The quantity of information is critical.
Providing a superficial overview of your
company’s capabilities is a sure way to
lose a potential customer’s interest. More
than 80 percent of product or service research projects include two to four visits
to a vendor website before initiating a
request for quote3. Do you have enough
material to warrant a second, third, or
Engaging the Customer
Once you’ve got the customer’s attention, how do you measure engagement?
A call to action (CTA) can help with that.
Ask the customer to do something and
track those actions.
• See it in action, watch a demonstration, watch a video. Regardless of
the specific wording, this shows that your
website has been successful in capturing
a customer’s attention beyond reading
about your products or services.
• Download a PDF, request more
information. These indicate a more thorough level of research and the possibility
that the downloaded information will get
passed around among decision-makers.
• Request a quote.
CTAs must not be vague or difficult to
find. Place them prominently on product pages where website visitors will see
them and use them.
Closing the Sales Loop
Tired of telling your biggest customer that
Friday’s shipment indeed will ship on Friday? Don’t have time to return his email
acknowledging you’ll ship an extra 10
pieces in that order? Too busy to call him
back to let him know that you’ll ship it for
delivery in two days instead of the usual
three days? Likewise, your competitors
probably are tired of that, they don’t have
time for that, and they’re too busy for that.
How important is all that, anyway?
It’s probably more important than you
think. Fabricating metal is only one of
the reasons your customers do business
with you. Another is service. A recent
survey revealed that 79 percent of potential customers say that customer service
is very important when selecting a new
supplier4. This is an opportunity to scoop
up a little more market share, but only
if you’re not really too tired of it, if you
really can find the time, and if you’re really not too busy to keep up with your
To gauge your chances of capturing
a new customer, look at your retention
of existing customers. If they stay with
your company year after year and their
order volumes grow, you’ve established
yourself as a trusted supplier. Another
metric is your company’s response time.
Do you reply to requests for information
on the same day the request was made?
This is critical to 86 percent of potential customers5. If you’re not quite up to
speed in these areas, you might want to
put some additional effort into customer
service training. Six percent of companies report scheduling customer service
training sessions weekly; 49 percent
never hold them. Other training frequencies—monthly, quarterly, and annually—
are just about equal at 10, 10, and 12
If your customer response time isn’t
quick enough to establish confidence
from the get-go, it might be time to
schedule more frequent customer service
David Underwood is president of
TopSpot Internet Marketing, 515 Post
Oak Blvd., Suite 300, Houston, TX 77027,
1. Google/Millward Brown Digital,
B2B Path to Purchase Study, 2014.
2. TechValidate. TVID: 53F-249-682
3. TechValidate. TVID: 829-67E-E3E
4. TechValidate. TVID: 1FE-2FE-F40
5. TechValidate. TVID: 082-C7C-B00
6. TechValidate. TVID: 789-2AB-A2A
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