Who is your number 1 sales person? Your website.
A lot is riding on your website. What used to be an online support to sales has now shifted to become our number #1 sales person. How so? Consumers spend at least half of their time online before they talk with anyone in your business. The wrong choices on how you approach your website can have the same affect as firing your best salesperson, or closing your most profitable storefront.
If you don't have a high performing website, then perhaps you haven't even met your best salesperson yet.
All of this has changed because consumers have changed. And not just for retail either. Business buyers spend even more time online before talking to a sales person - as much as 80% of their buying process happens on your website.
With all that pressure to have a high performing website, it matters that we get it right. Sadly, many websites are born obsolete and ineffective. And the system for building them that is used most often is broken.
Why the website building process is broken.
We spend a lot of time and money building a new website that is based upon unproven assumptions. No matter how smart we and our web designers are, we don't really know how our customers or prospects will respond to what we build. And once it's built, we can't afford to do it all over again for a couple of years (or more). So we end up with a 3-6 month process that provides a website that may or may not work. It's like putting all of your money into an expensive creative session to produce a billboard that you have to pay for two years in advance - if it doesn't create sales, you are out of luck.
Learn more about avoiding --> Website Obsolecence
4 Ways to fix the process with Growth Driven Design.
To "right" the website building ship, we need to change how we approach the process. Here are four keys:
- Shift the planning focus: The strategy phase is indispensable, but the focus has to change from attempting to plan everything at the beginning to finding and planning the things that will make biggest impact on the business.
- Roll out what matters first, and fast. The part of the website that will create the biggest gains for the business should be rolled out right away. Why wait to start bringing and keeping new customers? Most web interaction occurs over a focused part of a website, shouldn't that be put to work very early in the process?
- While you are add more elements, test your assumptions and improve what you have. In fact, keep doing that through the entire process, and make sure that the entire team is geared toward this agile development approach.
- Don't view the website as finished - ever. Using a continuous improvement model, that we call "Growth Driven Design," you won't spend more on your website, you'll just get far better results. And those results will continue to improve.
You're not building a car that has to be finished before you drive - a website is more organic than that. It's a part of the conversation with your customer. You have to be ready to respond and shift your approach based upon whatever direction the conversation takes.
Using these Growth Driven Design principles, website builds become much less painful and much more effective. They aren't born obsolete, but bursting with potential to help our business exceed its goals.