The Web design and online marketing field has become steadily more competitive over the past nine months. Raeann Van Arsdall, Account Exec for Oregon-based Edge design advertising, needed a way to close new client sales more effectively and quickly.
She used to do the regular business development thing -- getting an initial face-to-face meeting, and then having her design team put together a presentation CD ROM or printed portfolio relating to that sales lead's interests. Then she'd have it messengered over and follow-up by phone or email a week or two later. CAMPAIGN
The firm's design engineer, Phil, loves creating database-driven Web sites for clients. This Spring, Van Arsdall had a brainwave -- why not use Phil's talents to create an easy-to-use online proposal presentation for each new prospect?
Phil set to work, and two months ago presented Van Arsdall with his solution: an in-house content management tool called the WebPhiller. Now, the minute Van Arsdall gets back to the office after an initial sales call, she can whip together a quick online presentation addressing that prospect's particular desires.
She explains, "I don't have to rely on a programmer to create a presentation for me. In two minutes, I can create a front page saying, 'Hi Joe it was nice meeting with you today. Based on our conversation, I know your needs are X, Y, Z. Here are some specific examples of work we've done that I think you'll find interesting." She can select exactly which examples she'd like to include in the presentation from a wide database of the agency's samples, including samples, descriptions and solution copy.
Then she emails her sales prospect a link to their personalized online presentation. The program includes instant online reporting, so Van Arsdall can watch usage in real-time. She says, "I know when they look at it, what other pages of our site they checked out, and if they get other people to look at it too."
Van Arsdall credits the Webphiller with lopping at least a week or more off her average sales cycle. "They move to the next step much more quickly. I don't have to wait a week to follow-up anymore." Prospects are also impressed with the almost "instant feedback" to their meeting. "It says, 'I was listening,'" Van Arsdall explains.
Plus, the system can make a big difference when more than one influencer or decision-maker is involved on the client side. In fact, generally the initial prospect visits the online presentation in less than 24 hours, and then an hour or two later three to four additional folks from the client-side go in to take a look at it. More than one prospect can view the presentation at the same time.
In general most people go through their presentations in full -- even when the presentations are lengthy. Then many next examine other areas of the agency's Web site.
Check out a sample Webphiller at: