There are a number of advantages in this new world for growth-focused organizations. Your website works 24-hours/day, never calls in sick, doesn't complain and delivers the precise message you instruct it to, every time. Done correctly, your website also provides you with insights into what is on the buyer's mind, where they are in their buying journey and what key issues they're looking to address.
Unfortunately, it's still a very small minority of companies that are taking advantage of the power of their website. What's worse, the majority of business websites are sales killers. Despite your best efforts to enhance marketing and improve your sales efforts, what your website is, speaks so loudly no one can hear what you're saying (to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson). Believe it or not, your website is crucial to your success. By the way, don't compare your website to others in your industry. That's not who you're competing with. A phenomenon called liquid expectations means that the experience (and expectations) that your customers and prospects have developed in areas having nothing to do with your company or industry, impact their expectations as much as anything.
Here are five of the most common ways that we see websites kill sales...make sure none of these apply to you.
Failure to Clearly Communicate a Strong Point-of-View
When someone lands on your homepage, the page will have one job to do. It must, in under 5 seconds, answer these four questions:
- Who are we?
Everything else on your homepage is secondary.
Serving as a Glorified Brochure
As I regularly say to salespeople, "Nobody cares about your stuff." When 70% or more of your website is static and focused on you, you are clearly communicating to everyone that you are merely a commodity. I laugh every time I see a website where the message uses terms like "forward thinking," "customized solutions," "leader in our (fill in the blank)," etc., but the site hasn't had a new piece of content added to it in over six months.
Designed for Looks
It's Luke Skywalker, Not Yoda (the We-Do's)
Every day I see marketers, websites and salespeople make the crucial mistake of mistaking their products/services as the hero of their story. They expend untold energy in an attempt to get visitors, leads and prospects to understand all of the amazing and great things they do. The problem is that, at the end of the day, it still boils down to a confusing pile of "we-do's."
Failure to Provide the Data and Signals to Enhance Actions
I've even been known to launch paid campaigns to drive traffic to specific types of pages that I know are not right. Sometimes I'll create a web page to express an idea or approach that I think could be valuable. I'll pay to drive traffic there because I'm able to learn where I'm on target and where I'm off faster and less expensively than any other alternative. The power of insight that exists on your website is literally awesome.