To a large extent, I do understand their need for the phone call. Most industrial sales require an applications engineer or an expert to talk to the visitor to fully understand their needs before presenting a solution. The exception may be distributors using eCommerce to sell components online. Even they are moving more towards solution based selling.
However, a call as the main objective of a web design starts to fall apart because the client makes a bad assumption that after a visitor finds his/her site, they’ll pick up the phone and call. Not likely to happen with as much regularity as you want it to happen. I can virtually guarantee that based on my years of experience designing and developing industrial websites.
You don’t have to take my word for it, feel free to Google independent research studies on industrial buying behavior. Almost every study cites the fact that today’s industrial buyers are not willing to engage with sales until they’ve completed 60-70% of their buying journey on their own.
I think it is counterproductive for you to spend the time and money redesigning and optimizing your industrial website if you have to spend the bulk of your time in prequalifying a bunch of calls that have little to no chance of ever becoming a sales opportunity.
A far more realistic approach and one that is proven to be more successful, is to help your visitors make interim decisions and move them towards that call in a logical and informed manner. You do that by creating site content that demonstrates that you understand their needs and have the expertise to provide a solution for their application. A Live Chat feature can be very effective in helping visitors make quick decisions by answering questions while they are on your site. Provide validation of your claims that will convince them that you are the right partner for them and earn their trust. That’s how you can improve your chances of getting the call versus your competition.
The end result may be fewer calls and RFQs but you’ll get higher quality web leads and inquiries that have a good chance of turning into sales. Your sales team will be happier with the quality of leads generated by the website, they’ll be more productive pursuing these opportunities and their win rates will increase dramatically. That to me is the Holy Grail of industrial web design and not just getting the phone to ring.
What do you think should be the main objectives of an industrial web design?