Selling to a business is different from selling to a consumer.
For one thing, when individuals consider a purchase, they tend to be influenced by emotions. Businesses, on the other hand, pay more attention to process and diligence.
Consumers also tend not to concern themselves with accountability. If they buy something that doesn’t work out, they return it and move on with their lives, whereas businesses often have to justify why a particular acquisition failed. Not to mention needing to explain why the decision was made in the first place.
Essentially, businesses have more considerations and take the process of buying a new product or service more seriously than regular folk. And that’s with good reason, as the stakes are much higher for them.
When designing their websites and other sales channels, business owners face the issue of perspective: they’ve spent large portions of their lives buying things as consumers. They’re used to messages that speak to them personally.
As a result, when these B2B entrepreneurs create their own web pages and marketing channels, they risk thinking like consumers, not like their target audience.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can ensure your website speaks effectively to your business customers, specifically when communicating your value proposition.
Before We Start: A Note On The Importance Of Measurement
The point of this post is to inspire business owners to rethink what their websites can be. If the post serves its purpose, you’ll no doubt come away from it with a bunch of great ideas on how your site can sell your B2B product more effectively.
However, before you rush off and make wholesale changes, allow us to say a quick word on the importance of measuring the impact of these changes.
Making amendments to your front-end can (and should) have a very real impact on how visitors engage with your site. Metrics like bounce rate, scroll depth, and pages per session are bound to be affected when you communicate your value proposition more effectively.
Using a tool like Swydo, you want to put your business in a position where you can build meaningful analytics on how these changes are affecting your visitors’ behavior.
There’s little point in implementing changes to your sales language if you can’t assess their impact.
1. Address A Pain Point
One of the main reasons why organizations buy products or services is because they want to solve problems. These are problems that affect their reputation, their efficiency, and, most importantly, their profitability.
While products and services are often designed specifically to address these pain points, marketing messages can sometimes overlook them. If you know that your product solves a real issue that many businesses experience, it’s absolutely crucial that you lead with this message. There are a few valuable tactics to employ when addressing pain points in your marketing messages:
- Keep your promises realistic.
- Be concise.
- Don’t be overly subtle.
- Mention the pain point by name.
- Make it clear that your service is the antidote.
InFlow Inventory does an excellent job of addressing a pain point on their Bill of Materials landing page. The page’s header image makes a not-so-subtle reference to production delays and clearly positions a specific product feature as the solution.
When site visitors identify with a problem you mention in your website’s sales copy and they see your product as a feasible solution, there’s almost instant buy-in on their part.
In many cases, these visitors experience the pain point themselves and, if you’re lucky, they’re empowered to find a solution.
Inkable Label’s highly simplistic approach to this technique is also worth taking a look at. The company understands that its customers experience problems in three common areas when outsourcing their print work. In as little as six words, the company communicates that eliminating these pain points is their biggest priority. It speaks to their knowledge of customer needs as well as their competence.
2. Use Imagery Wisely
Pictures help people process information up to 60,000 times faster. This scientific tidbit is extremely valuable when trying to convey a relatively complex idea in a very short space of time.
Companies selling a complicated product for which the benefits aren’t always obvious often supplement their sales copy with descriptive illustrations.
This gives prospective customers an additional opportunity to process and grasp what a company is selling them.
You have two directions here, depending on your brand’s voice and the culture of your typical customer.
The first is the “literal” route which involves giving a clear, logical illustration of the value proposition in visual form. Many companies choose to depict their product in use, like Rydoo does on their homepage.
What makes this example work is how well the image compliments the headline. “Expense reports belong in the past,” it says. And the image tells us why: Rydoo has made them redundant.
The second direction is a more abstract one.
Instead of a concept being “spelled out” visually, you can choose to opt for a subtler approach, representing the value proposition in a more figurative sense.
Recreating reality isn’t the main concern with these visuals. But at the same time, the meaning needs to be obvious. This is a slightly more challenging way to communicate a value proposition visually, but it still remains popular with brands that have a very particular, artistic voice.
Spores is an NFT pop-culture marketplace with a very niche value proposition. The image accompanying their headline is quite abstract, but it does an excellent job of communicating the platform’s complex functionality.
The human hand placed in the center of an interconnected group of media icons perfectly encapsulates what the platform does.
3. Align Your Value Proposition With Customer Culture
Prospective customers need reasons to buy into your product. In fact, they need as many reasons as you can possibly offer. Ideally, someone who visits your website or reads your marketing material will find more than one reason to identify with your target audience.
One of the many ways you can make this a reality is by positioning your value proposition as something that’ll help them maintain their company culture.
For instance, some organizations understand that their management style helps them attract and retain the best industry talent. For these companies, maintaining an environment that promotes this culture is extremely important.
Flamingo leans into this concept with the value proposition they broadcast on their homepage header. The leave-management company makes it clear that their flagship solution is ideal for companies that prioritize the wellbeing of their people.
An organization on the lookout for a leave administration platform is obviously looking for a specific set of functions and features. That’s a given. What Flamingo does so well – in one sentence – is reveal the underlying motivation for creating these functions.
They want to make it clear that their product is more than a collection of fields and buttons. They’re about creating a great place to work – a concept that’ll resonate with a large section of their target audience.
Another example of aligning a value proposition with customer culture is Mural. The company’s product is ideal for businesses that have a progressive interpretation of what it means to collaborate. This comes across clearly in the value proposition on their homepage header.
4. Say It With Video
Let’s discuss communication mediums for a while.
When talking about the finer points of your value proposition, the not-so-obvious reasons why a business should do business with you, few mediums are as effective as video.
According to a WyzOwl survey, 69% of respondents said that they prefer to watch a video when learning about a new product. A further 79% of the study’s participants said they were convinced to buy or download a software solution by watching a video.
The power of video as a conversion mechanism is remarkable. It would be a huge oversight not to use it when delving into the details of your product’s value proposition.
Printing specialists Mixam don’t hold back when it comes to this tactic. The company’s homepage contains not one but two 90-second videos that highlight the many reasons why a business customer should consider their service.
These videos have a hard focus on functions and features, but not in a way that makes the content feel like a sterile inventory of functions. No, each feature is clearly mapped to benefits that have very real meaning for media agencies and other business customers.
Paddle offers another terrific example of a company presenting their value proposition in video form. It’s simple, and it looks great. Most importantly, the message is abundantly clear: SaaS companies should not be overwhelming themselves with tedious financial admin.
Some Final Thoughts
One of the very first steps towards effectively positioning your product with business prospects is understanding that their needs are different to those of a consumer.
Organizations look for solutions to problems that have an impact on their bottom line. They need help to grasp complex concepts with as little friction as possible. They want to see solutions that overlap with an internal culture that they’ve worked hard to create.
When your company’s value proposition bears all of these things in mind, seizing the attention of a business prospect is that much easier. As is nudging them towards becoming a loyal customer.
Lastly, bear in mind that getting your value proposition to a point where it resonates with your target audience will probably need several attempts. Don’t be afraid to “try out” various options on your website visitors, measuring their behavior and building data to help you make this important decision.
John Hurley is a professional geek. He loves testing the latest technologies and over delivering to his mostly SaaS & e-commerce clients. Romantic comedies are his not-so-guilty pleasure.