“Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will nd your customers buying from them, not you.” - Mark Cuban
Of the 20 companies that make their pricing public, 14 use tiered pricing.
Of the 14 companies with tiered pricing, 6 have CTAs prompting enterprise customers to request quotes.
Why do companies treat selling to the enterprise di erently than selling to everyone else? ere are lots of factors, but it usually comes down to scale. Rolling out a product or service to a massive organization can be a seriously complex (and expensive) undertaking.
So while being able to make unassisted purchases on a B2B website is convenient for most, enterprise customers need to be able to talk through the ner details of your product/service with a real human before they buy.
“Our jobs as marketers are to understand how the customerwants to buy and help them do so.” - Bryan Eisenberg
B2B websites lead people down 1 of 2 paths: toward a product, or toward a salesperson.
The experience prospective customers have when they land on your website can be crucial to whether or not they end
up converting. As Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield once commented:
“... even the best slogans, ads, landing pages, PR campaigns, etc., will fall down
if they are not supported by the experience people have when they hit our site, when they sign up for an account, when they first begin using the product and when they
start using it day in, day out.”
In analyzing the websites of the 50 fastest-growing B2B companies, we found two distinct paths that companies typically try to send potential
customers down. They either direct people to A) engage with the product
or service in some way, or to B) engage with a salesperson or other company representative to learn more.
62% (31 out of 50) of websites have primary CTAs directing people to the product/service.
38% (19 out of 50) have primary CTAs directing people to talk to Sales.
Of course, many of the companies that have product-focused primary CTAs also have secondary CTAs for talking to Sales. And remember the 11 companies with live chat from the previous chapter? All 11 of those websites have product-focused CTAs.
e takeaway: It doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Within the 50 fastest-growing B2B companies in the U.S., both tactics are employed. You can encourage people to discover the value of your product through having them experience it for themselves, and you can provide them with an opportunity to talk to a real person if that’s what they want.
Regardless of the path you choose to send people down, make sure that their rst experience is (as Slack's CEO recommended) a positive one.
36% (18 out of 50) of the fastest-growing B2B companies o er free trials or freemium versions of their product.
A free trial or freemium version of a product can be a driving force behind a company’s growth. It’s a model that allows prospective customers to experience rst-hand how a product is going to perform, which reduces the need for canned sales pitches and aggressive tactics.
As Roger Lee of Battery Ventures once wrote:
“Instead of hiring a huge sales force and sending these people out to convince potential customers to buy your product -- the way Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and even Salesforce.com built empires -- a freemium model is a perpetual motion machine through which your product sells itself.”
Of the 18 companies with some free component to their product ...
“ These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.” - Brian Clark
Live chat provides an additional channel of communication for customers and prospects.
Based on our research, 80% of the fastest- growing B2B companies maintain a blog. And just under half offer downloadable resources. So there’s no denying that, for many of these high-growth companies, content plays a significant role in how they communicate with customers and prospects.
But what about the people who engage with this content and then have questions?
Or the people who don’t want to wait for someone to email them after filling out a form? People who want to talk to a real person right now?
One solution that's emerging is 1:1 messaging, which allows prospects and customers to have 1:1 conversations with support reps, sales reps, and other employees via a "live chat" widget on a company's website.
22% (11 out of 50) of the fastest-growing B2B companies have a live chat widget on their website.
Of the 11 companies using live chat, 5 are also using gated content.
Of the 11 companies using live chat, 8 have it on their homepage. 3 have it appear after you navigate to a pricing or contact page.
Of the 11 companies using live chat, 3 show photos of the employees you're chatting with.
A quick review of what most people are doing on social media will make it clear why it’s not working. Social media is not simply a repository for auto-posting existing blog articles. If that’s what you’re doing, you might be underutilizing a very powerful tool.
To optimize social media and drive more visitors to your website, you’re going to have to work harder to engage your followers and get them involved in the conversation. This means asking questions, getting opinions and coming up with creative campaigns that take full advantage of the sharing potential built into social media platforms.
For example, instead of just posting blog articles, try posting conversation starters. Then follow up with supporting information to fuel the conversation and engage your audiences. Wrap up the mini-campaign with content that people can download. Now you’re not only driving up social media reach numbers and new visitors to your website, you’re also giving those visitors the opportunity to convert into leads right from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Another way to improve conversion rates is to place offers across your site more strategically. Your website needs to have a variety of different pages for different phases of your prospects’ buyer journeys. You need pages for awareness, pages for consideration and pages for decision-making, and you need offers that align with those pages.
If you put a Contact Us offer on an awareness page, the conversion rate is going to be very low, because the people on that page don’t want to talk to you yet. If you put a Request A Demo or Free Trial offer on an awareness page, they’re not going to convert, either. Why? Demos and free trials are usually bottom-of-the-funnel, decision-making offers, and putting them on the home page – or every page – is a big mistake.
Instead, take your website through a mapping exercise where you identify the role of each page in the buyer journey. Then add the right offers to the right pages. This exercise often reveals that your site is actually missing pages for different stages of the buyer journey. These pages have to get added if you want to give visitors the experience they need to convert from visitor to lead.
We tackled ways to increase the number of visitors to your site, now let’s tackle ways to drive leads. As I mentioned earlier, the key metric on leads is the conversion rate. Improve conversion rates and improve leads: It’s that simple.
The best place to start is by targeting high-traffic landing pages. Through a series of optimization exercises, you can double, or in some cases triple, the conversion rate on these already popular pages.
Of all the recommendations in this blog, this one is by far the fastest, easiest and most efficient way to improve lead generation, especially if your site already has decent visitor numbers. I’ve written a number of landing page optimization articles over the past couple of months, so instead of going over it again, here’s a link to a recent article on improving conversion rates on landing pages.