Every month, I speak to a few dozen managed service providers. Nearly all want to know how they can get more leads and clients from their MSP websites.
What do nearly all of these websites have in common? They’re just terrible at converting visitors to leads. In fact, 9 out of 10 get a FAIL (<70%) from our website evaluation tool.
Your Website Must Convert Visitors to Leads
When talking about converting website visitors into leads, it’s natural to question, “Why convert website visitors into leads in the first place?”
It’s real simple: According to Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified, but not yet ready to buy.
Let that sink in for a minute the next time you think about letting website visitors walk out of your virtual door without some way to continue the dialog.
Pay Attention to Your Average Sales Cycle Length
To appreciate why this is so important, you’ve got to know your sales cycle length.
B2B technology providers, including managed service providers, have a sales cycle.
Thirty-six thousand dollars a year in outsourced managed services (or your local currency equivalent)…these are not impulse buys.
Sometimes the sales cycle length is weeks. More often than not, the average sales cycle length is months, sometimes even years.
Do you know your average sales cycle length?
How to Calculate Your Average Sales Cycle Length
The average sales cycle length is the difference between the date a lead is received, compared to the date that the lead materializes into a paying client.
Then take the average of those differences. No Ph.D. is required. It’s just basic spreadsheets 101.
Now if you’re in the dark about your average sales cycle length, it’s a pretty big problem.
And that should definitely be on your homework list.
In fact, sales cycle length is a big part of the whole reasoning behind why lead generation is so critical.
But now that you know about this issue, it’s also a big opportunity...because most small MSPs are just plain missing the boat on generating leads from their websites.
Most MSP Websites Ignore Everyone That Isn’t Ready to Buy Today
The typical managed services website is only able to sell to decision makers that are ready to buy immediately.
Think about how often a B2B decision maker is ready to pull the trigger on a major project or services agreement during the very first conversation. Pretty rare that anything big happens on the spot. So you need a mechanism to stay in touch and build value over time.
Ignoring lead generation is a huge oversight. It’s totally unrealistic. It’s just not the way the decision-making process works for most B2B technology companies.
Is your MSP website able to generate a sufficient quantity of high-quality leads? Or are you still trying to market using outdated, old school techniques made obsolete by selective consumption, search engines, mobile computing, and social media? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to make sure that your company’s website is able to convert visitors into leads, be sure to download your free copy of the IT Channel Inbound Marketing Planning Guide.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Nima Badiey