Not to brag, but we’ve helped a lot of enterprise, mid-market and SMB companies tell their B2B customer success stories. Doing so is always fun, and it helps our customers show prospects how the vendor’s solution has solved a problem that a company similar to the prospect’s company was having—and that they likely have themselves.
It’s important to show prospects that their peers are getting benefits from your solution, and to do so in their own words, because studies show that 53 percent of B2B buyers rely on peer recommendations before making any purchase decisions.
But there’s commonly one challenge we come across when building those stories: The customer has a challenge communicating the measurable performance improvements (metrics or key performance indicators [KPIs]) they’re seeing as a result of the new solution/product/service.
They may say "sales have increased", or they "definitely have better relationships with their clients and prospects", but they’re not able to give tangible data that supports those claims. Sales increases could be attributed to a number of factors, they’ll mention. Or they’re not sure how much interaction they had with clients and prospects before the implementation.
And therein lies the problem: They don’t have enough “before” data for a great before-and-after comparison. And without strong, tangible data to support your solution’s impact, your success story will be weaker than it should.
For Convincing B2B Customer Success Stories, Start Early—Before The Implementation
But you (or we) can fix that problem easily enough. It just takes forethought.
You need to start collecting data before the implementation even begins. Early in the process have your marketing people ask the client questions like: "What are your specific goals?" and "What do you hope to accomplish with this solution?"
Based on their responses, you’ll be able to figure out two or three areas that should improve after the implementation. Look at those areas and collect metrics associated with them. Write those metrics down for later. Then, after the implementation has been successful and the customer has (hopefully) been getting those anticipated results, go back and get those same metrics, which will now show improvements.
That will make for a persuasive before-and-after comparison.
Other Roadblocks to Compelling Data—And How to Overcome Them
Sometimes, the lack of before numbers isn’t the problem. I have seen a variety of reasons why a customer hasn’t been able to provide solid measurable performance results: Some clients try to keep performance metrics confidential; others don’t invest in measuring performance results as well as they should; for others, the solution hasn’t been implemented long enough for good performance metrics; and, in some cases, the performance metrics aren’t that good, so they’re hesitant about divulging them.
I'd like to offer two quick tips if you’re having trouble getting great metrics from a customer:
- Consider waiting longer; if you do, will you be able to better measure impact and KPIs?
- If they’re concerned about revealing confidential numbers, or if the numbers aren’t really that impressive, consider using percentage improvements. An increase in sales from 50 to 60 a year might not sound too impressive, but a 20 percent increase in sales does!
BayCreative: We Get Them Talking
At BayCreative, we’re experts at drawing out the kinds of metrics that create strong B2B customer success stories. So if you’re looking to build your library, and tell some great stories, please let us know.
According to WordStream,
the conversion rate of a typical website is about 2.35 percent
. If you had a salesman performing that poorly, you’d probably encourage him to find another vocation.
But too often, companies leave their underperforming website on staff rather than invest the time and effort in building a better website. So the website sticks around, its behavior basically unchanged for years.
And that’s a mistake.
No matter the size of your business, a modern, optimized B2B website is essential for finding those prospects who are seeking your solutions, to help establish your presence in the marketplace, to extend your reach, and to help decision-makers select and buy your products and/or services.
If your website isn’t doing those things for you, it might be time for a redesign. B2B website best practices are evolving constantly, and your website needs to evolve with them.
In this post, we’re offering some best practices for when you do redesign your site.
What Your B2B Website Needs
- These days, you have to have a responsive design to your B2B website, meaning it automatically adjusts the layout to the device it’s being viewed on. That way, your website will have a mobile-first feel to it. Also, write your on-page content for mobile devices—keep it concise and break it up with white space and bullet points.
- Your B2B website needs to be search engine optimized so it appears high in the list of results when a prospect looks for your product/service on an online search engine. SEO has been a staple of websites from the beginning. But, like website design best practices, it’s constantly evolving; that means you have to constantly be re-approaching your site content and off-site SEO factors.
- Related to that is the need for consistent, quality content on your B2B website. A good website is more than just a storefront with a list of products. By including regular blog posts and other content such as case studies and white papers, you turn your website into a library of content that showcases your knowledge.
- When you think about content for your B2B website pages, don’t just fixate on text. Include compressed video, pictures, infographics, and more. Be sure to fill in the alt tag and description boxes for those content pieces, because that will help with SEO, as well.
- Use consistent messaging throughout your B2B website.
- Keep navigation easy. Set it up so that the end user can reach any page within three clicks, make the path to that final destination clear, and ensure the user has clear choices and can easily get to where they want to go within your site.
- Don’t load your B2B website up with plug-ins and large photo and video files that bog down load times. The longer the page takes to load, the more likely the visitor will grow impatient and leave the page.
- Put a clear call to action (CTA) on every page, preferably on the top half of the page. Don’t leave visitors wondering what to do next.
- Continue to maintain, update, and analyze your B2B website to ensure it continues to work for you.
Work with an Expert to Squeeze the Most Out of Your Newly Redesigned Website
Our biggest recommendation for creating an effective B2B website? Work with an established website design company that knows what it’s doing. The above list doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of best practices, but the right agency will know all the tricks for building a website that brings eyes to your site and increases conversion rates.
BayCreative is one such agency
. We’re a full-service B2B marketing/branding/creative agency based in San Francisco but we have clients across the United States... many of whom we’ve worked with to create great websites.
For more tips, download our FREE eBook, “
7 Steps for Successful Website Redesigns
website design and development
Now that you’ve got your positioning statement
, you have the foundation for all marketing materials you produce. That foundation will help you create strong brand messaging across all B2B marketing materials.
Brand messaging refers to how you convey your value and your unique value proposition and the language you use in your content. If you select the right language and focus on the right aspects of your business, you can make it stand out from the competition—and ultimately motivate the audience to buy your product/solution.
How do you pick the right things to focus on in your B2B marketing materials? How do you ensure you have strong brand messaging? Read on and we’ll provide some tips.
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