We know you have gotten where you are from producing great solutions and referrals. For most tech consulting companies, the power of a website is validation for prospects and the ability to drive leads from outside their existing network. With these outcomes in mind, there are very specific strategies that are important to employ in redesigning your site.
In this article we'll talk about the strategies for success as well as look at some examples.
We typically look at two primary goals when building a consulting services site - validation and conversion. There are several other goals to consider and we'll talk about another one in the next section.
First, we'll establish that most tech consulting companies want to primarily focus on validation to support their referral business and generally create a positive external image. That being said, we think that a lot of these companies underestimate the opportunity to drive new opportunities through a website.
The reality is that it should be closer to a 50/50 split between validation and conversion in expectation of outcomes for the site. A site should help support your sales process and build confidence while prospects are evaluating their options but also be able to funnel real, solid leads that fit the size and caliber of clients you're looking for.
In most circumstances for tech consulting firms, one deal closed in a year can be extremely lucrative. We are not trying to attract a volume of leads but instead quality leads that meet the criteria for good clients.
We talked about technology consultants primarily looking at validation and conversion as goals, but an often overlooked but imperative goal is to attract and retain employees.
Today's reality with tight job markets especially for tech employees, it is important to create a great impression from the start. Potential employees that can't clearly understand what you do, what you stand for and what it is like to work at your company won't even submit their resumes. I guarantee that recruits that see your job postings or talk to recruiters go to your website as their first act to determine if they want to submit -- honestly, the potential employees that don't do their research and evaluate your site are probably not ones you want to talk to anyways.
It starts with a great site overall that is sophisticated, professional, organized well, and all the other aspects that make a great site. Then, it requires that you put real effort into a culture and careers section that speaks to why people should work with you.
Depending on the type of employees you want to attract, the visual design may need to feel extremely modern, high-end and cutting-edge to get them excited.
Think about it as your way to attract the absolute best candidates to your company you must build their excitement and inspire them to want to work for you. If they are top A talent, they can find any job but they want to choose somewhere that fulfills them not just with compensation but also personally.
As mentioned, your website is also impactful in retention - why - because it can be a sense of pride. Your sales team hates sharing a site with prospects that they are embarrassed about. You want excited evangelists that feel positive all around. This is one of those simple things that may not alone keep an employee but is definitely a factor to support retention.
If you are an organization that is part of a software channel partner program or your sell sophisticated solutions, much of your business is gained by referral. Referrals are strong and often have higher close rates than an unfamiliar lead, but that doesn't mean you should take them for granted.
Even in scenarios where you may have been referred there is often competition - most enterprise organizations are even required to compare at least three partners for a solution they have out for bid.
Increasing your close rate and odds of dealing the deal comes from making a strong case for why you are the best option and confidence at every step of the process. This may mean the initial stage after they are referred to you and want to validate you meet their base criteria or this could be in the due dilligence process.
As with anything, websites are often the first place that people go to learn about a company. Even with a referral, this is the case. Your name is passed along from a happy client or your channel representative and the first thing that prospect will do is look you up.
At this stage there are a few things you want to accomplish:
While your prospects are making their decision, a lot of investigation and research is happening without your knowledge. As a tech consulting company, the sales cycle is often longer and more complicated than most. In many circumstances, enterprise organizations must acquire multiple proposals for their solution as part of organizational or regulatory requirements.
In this stage, it is imperative that your site site validate and build confidence. While your prospect is making their decision and comparing their options, they are utilizing your website as one of their primary information sources. You may have delivered documents, proposals and other assets but most buyers do the majority of their research on their own.
Some important strategies you want to employ are:
One common aspect of any sales process is that there are people involved in the decision making process that you never see. Your information and proposals are being forwarded to them with little context and you never get to tell your story in your words to them.
Your website is a massive influence to these influencers because it is a source of research and validation in lieu of discussions with you.
Thinking through your sales process and the stakeholders involved in making decisions, you can often identify those roles that might be invisible during the process but have a strong opinion in the selection of your solution. Information for these audience should be easily available for them to learn what they need to make a decision.
A key step for sales is to control this process as well by providing information in the sales process that links straight to additional related information of value. Don't let these invisible influencers stumble through their own path to learning about you - control it as much as you can.
As we have mentioned, many tech consultants can be skeptical of the value in lead generation because referrals have often been very lucrative and they don't imagine contacts they know going out to look for solutions on their own.
There are a few major arguments against this:
Friction in sales often comes from higher than average competition, customers who are not ideal, solutions that don't quite match, lack of key decision data, sales starting with low confidence ( or skepticism ) and a number of other factors.
One of the reasons that referrals fit into frictionless sales is that prospects begin with a higher level of confidence and the solutions often match the opportunity perfectly.
Two tactics are powerful frictionless sales lead generators:
SEO and the practice of ranking at the top of search engines for key phrases is an extremely powerful way to drive the right leads.
The concept of search is about appearing in front of people when they have a specific need. Advertising is interruption, but search is initiated by the prospect. In many ways, a rank for a specific key phrase is a referral from Google which begins the process with some confidence and if done right delivers content that specifically addresses their need which continues the confidence building.
The key factor here is making sure that you rank in the top 10 results for phrases that have buying intent for your specific services. This validation can be compounded through search the more specific the key phrase.
Take the example of our own company - if we rank on the first page for "marketing for technology companies" this sets a strong precedence for a key need and a unique specialization. Leads that search for terms around this and find the result are often further in their process and gain a lot of confidence quickly.
For technology consulting companies and software channel partners, search optimization of their site for the right phrases can be a game changer and drive massive growth outside their network.
While search optimization ( which can take time to achieve rank ) eventually produces fast outcomes, thought leadership and social marketing is a strategy that looks to the future.
As mentioned previously, we really believe that marketing needs to be looked at as a long-term game where you are both achieving immediate results as well as building a funnel for future leads. Our goal with thought leadership and social marketing is to create connections with the right audience that may not be ready to buy today.
The key with social marketing, which is often looked down upon by services firms, is to utilize strategies that directly build lists of targeted leads. Connection campaigns, creating niche groups, and contributing to niche groups with direct connections are how people in your organization can build direct connections with quality prospects.
We highlighted some websites below for you to have an idea of what your consulting website should look like. The idea is not for you to replicate what they have, we are recommending them as a possible source of inspiration for you and the ideal clients you hope to serve.
Our top picks are:
Saicon consulting has one of the best consulting websites. Some of the amazing features of the website include great navigation features that help you move around the website easily, a separate segment for the global news update, a display of their business partners and recognized brands they work with, contact links for customers to get in touch, and much more. Other features that make it a good website are the color combinations that align with brand technology, a customized homepage with great pictures, and recently released blog posts. However, Saicon could use a better font that complements the brilliant design idea.
Cognizant has a good web layout with a white background and nice colors to complement it. The site also has clear images that align with the messaging on the web. The website also features news on industry trends, scholarships, technological development, and innovation, among others. Navigating through the site is also easy as the navigation links are well arranged on the top of the homepage.
Powered by YJT Solutions, Entara corp is a great website to check out. The web design has amazing features such as bright color combinations, high-quality pictures, short video content, and the presence of a unique value proposition statement on the web homepage. The segments are well arranged and properly structured. Also, the page navigations are at the top of the web page, making it easy for you to navigate through the website.
Another interesting consulting website you should check out is Ahead. With a white background and nice font color and style. The layout is also impressive as there are roadmaps on the site that guides your navigation. Also, there are few sentences on the sites while interesting pictures are incorporated in the necessary areas. With that, the audience will not get confused or lost on the webpage.
When you visit these sites, highlight the features you like about the site and those features that are a turnoff for you. The ones you like can be developed and added to your website. However, you can remove the features or elements that are less impressive or modify them to suit your business.
For additional insight on the best tech websites or marketing strategies for tech companies, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or fill out our contact form here.
One quick call and we'll share our approach - no pressure.