When I talk with owners of IT businesses that are struggling to generate more leads, clients, and revenue from their cloud services websites, I see a shockingly common problem: Nearly all of these websites have only one or two ways for a visitor to become a lead.
The Contact Us Page Problem
In most cases, you’ll find a Contact Us page. Now granted, some Contact Us pages are better done than others.
The lousy Contact Us pages try to hide the company’s physical location and sometimes even its phone number.
The good Contact Us pages not only alleviate website visitor anxiety by providing offline contact information, but the forms that capture the data also do a good job of walking the tightrope between:
- Asking for enough information to properly qualify the lead
- Not freaking out website visitors by asking for the earth, moon, sun, and stars
But the bigger issue: Generally, the only people who will fill out a Contact Us form are either
Turn Strangers into Visitors Early On to Avoid Price Wars
While it may sound appealing to attract those who have that immediate buy urgency, it’s not quite as cool as it seems.
In the modern B2B buying process, 57% of the sales cycle is over before decision-makers are talking to any vendor.
What’s happening during this time period? Your best prospects are becoming educated and empowered in ways that were unthinkable as recently as five years ago.
So if you want your cloud services company to be perceived as a thought leader and trusted advisor, it’s critical that your business get found in that first 57% of the sales cycle – where your content and educational resources help website visitors begin to fall in love with your company. (“Wow! This stuff is awesome! I’ve been looking for resources like this for weeks! What else do they have to say?”)
You need a way – actually lots of ways – for website visitors that are a good fit, in many cases a great fit, to be able to raise their hands and convert to leads, even if they won’t be ready to buy for a few weeks or a few months.
The Three Life Cycle Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Most B2B decision makers go through three distinct buying cycle stages when looking at cloud services websites:
- Awareness – Basically research, where prospects are looking for educational resources and solutions to broad problems (for example, an eBook on ”How to Improve Cloud Security in Healthcare”).
- Consideration – Once a prospect is aware of what a solution may look like, that prospect usually begins to consider the pros and cons of different marketplace options (for example, by attending webinars, downloading comparison guides, or interacting with ROI calculators).
- Decision-Making – At this stage, a prospect is ready for a meaningful, one-on-one conversation with a cloud services provider through a demo, needs analysis, or consultation perhaps. In other words, the Contact Us form mentioned earlier is one of many tools your website needs for leads in the decision-making stage.
In order for your website to be effective at engaging with those that are very well qualified, but not yet ready to buy today, your website must have different kinds of content, including premium content gated behind landing pages, for website visitors that are currently in the awareness or consideration life cycle stages.
If your website fails to address the needs of early-stage prospects, it’s no better than a car salesperson that refuses to talk to people that aren’t ready to sign on the dotted line immediately.
Remember the reason that you need lead generation in the first place: Without it, your website is only capable of interacting with those that are ready to buy, on the spot, on the very first visit!
How effective is your cloud services website at engaging different kinds of ideal buyers that are a great fit, and very highly qualified, but not yet ready to buy today? Let us know how you’ve addressed this issue in the Comments box below.
And to make sure that your CSP business has set up the right foundation for using lead generation to accelerate the sales cycle, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.
Topics:- Cloud Service Provider CSP