First Step: Finding a Solution
So you sit down at your computer and start looking for a solution that fits your business needs. But you studied finance at university, not computer science, so you’re not sure what techy words you should use to describe what you want. But why should you have to know that stuff? If someone wants to sell you a solution, they should be ready to speak your language. You type your query into Google and hit the search button.
69% of IT solution providers don’t create web content that is relevant to their target customers. More often than not their content was created with solution heads in mind, not heads of LoBs.
Scrolling through the first page of search results, you spot three local providers. Based on the descriptions just below the links, two of them appear to be relevant—the description of the first one is jumbled nonsense, so you cross it off your list.
58% of providers don’t have metatag descriptions. This is the text that appears below a link after a search result. If you don’t create your own then Google takes what it thinks is relevant text from your website, sticks it all together and uses that instead—not always with great success.
Second Step: Evaluating the Provider and the Offer
You click on the website of the first provider and start reading about the company. They appear to have a lot of experience and they’re big and have a wide range of solutions. You click over to the solutions section and…several of these seem like they could be what you need. Perhaps a company with a problem similar to yours uses one of these solutions. You could then look at a case study and use the business details to determine whether that particular solution could be something for you too. So you look around for something that indicates a case study or a customer testimonial. There’s a tab called “Solution Stories”—maybe that’s it. Nope, it’s a kind of blog with entries about new extensions and different solution properties. Is it under “Our Experience”? There’s a long-winded description about the provider’s history, but nothing about experiences in the banking sector. Hmmm….shouldn’t there be a search function to help you find this? After 5 minutes of clicking around you get annoyed and go back to Google.
61% of providers don’t offer a search functionality. Not having one is a great way to test your prospect’s patience and website navigation skills.
Third Step: Starting Over
Back on the original search results page, you click on the third provider. They don’t offer nearly as many solutions as the first one, but at least they say their specialty is the banking and finance sector. And there are even case studies and quotes from other banking organizations who have faced similar struggles. One of the solutions really looks like it might be what you’re looking for, but you’re not quite ready to contact anyone about this yet. You first want to thoroughly document the needs of your organization and then research what this solution offers before talking to a sales rep. Is there a more detailed document about the solution that you could download and read through in your spare time? You use the search function and find nothing. “Oh well,” you think to yourself, “I’ll just have to remember the URL and come back once I’ve found more information elsewhere.”
93% of providers don’t use a mix of gated and non-gated content to entice visitors to download materials. Such materials guide a prospect’s research and help keep him focused on you as a provider. And no one is going to remember your URL, no matter how catchy it is.
Final Step: Doing It Right the First Time
Now let’s imagine that you work for a major software company that makes exactly the kind of solution that our fictitious banking guy would be looking for. Every quarter you’re reminded of the fact that your share of the banking-guy-who-needs-a-solution market is lower than it should be. For whatever reason partners just aren’t selling enough of the solution even though it’s the best one for the job. You know that there are a lot of opportunities out there for the taking, but the frustration in the indirect sales channel is building and some partners accuse you of “not doing enough” to help them generate leads. This is a tough problem, no doubt about it. But there is an easy way to start sorting out the mess: use the Digital Presence Check from PDAgroup to assess your partners’ websites. Based on the results you’ll know if they’re making the mistakes listed above or completely different ones. Then we can help you fix what’s going wrong so that the partners can generate leads and you can increase your market share. Most partners don’t think you’re doing enough to help them generate leads. And they’re kind of right, aren’t they? PDAgroup has a stand at FKOM this year…and they would appreciate it if you wouldn’t beat them up!