There are two key things related to how to set up the content on a B2B website. First what is the buyer behaviour of your prospects and second, how does your website fit into your company’s sales process.
Let’s go over the various ways that a B2B company could use their website in their sales process.
Is your website being used to generate new leads for your business – in that case you need attention getting headlines and engaging content. You also need to up your SEO as well as have a landing page strategy (possibly using PPC) as well as a way to gather contact information or some other way to turn those leads/web visitors into real prospects for your business.
In this case your primary objective is to turn that website visitor into a real lead by gathering some type of contact information and any auxiallary information you can about them. You want to keep their options limited so as not to confuse them or have them get busy doing other things on your site and not get their contact information.
If on the other hand the primary purpose of your website is to reinforce your sales message – often after a prospect is contacted by a salesperson in some other fashion (networking, phone calls, direct mail, etc) then you need to build trust on your site as well as have clear navigation system so that those leads – once arrive at your site (often directly typing it in from a business card, or link from a follow up email) will be able to find the information they need to move forward in your sales process.
In this case the depth of information is critical so that they can really understand you and your company. Having links to white papers, having good content with graphs, charts, diagrams, etc will all help to give the prospect that information they need. Testimonials throughout also help to build trust.
A third option for your site may be to support existing customer and to encourage additional sales – either up-selling or cross-selling. This is very similar to the second option, except with a higher importance attached to explanations of using existing products, optimizing the use of those products, and answering support inquiries.
With this third option your content needs to talk more about using your products than the advantages of using the products. Whitepapers would discuss how to be more efficient in their systems (including how they use your product) vs. looking at the pros and cons of your product. It is related to point of view. As well your support links, buttons, support chat boxes, etc need to be prominently displayed throughout your site.
So how does buyer behaviour factor into this equation?
You need to understand how your buyer makes the decision to purchase your product and then how they end up using your product, and what are their key concerns along the way. This will determine how your company sets up your sales process, and thus how your website should be integrated into that sales process.