I have just rushed to make this post after my friend and business colleague of many years, Brian MacIver, posted this comment

A well timed and topical posting. Several of my clients are asking “hard” questions about their ‘investment’ or web ’spend’. Particularly in the Property Market, they laid off sales people, boosted their web content and saw little return. Now that the property market is returning they cant find Salespeople (did they all go to Dubai?)
Good posting, thanks.

on this blog


and it just made me think – You have to manage your website like you ( should have ) managed your salesforce.

What do we mean by that ??

Well, back in the day Brian would have coached us on 3 essential elements for a successful salesperson – and more were added over time:

1. Activity – a salesperson must be active – phone calling, writing etc etc

2. Skills – a salesperson must have good sales skills

3. Knowledegable – a salesperson must be knowledgeable about his products, his company and his competitors.

4. Personality – surrounding all of this – people buy from people – so be nice !!

5. Administration – You have to manage your salesforce and they have to manage their business – turning leads into orders –  and to do that you need some information – How many calls did they make ?? How many appointments did they go on ?? How many proposals did they write ?? How many orders did they get ?? How close was this to their target ??? etc etc etc

6.  Going alongside 5 is the analysis of their progress and performance to determine their R.O.I.

There may be more aspects but lets start with these. What’s the analogy in terms of managing your website like you would your salesforce ??

Going in reverse …

5. & 6. Analysis and Administration   It is essential that you have the means to monitor the performance and progress of your website. You need to know how many prospects it is reaching ( visitors ) and how many of these turn into a lead ( respond to a Call to Action ). You need to know which activities ( posting a blog, posting on Twitter, posting on LinkedIn etc ) produced the best results. You can only do this with the right software on your website.

4. Personality. When you do post information you have to do it in the right way. You want your ( attractive ! ) personality to come out and you want to be nice to people. We all know that ” hard nosed salespeople ” sometime do succeed in spite of themselves but I always thought that this was creating unnecessary ” friction “. Being funny sometimes helps aswell !

3. Knowledge. You have to be knowledgeable , educational and informative in what you say. Many of the most successful people on the Internet ” give away ” loads of free advice and information.

2.  Skills. There are lots of skills that you are going to have to learn and develop ( or you can find people with those skills ) to succeed. Blogging; Posting on Social Networks and building your networks; writing etc etc

1. Activity. Yes of course – as with salespeople it is partly a numbers game and you always have to be active – blogging, posting, commenting, liking, sharing, reading etc etc.

I think it is a great way to think of your website as like your salesforce ( or part of your salesforce ) and of managing your website as you would your salesforce.

If you can get it right the R.O.I. can be massive – just think of all those salespeople’s salaries you are not paying 😉