Many businesses that operate on a referral basis tend to stick to the status quo. But while word of mouth and a strong network are powerful forces behind any business, it's always a good idea to have every advantage possible in a competitive industry. B2B websites are one of the ways to differentiate your business and provide a valuable resource to bring in those all-important leads.
Whether you're operating with a website that's years out of date or you haven't yet invested in an online presence, now is a better time than ever to take advantage of quality web design. Here are eight of the ways a website can help to boost the success of referrals for your business:
1. An online presence lets potential customers learn all about you
The top priority of a well-designed website is to let your audience know accurately and effectively what your company is and what you have to offer. Without an online presence, getting an idea of what your brand is like, your mission, and how you can be beneficial to your customers is far more of a challenge. Maintaining an up-to-date, visible presence makes it easy for potential customers to learn what they need to know. Even if they are referred to your business by another method, doing your research is always best practice before making any big purchase.
2. The B2B industry needs to modernise to meet a change in demographics
The demographic of B2B has long been considered the more mature, older version of B2C. But as times change and the priorities of businesses evolve, it's more important than ever to keep up with the modernisation of the industry. While once more traditional networks and camaraderie were the driving force behind B2B relationships, many modern businesses are far more willing to play the field to find brands that align with their wants and needs. Modernising with a new website and strong branding is one way to live up to these changes and ensure your business remains relevant in a changing landscape.
3. Decision-makers are more likely to do their research online
Back in 2014, 18 to 34-year-olds accounted for nearly half of all researchers in the B2B field. In 2021, it's only likely that figure will have increased significantly across the industry. With millennials making the decisions and a younger audience researching the options available, it's integral for B2B businesses to be visible online in all the right places. A website can be the difference between your business being considered or your brand not being on their radar at all. Old school is out, and you need to change your methods if you want to keep up.
4. Not every lead you get has to be a referral
B2B businesses that purely operate on referrals are an increasingly rare sighting across many sectors. Hybridising and connecting with a broader audience is the modern-day goal of many businesses, allowing them to reach new and untapped audiences beyond their own professional network. A high-quality website can help to supplement referrals, bringing in 'cold' customers in addition to the contact you're already working on. The more you diversify, the more people you can attract beyond the traditional referral model.
5. Your website helps you stand out from the competition
If your competitors aren't up to speed for their referral business, that gives you a unique opportunity to get ahead. Creating a high-quality website is an excellent place to start if you want to stand out as a modern, up-to-date brand. Ultimately, you want to make your B2B business the first one that appears on search rankings and the first brand that appears for in-depth research about your specific field or product. If you can help your business stand out as less stuffy as your stuck-in-their-ways competitors, that's an even more significant advantage for you.
6. A well-designed website helps to qualify leads before first contact
While receiving new leads through referrals does help to qualify them, a website can take you one step further into the sales process without any extra input from sales staff. By offering direct information and insight into your brand online, it's possible to help customers understand your B2B services better before they even have first contact with a member of your team. From there, it's a quick and easy process to convert that qualified lead into a sale.
7. An out-of-date website can reflect poorly on your brand image
On the flip side, a website that's clearly out of date or poorly maintained can spell bad things for your business. As a B2B operation, it's crucial to ensure your online presence reflects the state of your brand. A website that hasn't been updated in several years can indicate that you have gone out of business or aren't committed to keeping up with the wants and needs of your industry. An updated website is a positive reflection on your brand and makes it far more likely that potential customers will take that extra step to get in contact.
8. B2B businesses are just as likely to make decisions based on mobile searches
From researching on-site to remote businesses, more B2B activities than you may think are conducted directly from a smartphone. Investing in a new, mobile-reactive website can ensure your brand is as easy to explore from a mobile device as it would be from a desktop. The easier your website is to navigate, and the more accessible the information, the more likely it is that you'll gain new customers. 55% of B2B buyers start their search on social media, making it even more integral to have a mobile-friendly website that they can navigate to.
Regardless of how you bring in new customers, a purpose-built website can make all the difference in making that sale. For modern referrals, word of mouth simply isn't enough to convert that all-important lead. Quantum are the specialists in B2B websites, creating designs that support your referral business and help you stand out from your competitors. Get in touch today to find out more.