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Call Reports for your Website

November 11, 2012 ark-com

Hands up if you employ sales people? Keep your hands up if you have absolutely no problems convincing them to create call reports. Yep, thought so.

This was the bane of my life when I was a managing a sales team. Every Monday morning sales meeting I would give the same talk about the importance of completing their reports. All we needed to know was who was spoken to, what was said and the success of the meeting. Nothing too detailed and all in lovely paper form. It should have taken them a max of 10 minutes per call but it still needed policing to make it happen.

Now if you have been reading these notes for a while you will have seen how we frequently refer to your website as having the potential to be your best sales person ever. And thankfully your website has the ability to solve the call reporting problem in a very smart and reliable way. Google Analytics is its secret weapon here. So let’s go through some of the core stats this product reports on and interpret these into call reporting value.

Let’s start with how they “found” people to talk to. This is an interesting one because a website will both find people and get found. For instance there will be those prospects that find the website within their Google search results. Then there are those paid ads a company can place so the website can find prospects. Thankfully Google Analytics shows you each stream of traffic split out so you can see how many came from each and if your web sales person was overly busy last week or just spinning its wheels not talking to many.

Hopefully your site was the busy one of the two. So let’s move into disecting these visitors a bit further. Knowing if these people have been seen before could be a good start. New and Returning visitor counts will help you here. I once had a sales person who hated seeing existing accounts but loved breaking ground with new companies. The only issue being that a whopping 70% of their budget was to be made from current customers. We were extremely lucky to have another sales person on the team who had completely the opposite way of working. So we swapped some accounts around, re-aligned some budgets and kept moving forward making best use of the individual skills involved.

Unfortunately you don’t have that same luxury of flexibility with a website. If your site is receiving a minor smattering of new visitors each month then things need to be fixed. At the top of this list is usually Search Engine Optimisation and/or paid search advertising. And likewise if your business relies on a steady stream of repeat business while your repeat website visitor count is super low then strategies like email marketing are the first things to roll out.

So that’s how your website sales person found its audience. But how did it’s message fair? Your site’s bounce rate is once stat that will help you find this out. A “bounce” is when someone arrives on a page of your website and decides to look no further and leave. They literally bounce in and out of your website using a single page as the trampoline floor. Which is OK if your website sales message is on one page but next to hopeless if like most you tell your sales story over a few.

I see this as someone arriving, looking and then quickly leaving. We have probably done it a hundred times while shopping. The shop window looks appealing so we step in, realise that this is not what you are looking for, complete a very quick sweep around so not to look rude and then make a beeline for the exit. In a shop you can probably do this is 3 minutes, a web visitor can achieve the same in less than 30 seconds. Streams of traffic will have their own bounce rate attributed to them. Ideally you want your paid advertising stream to have a value as low as possible. Individual pages on your site will have their own value too. Some pages will naturally have a high value – for instance your contact us page. Here people look for your phone number or postal address and then leave. Your home page should have one of your lowest bounce rates as it works to move people around the other pages of your site.

When things are going well your bounce rate will be low and two other stats will trend upwards – time on site and pages per visit. Think of these as the questions your website sales person is answering. And just like in the face to face world – the more questions a prospect asks and the longer they spend asking them the greater their perceived interest in what you offer.

This leads us onto the next natural step – closing the sale. For your website this is the same as achieving a conversion. Whether it be someone completing a “Contact Us” request, downloading a “Free Report” or picking up the phone shown on the home page and starting a conversation. All are valid ways for a website to convert an anonymous browser of your web pages into a human wanting another human to talk to them.

I have employed sales people who closed more sales than their peers due to one simple fact. They asked more than the rest. That was it. They all sold the same product to the same type of companies but these winners just asked for the order more often. Naturally these people received more objections which they could then work on carefully answering and then delicately moving the prospect closer to the sale.

The same applies to a website. One with no obvious conversion option for a prospect will struggle compared to those that have a myriad of ways for interested visitors to offer their details to move the discussion ahead. Once these are set up and correctly tracked then you can access details like the % of those presented who said a virtual “yes” and closed the sale.

So there you have it. Website call reporting is available to us all once we have a correctly configured Google Analytics account. Now you will have at the touch of the button answers to a) how many people found us last week, b) how many we managed to find, c) how well our online sales message was received and finally, the bit that matters, what percentage actually said “yes” and agreed to move the discussion forward.

 

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