For many of us in B2B marketing, analyzing sales and marketing results and working out how near (or far!) you are to achieving your growth goals for the year is a top priority. There’s always plenty of time to ramp up activity or switch budgets to your best performing channels to get you to your lead and revenue targets.
So where do we start?
The answer is simple – your website. Everything you do from a marketing & sales perspective is going to drive your top of the funnel prospects to your website. It’s the first place they’re going to go if they see or hear about your company and have an interest in your product or service. No prospect is calling or enquiring to your sales team before visiting your website first. Think about it, when you’re considering a product or service from a particular company – whether it’s for your business or for you personally – do you visit the website first before reaching out to speak to someone? Exactly.
We also mustn’t forget that no-one is visiting your B2B site for fun! Be honest, when was the last time you spent a Saturday night researching B2B cyber security or manufacturing automation systems?! We go to these sites only when we have a reason to be there and a challenge we are looking to resolve. So, B2B marketers, it makes sense to focus our efforts on our websites and specifically Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
Switching the attention to CRO:
CRO is a hot topic in B2B right now – demand for CRO experts is high from brands wanting a laser focus on increasing the percentage of web visitors that convert onsite. Which makes complete sense if all our campaigns are about attracting relevant people to our sites. More often though, the status quo has been to adopt the ‘more traffic approach’ but this doesn’t fix the ‘leaky bucket’ issue. It’s easy to increase traffic but if your conversion rates are low you need to bring in a tone of traffic (and seriously dent your budget!) to make only marginal gains to lead volume. Also, when you’re focusing on driving more traffic you naturally neglect quality. This means you’re attracting weaker traffic i.e. not great fit, less qualified leads from more generic search terms which will have a negative impact on your conversions lower down the funnel…not ideal for marketing & sales harmony!
According to Wordstream, the average conversion for B2B landing pages is 2.23%! Whilst there will always be industries achieving better, the universal norm has been to accept that c.98% of visitors won’t convert – something crazy we have accepted in B2B marketing for too long.
It’s time to shake things up:
Thankfully, with the rise in CRO experts and a growth in conversion optimization technology (Webeo, Crazy Egg, Optimizely etc) we’re on the cusp of change – and this isn’t just great news for businesses its great news for us as B2B buyers too. Those generic one size fits all web pages are about to get a shake-up. B2B sites are getting relevant and personal which will make our time-poor lives so much easier when we’re researching for new products/solutions.
The brands who successfully strike the balance of volume of leads and quality will be the CRO rockstars. These brands will be:
- Working collaboratively across multiple business units – marketing, sales, customer success to agree what constitutes a good web lead
- Clear in their understanding of what an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) looks like
- Prioritizing ICP’s for demand gen and customer retention strategies
- Dynamically delivering the right content, at the right time, to the right visitor
- Focused on increasing conversion at all stages of the funnel not just adding more traffic.
Finally, whilst benchmarks are useful particularly in highly competitive markets they are a guideline and you need to add your own market context. The real takeaway is that in B2B we shouldn’t be so willing to accept that a 2% conversion rate is ok, we should be punching higher and now is the time to start.