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Mar 27, 2001
How To

Two Proven Ways to Raise B-to-B Sales Online

SUMMARY: "Yes, you can sell large pieces of capital equipment online" says Linda Holden, National Sales Manager at Thomas Register. However she notes it's not as easy as you think. "Engineering doesn't want to talk to purchasing and purchasing doesn't want to talk to sellers." So how do you sell online? Here are two proven tactics that can make a real difference in your success.
1. Create a "Rich" Catalog

A business-card or brochure-style Web listing won't do much good for your company these days. Instead, Holden recommends that you add every single bit of information you possibly can to your online catalog listings. This should include photographs, detailed technical specifications and of course a button so surfers can request a quote.

Successful online catalogs contain every possible type of information a buyer would ever need to make a decision. This doesn't mean buyers won't need an RFP or some human interaction to finalize the sale. It does mean you stand a better chance of getting contacted by that hot sales lead when they are ready to purchase.

2. Get the Missing 28% to Buy

According to Virginia Richmond, VP Marketing at NewChannel, at least 30% of B-to-B site visitors are actually qualified and interested in buying something -- but only 2% take action at your site. How do you get that missing 28% to buy?

Richmond recommends you analyze your site traffic and sales logs carefully to learn which pages are useful to you and which aren't. Do visitors to a particular page end up buying more than visitors to other pages? Then perhaps you should redesign your site to push more traffic to the successful pages; or, redesign the less successful pages.

Richmond also recommends testing a pop-up window with a live chat link to a customer service person. The window could simply ask, "Got any questions?" B-to-B prospects like interacting with real people, so this proactive approach could work for you.
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