If you are feeling overwhelmed because you have a to-do list that never seems to end or tasks that need completed before the end of the workday, it’s not unusual to feel like you need an assistant. But there might be a more efficient way.
As a creative, I have been known to get distracted by shiny things, often forgetting to follow up on a website lead or not remembering to reply to an email that I’ve looked at on my phone because it has probably been buried by new emails by the time I get around to it.
The areas that I really felt like I needed help with were things such as following up on website leads, responding to emails in a timely manner (or being reminded to do so), getting email correspondence into a CRM, or having someone who is working 24/7 to sell my services. In an ideal world, I’d clone myself and call it a day, but since that’s not really an option, I thought that maybe I needed an assistant. Of course that requires not only time and money, but also a significant learning curve to understand my sales process. And then it hit me… all of this could all be done through my website if I gave it the tools to do so.
You’ve already taken the initial steps on establishing an online presence, so why not maximize what you’ve done to help streamline your sales?
Here are 5 ways to put your website to work, which will result in a more productive process:
1. Make sure your content is easily readable, can adequately sell your services and shows empathy.
A common mistake that people make with online content is that they assume buyers know what they are looking for, when in reality, they probably don’t. Your website should show empathy as if it were another person behind the screen, selling your services or products. If you can talk about pain-points, offer guidance, and offer solutions, your website can be a powerful sales person with untapped potential. It will also help to funnel prospects through your sales process.
2. Have calls to actions
Now that you have great content, it’s time to tell the buyer what to do. Much like what a sales person would say, offer clear calls-to-actions on what the next steps are. Should they download your brochure or read a case study about how you helped a company save millions? You need to tell them what to do. The more value you can offer them for providing their email or contact information, the more likely they are to complete the call-to-action.
3. Get their information stored in your CRM… automatically
When you have good calls-to-actions it enables you the ability to start collecting information from your leads. I say lead at this stage because if they are willing to take the time to fill out some information, they are probably interested in what you’re selling. Having a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) will give your website the ability to integrate and automatically store lead information without manually inputting the information yourself. You can also get an email notification that someone has filled out a form through your website so you can start looking into whether the lead is qualified or not.
4. Use marketing automation
Marketing automation is essentially a marriage between sales and marketing. It helps streamline the mundane, repetitive tasks that a sales team would need to take to follow up on a lead. It’s the perfect way to increase efficiency, productivity, and consistency.
5. Utilize lead scoring
Lead scoring is basically a method that ranks the value of a prospect. This is what a sales person would typically do when evaluating whether a buyer is a good fit. This is great when you don’t have the time to sit down and meet face to face or call every single person back that contacts you through your website.
Talking with other business colleagues, many of us joke that it would be great to have an extra day in the week that allows us to catch up on the small tasks that never seem to end. As we get busier, we know that we need to spend our time more wisely and where it matters most. Keep in mind that there is something to be said about the human touch-point, or rather that every prospect and lead is handled with a phone call with a person on the other end.
When our days get crazy and time starts slipping away, it’s best to let your website handle some of the tasks so you don’t start losing potential business. Potential customers will often go where they can get answers to their questions or resolve issues the quickest. Ultimately, it all comes down to properly managing the customer experience and doing the things that the customer values in an efficient and effective way. The one thing that I’ve learned over the past few years about running a business and key to this efficient and effective process is simply to work smarter, not harder.