch upon the specific aspect of making industrial websites an integral part of your sales process instead of treating it as just another digital marketing asset.
Sales enablement is the process of arming an organization’s sales force with access to the insight, experts, and information that will ultimately increase revenue. (Wikipedia)
To me it makes all the sense in the world to put forth the effort to ensure that an industrial website aligns closely with an organization’s common objectives of increasing sales and growing revenues.
I am not suggesting that the website alone can do all that by itself. It needs to work in tandem with all your other industrial marketing efforts. Nor can it be solely marketing’s job; it requires close collaboration between sales and marketing.
How to make industrial websites into sales enablers
Optimized content, white papers, blogging and case studies are all powerful assets for various stages of the buy cycle but you will need more for deeper engagement with site visitors. I am talking about actionable content that leads to conversations with your sales team and RFQs.
I have written about this in many of my posts in the past, so there is no sense in repeating myself here. Here are links to some of my posts where you’ll find more details:
- Content Marketing Must Go Beyond Inbound Marketing in Industrial Sales
- Why a Content BOM is Crucial to a Successful Industrial Web Design
- 9 Must-Have Content Assets for Successful Industrial Websites
- How Manufacturers Use 3D CAD Models and 2D CAD Drawings as Sales Enablers
- Manufacturers Use Evaluation Kits for Effective Lead Nurturing
- Innovative Uses of QR Codes by the AEC Industry
- How an Industrial Distributor Uses Content Marketing Effectively
You may also want to download my free white papers, Industrial Marketing Playbook and 7 Content Marketing Tactics to Sell Industrial Products.