Your Loneliest Salesperson
WRITTEN by: Bill Sterzenbach |
Is your website the loneliest salesperson in your office? Do you give it at least as much care and attention as your other sales staff, or is it generally neglected? Stop and think about it - if businesses treated their sales staff the way they treat their online salesperson, they wouldn't have a very large staff.
In order to decide what compensation is fair for your online salesperson, we must first define some objectives. What is the main job of your online salesperson? Lead generation, direct sales, and support are 3 very valid jobs which you may assign to your it. Now, you need only decide what is a realistic expectation for this year and what is fair payment for meeting these objectives. Once you've done this, you can easily determine whether your online salesperson is earning the pay received. If your website exceeds the assigned objectives, we should have some plan for how we will 'reward' the site in this event. Generally, a short-term budget increase is in order. This allows you to try and reproduce the environment in which the exceeded expectations occurred and see if you can do it again.
Let's take a look at the components that make up a happy salesperson and compare it to your website's 'compensation'.
How much do you invest in your website annually? Is it anywhere near comparable to what you would pay a person to generate the same number of sales leads?
Are you rewarding your website when it exceeds your expectations with regard to lead generation? When it received that really really big opportunity last year, did you remember to reward it in the next year's budget?
Does your site have the sales documentation, presentation materials, sales sheets, and other collateral it needs to succeed? What sort of leads are you sending your site? If you expect it to reach all goals with no prospects (traffic coming in) then you will surely be disappointed. Perhaps some support by way of prospecting (search marketing) would help your online salesperson to reach their goals.
Face-time with the boss
Are you giving your website sufficient face-time? Do you ignore until something goes wrong? This will surely discourage your online salesperson and demotivate it. You should give your website some attention at least monthly. This site represents you, and you should know what it's saying.
Obviously any analogy can be taken too far, but you can find an analogue for nearly any component of a healthy website that matches a salesperson. Give some serious thought to the idea of your website being a member of your sales team. Are you equipping it to excel?