Demand Performance from Sales & Website alike
Your #1 sales representative doesn’t receive health, dental or life insurance benefits, salary, bonus, commission, worker’s compensation, disability or any other HR variables that factor into sales personnel net-worth to your company. In fact your true #1 sales contributor receives very little accolades or acknowledgement.
Who is this over achiever that beats all sales’ feet on the street which (for most companies) doesn’t garner nearly enough praise but likely criticism more than compliment? It’s your —
Revenue brought to the company’s bottom line from offline sales efforts is largely due to the online counterpart’s contribution in the process. Arguably, sales teams couldn’t reach their height of accomplishment in today’s digitally dominated sphere if not for the front line sales force otherwise known as the website. Why?
9 out of 10 people visit your website before contacting your business
The average buyer is 65% sold on your company before ever interacting with your sales personnel
Now you might be thinking – sure the website may not have HR costs but it does still come at a cost to the company therefore has net-worth variables. True.
The website’s net-worth should undergo ROI evaluation on a monthly basis to ensure sales intelligence passes along to its real-world sales counterparts for further lead nurturing. Ongoing performance management is how websites achieve high net-worth for companies.
During Web 1.0 the budgetary line item for websites was owned entirely by technology departments. Assuming a company could afford their website then, it was considered a new cost of doing business with ROI expectations far from inception.
During Web 2.0 companies began recognizing website’s marketing value and the budgetary line item became a shared – technology and marketing department – expense.
With third generation – Web 3.0 – on the horizon it’s time to reconsider who within the organization should assume ownership of the company website.
Technology drives it, marketing contributes to its overall appearance, but if any department can claim websites as an indispensable asset to the team it’s the sales department.
Truth be told, today it’s TONS easier to have a career in sales than ever before. Pre-Web 1.0 sales professionals had to:
1. Find viable prospects through their own means of ingenuity
2. Network (in person) and leverage relationships to gain that first face-to-face introductory meeting
3. Then intuitively nurture prospective clients through the unknown buyer’s journey to closure
I was there then. It wasn’t easy. You had to be a really good sales professional to get the job done (i.e. make an income, not to mention keep your job) when available sales tools comprised a:
• Telephone (that didn’t always have voice mail on the other end but hand written messages instead)
• Snail mail
• Print sales materials (at times outdated)
• Product knowledge
• Relationships to leverage
• And, with any luck a good product and company to represent.
Digital provides an entire layer of sales support that simply didn’t exist pre-Web 1.0, or even during Web 1.0. Websites at their advent were NOT sales assets that influenced buying decisions. But today they are. Most young sales professionals can’t appreciate how the internet has changed the sales game entirely. Whether B2C or B2B –
Prospective clients seek your company online before your sales personnel seek them
Your #1 salesperson (a.k.a. Website) captures and engages early in the buying process. By engaging early you’re less likely to get cut out of the buying process to the competitors. As in pre-website days, early engagement with prospective clients is primarily educating what your company has to offer – its value proposition and differentiating factors. Creating effective website content is mission critical for positive early engagement.
Marketing has never been (and probably never will be) considered a company’s front line sales force – nor would they want to be. Sales departments should drive front line sales messaging because after all they’re the individuals who know how to engage prospects at any stage in the buying process. Following content development, website messaging shouldn’t be left idle without ongoing sales attention. Would your sales manager leave any other sales asset out on a limb without support or management? Of course not (…if they were a good sales manager that is…).
So as an accomplished sales team asset, websites should receive support and undergo performance evaluations the same as any other member of the sales team.
Sales expectations exist for sales personnel and as a Sales’ asset,
Websites should also have expectations to meet.
A big difference between the two assessments is constant micromanagement possibilities of website performance and the capacity to institute real-time change if performance falls below expectations. The question is:
Does your company invest in measuring its website’s true net-worth performance, and how often?
Sales department have Sales Managers, Directors or VP of Sales because functioning without a layer of management overseeing the sales team is unheard of. And yet most company’s website performance has no one managing it. (Google Analytics doesn’t count as performance management given today’s available tools.)
With nothing monitoring the wealth of sales intelligence a website holds for your company, the digital front line sales force has no accountability to perform. What other sales force can get away with that but your website?
Thanks to advances in technology a website’s capacity for net-worth to a company has no ceiling and when done correctly could even be insurmountable by the highest performing sales personnel. But that’s only if ongoing digital performance management occurs holding websites accountable as the true sales assets they’re capable of being.
Websites not only could be, but should be the #1 sales force for any company – costing less and delivering more than even the top sales professional (myself included). With greater website performance management comes greater ROI, i.e. net-worth.
Who’s tracking website performance for your company and holding its net-worth accountable?
(Again – Google Analytics is NOT website performance management that provides actual sales intelligence for ROI)
Is anyone from sales involved in the management process of your company website?
Anxious to hear everyone’s processes! And, regardless of what’s in place (or not) take advantage of a NO-cost, NO-obligation Digital Marketing Performance Assessment that validates best processes for your company.