What purpose does a website really serve my B-to-B company anyway?
Your team is scrambling to keep up with post-Covid demand, struggling with material costs and finding labor. The sun is shining brightly and making hay is first priority. Naturally, revamping your website is coming in last place on your to-do list.
You already checked that website box a couple years ago and probably still have PTSD about the last time you managed to get it done. But, as the new biz tracks still need to get laid in front of the speeding train you wonder, what role does your website play for your B-to-B building business anyways?
The idea of business development in the building industry is mostly scouring RFP databases for opportunities to submit bids, relying on your network for referrals, and hopefully getting calls based on your reputation of doing great work. The website is primarily thought of as a verification of credibility, which is why they are stuffed with case studies, team bios and history sections.
However, just like everything else, the building industry is evolving. The network you have grown throughout your career is transitioning to younger people who will have no idea you exist. Studies show developers, procurement managers or prospective talent will likely have travelled over 85% of the qualifying journey online before they’ve decided which company to engage with. They are under the gun to find partners they connect with and although they think they make decisions based on objective data, they are ultimately compelled by emotion and intuition, usually influenced by their first impression, your website.
Your team is innovative, future-focused and capable. But it doesn’t matter how strong your reputation is or how successful your latest projects might be. An outdated site - even slightly - might falsely project your company as lagging behind the times, stagnant, or apathetic, betraying you of the opportunity to begin that new business relationship before you have had a chance to speak.
Consider this: after spending weeks developing a comprehensive bid, you were just invited to interview with the prospective client. Your presentation went well and you feel like there was great chemistry between both your teams. Would it make sense to follow up with a tattered, cluttered, self-centered proposal?
Rather than shrugging off your website as a passive digital brochure, you should rethink the role it plays in your overall business development strategy. Your audience may be looking for slightly different things depending on who they are, but they all have something in common. They need reassurance. They seek a partner to put all their trust into, whether coordinating a huge development project or considering their future place of employment. They want to have confidence you will benefit their careers.
Think of your website as an education tool to enable prospects to learn a little more about the industry based on your unique point of view. Give wisdom generously based on your tenured experience and seek nothing in return. Volunteer beneficial subject matter expertise so that they begin thinking of you as a qualified resource, and ultimately a trusted partner, they can rely on rather than just another interchangeable vendor. The firm with the edge to win their business will be the one who can educate and inspire them to turn their vision into reality, quickly and expertly.
As technology keeps evolving, so does the expectations of your prospects. Instead of dreading your next website iteration, take the opportunity to celebrate your knowledge and become an industry thought leader with wisdom and expertise. Snag the attention of your prospects and secure their trust by providing the answer to why they are coming to your website in the first place.