Website Design — why you should involve your sales team from the very start ...

So, you are about to build a new website 

Before making this decision, you have been tracking the performance of your current site, and you now know:

  • Where people are landing — and what they are doing from that point forward.
  • Where people are converting — and why — and whether they are re-converting to become a sale.
  • Where people are dropping off.

So far, so good.


Whoa!

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If you HAVEN’T done this research, you might want to cool your jets and get someone (Crockford Carlisle, for instance) to take a look for you before you press ‘go’.

Otherwise, you are going to be building a new website because ‘the old one doesn’t look right’ or because ‘we aren’t getting anything from it’.

Hmmmm…

Yes, those reasons might be valid.

But there WILL be some insights to be gained from your current site that can guide the new build — and perhaps stop the same mistakes from being repeated.


Onward…

Armed with this data, you can see where you are missing out on opportunities. And you’ll be ready to invest in a new site to improve your lead flow.

And that, right there, is what this article is about.

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We are going to look at how to get your thinking straight… how to plan so you can put the correct infrastructure in place to seamlessly flow people through the four stages of Inbound marketing.

To recap on those stages, you want to:

  1. ATTRACT the right type of people to your site.
  2. CONVERT them into leads — and ultimately into Sales Qualified Leads.
  3. CLOSE them so they become customers.
  4. DELIGHT them to generate repeat and referral business.

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To learn more about Inbound Marketing methodology, we strongly recommend you download a copy of our FREE e-Book from the link below.

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If you look at those four stages, all of them are very much in the arena of your sales team, and will play a role in their success. 

So it makes sense to wheel them in, get their insights, and structure your new site accordingly, right?

And yet, so very few businesses even think about talking to sales when planning a new site.

Here’s why:

A new website design is a ‘digital marketing thing’! Isn’t it?

As a digital marketing agency, we assess a LOT of websites.

Some are great.

Some are OK.

Some are a train-wreck. 

But we can tell you that the great ones — the websites that deliver a steady flow of leads and enquiries for the business — ALWAYS have the fundamental driver of sales and marketing working together at their core.

They may not win design awards. They may not look particularly startling. Or beautiful.

But they do what they are supposed to do: draw people into the Inbound funnel and nurture them through to the point of decision for a profitable outcome.

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So what do we learn from this?

When you think you need a new website, the first thought is that it is a marketing exercise. And the natural progression is to turn to someone who has:

  • Graphic design skills, and
  • Web coding skills

But I need to sound a note of caution about that approach.

Yes, you need people with those skill-sets to be involved.

As a Brisbane website designer, we have people with those skill-sets right here in our bunker. They do important work. They are very good at what they do. Their expertise is essential to the success of our clients.

However, while design and coding play a crucial role, you need to remember:

Ultimately, the success of your new website build is going to be gauged by whether it helps you to sell more of your products and services at less cost.

And that, right there, is something you need to keep in mind through the entire website design project.

If you are not careful, you can get so caught up with the ‘way it looks’, that the primary purpose of the website takes a back seat — and opportunity will be lost.

So, how do you keep things in perspective?

Two very good reasons to involve your sales team in your new website build

FIRSTLY

Your sales team are face-to-face (Or on the phone. Or emailing) with potential buyers every day 

They know them very well. They know how they think.

They know what they want, and they know their motivations, hesitations, reservations and dreams.

So naturally, they have some great insights to offer, if only someone from marketing would ask them.

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SECONDLY

Your sales team have a job to do — and limited time each day to do it.

They can’t afford to waste time talking to the wrong type of potential buyer. They need to talk to prospects who are pre-qualified, so that their time is effective and their close rates are higher.

Your web developers need to talk to your sales team to understand who/what is, in their eyes, a Sales Qualified Lead.

When the Crockford Carlisle team are building a website, we want to know all about the type of buyer a sales team wants to attract, and what the sales team wants to know about them. That way, they can invest their time into leads that are more likely to convert.

So yes, while your marketing person needs to drive the project, you need to be careful that the design and planning of your website is done with the end-game (More leads. More enquiries. More sales.) firmly in mind.

And that, dear reader, means Talking To Your Sales Team!

Are you convinced?

Great.

Then let’s look at what we, as website designers, look for when we talk to a sales team.

Three things you need to think about, sales-wise, with your website build

Broadly, there are three main areas that we want to explore that will shape the design, content and strategy of your new website:

1.Who are your ideal buyers and buyer personas?

This is where you want to talk to your sales team about 

  • What type of buyers do they want the site to attract?
  • If B2B, what is the size of business? Type of sector? Areas of expertise? etc.
  • If B2C, who they are? How do they tick? What are their demographics? etc

Understanding this enables the web designer to develop the correct ‘look and feel’ of the site, so that it positions you correctly in the market and meets the expectations of your buyer personas so as to win their confidence.

2. What does the typical buyer journey look like?

This is where your sales team can give great insights about:

  • What problems do potential buyers want to solve by buying your product or service?
  • How do they buy — what are the steps in the decision-making process?
  • Who are the stakeholders in the buying process?
  • What do they look for in the buying process?
  • What questions do your potential buyers ask when talking to your sales team

Understanding this information shapes the strategy of your site.

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It enables you to figure out what pages are needed. And what pages get priority in the site’s navigation and linking structure.

NOTE: While the web copywriter will need to take a detailed brief at the appropriate time, giving them this ‘big picture’ understanding of your buyers and their journey to the point of decision helps a great deal.

With an understanding of your overall objectives, a good web copywriter can identify where they can help you to gain a competitive advantage when they write your content.

3. What does your sales team what to know about them as a Sales Qualified Lead?

This is where you want to ask your sales team about:

  • What is their ideal, qualified lead?
  • What type of people do sales want to talk to?
  • What type of people don’t sales want to talk to?
  • What do they want to know about them that will make it easier to close more sales

Although the implementation of lead scoring comes later as progressive profiling is set up on the site, it is helpful to get an understanding of this during the website design stage.

Pulling it all together

Once they have this information, your web designer can move to the wireframe stage.

This is where they lay out the allocation of space on each page, ensuring that those things that are most important/relevant are given sufficient space and exposure to play their role in the sales process.

And yes, it pays to run this by the sales team before progressing to the design stage.

It will help to ensure that nothing has been missed, and that the initial exploratory brief with them was understood and interpreted correctly.

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From there, the designer can take it to the next stage and bring the artwork to life.

When doing so, they will need to be mindful of how the site will work on mobile devices, as well as on desktop, to ensure a good User Experience in all situations.

We have an excellent guide to mobile website design that will help you with this, and we strongly recommend you download a free copy from the link below.

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Like some help with your new website design and build?

If you are contemplating a new website build and want to talk to someone about what, where, how and why, please call us on (07) 3891 3800.

The call won’t be an agency ‘sales pitch’. Life’s too short.

It’s much more rewarding to dig in, talk about your objectives, look at your current site, at your competitors’ sites, and see what’s what. If we think we can help, we’ll say so — and give you a proposal so you can see if you feel comfortable with our approach.

And yes, although we are based in Brisbane, we have clients all over Australia, so it doesn’t matter where you are. If you have potential buyers you want to reach, we can help your sales team to reach them!