Website design isn’t the only thing that’s evolved over time. The different roles your site plays in growing your business has become uniquely integrated with the entire sales process.
As more purchases are made online, and as consumers turn to the Internet when researching a product or service, websites have become a fundamental part of your sales team.
In order to make your website into an effective part of selling, you need to understand the different stages of the buying process along with the many ways to communicate your message.
Not All Purchases Are the Same
Your customers have distinct ways of processing information before making the decision to say “Yes!” to your products and services.
Buying behavior has changed in response to the growth of online shopping. When people want information before making a purchase decision, they go to the Internet first.
If you sell high-end products that require more involvement from your sales team, then you must appeal to these buyers in the right way.
This approach will be different from the one that’s used when addressing impulse buyers.
There are different stages in the buying process that you need to be aware of so that your site can perform effectively at each step of the way.
Customers first recognize that they are in need of a solution. This results from some external event or an internal desire to change something about their personal or professional life.
They then seek out the information they need to make the right decision. This includes researching online and seeking referrals from their network.
Customers then decide which option is the best one to meet their needs. Your business has competition. So it’s important that your site distinguish you from the other players in your industry.
Once they’ve done their research and decided which option is best, they then decide to make that purchase.
The final stage of the process consists of the actions they take after the purchase has been made.
Different Ways to Present Value
The different thought processes and buying stages means that your site must work on multiple levels of communication.
Your value proposition gives your customers the “why”. It articulates the reasons that they should choose you over your competitors.
You must deliver this value proposition on the level of each prospect type. Determine what stage of the buying process you’re in and which prospects you are targeting.
Each call-to-action, whether it be for a purchase, opt-in, click, or download, must have the right value proposition alongside it. It must be crafted to the specific conversion, product, and buying stage.
Communicate the Close
Your website is your busiest salesperson. But it must work smarter in order to increase conversion rates and grow your business.
You need to segment your traffic to determine at which stage your prospects exist when they enter your site. Traffic source can be one key factor in helping make that distinction.
Customers who arrive at your site first may have already moved past the problem recognition and research stages.
If someone enters your sales process through a Facebook ad, for example, then they may be at an earlier stage of the process.
Segmentation lets you differentiate between individual prospects. Your website can then communicate the right message at the right stage of your sales funnel.
Your site’s content must first be clear before attempting to persuade prospects to make a purchase. Your visitors will provide the feedback you need to tailor your message according to their needs.
This builds momentum by allowing prospects to make the “micro-commitments” that eventually lead to your primary offer or business objective.
In order to succeed in today’s online and offline markets, your website must be designed to meet a wide range of objectives.
Search engine ranking, lead-generation, and brand building remain critical to meeting these objectives.
But understanding the different stages of the buying process, along with the types of prospects you face, ensures that your website becomes your greatest salesperson.
If you’re not sure how to create a site that accomplishes these and other objectives for your business, let us know what obstacles you’re running into in the comments section below.