How We Think
Your Website Will Not Actually Make Sales for You
As the digital realm continues to expand and dominate commerce, most businesses are recognizing the importance of a digital presence and are subsequently investing in it through websites, digital advertising, SEO services, and more. As marketers, we whole-heartedly support this, but now that businesses have made more investment in online/digital, we too often hear this complaint:
“My website isn’t making me much, if any, sales.”
Well here’s the cold, hard, truth. Unless your website is e-commerce (which is altogether a whole other topic that I’m not going to touch on in this post), your website will NOT actually make sales for you. It can’t. It’s physically and perpetually unable to. It will never actually knock on someone’s door or pick up a phone and have a real-time conversation with one of your clients about how your business can offer them “custom package X” to fit the needs they decided to outline that day. Sorry ‘bout it.
“Oh great…” you’re thinking, “so I just spent thousands of dollars on a new, mobile-responsive, well-designed, well-written, user-friendly, website and it’s not going to make any sales for my business?!”
Nope. It won’t.
BUT, your website should HELP your business make sales. What it should bring you is LEADS. PROSPECTS. NEW EYES on your business that you potentially wouldn’t have had before. Once these leads come in, it’s still your – or your sales team’s – job to convert them into sales.
Why can’t your website convert leads into sales for you? Your website can’t be programmed to have an intelligent, personal conversation with these prospects like humans can. You may think that statement is wrong, but have you ever had a “conversation” with an artificially intelligent phone robot – I mean receptionist, or even Siri or Alexa, and felt like you had a meaningful conversation and that they really understood your needs, delights, or frustrations? Nope. Your customers want to be heard, listened to, appreciated. That is what builds loyalty, creates referrals, and promotes sales. Your website can’t listen to or appreciate your customers for you. Even if you offer them a place to leave feedback on your website, a human being still has to read it, right?!
I don’t believe a website will ever 100% replace your sales/customer service human beings on your team. Maybe some, but not all. Ever. There’s always going to be someone who has a question that the FAQ section on your website doesn’t answer. There’s always going to be someone who wants something customized. And even if your website does convince the visitor to choose to do business with you, if your website isn’t e-commerce, there’s always going to need to be someone to place the order, complete the sale, schedule the service.
So now you’re probably asking yourself, “Then why even invest thousands of dollars in a website or digital marketing for my business?”
Well that answer is simple. While it can’t make your website knock on doors or make cold calls, it CAN put you in FRONT of thousands – if not millions – of potential new customers for your business. Your website is a marketing tool. Just like a brochure, sales folder, or even a business card is. But to get the print pieces out to the masses, you must either hand deliver or mail them (which is expensive). Your website is accessible. Searchable. Even discoverable the better it’s designed, written, and kept up. Your website can hold large amounts of information that a brochure or business card can’t. The only downfall is that your competition online is immense – thanks to the expansion of the digital realm over the years – so the need to invest in continual website improvements and digital advertising is greater to help you “branch away from the norm.” < see what I did there? ;)
So, here’s the deal. Invest in a great, easily-navigated, SEO-friendly, mobile responsive website that showcases your business as nothing less than stellar. Invest in digital marketing and on-going SEO services to help make your website more discoverable and to put your business in front of more potential customers. Use additional non-digital marketing efforts to direct people to your website to get additional information and tools to help make purchasing decisions. If your website and digital marketing strategy is strong, the leads will follow, and if your sales team effectively follows up with these leads, your sales WILL increase – thanks to the ASSISTANCE of a great website.
Written by Whitney West, Marketing and Design Director