Now more than ever, B2B buyers rely on digital channels through every stage of their purchasing journey. As a result the traditional way of identifying clients through digital marketing engagement, before handing the information off to a sales rep for in-person interaction – isn’t reflective anymore of how these buyers make purchases.
Instead, the best companies have to evolve into a “parallel” commercial engine, where the digital side and the in-person side compliment each other at every step of the buyers journey.
For this reason it’s incredibly important that your B2B website is up to scratch. Customers aren’t just buying digitally, they’re also relying heavily on suppliers websites to do so.
In fact, a study has shown that suppliers websites are the most frequently-consulted digital channel for customers at every stage of the purchase process. It’s interesting to note that the vast majority of B2B websites aren’t designed to support that kind of buying behaviour.. If you think your B2B website needs some love. Here’s 3 steps to build a better one.
Give Customers An Entry Point That Suits Them
After reviewing B2B websites across every major industry, only a handful purposefully invite customers into a conversation. To do that, suppliers need to take a step back and stop talking so much about themselves. Alternatively, they should provide customers with an opportunity to share something about who they are and what they’re looking to do – on their terms.
Really, it’s no different than if you were having a meeting in person. You’d open up the conversation about what the customer is looking for and going from there.
Although it seems like common sense, only a handful of websites actively invite customers to engage on their terms. Square, a popular card machine brand, asks customers to identify their business sizes and types as a first step to entering the site. It’s the first, and only thing that a visitor encounters upon landing on the homepage. That information allows Square to offer what feels like a much more customized web experience.
Some good questions to ask when redesigning your B2B page is:
- How Do Our Customers Define Themselves?
- Which aspects of their identity most affect they way they look at suppliers like us
Convey Your Solutions In A Language Suitable For Your Customer
Just as the best B2B websites invite customers into a conversation, they also guide the buyers to solutions using the right language. The best companies take time to understand the specific business objectives customers are seeking to achieve then organise their sites using language immediately recognisable to customers along those particular outcomes. That way, customers don’t have to do the translation work.
Every step of the way, the goal is to make online learning and buying as easy as possible. Ask yourself:
- What help are customers seeing from a supplier in your category?
- What specific language would best resonate with your customers to describe that help?
Help Customers Achieve What They’re On Your Site To Do
Finally, the best websites identify and then facilitate the specific tasks that customers come to your website to complete.
Take something like a cost calculator embedded directly into a website. A simple tool like that enables your customers to independently calculate the costs, rather than rely on a sales rep to deliver that information. It’s a simple, practical idea, but its deployed with a single minded purpose – to allow the buyer to easily progress along the purchasing journey, whilst remaining in their preferred channel of choice.
There’s a great deal to be learned from world class B2B websites. If you want to speak to a web design expert for your businesses website. Get in touch here.