In business, 85% of transactions begin online, or that’s at least what people are saying these days. But what does that actually mean?

Shockingly it means the decision to buy or not buy your products or services has already happened. And they didn’t even pick up the phone or talk to you. How rude!

How we purchase has changed. Drastically.

I like to ask customers to think about the first holiday they booked. Most will mention going to a travel agents (they tend to be of a certain age), looking at brochures and talking it through with a sales rep. Most people have probably bought a holiday this way at some point.

I then ask…

“How did you buy your last holiday?”

Almost everyone these days uses the internet. They research locations, book flights, hotels, transport and get their families and luggage safely around the world without ever setting foot in a travel agents.

The same is now true for B2B sales. We do our research before we even consider picking up the phone. Today, referrals and internet searches are the most commonly cited drivers for new business leads, ignoring this WILL cost your business dearly (you’ve probably lost another sales enquiry while reading this article).

Can anything be done?

Quite simply, yes. First, it’s essential that your marketing and brand communications:

  1. Appear where your customers do their pre-purchase research
  2. Align with what they’re searching for
  3. Are designed to maximise your chances of an enquiry

This might sound like a huge challenge for your business to undertake, but it’s actually very simple and straightforward. Let’s break it down.

Google is still ‘the daddy’

I’ve regularly read with increased horror that ‘SEO is dead’ and ‘Google doesn’t matter’. Let me put this clearly YES IT DOES!!!

  • Google accounts for 80-90% of all internet searches.
  • The top three links on Google get about 86% of the clicks.
  • Google AdWords is the biggest advertising network on the planet.

Get found on Google. Simple.

Data, data, data…

We live in an age where you can know exactly what your customers are searching for, what they’re looking at and how long for. Google Analytics is the cheapest market research tool you will ever find. So use it.

More bites of the cherry

Google’s ‘remarketing tool’ works. It can help you extend your brand messages beyond your website. Email marketing is still a cost-effective way of staying in touch with enquiries and tools such as our Site Visitor ID software can even tell you who is visiting your site.

What this means

Not everyone who visits your website will pick up the phone (more’s the pity), but we can dramatically increase your chances. So, if your website isn’t performing and your sales pipeline is looking a bit thin on the ground, maybe it’s time you picked up the phone and gave us a call?