In B2B selling, the customer experience will always be king.
According to Econsultancy’s 2018 Digital Intelligence Briefing, 75% of marketing teams are highly concerned with optimizing the customer journey, but less than 25% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rates.
So, where is the discrepancy here? If creating a positive CX is a top goal, and a better experience is directly linked to conversions, then why are most B2B companies not experiencing fantastic rates?
The issue is that many B2B organizations are not optimizing their websites specifically for conversion rates. The CRO (conversion rate optimization) of a website can have an immense impact on the profitability of a brand, so businesses must take special care and concern in the design and details that have an effect on their customers.
If your team is ready to take CRO design more seriously, here are four statistically proven strategies to consider.
1. Offer simplified online checkouts
Arguably one of the most important steps in the buyer’s journey is the checkout process. According to Baymard 27% of customers have abandoned sales due to a long or complicated checkout. And to make matters even worse, according to Big Commerce, 20% of B2B organizations don’t even have the capability for online checkouts, even though 93% of customers (Forrester) would prefer to purchase through a website.
In order to offer online checkouts, your company obviously needs to create an ecommerce website. Shopify is one of the fastest growing platforms and now offers services specifically for B2B ecommerce with features like payment options, multi-channel sales experiences, and personalized promotions for conversion pages. By using a reputable web hosting service, you can create well-designed and fully customized order forms to help fuel and easier checkout process.
If your website is not able to accommodate for online checkouts, that is the first step to take. From there, the goal should be to make the process as simple, straightforward, and intuitive as possible for a positive CX that leads to conversions.
2. Create content in sync with the buyer’s journey
Reaching your B2B customers with appropriate content can be the perfect way to ease them into a conversion. For example, say that they had already researched your SaaS product but were unsure if your service would be beneficial to their small company. Then, they receive an email from a sales rep explaining how other small businesses have experienced great results from your service. This could be just the information that sparks a purchase
However, this kind of personalized content strategy is extremely challenging, as it is highly data-driven. But, in today’s market, it is completely necessary. Seventy four percent of customers report that they feel frustrated when websites offer content that is irrelevant to their specific position along the buyer’s journey.
In order to provide this, you will need to invest in big data technology that can track each customer’s interactions with your business and expose them to relevant content. The extra effort is well worth it. According to an Evergage study, 51% of B2B companies that implemented data-backed personalization into their strategies reported a significant lift in their conversion rates.
3. Use honest, results-driven social proof
User-generated content (UGC) is extremely powerful for turning skeptical consumers into loyal customers. Many consumers agree that UGC is far more trustworthy and influential in making purchasing decisions than typical branded content. In fact, sites that incorporate it into their platform have reported 10% higher conversion rates.
However, many B2B businesses make the mistake of following the same, boring strategies for UGC: customer testimonials. While video clips and snippets of their reviews can certainly be helpful, chances are that your B2B buyers want to dig a little deeper than your average star rating.
Instead, create case studies that provide actual statistical data that proves that your product or service has helped other businesses. Take Precision Marketing Group’s blog as an excellent example. Their page is full of success stories from their customers and they offer real, measurable results in terms of numbers, rather than generic praise of their business.
Creating this kind of data-heavy content will take some time and will require cooperation from your clients. However, the results can be extremely beneficial and provide future customers with the exact content they need to feel more confident in their purchase.
4. Do more precise testing
The only way to optimize the conversion rates of your website is to test, test, and test some more. Fifty eight percent of businesses rely on some form of A/B testing to determine the best designs and features that will improve their sales numbers, but this kind of testing can be not only lengthy, but also inaccurate.
Unfortunately, there are lots of mistakes that can be made with A/B testing, such as testing too few or too many variants, ending the testing too early, or improper evaluation of the results. Interestingly, AI can be an extremely beneficial tool for conducting faster and better design tests for CRO.
Metadata recently conducted a study to compare AI-assisted A/B testing against traditional manual testing. Each team tested 1,000 variables that were intended to increase engagement and lead traffic. The non-AI team was made of six people and it took seven weeks to complete their testing with the overall cost coming in at a whopping $140,000. On the other hand, the AI-assisted team was made up of only one person. The testing took one hour to complete, and the process costed merely $1,000. It also resulted in up to 400% better outcomes than the traditional A/B testing team.
These incredible results are achieved because AI systems are able to compare hundreds of variants at the same time and transform the data into instant analytics for faster and more accurate insights. If your team wants to compare various ideas that could impact your website’s CRO and CX, AI-powered programs like Sentient Ascend can test out these variants and create actionable reports for final decision-making.
Simply put, the design of your website determines the conversion rate. There are all kinds of subliminal factors and psychological triggers at play here. According to Adobe, nearly 40% of customers will leave because they do not like a website’s design.
The undying goal is to create a platform that not only appeals to visitors, but harnesses their interest in a way that leads to conversions. Keep these four points in mind, as each have been proven to impact the CRO of B2B sales.