For agencies that perform website development, solid work brings in more referral business. But what if you want to accelerate that growth, or it’s too early in your company’s history to have a solid pipeline of referral business? That’s where structured outreach can be key.
Step 1: Identify ideal prospects and build a list
Start by identifying who your ideal client would be. Not just huge name brands, the ideal fit in size, scope, and industry. For many new web dev shops, an ideal prospect might look something like this:
Example Prospect: A business with 5-50 employees, probably already have a website but it’s kind of old and dusty looking. Target price range: $2000-8000. To start with, we’ll just target the businesses in my local area where I can meet them face to face and I have the advantage over remote providers.
Once you have your target prospect defined, it’s time to build a list of ideal prospects. If you’re just starting out, you could build a list starting out with your local business directories. If you’re more established, you’ll probably use a list-building service such as ZoomInfo or you could use LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Keep the list tight for now, because it’ll be easier to be specific and targeted, and you can alter your pitch before going big.
Many new (and established) businesses start these lists using good old Excel or Google Sheets. Beyond just the standard info (company name, URL, employee count), try to gather extra info that will help your pitch. As an example, if they didn’t pay for a great website developer, the copyright year at the bottom of the site probably indicates when the website was last refreshed. Keep in mind that better website developers will make that copyright year dynamic.
This is also the point where you may want to get your list into your CRM or into your Sales Enablement Platform like FunnelFLARE.
Step 2: Build your Pitch & Sequence
Next, you’ll need to build your pitch and pick channels to reach out to your prospects. If you’re starting out, check LinkedIn to see if any of your connections work at a target prospect company, or any of their connections do: a personal referral or connection is always going to have a higher chance of success.
Beyond those, you’ll need a scalable way of reaching out to prospects. The best way to do this is to build a sales outreach sequence. You can start by jotting down steps and timing on a napkin.
Note: the decision to rebuild a website usually has a very long sales cycle. An initial burst of activity followed by less frequent touchpoints is best for most web dev shops. Too many touchpoints in a short period of time = higher chance of them ignoring you.
- Cold call the company, have a follow-up email with details on pricing and other info ready on hand. Otherwise, have recorded voicemail and personalized email follow up ready.
- Wait 7 days
- Reach out to the owner on social media (LinkedIn)
- Wait 3 days
- Send a follow-up email
- Set to follow up once per 3 months afterward, reminding them that your webshop can help revitalize their website.
Step 3: Execute, Optimize, and Extend
Get after it! Selling websites is all about talking to the right person at the right time. The more people you’re talking to, the better. Once you have a few clients on board with this strategy, consider optimizing. Here are some ideas to optimize and extend:
- Include a link to a case study, testimonial, or video testimonial.
- Make the case study or testimonial dynamic and targeted to the prospect’s industry or company size. You can do this with FunnelFLARE using our dynamic email content.
- Chase down verticals that you see success in. If you’ve figured out how to make a great doctor’s website, do them all!
- Analyze and optimize the touchpoints. If you see most of your responses from a particular LinkedIn message, try that message earlier in the cycle to shorten your sales cycle.
A good website is a must-have today like ads in the Yellow Pages of years past. It is an integral part of a client’s marketing. It’s where customers research products and services. And it’s where most calls to action are fulfilled. A good website delivers an excellent customer experience. An excellent website makes the experience personal. But most of all, a well-executed website is crucial to a client’s success. With so many business websites out there in need of an update, agencies are ideally positioned with the talent, knowledge of online marketing, and the use of technology to help clients thrive.