Winning New Contracts Requires Credibility
Winning a major contract takes a fully rounded approach to business development, relationship building, sales, and proposal writing. And a professional website is also part of the mix for the following reasons:
- It enhances (or undermines) credibility.
- It can provide access to vital information that is used in the contract award process: capabilities, leadership, products, and services.
- Addition of content can be used to enhance the work of the business development team—providing them with a library of online information to help tell your story.
Credibility comes in many colors—it’s not only about what you can do, it’s also about how you communicate and the experience the client, agency or partner has as they work through the bid process—subsequently awarding business.
Establishing Credibility Using Your Website
Here are the top four aspects of a website that impact credibility:
1. Content is King
Website content should be centered around your customers and their needs. It should always focus on solving their problem(s). When written properly, your content will not only improve customer engagement but boost your website’s ranking.
All websites at a minimum need to include:
Header: Within seconds of visiting a page, visitors should be able to know what you are offering by reading the header.
Sub-Header: The sub-headline must be clear and concise describing in more detail your customer offerings, leaving no room for confusion.
Call-to-Action: Make it crystal clear what you want your visitors to do next in order to move them into your sales funnel (ie; download a whitepaper, e-book, register for a webinar, etc.).
Features: These are the all-important details of your product or service. It’s where you get laser-focused on what your customers will receive from you.
Benefits: The benefits are what make your offer unforgettable. They go hand-in-hand with your features—they describe how your offer will make their lives that much easier.
Past Performance, Reviews, and Testimonials: Customers prefer vendors who have a track record of doing similar work for organizations that are just like them. Past performance, reviews, and testimonials are highly effective when competing for new business and can be prominently displayed on your website.
Leadership and Technical Credentials: Make it clear why someone should want to work with you. Showcase your team and their technical expertise allowing your customers to not only see how qualified they are but also get to know the people behind the work.
Contract Vehicles for Government Contractors: Promote the contract vehicles that you have been awarded and solutions that your organization offers—this forms the platform for winning new business under that contract vehicle as well as finding suitable partners to complete tasks.
It’s important that your messaging speaks to and resonates with ALL of your target audience(s).
Avoid Unexplained Jargon: You may wish to demonstrate that you speak the language of your client, but not everyone understands all those FLAs (four letter acronyms). Use them but explain them.
Overuse of Generic Terms: A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes instead of spelling it out, it’s better to use graphics and infographics to explain complex concepts.
Broadcast Your Core Differentiators: Share what customers find most helpful about your company’s solution. What combination of services, processes, and skills do you offer that competitors do not?
Testing: Test your message with A/B Testing tools. No matter how good your conversion rate is, there is always room for improvement.
Branding is a vital part of any business. A cohesive, well thought out brand lends credibility and can help position you and your organization as leaders in your field. But branding is more than a logo, it’s about a promise you are making to your clients, employees, and partners:
Attention: Is your brand memorable? Does your logo, tagline, colors etc. stand out when compared to your competitors?
Mission/Vision: You need to share the heart of your business by sharing not only what you do, but who you are and why you do it. It’s a place for you to share your passion and truly connect with your audience.
Engaging: Once you capture your audience’s attention, can you keep them engaged? A clearly written message in combination with a good design format will help your customers understand why you are the best choice to help solve their problem.
4. Thought Leadership
Customers prefer to work with experts in their chosen field, which you can demonstrate through educational articles (blogs, white papers, etc.) that establish you as the subject matter expert. Once written, thought leadership assets can be promoted/shared through your website, PR and social media.
Will every client read all your thought leadership materials—probably not, but you have them (and others may not), and you can refer to them throughout the sales process.
Clear Point of View: Set yourself apart from others in your field by selecting a distinct point of view. Over time, people will get an understanding of what to expect when reading your content.
Active Awareness: Constantly stay abreast of what is currently happening in your industry and connect with other thought leaders to enhance your credibility.
Actionable Insights: Make content easy to consume. Not everyone is going to read the 24-page white paper—consider creating a 30-second video that provides highlights and let those who need the full details click to download.
The Bottom Line
A well-designed website combined with stellar copy creates a building block for demonstrating credibility with clients and partners in both the private sector and government agencies.
Is the federal government your target market? We have also created the Website Checklist for Government Contractors for you with a few other must-haves to consider.
If you are unsure about what to do next we are offering a FREE website assessment—we’ll let you know where you stand today and what your options are moving forward.
Ocean 5 Builds Outstanding Websites for Business
Ocean 5 creates websites that are fully custom, technically advanced, responsive (mobile-friendly), professionally designed, and provide an outstanding user experience. We use Growth Driven Design to build a digital platform for