By Joe Manariti, Managing Director, Swim Communications

Joe Manariti

How can your website assist and support your sales effort?

Increased activity is going to be the difference between companies that grow and ones that struggle in 2010. Businesses have seldom been more receptive to considering new suppliers and contractors than they are right now.

So, good sellers are out selling harder than ever before. But how do you increase your sales effort without hiring new staff or asking existing employees to work even longer hours?

How do you heighten a company’s profile without expensive ad campaigns or spending a fortune on direct mail?

The answer is that you do it bit by bit. Or byte by byte to be more precise. A company’s website can be the best sales support any account manager, BDM or rep ever had.

So, here’s my 5 point checklist that will help your business make sure that it works as hard online as you do offline!

1.   Does your website establish your businesses credibility?

This is KPI No. 1 for any website. Does the website make your business look professional and competent? Update those broken links and add new text and photos to tired pages. Is your site only 5 pages? How does that reflect on your business to your existing and prospective customers?

2.   Does your website make it easy to get in touch with you?

Making sure the “Contact Us” button is easy to find is Web 101. Behind that button make all contact information easily accessible. Don’t listen to the “spam-o-phobics” who want to hide the email address or tell you to spell it out: nosalesatyourbusinessdotcomdotau???. Include a map and even a photo of your head office as well. Google Maps will even help customers navigate to your door.

3.   Do you update your website regularly?

How many times will a customer visit a website that doesn’t get updated? Twice. You wouldn’t sit through the same sales pitch a second time either! You can even add a Contact Management System (CMS) to your website so you can add the new information yourself.

4.   Do you use email to help you stay in touch with your prospects?

Do your customers only visit your website the first time they meet you? You can start inviting repeat visits and enquiry by collecting email addresses and informing interested people to return to your website whenever you can find reason: product innovations, price fluctuations, new catalogues, clearance lists, special offers and more. Email prospects with purpose; not for the sake of it, that’s spam.

5.   Does your website add to your prospect database?

Add a “Sign up for newsletter” button and start database building. Your existing web developer should be able to add a newsletter engine to your site without much trouble. And they’re easy to manage when you get a good one. Try http://www.phplist.com/

Good selling is communicating. These five tips are all about how to communicate better using the web. You need to speak up to be heard, and that applies online just as it does offline.

All of these actions are basic, easy to make changes. The online implementation effort and cost is a fraction of the offline equivalent – there’s not even a postage stamp required once you’re set up.

Online efforts can definitely reap sales rewards.

  1. Fascinating…and I agree with all of it. Keep up the good work…I will definitely be back soon

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