Before founding bizodo, I was formally trained in sales and philosophy (rhetoric) at a top University and also among my entrepreneurial journey with multiple companies trained over 1000+ sales agents across the country on various elements of sales. After planning a new landing page featuring a new element of our form builder, I came to the ephiphany that sales should be exactly like a finely tuned landing page. I have found dealing with many different types of technology slingers on the web, most sales people I deal with lack a fundamental understanding of either how to pitch or how to sell.
At bizodo we obsess over 4 very important letters, UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). We don’t just look at a landing page like a abbreviated version of a website or a page to load up with as much content as possible with a call to action somewhere on the page; but look at it with mathematical precision. There are 7 major tenets of a landing page and as it turns out these tenets should be included in EVERY pitch or every sale. Using the analogy of a landing page should hopefully help many start ups and sales persons (and may even help you with your next landing page.)
1. Navigation Bar:
At the top of every website is a Navigation Bar that usually highlights 4 to 6 links to important aspects of the software that someone may want to learn more about. Remember that a sale needs to be dynamic and although you may want to talk about the great features on your homepage it is imperative to listen and know who you are talking to so you can potentially “link” accordingly i.e. some users just want to know about price or want to learn about the team or want to send you an email to have you call them, so rather than force your normal pitch you should adjust your sale accordingly but have the supporting page content ready to go so your sale sounds refined. NOTE: Pricing should never be on homepage unless it is start for free or start for incredibly low price; if you can sell price is secondary and they should have already made up their mind before they reach that page.
2. Lead Banner:
If your landing page was a piece of real estate, your lead banner would be your beachfront penthouse. This should be your #1 MOST important point and YES you have to pick just 1! This needs to convey your VALUE! You NEED to be able to explain what you do in 1 sentence (and hopefully not too much of a run on). A good way to practice this is pretend you are a bar and asks what you do; how can you explain what you do in terms anyone can understand. This may seem obvious to most but you would be surprised how many start ups can’t explain what they do in one sentence. Even for bizodo it took us a while to refine our business focus enough to fit into one sentence; a point and click online form builder that allows anyone to collect and manage info with ease. If one sentence is just enough or you want to add a little exclamation then not too worry you get a sub heading as well to further explain or elaborate on your value proposition. But that is it.
3. Main Features:
2 main features After you convey your initial value proposition, you should then have 2 main features of the software to show them what the 2 best things of your site are; even if you have tons of amazing features try to illustrate the 2 MAIN features. And keep in mind that these are not just cool aspects of the software but the features that will directly lead to conversion. An example is that with bizodo we have AWESOME themes but this will not directly lead someone to upgrade, but our integrated paypal payment fields directly lead to conversion to a paid user.
4. Main Benefits:
Now that you have conveyed what you do and the main features it is time to state why they should care; usually 1 to 2 benefits should suffice. Yeah, you have all these cool things you can do but how will it help them solve their problem. Remember that is essentially what software aims to do; solve a pain point. You should be able to tie in how the features directly will lead to a benefit and ideally one that is worth them paying for i.e. with Bizodo we took the technical and difficult process of building that required programming knowledge and days into an extremely easy process that anyone regardless of knowledge could make, so why they care is because it saves them time, increases efficiency, saves them money and helps them make money!
It is not a coincidence that all landing pages state “as seen in” i.e. TechCrunch, Huffington Post, NY Times, etc. For a start up it is important that you are able to convey your credibility and the easiest way to do this is to cite someone or something that people already trust. Most start ups don’t have millions of dollars and years of branding so piggy back off of companies that do. When PC Mag ranked bizodo as the Top Small Business Web App we immediately restructured our website to feature this and it directly lead to increased conversion rate of visitors to sign ups.
6. Testimonial or Use Case:
Similar to how you want to express your credibility by naming known resources or authorities, you also want to give examples that the person you are selling to relate to. This can be a testimonial from an established user or a user case example for them to relate to understand. Similar to #5 credibility, the more credible the testimonial the better i.e. AOL.com uses bizodo to manage and track their events.
7. Call to Action:
After you have successfully conveyed your value it is time to give a big bold call to action. Just like on a landing page, you want your call to action to be easy to find; you may find that you can skip certain steps and cut right to the chase. With bizodo’s homepage we actually include a call to action after each one of the steps, this way you make it easy for the user to decide. If they are not ready yet they just continue down the sales funnel.
jonathon ende | ceo
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Ranked by PC Mag as Best Small Business Web App of 2012