Bringing a UX lens to your online sales journey makes sense – but a better website along isn't going to cut it in the long term.
Selling B2B software is complicated. Buying B2B software is really complicated1. But I think we can describe the customer experience as three key moments that you must win to have a successful product in the market. These are:
Get all three right, and you’re on to a winner. If you only have two, you’ll struggle.
Without a high-performing website you won’t get people on the hook, they’ll never even see your product. Without a stunning User Interface your product is going to look old and unloved beside competitors – no one wants to buy the past. And finally, without the results, word will get around fast that your product just doesn’t work.
There are ways to get each bit working well – SEO, branding, A/B testing it to the nth degree, etc. etc. – but if you want the site, the demo, and the product in harmony and working in concert…
Then it’s UX all the way down.
The foundational concept of UX is the identification and articulation of user needs. These are the needs that you will have to address on your website. These are the same needs you’ll be responding to in your demo. And the same needs that your product should be laser-focused on solving. Your sales website and your platform are deeply linked – what better way to ensure that they arrive as a single unit then have them come from the same birthing pool.
Early discovery work in product gives us a framework for what the market actually wants, its expectations, even what constitutes a good success metric. Understanding the sales needs early in the design process means assets for the website and workflows for the demo that hit the mark with customers.
The product should serve the sales process by being… just really, really good
Juiced on high octane levels of digital investment over the last three years – indeed last decade – what is the reaction of product companies going to be when a flood of interest slows to a trickle? They’re likely going to either try to focus on sales channels, “here’s a a ton of budget to get more leads in the door STAT!” Or cut costs, “move our annoying customers to self serve and auto onboarding!” New websites. More CRO. More portals.
And these are important. 100%.
But without focus on what you’re actually selling they risk being short term accelerators. Because every other company in your category is doing the same thing. And if you’re not the best (or the cheapest) you’re in trouble.
Time to start stacking UX.