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3 Ways To Streamline Your Sales Process With Your Web Site

Apr 4, 2008
My sister recently celebrated her birthday by throwing a potluck dinner party. She used evite.com to make managing her guest list easy.

With Evite's web site, she and her guests were able to keep track of attendees and what each guest planned to bring to dinner. This way, everyone was able to bring something unique and there wasn't any risk of eating chips and salsa all night. I made my chicken po'boys.

Evite.com's functionality made my sister's party planning easy and her party a success. In a similar way, your web site can help you streamline your sales process so you can do more business with less effort.

Wouldn't it be great if everyone who inquired about your products and services was an ideal candidate to benefit from them?

Unfortunately, however, not everyone who calls for more information is in a position to become a great client or customer and reap the rewards of your services and products.

The problem is that it takes valuable time to vet a prospect on the phone or in person. And when it becomes evident that you are not speaking with a future client, the time you have spent is wasted.

How can you avoid wasting time speaking with people who will never become clients or customers?

The answer is to use your website.

Here are three ways to streamline your sales process with a website marketing strategy that sells.

1. Attract Targeted Attention

There's no point having people who don't need what you sell visit your web site.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to attract potential clients or customers to your site.

Pay per click advertising, like Google's AdWords program, is one solution. It is a quick and affordable way to attract people who need exactly what you offer.

Setting up a campaign is easy. In just minutes, you can have in place a highly effective method for attracting targeted attention to your web site.

Even better, with pay-per-click campaigns you can control your costs with exacting precision and easily measure the return on your small business marketing investment.

Other methods for attracting targeted attention for your web site include: article writing, search engine optimization (be careful with this one), social networking, holding events, speaking and print, radio and television advertising.

How can you use your web site to maximize the value of the marketing you already do?

2. Give Visitors What They Want

Nine times out of ten, when well-targeted visitors arrive at your site, they are not ready to buy, but rather seek information and are exploring options for solving a problem they have; the problem you solve.

It makes sense, then, to give your visitors the information they crave. The content of your web site should be useful and rife with helpful tidbits of your knowledge.

Great content anticipates and answers your visitors' questions - the ones you answer on the phone - and demonstrates your value by providing lots of relevant, thoughtful information.

By providing helpful content, more visitors will perceive you and your business as useful and will be more likely to contact you.

What changes does your website need to demonstrate more value so more people contact you?

3. Use Web Forms to Gather Information

The third step is to use web forms to have visitors qualify - or disqualify themselves - from your sales process.

Many small business web sites feature contact forms. They ask their visitors for their name, email address, phone number, company name and other forms of contact information.

However, the way to streamline your sales process with your contact form is to require additional information that describes your visitor's appropriateness for your services and products.

For example, my contact form asks questions like, "Do you make the marketing decisions at your company" and "Why are ready to take action now to change your web site?"

If I don't get "Yes" to the first question and a clear, sensible answer to the second question, I know that this person isn't an excellent candidate for my service. In these cases, I reply with a quick email and avoid wasting time on the phone with someone who isn't ready to become a client.

On the other hand, when the answers submitted via my web form describe people who are responsible for marketing at their company and are ready to take action to improve their web site and marketing strategy, I contact them as soon as I can; immediately if possible.

Marketing may not be as fun as throwing a party. However, a web site that strategically and effectively contributes to your sales process will make growing your business a lot easier.
About the Author
Jeremy Cohen helps small business owners improve their web site marketing strategies to generate more leads, increase sales and be more successful. Download his free Expert's Guide to Profitable Websites .
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