09 Dec 7 Things Your Website Can Do to Automate Sales
In this week’s Manufacturing eCommerce Master Class Series our guest was Jeff Long showed us 7 things your website can do to automate sales. Jeff is the owner of True Focus Media, an agency providing marketing for manufacturers. Jeff’s agency, True Focus Media, helps manufacturers effectively automate sales & marketing, increase online lead generation, and ultimately increase sales.
The conversation of this episode started with Curt Anderson and Damon Pistulka introducing Jeff. After the introduction, Jeff jumped straight to the topic and explained the seven things you as an industrial marketer do to automate marketing and increase sales.
According to Jeff, most companies whether small or multinational don’t embrace customer-centric marketing techniques. These companies mainly have content on their websites that is about them and not their customers. So the first trick to automate sales and your marketing is to look into the interests of your customers and then produce the content they’re interested in.
Secondly, he talks about the creating learning-centric content. For this, you need to focus on creating content more that informs your customers. Jeff says that most of the customers are already searching your website for products and services and they want to read content that teaches them about how you can help them.
Moreover, 81% of shoppers search the web, before making a big purchase. After this, Jeff explained that to create quality based content, you need to understand what your customer wants. Focus on the top 20% or the ideal customer you can get and then create content based on what they want to see.
One mistake that companies make is to shotgun their products and expect to receive results. This according to Jeff is much less effective than targeting your customers and creating content accordingly.
Jeff said that when talking about website automation you need to think outside the box and break some rules. He suggested that you need to utilize solutions that work for you and your customers both. Some examples he shared were quote calculators, custom quote forms, RFQ forms, etc.
After website automation comes your back end portal, video marketing, adding live chats, etc. all of these features help you automate sales and your marketing like a pro.
Check out the entire video by clicking on the link below.
Thanks to Jeff for sharing his time and knowledge with the group.
Jeff Long is the owner of True Focus Media, Manufacturing, and Industrial Marketing. As the name suggests, True Focus media helps businesses take their message to the market through media. His company also helps manufacturers automate their marketing.
Jeff also provides eLearning and training, and website design and development for industrial manufacturers.
He is also the owner of Exit Row Productions and Summit Interactive at the Ohio Video Production.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science from Faith Baptist Bible College.
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7 Things Your Website can do to Automate Sales
video, customer, companies, jeff, e commerce, website, webinars, automate sales, people, customer centric, curt, long, marketing, sales, content, create, tie, virtual tours, talk, form
Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Jeff Long
Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right get everyone on the stage now we need for now welcome everyone to the manufacturing ecommerce masterclass series. I’m Damon from eggs your way just blessed to have you here we’ve got Curt Anderson from b2b tail with us another sponsor of the show we got today our presenter Jeff long from true focus media so Curt take it away.
Curt Anderson 00:25
Well guys, thank you everyone for taking time out of your busy schedule and I just I can’t think the team eggs your way I know we’ve got a few new folks on here exit your way is out of Seattle. They are succession. strategist, experts. Damon is Rockstar his partner Andrew Krause, our good friend and I wrote Bowman is in the crowd, he just shout out Hello in the in the chat box there.
So thank you for all your support IRA. So guys, this is a new platform to many of you, it’s Remo and so what we’re going to do is we’re going to do our presentation here and what the concept is, we’re going to do this on a weekly basis, bring high level ecommerce expertise to every week, great experts from around the country, the chat, feel free to be vibrant in the chat box over here to the right, say hello, drop your LinkedIn profile in there.
This is a networking opportunity. We want to keep these short and concise. We’re going to deliver high messages to you every week. And then when you’re done, please feel free to stick around. We go back to what we call those tables where you just were you can have conversations with the presenter, you can network with each other. So again, thank you for taking time.
My name is Curt Anderson, and I am absolutely thrilled. I don’t think I’ve slept. Because we’re so excited for this program. And I get to introduce none other My dear friend Jeff long and Jeff long hails from Dayton, Ohio. He is a he’s a new father this year. Jeff long is an e commerce guru. And when I say guru, he truly walks the walk. And he’s been an e commerce since 2003. Does e commerce. He’s a video marketing expert. And he has a bunch of great tips for us today. With that, Jeff, thank you so much, buddy. Take it over.
Jeff Long 02:08
Wow. First of all, I appreciate the invite. How do I even live up to that right?
Curt Anderson 02:14
And let me let me share one more thing. So we do I do a number of these webinars. And I had the blessing of doing one in Alaska next week. I wish it was really in Alaska was really in my basement. But if we wanted to do Alaska, and I needed somebody to pull in to team up with, and I returned to my good buddy, Jeff long. And by the way, Jeff, you got two weeks to turn around a brand new program. And he absolutely crushed it. So Jeff, thank you. So again, take it over, buddy. All right, awesome.
Jeff Long 02:42
Well, hey, I know I have limited time, I want to respect your time. And then I’m really excited for after kind of more of that presentation to sit at the tables with people. So whether it’s learning more about you or just talking about the topic. I’m really excited about that. Yeah, let me switch over to the slides here.
Damon Pistulka 03:07
now on the slides, you’re gonna see that there’s a the four arrows, you can click on that in your screen and maximize it so we can all see the presentation fullscreen on your, your computer.
Jeff Long 03:19
Yes, thank you for thank you for saying that. So today we’re gonna be talking about seven things your website can do to automate marketing, increased sales in boost SEO. And so just a real brief synopsis about me is I started the company in 2003 work with manufacturing companies to help them automate their systems from a marketing and sales perspective. So that’s what I want to talk about here today. So we do marketing, automation, website design, design, development, and e commerce, video marketing and elearning.
And we’re gonna be talking about a lot of those here today. And so these are the seven steps I want to talk about. Now, I don’t want to overwhelm you, right? There’s a lot we can all do in any business. But I just want you to think okay, what’s maybe one thing I can do one thing I can learn more one thing we can pursue internally or hire out externally, whatever that is, just be thinking one thing don’t think all this stuff because it can get overwhelming.
But let’s start at the at the ground floor here. So first thing is I’ve worked with with small machine shops all the way up to big, I’m working with a multinational hundred billion dollar in revenue a year company, right? Most companies are not what I call customer centric. So here’s how you know, think of your own company’s website. And I might step on some toes here so I apologize ahead of time. Um, does your website primarily say us we are company You know, is it a lot of self talk? Or is it talk about you and your needs and your problems?
And here’s who you are? Right? Most companies default to? Here’s how long we’ve been in business, here’s our products or services, aren’t we great you should buy from us. And sometimes we wonder why there’s crickets. It’s because we’re not customer centric. You know, our website, our marketing, our ever brochures, are only about our company. So be thinking, what can you do that’s customer centric, that’s what I want to start off with, whether it’s your marketing, your print, your website, any of that your e commerce, customer centric. Alright, so the next thing here is learning center.
Now, a lot of people may call this content marketing, it’s the same thing. But I want you to be thinking of, again, being customer centric, what type of material can we create, that our customers will want to read? Right, our ideal customer, because they’re already searching for your products and services. And as you may know, you know, customers are, are going to be searching, even before they pick up the phone call. In fact, 80 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases, even small purchases these days, right. So think about your own needs, your own patterns, your own buying habits.
That’s what your customers are doing to so since they’re searching for, for solutions to their own problems, what materials can you create? So a couple I recommend we’ve seen really good results with with the companies we help is case studies, right? Think of your some of your best case studies, write some material on it. articles, white papers, videos, we’ll talk about videos here in a minute. podcasts, webinars, I mean, I could go on and on about the content we’ll be talking about.
But those are just a few. In fact, whenever you’re creating content, a picture your ideal customer, okay, not all of your customers, right, but just like your top 20%. And those might be the easiest to work with the most profitable, I don’t know what your 20% is, but I know I kind of know mine, right? content, create content for those companies. And again, make it customer centric, right? I believe is it next week, maybe with Gretchen’s session, she’ll be talking about customer personas, she’s going to go in depth on this.
And if it’s somebody else, I apologize, but so come back next week, obviously, for those sessions in the next week, in the following weeks, we’ll roll they’ll talk about customer centric, buying personas. So all the content you create should be geared towards exact people. I’ve worked with a lot of companies, and they say, you know what, we work with a lot of industries, a lot of companies, we’re just gonna shotgun stuff out there and hope for the best. And that rarely works as effectively as if you know your exact customers, and target them and create content just for them.
Now, speaking of webinars, I mentioned webinars a second ago, obviously, we’re on one, right. So what you can do is if your company creates webinars, and I would highly recommend that you do, especially in this day and age, is, once you’re done with a webinar, you can chop it up into little chunks, have, you know, three to five minute little mini segments that you can then post on social media, in your email newsletter, or your email signature, right, we all send hundreds of emails out a day or a week, want to have a rotating, short little video segment that you promote in that email signature.
So there’s a lot you know, we could talk about with webinars. Oh, actually, one more thing, you can then repurpose that webinar, you can put it on your website and put what’s called a date on it. So you can have this evergreen webinar where you ask people, hey, to get access to the webinar, just put in your name and email and you’ll immediately get into the webinar. And they can get in, whether it’s a live live webinar, or recorded one.
So just something to consider there. All right. So website automation, this, this is kind of the crux of what my company does. So I’ll try not to go long here. I want to be very short. So I want to give you a couple ideas. Here’s what we’re seeing being really effective again. We specialize in using technology to save time. So we want to make it easier for you and more efficient, but we also want to make it easier for the customer right so how do they get the information they want to need in a timely manner.
Any hour of the day, right? 24 seven. So whether they’re surfing the the web on their couch Saturday night, or during business hours, how can we give them the information they’re already looking for. So first thing, quote, calculators, we’re creating different quote calculators. So a customer can go on, enter in some numbers, and get a rough, quote, estimate, right, and I get I get a lot kickback from this, Jeff not in our industry, we’ve got blah, blah, blah, and I get that I really do.
We’ve built some of these for companies, and they seem some good results. So like, they’re, they’re breaking the norm. So if they can do it, maybe you should at least consider it. Alright, I know different industries are different, maybe yours, but as a whole, try to break some rules and see what can be done. The next thing is custom quote, custom RF q forms. So I have an example here, Monaghan tools, we have a custom, quote tool has a lot of information that ask, but they don’t require that you enter in all this information. So it could be you know, it first, obviously, you have to put in your name and email.
But then they have a lot of different data points, where if you’re able and willing to put those in, it helps Monahan tooling, get a better quote for you. And then we’ve tied it into monahans CRM, so they can manage this new lead, right. In fact, I was just checking today. And I was looking at the different dates and timestamps of all of these quotes, and I was surprised how many they get on a weekly basis. So instead of somebody having to pick up the phone, talk to a person, let’s let’s be honest, we’re all kind of lazy, we’re used to like filling out a form or whatever, take advantage of that, because somebody can do this 24 seven.
Jeff Long 11:55
one more thing is are two more things is custom contact forms, right? So maybe have a custom contact form where the user can check a box. And based on what they selected, that form will get sent to a specific department. Okay, so maybe it’s engineering, maybe it’s sales, maybe it’s customer service, whatever that is. That’s possible. So again, I’m trying to open up your mind to how can we use technology to save you time, save your customers time, which in turn will help you make more money and be more efficient, everybody wins.
Another thing to consider with website automation is a back end portal. So we’ve created these back end portals where maybe a customer needs to log in to upload or download different reports or data sheets, or whatever that is, or maybe its employees or distributors, or whatever that is, think about like a back end where each person has their own username and password can access information. It’s not on your main website.
That way, you don’t have to email back and forth or worry about, you know, Dropbox or or something like that. And then lastly, with his website automation, and I’m not even talking about marketing automation here, this is all tools that your website could could have on it is elearning. This is something that we’re just seeing exploding. So think of new hire training, safety training. product, maybe it’s product setup, or whatever for your customer.
What could you automate through training that could be utilized 24 seven. So there’s a lot of things there. Even, like new hire or certifications, or you know, you could tie that in with some of your pay pay grade things there. And so you can know, when they’ve watched the video for the training, how long they watched, if they took the quiz, if they passed the quiz, like there’s a lot you can automate there. And I get it, there’s some things you have to have in person, right, you have to have some different safety things or hands on perfectly understand. But what could you automate through e-learning?
All right. So moving along, and if there’s questions, feel free to jump in. I don’t see any questions. So Curt, feel free to, you know, hop in if there are any questions. I know, I’m kind of going fast, but I want to respect their time here. So video, I mean, video is exploding, right? And think about it. Would you rather if you’re searching for any type of information, would you rather read a long article about it? Or watch a video? Most people would rather watch a video. Alright, so what types of videos can you create that can can get your ideal customers attention. So it used to be when I first started my company in 2003.
We would primarily only do big marketing pieces, you know, big company promos and all these things and those are fine, but we’re seeing it being more effective when we do content, videos, tutorials, setup videos, safety videos, FAQ videos, I mean, obviously, these webinars, virtual tours, and I’ll show you here in a second, some examples. So one example is snowboard drives, they are an amazing company, amazing people they do. They’re awesome. I could go on and on. We’ve been working with them for several years. And we pitched an idea to them called a video valet. So every month, we create video content for them.
And they can post it on social and newsletters, and we help them with like over 40 different places to post it. But it’s different here, because there’s action ROI tied to it. At the end of each video, there’s just a subtle mention, hey, if you like the content of this video, but want to learn more, we have a free download that you can check out. So at the end of these videos, you can see there the the form, and they can download on how to best practices on torque are mounting. So it used to be Hey, I would ask clients, you know how that video go?
And they said, Fine, I guess? Well, now we can say wow, there’s an actual lead that watch the video, fill out the form. Now it’s in your CRM, how great is that? So you know, there’s different ways to use videos, even internally, you guys can do with your, your smartphones, or you can obviously hire that out because it can be complicated. But video is key. Let me show you one thing here. Let’s see if I can see if I can switch something I might have to switch my screen here.
Alright, so virtual tours, this is something, again, because of safety reasons, it’s becoming very popular. But also think how many companies have management all over the country, think how many of companies are owned by overseas companies, or just a safety issue, right, maybe we don’t want everybody in our facility because of COVID, or just any other reason, these virtual tours are becoming more and more popular. So this is something we recently did a couple months ago, we’re actually going back in next week to do an update on this. So you can actually look around, you can move around, you can kind of walk through the facility.
And it’s like you’re there in person, there’s different data points, you can, you know, pop up these, you can pop up a picture, or an extra video. And so this is like you are really there. And then also, you could send this to maintenance people. So maybe you don’t want maintenance people getting lost or whatever you can know exactly. You can send them you know this, show them exactly where they’re going to be what they’re going to be working on. And they know. And then lastly, there’s this measurement tool so you can measure. Okay, how long? or How far is it? You know, is this entryway here?
Oh, it’s seven feet six inches? how helpful is that? I’m gonna go back to my slides here. Maybe Hold on. There we go. Alright, so now we’re going to talk about actual e commerce and I can’t go on without promoting the master himself book, right actually have it on my desk as well. And I had it on my desk before this, this webinar. So if you haven’t read Curt’s book, stop being the best kept secret. You have to read it. You have to read it. So that’s just a little promo there is a something you should consider.
So why ecommerce for manufacturing is important. I mean, I get it a lot of times people say well, not in our industry, Jeff. Well, you know, customers are wanting to shop 24 seven, and it’s a way to stand out from your competition. And obviously, times are changing and with trade shows being maybe virtual for a while and other selling tactics becoming less viable. What if you did put things online and it helps you diversify and experiment to see if this is even possible.
And then obviously, the internet has leveled the playing field. So it used to be you had to go through channel partners, distributors and other other means and maybe you can think about it. What if we went direct to the customer? Is that possible? Again, I just want to give ideas, not saying it is possible, just want to ask those questions. So let’s talk about e commerce. You know, a couple things with e commerce is. And I see this a lot. Is there consistent photography, descriptions, titles, videos? Or is it just hobbled cobbled together?
And I get it, you might have hundreds thousands of products and skews. But why not start with your top selling 10% and optimize those? I mean, imagine if you could even increase that and increase your your online sales by 10% 5%. Even I mean, that might be a game changer. Far too often, I see companies that really minimize their e commerce part of their website, you know, it’s kind of this, this thing, they don’t really care about why it’s a 24 seven sales tool, like why not prioritize it versus minimizing it? So that’s just my my soapbox there. I’ll try to try to get off that here real quick. Um, but then consider that product videos increase the likelihood of purchased by 85%.
Okay, so what if you, and I’m seeing you with your, your, your phone here, start to take a couple videos of your top selling products, whether it’s demos or setup, or how to fix it, and what if you put that on your website, but also in your e commerce side of things, you might see tremendous improvement in conversion rates. And typically, we do see that when you prioritize your website. So with go back to my slide there, with another thing with e commerce to make it easier for your customers is live chat. And this could be done whether you have an e commerce store or not.
But people again, people are kind of kind of lazy, or they’re we’re all multitasking right. So sometimes people would rather, you know, bang out a little message through the live chat, versus calling somebody maybe being on hold and, and just that awkward thing. So we’ve seen a lot of benefits to the companies that we work with ADD live chat, and they can move that person from department to department, you know, so if, if that’s appropriate, it’s timestamp, they can add a ticket, it’s it’s fantastic. You can even tie it to people cell phones. So some of the companies we work with, you know, that are on 24 hour cycle.
They want people in every time zone or every branch your facility to be able to get those so we can tie those to different departments, cell phones, personnel, things like that. And then lastly, this is something that a lot of companies that have e commerce don’t necessarily consider is what can you bundle together to increase your sales? So whether it’s upsells, cross sales subscriptions, you know, how can you? How can you add more value and get more revenue? Right? You know, let’s say you’re again, customer centric, what can you do that will give more value to your customer than than your competition?
It was interesting. I was listening to a podcast the other day, and they said, kind of old verbiage like always be closing, right ABC. It was like, No, no, it should be a BG always be giving. And I love that I want to leave that with you is with all of these, like how can you give more help more to your ideal customer? And that’ll obviously come back to you. All right. So that’s what I want to leave you with is, is that mentality that mindset. Last two things here or last one thing is, I have some ebooks on the homepage of my website at true focus media.com ones about some of these things we talked about with your website.
Some of its how to optimize video marketing. And the other is more on the E learning and training side. So feel free to download those one or both of them, whatever. And that’s just kind of my gift to you. And yeah, just want to open it up for questions. But be thinking of your marketing is how can we automate this stuff, right? We don’t want to have to put a lot of personnel manpower women power behind it. How can we automate our marketing, our website and our e commerce?
Curt Anderson 24:37
Wow, that was awesome. Gosh, that was good, Jeff. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m standing standing ovation. So you got to do these, right.
Damon Pistulka 24:47
Yeah. So does
Curt Anderson 24:49
anybody have again, we want to be respectful of time. And Jeff, you just absolutely crushed it and great on time. Thank you. And does anybody have any questions? What Jeff just covered, you’re more than welcome to put it into the chat box. One thing that I wanted to I was taking a bunch of notes. And I wanted to say thanks for plugging my book, by the way, of course, the great book.
That was good. So yeah, we, I did a little workshop yesterday. And I was like hammering the bucket, we had a lot of laughs about that. So, but, Jeff, how do you find like, your strategies? Like you find? Um, how do you get through, like some of the resistance? You know, a lot of like, a manufacturer has been doing it for a long time, like the legacies are in place? How do you how do you get through those? Great, how do you break through those? Those legacy challenges? if you will?
Jeff Long 25:39
Yeah. And I get that right. Um, a lot of times, it’s kind of a simple question of, well, are you happy? Like, is your business doing what you want it to? In? Are you making those revenue goals? are you growing and scaling? Or do you have new blood coming in? Or is it stagnant? And if they’re not desiring change? I can’t usually change them very well. Yeah.
You know, so that’s kind of the first thing, but just also figuring out, you know, everything, those seven things I covered, we don’t do all of those at once, of course, you know, we stair step it, you know, with any company, but just figuring out like, what’s going to give the biggest bang for the buck, a start there. So it’s a simple approach of, let’s just splash around in the shallow end of the pool, before we jump into the deep end, and hopefully don’t drown. You know, we’ll get used to each stage that when we’re in the deep end, we look like Olympic swimmers.
Curt Anderson 26:32
Right? And, you know, new cover a huge scope. I know, Damon, you’ve covered a huge scope and different size businesses. So save from like a small little family, mom and pop shop. And like you said up to, you know, fortune 500, what have you, you find that your approach is any different with the smaller companies more small, you know, family run, versus the bigger or kind of, you know, either more bureaucracy, or how does that?
Jeff Long 26:55
Yeah, well, it’s, it’s, it’s faster to implement with a smaller company, right. But, obviously, there’s tends to be more resources with a bigger company. You know, I kind of like, well, I’ve worked with them all, but sometimes that medium size is a sweet spot, you know, they have the time, the resources, the people to get it done. But it’s all about if a smaller job shop wants to get it done, they’re gonna make a make away.
Damon Pistulka 27:23
Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s, that’s, that’s true with us, too. You know, it really is the if you want to make it happen you well, and I think today that one of the things if, if, if Jeff can agree or disagree on this, as I think that people are used to videos, they don’t have to be a grandiose production anymore, right? Your phone can take a video that’s more than good enough quality, if you plan it out a little bit. And that’s really what I see a lot, a lot of happening.
Jeff Long 27:52
Yeah, yeah, get started, right? Like you don’t, you don’t need a big production company, like us just get started. And a lot of times, it’s the content, the material is the gold. You know, obviously, we can make it pretty and all that. But that’s, you know, not always necessary.
Damon Pistulka 28:06
Yeah. Well, and the delivery ways that you have behind it, I mean, just the simple thing you were talking about in the video, where, where if you if someone in a manufacturing company came up with a good little video, but then they can collect the person’s name and email address that watch that video, that that is a really good indicator to someone that might be interested in what you’re what you’re doing, or the product that was made in that video or whatever, you know, really is a good way.
Jeff Long 28:32
Yeah. And we I didn’t mention this before, but we can even put a little call button on that video. So somebody is watching on their phone. And they want to like, you know, Call now and learn more boom, done. Right. I mean, it’s immediate. So some cool things that we can do. Yeah, I didn’t even mention half of them. So yeah,
Curt Anderson 28:49
right. Yeah. So I think maybe what we’ll do is, we’re gonna have Jeff come back, and we might do like a whole video. Yeah. Yeah. Fun. Yeah, good stuff. Well, thanks a lot. Jeff.
Damon Pistulka 29:00
Curt, take it away. And we’ll go back to the tables when you’re Yeah.
Curt Anderson 29:05
Thank you. I you know, again, our first time Jeff’s are laid off you for the folks that stuck around. Thank you for taking time to join us. And we’re thrilled. We’re doing this every Friday. And we’ll see. We’ll jump back again. If it’s new to you, we’ll jump over to the table so we can have a more intimate chat and ask Jeff questions or stick around for a while and yeah, from there. All right.
Damon Pistulka 29:26