Most executives at colocation data centers recognize the importance of having a website as a valuable 24/7 marketing and sales enablement asset. However many colocation companies seem to fumble around a lot when it comes to converting their website visitors into qualified leads.
In this post, you’ll be introduced both to why and how your colocation website must be able to efficiently convert its visitors into marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
(Note: This post is excerpted from the free downloadable guide to Lead Generation Best Practices for Colocation Data Centers.)
Understand Why You Need to Convert Website Visitors into Leads
In order for data center CEOs to ensure that their companies grow their revenue, this almost always requires effective lead generation.
But why do you need to 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.
So, let that sink in for a minute the next time you think about letting website visitors walk out your virtual door without some way to continue the dialog.
Contracting for data center services is an information-rich, considered sales process. It’s not like walking into your local office supply superstore and leaving 30 minutes later with a printer or a tablet.
Benchmark Your Average Sales Cycle Length
To appreciate why website lead generation is so important, you’ve got to know your sales cycle length.
Data center colo providers definitely have a sales cycle (these services are not exactly impulse buys).
Sometimes it’s weeks. Usually the sales cycle for data center services is measured in months, sometimes longer.
Do you know your company’s 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 PhD 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. Why? Because 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 colocation data centers are just plain missing the boat on generating leads from their websites.
Most data center websites are only able to sell to decision makers who are ready to buy immediately. Think about how often a decision maker is ready to pull the trigger on a long-term services agreement during the very first conversation.
It’s 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 and it’s just not the way that the decision making process works for most data center service providers. Even worse? Your company may not even get the chance to explain itself. Why?
Revamp Your Marketing and Sales Funnel to Be Relevant to the Way That Decision Makers Research and Make Purchase Decisions
According to the latest research, as much as 70% of the buyer’s journey and decision-making process is over before potential data center clients/tenants are ready to reach out to your sales team.
This represents a huge shift. Prospects have far more power than they used to. However, it also represents an opportunity. If a data center can get in front of prospects well before that 70% point, it can really differentiate itself. The way to get in front of prospects is by using great content that generates highly-qualified, sales-ready leads.
So, because of the explosion of disruptive forces -- including mobile computing, search engines, social media, cloud computing, and selective consumption (where people have been trained to demand exactly the information where they want, when they want) -- if your website isn’t found in that first 70% of the sale process, it’s pretty much game over.
Long gone are the days where your sales team sends out a website link as supporting collateral after an introductory conversation takes place.
Today your prospects are going through 70%+ of their decision-making process before they’re even ready to talk to your sales team.
Is your data center’s website able to efficiently convert the hot prospects into qualified leads?
In this post, we’ve introduced you very briefly to the “why” and “how” for website lead generation.
How effectively is your colocation data center’s website converting its website visitors into leads? What have you found to be most important? Please let us know in the Comments box below.
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