When you are working on your website, the conversation shouldn’t always start with your web guy; it should start with your sales guy.
When I hold conversations about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with in-house marketers or CEOs, one of the first things we talk about is ROI, or more specifically how search engine ranking / visibility can assist their businesses in closing more deals. However, most of them haven’t considered leveraging the experience and insights from their sales teams to help give direction and are unsure how to get their sales teams engaged in an SEO or website conversation.
So, if you want to get your sales team more engaged in your online marketing strategy, here are a few questions to ask them:
Driving more results from a website starts by driving more qualified traffic. To get in front of that traffic, we put a considerable amount of time answering the question “what should your website rank for in search engines like Google?” There are a lot of tools and techniques good SEOs use to establish a great keyword list, but the insights from your sales team can be invaluable to help refine this list.
Good Questions to Ask:
Question: What are prospects asking for? Is there specific lingo they are using?
Why is this Important? One of the biggest challenges marketers have in picking great keywords is getting out of their own way. This question helps you worry less about your high-value message and more about connecting with your audience in their language.
Question: What are our top products / services? What sells easier? What do we want more of?
Why is this Important? Good SEO strategy (and marketing strategy for that point) means good prioritization. If you’ve got a product that’s a clear “winner” or a natural sale for your sales team, focus on finding keywords for that category first.
When companies ask “how do we make this website sell” what they really mean is, how do we make this content sell? Any SEO professional worth their salt will tell you that it’s critical to really think through the keyword you have mapped to each page of content and ensure that you are delivering enough information to get someone excited enough to fill in a contact form or make a purchase.
Good Questions to Ask:
Question: What are the most common “sales objections” you get for this product / service?
Why Is this Important? I know this recommendation will be a shocker…get this into your content. The most important thing you can do with your website content is establish trust, and overcoming classic sales objections can play a huge part of that.
Question: When you are talking through this service, what “else” are you mentioning to seal the deal that isn’t on this page?
Why Is This Important? This was actually one that we were guilty of doing ourselves. We asked this question to our Director of Sales and he mentioned that he was always leveraging case studies and results “sound bites” in sales conversations, such as that an average client experiences a 40% growth in organic traffic with us in their first year. We’ve now started to add this into our content and are working to build out case studies.
Question: Does this content pass the sales litmus test and would you be willing / confident to send a prospect to this page?
Why Is This Important? As marketers and messaging wizards, we have a tendency to get cute with our website content. However, when the rubber hits the road, it’s critical that your marketing message is consistent with your sales message (otherwise your sales team is going to have an uphill battle to fight to get).
An average business to business (B to B) website will have about a 1% conversion rate. This mean 1 out of every 100 qualified “hits” should convert into a lead. If you aren’t hitting that 1% then it’s possible that you’ve got a little bit of work to do and your sales team may be the ones to help you.
Good Questions to Ask:
Question: What is the bare bones of information that you need?
Why Is this Important? Experience has shown us that in general, shorter forms drive more conversions. However, there is a balance between short and sweet and getting enough information to make the prospect viable. If your sales team needs a phone number, make it required on the form, but questions like “how did you hear about us?” or “what is your budget?” can get handled in a sales call and should be avoided on the form if possible. View our form to see what we believe is the best balance of information and conversion best practices for our sales team.
Question: What else can we be doing to drive leads on this site?
Why Is this Important? Some of the best conversion optimization strategies come from this. Salespeople are usually very in tuned with lead generation techniques. Asking this question has led us to help our clients incorporate things like email signups on the site (one salesperson wanted to be able to send emails to warm up prospects) and live chat (one sales guy mentioned that the key to his sales was how fast he could respond).
Hopefully some of these tips will help get your sales team really engaged with your website and online marketing strategies!
-With a background in PR and 6 years in Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Marketing, Natalie Henley is the VP of Marketing at Volume Nine. Volume Nine is a SEO company based in Denver and specializes in SEO Audits, Website Launch Support & SEO Management. Natalie and Volume Nine’s enterprising team leverage SEO into real bottom line results for their clients’ businesses. For more information, please visit www.V9SEO.com.