The Internet has changed B2B sales. There were approximately $1.3 trillion B2B E-commerce business transactions over the Internet in the year 2000 alone, according to the MarketingSherpa B2B Technology Marketing Benchmark Report 2011, and the numbers are estimated to be much higher now. The majority of businesses are investing money in their websites and social media presences, and for good reason. Business customers like the ease of doing business with companies online. Internet sales minimize the need for outbound prospecting, and expensive outbound marketing campaigns, such as print ads and direct mail campaigns. Instead, your business customers come to you.

The competition for B2B sales in the Internet generation is fierce. If your business does not establish a good Internet presence, it will get lost in the web. To increase your sales and productivity on the Internet, your business needs to take the steps to make its website and social media presence visible and user friendly. Use the following tips to help you increase your company’s Internet sales.

  • Staff Profiles: Including photos and bios of key staff at your company can help earn your buyers’ trust. Business buyers are people and emotion is a big factor towards a decision to purchase. Staff pictures and bios tell your customers that people exist behind automated processes and online brands.
  • Good Marketing Content: Good marketing content clearly explains what your business provides – and not just product feature descriptions; make sure your content conveys benefits. If your website does not clearly define what your company is about, your business customers will search elsewhere. Produce or hire someone to write content for your site that is informative, interesting and accessible. Flashy brand videos and thought leadership have a time and a place, but are useless unless you have supporting content that explains what you do in clear terms. Internet consumers don’t have time to sift through your brand content to find your product content if they’re serious about buying; make it easy for them to learn about you online. Create content for each stage of the buying cycle, and make sure prospects going through each phase know how to find the content targeted to them.
  • Product or Service Specifications: Your company site should list its products and services, as well as list product and service specifications. Your business customers are looking to make a decision based largely off the information on your site. If you don’t provide enough information, they may leave your site and instead search for your competitors.
  • Ask for Contact Information: The best practices for lead generation on the Internet are customer information request forms and marketing campaign sign-up forms on your website. You can safely assume that the site visitors who fill out these forms are interested in follow-up sales calls and marketing emails from your company. However, be careful to avoid spamming your potential customers. On your marketing forms, specify the type and volume of communication you’ll send to any who sign up. That way, even if your best practice is to send a lot of emails that others consider spam, at least you’ve given warning.
  • Online Quotes and Sales: Your company website should either provide an E-commerce solution to allow businesses to purchase your products or services online, or should have a form for obtaining online quotes. This form should be easy to fill out and find.
  • Search Engine Optimization and Social Media: A great website is useless if your B2B customers do not find it. You need to SEO optimize your site and utilize social media tools to make your site visible on the web.

Investing the time and money into your company’s Internet presence is a worthy investment, because it drives buyers to you and can increase your sales productivity greatly.