Jay Gaines (Twitter: @izjay), a Service Director with SiriusDecisions spoke about Website Conversion on Day 2 of the SiriusDecisions Summit this year. He talked about a big step up in website goals from merely disseminating information to “perpetual demand creation”. Conversion optimization is the way to create a steady stream of leads with the “4 critical elements” being:
- Website ownership
- Program integration
While a big part of demand generation traditionally has been “education”, i.e. nurturing leads by keeping them informed, today’s buyer is taking care of this self-serve information / education process online. Never before has it been so critical for sales and marketing teams to align closely. Yes, marketing contributes significantly to information offered through online properties – websites, blogs, company Facebook pages, Twitter updates, email newsletters, etc. But additionally, there is a whole spectrum of third-party information sources that buyers draw upon to fill the gaps.
There is no doubt that the mindset of the majority must change from outbound to inbound marketing for B2B demand generation. Organizations need to find the bridge to convert anonymous online visitors into clearly identifiable personas and take them through a lead qualification and scoring process. In order to get some semblance of control back, conversion optimization is a must.
My thoughts on this particular issue are well documented and I have been quite vocal about this. You will start seeing vendors focussing on delivering solutions to address this anonymous visitor conversion issue. There is a myriad of vendors out there with products and services to address the situation. ALEA is no different as we have launched a brand new initiative which will allow our clients to identify and convert web visitors to a more tangible and meaningful output. Watch our lead generation website for more information coming soon!
An analysis of inbound web visits provides a wealth of information that should be the base and/or first step in the lead generation progression chain. The possibilities are endless in terms of building a solid prospect database (you will notice I did not say lead) to proactive engagement and qualification until you have an extremely qualified lead for your sales channel.
So the question is why are companies not running to take advantage of conversion optimization programs? The answer is both simple and complex:
- They do not think it works as they are applying an outbound mindset to an inbound situation
- They are no longer in control of the prospect engagement process and do not know how to regain control
- They have no process and/or strategy as everything is ad hoc
- They see inbound web-based conversion as a tactical measure
- They do not have a close-looped approach to B2B demand generation
- They do not have sufficient resources and this is not a priority
I consider inbound web conversion programs as the last frontier for B2B demand generation. There are so many opportunities for a company to implement the right strategy and tactics to take advantage of the changing dynamics in customer purchasing habits. The technology exists to allow organizations to start realizing a higher ROI on their digital marketing efforts.
How does your organization track online visitors? More importantly, what happens to this raw data if you do in fact gather it? Is there a mechanism in place to ensure that online leads are quickly and efficiently guided through the sales cycle to a close? Leave me a comment to share your thoughts.