Improve your B2B conversions on the web and from ads. How to build lead conversion funnels and get more leads and sales.
How conversion optimization for B2B differs
Conversion optimization for B2B is different from other types of conversion optimization in the following ways:
- The buying journey is measured in weeks or months
- A buyer converts multiple times in multiple different ways during the sales sycle
- A sales person is involved in some of the conversion points
A longer B2B sales process demands more from you in terms of understanding your customers' interests and communicating in a more relevant way over a longer time span and in multiple channels - both digital and personal.
Think conversion to sales - not brand or design
Many web agencies make the mistake of thinking about design first and conversion second. Rather, start with your customers' goals. Which jobs do your customers want to solve and in which situations? What do you need to communicate to those customers in those situations in order to entice them to start a buying journey with you?
Good design isn't what looks nice. Rather, it is what makes the customer take action. Design makes the next steps stand out from the rest. It makes the customer want to click that next step. A strong brand is not your mission or your values. It is rather what removes mental obstacles for your customer for them to take that next step.
The foundation of B2B conversion optimization, thus, is brand and design guidelines that entices your customers to start a journey with you.
A good brand isn't that which looks good or clarifies your mission. It is what entices your customer to take action.
The B2B conversion journey maps against the website structure
Each step in the customer journey is an important point of conversion. The entire journey can be mapped against the content you have in various parts of your website.
Your website structure should resemble a tree:
1. The journey starts with a need in a particular situation. The customer is looking to understand their situation. They find valuable knowledge on your blog and via social media, which are represented by the leaves. Conversion here means new relationships and is measured in number of leads.
2. The journey continues with relation. Your customer needs to trust you. They read the front page and the about you sections which are represented by the trunk. Conversion means buying signals and is measured in lead score.
3. The journey ends (or starts its next phase?) with a purchase. Your customer needs to understand how you will get the job done. They read about your products and services in your sub pages, which are represented by the root. Conversion means a purchase and is measured in signed deals.
Pull your customer through their buying journey with the right knowledge at the right time, where conversion in each step is the measure of success.
1. Convert visitors to leads
1.1. Create lead magnets
Your initial conversion is that which establishes a two-way relationship with an anonymous visitor. This always needs to start with your audience:
- Which jobs do the need to solve, and in which situations?
- Which expectations do they have when landing on your knowledge articles (the leaves)?
- Which insights will be helpful for them in the situation they're in when they are likely to find your articles?
- Which insights are valuable enough to ask for their email address to share?
Create trust by providing insights that match what they need to know in the situation you're targeting. Convert (no pun intended!) that trust into an actual visitor to lead conversion by offering more knowledge in return for their email.
We call the "knowledge in return for their email" thing a Lead Magnet. Commonly, it's a PDF-based whitepaper or guide that your visitors can download by submitting a form. But interactive tools, such as freemium tools, courses, calculators or quizzes are even better lead magnets.
1.2. Drive to your conversion points with UX-driven design
Focus your visitors' attention on the lead magnets you offer by using well known UX principles, data, and tests. Some of those principles are:
- Place conversion elements (buttons or calls to action) where they are easily visible way, above the fold, and in a way that makes them a natural way to dive deeper (for example at the end of articles, at the right side of the page, or just after a related piece of text in the article).
- Make conversion elements stick out with attention grabbing design and colors
- Remove distractions such as many different alternatives and menus on conversion focused landing pages
- Make design elements that have a direction (for example faces or arrows) towards the conversion points
- Create relevant lead magnets that are a natural next step for people who find the topic interesting
- Prevent mental roadblocks by having plenty of social proof and clear benefits, and by promoting simplicity
Creating UX driven design is a process that starts with data and tests, which are then turned into hypotheses, then implemented in a new design which is then tested and measured again.
2. Convert lead to buying signals
When you have an email address, you have the opportunity to start building a deeper relationship. To do this, you need to get to know your leads.
Follow up your leads and understand what they're interested in. Talk to your salespeople and understand what questions your customers are asking in different parts of the sales process.
Based on this information, send relevant information your email marketing efforts. Show relevant offers on your website using dynamic web content. Systematize relevant trigger based communication with a marketing automation strategy.
3. Convert buying signals to closed deals
Increase the conversion from call to meeting by detecting when the customer is receptive to your message and calling at the right time. Notify your sales reps when it is time. Use a more relevant pitch in your call and get a deeper connection by talking about what's relevant for your contacts.
Keep the relationship by sending email nurturing campaigns and showing relevant social media ads based on information that the sales person has entered. Notify sales when a contact returns from these nurturing efforts, so they can get in touch again.
Learn how to increase the conversion in each step of your sales process with SharpSpring
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