Oil and Gas Web Design: How to Copy Salesforce and Double Your Leads
We can’t say this enough, you can’t sell oilmen on digital marketing if you don’t focus on revenue. That’s why I’ve been fired up to sit down and write about oil and gas web design.
Your website should be your best salesman. With the right design, your website can sell prospects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With the wrong design, your website can cost you sales — a lot them.
If I had to choose one word to describe the problem with the state of oil and gas web design today it would be this; brochures. Brochures work to educate prospects about your products and services offline. They fail miserably online because you cannot apply offline one-way marketing tactics online two-way communication.
In other words, brochure marketing tactics are outdated. They don’t work any better in today’s business environment than closing lines like, “What do I have to do to get your business today?”
That said, let’s look at the key oil and gas web design tactics you can use to start getting more business today.
Defining the Problem
Brochure websites are exactly what they sound like. They consist of little more than a company’s value proposition, along with the barebones basics on the company’s products or services, and contact information. In many cases, the company’s brochure copied and pasted into a website.
Don’t get me wrong, having a brochure site is better than not having a site at all. Which is why these sites were effective in the beginning of the Internet Age. But, we are light years past the days of Windows ’98 and dial-up modems.
The issue at hand goes back to the one-way vs. two-way communication alluded to above. Brochures communicate a company’s value proposition in a one-way monolog out of necessity. They are printed on paper. You read printed material linearly; left to right, front to back.
The digital world is completely different. It’s tempting to think visitors will start at your homepage and go from there, but prospects can enter your site on any page. They naturally jump from page to page in a much more interactive experience.
On your website, every page is page one. Every page has to be set-up to move visitors from interest to action. From an interested visitor to engaged prospect.
But, what can you do to make the user experience on your website more interactive? How can you deploy the best oil and gas web design to start converting more leads today?
Let’s dig deeper.
Conversion Paths: The Key to Better Oil and Gas Web Design
My first “grown up job” was selling furniture in Lansing, Michigan. If you came in looking for mattresses, we had a process that virtually guaranteed a minimum $800 sale. You’ve probably experienced it in the past.
Before you laid on anything else, we had you lay down on the $10,000 king Sterns & Foster conveniently located at the front of the mattress section. After that, we walked you through each successive mattress as the price dropped, along with the quality. By the end, there wasn’t a chance you were leaving with anything short of an $800 queen Sealy.
The companies that produce the most leads take a page from interactive offline interactive sales like this and applies them online. Instead of simply showing you a brochure, these companies lead you down intentional conversion paths.
On these sites, you move from products and services you are generally interested in to pages that drill down on your specific interests, to lead forms.
Salesforce’s website provides a perfect case study for great oil and gas web design.
The Paradox of Choice
Salesforce has a presence in oil and gas, but they are admittedly not an oil and gas services company in the traditional sense. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. You don’t go from zero to $1 billion in revenue in 10-years by accident.
Here is what they do right, and what you need to copy in your oil and gas web design.
The first thing to notice is when you arrive at salesforce.com notice you are not greeted by hundreds (or thousands) of words.
Have you ever worked with a seller who just won’t shut up? The feature-dumping guy who doesn’t ask questions and try to understand your problems, but instead won’t stop talking about how badly you need his product or service? This is the offline selling equivalent of a poorly-written website.
The purpose of a website is to convert leads. Your site only needs enough information to entice prospects to fill out a lead form so your sales team can close them. In the face of too much information and too many choices, people don’t make any choices.
Don’t paralyze your visitors with the paradox of choice in your oil and gas web design. Understand what your prospects want, and write your website accordingly.
Say More With Less
Mr. Jim Rohn once said, “The more you know the less you need to say.”
One look at Salesforce’s website shows they know what their prospects want. They want to convert leads faster, provide superior customer service, nature leads, and easily build custom applications.
As a result, that is exactly what Salesforce says to entice visitors to travel down the conversion path that interests them the most.
They don’t want to be the annoying feature-dumping seller who kills deals the moment they open their mouths. They know what you want, and they present you with a solution.
Let’s take a trip down the Sales Cloud conversion path.
Conversion Paths: The Key to Better Oil and Gas Web Design
Salesforce employs a bit of sneaky psychology here.
Notice “Watch Demo” is a button while “Learn More” is a smaller link underneath. If you click the button you are immediately taken to a lead form. All totaled, this makes 9 ways to immediately convert to a lead from their homepage.
Don’t make it hard for your prospects to do business with you. If they are ready to convert to a lead, give them that option. Right away.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s click “Learn More” and see where it takes us.
Once again, we can see the “less is more” principle in play. They begin the page with a simple statement that speaks to their prospect’s ideal solution, “Win every selling moment with the world’s #1 CRM.”
They balance this statement to the left against a picture of a satisfied customer to the right. After giving you two more chances to convert to a lead with “Watch Demo” and “Guided Tour” buttons, they have a ringing endorsement from that customer.
Saying you are great is expected, having customers say you are great while allowing you to include their picture, testimonial, and company logo on your site is exceptional. Notice also this testimonial is not buried on a “Client Testimonials” page. Granted, they have one of those pages too, but they brilliantly use testimonials directly in the digital sales process.
Are you using testimonials in every part of your conversion paths? If Salesforce is a leading indicator of success — and I would contend they are a strong one — you absolutely should.
But this is only what we see “above the fold” before we scroll. What do we see when we scroll down?
If Mark LaCour taught me anything about selling it’s the critical importance of data-driven selling. It’s not enough to speak to the problems you solve. You have to go the extra step and demonstrate the results you have driven in raw numbers.
By now it should be no surprise Salesforce has this mastered as well. After hitting you with a string of phrases that hits anyone in sales right in the feels (“grow your accounts” who doesn’t want to grow their accounts?! … “find new customers” isn’t that what we all want?! … “close deals faster” if you want to work here, close!), they go straight into data.
Salesforce users experience an increase of 43% in lead conversion, 44% in sales productivity, and 37% revenue. Those numbers are enough to get your attention in any form, but they highlight them in YUGE lightboxes just to be sure you don’t miss them.
Balanced against these stats we see another bit of sneaky genius. If you are a frontline seller, the Salesforce dashboard here looks like the solution you’ve been dreaming about. No more tracking leads in spreadsheets and wondering your leads are in the sales process.
At the same time, this is the dream dashboard for sales directors. Because sales directors have to constantly report numbers up in the organization. This screenshot says, “You don’t have to waste dozens of hours and endless headaches nagging your sales team just to get accurate reports for your leadership team ever again.” And they don’t even say a word!
Salesforce gets a twofer here. They sell both frontline seller and their directors all in one shot.
What data do you have from customers that demonstrate your value in real numbers? How can you start to use that data more effectively in your digital sales process? How can you sell multiple levels of your prospect’s organizations with less than 100 words?
The Journey Continues
Let’s go one layer deeper and click “Learn More” under Close More Deals.
Looking at the tabs across the top we see Salesforce doesn’t stray from its core value proposition … Close More Deals — Get More Leads — Accelerate Productivity — Make Insightful Decisions. Again, who doesn’t want all of these things?!
Placing the tabs across the top gives you ample opportunity to convert into a lead with three more options in the event this copy doesn’t do the trick. Assuming you run a sales organization or work for one, it’s hard to imagine you’re not getting close to sold yet.
“No matter the size of your company, all sales reps share one common goal — the desire to be a top performer. We can help with that.”
As someone who spent 16 years quitting every sales job I got before they could fire me, this copy speaks to me on a deeply emotional level. As someone spent 16 years in meetings with sales directors trying to get me to consistently perform, this copy hits them too.
People buy with emotion and justify with logic. But engineers run the oilfield, so we tend to focus oil and gas web design around logical sales copy. However, engineers are people too! They need to be sold emotionally just like everyone else.
Back to the first selling point on the left, we have Contact Management. This is the end of the line for us. You’re telling me I can instantly know the web pages my prospects have visited, key contacts within their organization, and where they are on social media?
I’m sold! Let’s click “Watch Demo”.
Here we have a perfectly engineered lead page.
To the left, we see they are covering all their bases. Not everyone wants to fill out a lead form, so they invite you to call by asking “Questions? Call us…” They play button on the video is no accident. They know you want to click it and start watching. This gives you another reason to fill out the form. Below that, we see more of the brief yet extraordinary effective sales copy we have seen across the site.
To the right, we have the lead form. They start by overcoming your objection, “Do I have to fill out one of these 19 times just to see everything you do?!” Of course not, “Sign up once and watch any of our free demos.”
Below that we see the form with 8 fields. This number is also no accident. The more fields you include on a lead form, the fewer leads you will convert. Studies show after 10 fields you experience a dramatic drop-off in conversion rates.
Be like Salesforce and stick to the basics. First Name, Last Name, Job Title, Email, Phone Number, and Company Name are more than enough. Again, our goal is to hand leads to the sales team to close. Don’t make their job harder by adding too many fields and limiting the number of leads your website can produce.
Salesforce sells to companies of all sizes, so they include a drop-down for company size. They also sell accounts around the world, so they include a country dropdown as well.
It’s impossible to show the rest of what happens behind the scenes, but it goes without saying your sales team needs to call anyone who fills out a lead form as soon as possible.
Thanks to Jay Baer’s recommendation, I downloaded a Salesforce Marketing Cloud eBook yesterday. Kaitlyn Berry from the Marketing Cloud team was all over it and called me within an hour of the download. People have increasingly finite attention spans. The quicker your sales team can get leads on the phone, the more likely they can close those leads.
Lost in Translation
I can hear you saying, “James, this is great for Salesforce, but we sell well completions services, how can we apply this to our business?” Easy.
You know what your customers want. You know the real problems you solve. You have client testimonials. You have case studies filled with data on the return on investment your customers have experienced by hiring you.
Simply take the lessons learned here and apply them to your situation. If you sell drilling and completions services “Sell, service, and market faster with the world’s #1 CRM” becomes, “Drill, complete and produce wells faster with the industry’s #1 Completions Crew.”
Strip down the 500 words at the top of your homepage to one phrase that gets to the point of exactly what you do and — more importantly — WHY you are the best choice. Don’t just rely on your phone number at the top of the page. Place buttons throughout your site that make it easy to become a lead. Use testimonials in your digital sales process, leverage data-driven selling, and show people the results of your work.
“43% Increased Rate of Return — 44% Reduction in Downtime — 37% Increased Revenue.”
Tony Robbins once said, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
That’s the best thing about oil and gas web design. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. All of the answers are out there, you just have to know how to look for them.
After reading this, I hope you know exactly what to look for. Because once you put these tactics to work for you, it’s not a question of IF you will double your leads, but WHEN.
Of course, if you want us to hire us to do this for you, we would be happy to help.
Call to Action
Did you find this article helpful? Do you know a sales director? If you can answer yes to both of those questions, can you do me a favor and send this article to them? If you do, please shoot me an email. I would love to thank you personally!