October 11, 2016
In an ever-evolving landscape roiled by big data, mobile, turn-key applications, and cloud computing, value-added resellers (VARs) are forced to reinvent themselves as broad IT solution providers. Seeking to adapt in a volatile arena, the VAR marketer might ask: How can a VAR company stand out and drive sales in a shifting IT landscape? These 5 best practices for IT Value-Added Reseller company websites can help.
Communicate value clearly, concisely.
When purchasing a new product/service, three out of four IT pros complete at least 70% of their purchase process prior to contacting a vendor. — Spiceworks
The VAR’s company website often gives the prospect their first impression. Studies show we form first impressions about an individual’s confidence and trustworthiness in a few seconds. It’s no different with the website. To make an immediate, positive impact on the website visitor, encapsulate the value proposition immediately. Convey in a direct, succinct way what it is the VAR does, the value of that offering and who is best served by the solution.
Related Article: Defining a Value Proposition for IT Services Company
Design for impact and clarity
Design the VAR company website with a focus on what the prospect wants — being able to find what they want quickly and easily. This suggests the website design team needs to factor in:
Consider mobile friendliness
Overlooking the importance of a mobile responsive website is a mistake — no matter the industry. Yet, as the Eccolo research demonstrates, IT VAR customers are likely to interact with the company’s site on a mobile device. To disregard this is to discard an opportunity to reach a fast growing audience. According to Google, users are 67% more likely to convert if they have a positive interaction with a business’ mobile site.
71% of B2B technology buyers check out vendor content on mobile devices. — Eccolo Media
A mobile responsive website will load quickly, streamline navigation, and make it easy for the visitor to do research. The top three B2B uses of mobile sites, according to IDG, are:
From lead conversion to lead nurturing
Enhance lead acquisition and lead capture by insuring forms and site Calls-to-Action (CTAs). The landing page, form, and/or overlay CTA need to be well designed. Keep forms short to increase conversions; in general, a clean, streamlined design will convert far better than a cluttered and unappealing one.
Additionally, IT Value Added Resellers have a typically longer sales cycle, which requires lead and sales nurturing. Marketing teams need to consider how marketing communications, marketing automation, email and the website can aid in nurturing leads and prospective clients.
Below is an example of a lead nurturing workflow using Hubspot. The contact timeline within Hubspot documents all marketing communications and nurturing activities to help close the gap between marketing and sales activities.
Related reading: Inbound Marketing Tips for IT Service Companies
Identify website goals
Establish key performance indicators for the website from the outset. Then, let data drive the decisions about website design and online lead capture campaigns. Marketing automation tools make it increasingly easy to track every new prospect as they are converted (or not) to a customer. With consistent and effective analysis of website data and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data about every marketing campaign and every sale, the VAR can determine what marketing is working, when and where and tweak the rest.
Think of website design as an iterative process and embrace an agile methodology responsive to information about what is working or not. After all, the overall best practice among best practices for IT Value-Added Reseller company websites is to make the website the best it can be — on an ongoing basis.
Eccolo Media. (2014). B2B Technology Content Survey Report. https://eccolomedia.com/eccolo-media-2014-b2b-technology-content-survey-report.pdf
IDG Connect. (2016, August 22). 10 UX Best Practices for Ecommerce Success. https://www.idgconnect.com/abstract/19775/ux-practices-ecommerce-success
SpiceWorks. (2014, September). How to Win Friends and Influence IT Pros: Overcoming the disconnect between tech marketers and their buyers. https://www.spiceworks.com/marketing/resources/reports/how-to-win-friends/
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