Best Practices for IT Value-Added Reseller Company Websites

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

M2M communications - Internet of ThingsThe 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:

  • Modern design principles and a contemporary aesthetic
  • Clarity of brand value proposition
  • Page load time (trim down code, compress large images)
  • Accessibility and clarity of meaning (use strong headlines, headers and put important content across the top and down the left side)
  • Color, style, form and impact – design qualities that shape a brand feel and attitude
  • Overall impact of visuals
  • Responsiveness to mobile, tablet and desktop
  • Conversion points – How will the website drive lead engagement and conversions
  • Conversion offers, messaging and landing pages are vital marketing tools for B2B IT lead generation
  • Future upgrades and continuous improvements – it’s vital to understand that companies that are great at driving qualified leads continuously improve and update their websites

Website value proposition

Website UX for inbound marketing

Explore Ironpaper services: IT Website Design

Consider mobile friendliness

IT website content consumption

Source: Eccolo

Mobile website statistics

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:

  • Find solution and product information
  • Compare products and pricing
  • Read articles about trends, strategies.

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.

Content for marketing example

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.

Lead nurturing: How long is your sales cycle

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.

Hubspot CRM activity

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.

Marketing and sales goals by revenue

What is Inbound Sales?

Explore Ironpaper services: IT Marketing

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.

 

Sources:
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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