How to make your Web site be more informative and even qualify leads

Posted: May 19, 2010 in customers/buyers
Tags: , ,

A healthy Web site qualifies leads…and vendors.

Big companies like Bank of America, AT&T and Wal-Mart have what are called “supplier portals” on their Web sites.  These are special pages, run by the the vendor-management department or procurement managers (buyers).  They serve as way to avoid waste, fraud and abuse.  They also channel colossal volumes of unsolicited sales inquiries into one location.   The practical reality for most companies, however, is the lack of resources to maintain something something like this.

Most of us just don’t have what it takes to build this kind of portal, let alone manage it.  So we route cold-callers into voicemail and email into spam filters.  Problem is, if part of your job is staying up to speed with good deals on hot new technology, you have to wonder if any of those calls and emails might present an interesting value proposition.

What’s needed is a kind of “mini-portal”/ Facebook page.  Such a web page would be free to buyers and available via nominal subscription to vendors and would off-loads annoying cold calls and email (spam) to a location where the buyer could peruse and appraise all the inquiries at their convenience.  The buyer would be assured visibility of relevant offerings while the seller is ensured that their outreach isn’t vaporized in voicemail or spam-filtered into oblivion.  Vendors would be able to describe their product’s or service’s value proposition to their target buyer, establish dialogue and keep all information prominent and updated.

Full disclosure:  Our shop is beta-testing this concept right now at places like Pet Insurance (div. of Nationwide), The Fashion Insitute of Design and Merchandising and the City of Minneapolis, among others.  In each case, the CIOs and I.T. executives use it to evaluate offerings of technology vendors for relevant value.  For vendors, it represents a more productive method of establishing relationships with buying organizations without having to resort to cold-calls that don’t get answered and emails that rarely reponded to.  For buyers, no intrusive solicitors and assurance that all potentially useful value propositions are appraised.   Stay tuned.  For more info, go here.

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