Your Climate Tech Science Still Has To Sell
What's the most critical reason your climate tech company has a website?
The answer is the letter "E," and here's why.
The Purpose Of Your Climate Tech Business Is Profit
Whenever I ask a CEO what’s the purpose of their business, they almost always say something related to solving an impossible environmental challenge. The follow-up question is, "How are you going to do that?" which inevitably elicits a response explaining the company's technology.
Cool, but wrong.
The purpose of your climate tech business is no different from any other business—make money. If your idea isn't profitable, it will likely end up in the dustbin of history.
While vital to your success, answers A through D are only tactical in nature, whereas profiting (letter E) is your strategy to make our world more sustainable.
What's A Website's Purpose For A Climate Tech Company?
A website is the hub of your digital marketing efforts, and the reason for building it is to bring customers/end users into your sales funnel.
A successful website makes viewers realize you have a solution to their particular problem and encourages them to travel further down your sales funnel as they learn more.
Your Climate Tech Website Is About Your Viewer, Not You
Highlighting news articles, awards, and prominent team members on your website validates your solution, but they should never trump the value of your solution for the buyer. Making yourself the focal point of your site only distracts from the user's action.
The average amount of time spent on a B2B web page is one minute and 22 seconds, and on energy websites, it's an even more truncated 44-seconds per page. Do you want those precious seconds spent reading news articles from other websites and your internally produced press releases patting yourself on the back?
De-emphasize the About and Media pages, and get to the point.
Get the user to take the next step, whether giving you their contact information or downloading a sales sheet, or setting up a video call to learn more about your solution to their problem.
Make The Sales Objective Clear
If produced correctly, a climate tech website only appeals to a limited audience, to begin with. Search terms like "green hydrogen," "industrial water membranes," or "seaweed for cows" aren’t searched very frequently. The only people coming to your site (besides friends, family, and employees) are people who are already interested in solving a particular problem.
Your job is to get them to contact you to sell them a solution, and you need to make that transaction expectation as unambiguous and frictionless as possible.
Calls to action belong on the first panel on the homepage, not an afterthought at the bottom. You still have something to sell even if you are running a pre-revenue start-up in the beta phase. It's never too early to build your prospect list because those pre-qualified will end up becoming your first sales contracts and help your early-stage fundraising efforts.
Give Them Something Of Value In Exchange For Their Information
If you take nothing else from this post, please heed this piece of advice: Asking someone to subscribe to your email list is neither an effective sales tactic nor a substitute for actual sales funnels. It is a half-hearted, passive-aggressive waste of everyone's time.
Look, I’m all for content marketing. It's a successful search engine ranking strategy, and newsletters are valuable for brand recognition and defining your white space, but how many of them are helpful for your sales prospects?
If you want to entice someone into your sales funnel, give them something of value in exchange for their contact information.
People are reluctant to give out their email addresses for the same reason you are. They already have too many non-essential emails to thatch every day.
A Sales Funnel Test Case
What merits something of value? Here's a recent example from my agency:
Our client has a sales cycle of over a year, and a single successful contract is worth millions of dollars. Developers come to them for their expertise in a very specialized niche.
By producing a free video course (tutorial) viewers download in exchange for their contact information, the company proved their bona fides. It also reduced the business development timeline by answering questions they typically field in meetings from well-financed interests and tire kickers alike.
The follow-up auto-generated emails we send the contacts bring them even deeper into the sales funnel, encouraging them to share more about their needs. Now, when the first meeting happens, our client better understands the prospect's needs, and the prospect understands how our client adds value.
Producing a video course is just one way to peel the apple, and your giveaway depends on the length of your sales funnel, the size of your sales contracts, and the problem your technology solves.
How To Deploy Marketing Tools Into Your Sales Funnel
Now that you have prospects in your email list who will make you profitable, it’s time to deploy your other assets to reinforce the prospect’s decision to investigate further.
Other digital communication tools like a monthly newsletter, social media, YouTube videos, and long-form blog posts fill in information gaps to reassure the buyer and convince them that they made a wise initial decision. The information you share on these platforms are the tentacles from your website and used for the same purpose--bringing interested parties into your sales funnel (your website).
Here's where you validate your solution with test results and your talented team. According to neuroscientists, these guarantees persuade the left brain into alignment with the right brain, where the original decision was made.
How Many Touches In A Climate Tech Sales Funnel?
Chances are, if your business is in climate tech, you aren't selling $19.99 products on QVC. Yes, there are sustainable brands that sell B2C products for under $100, but most climate tech companies are B2B and have a much higher price point.
It's also likely there's more than one decision-maker, which is why it's important to suss that information out of the buyer early in the process, so they have the same experience with your brand.
The marketer's job is to support the sales team with more points of contact. In return, the sales team can add input, so the content addresses sticking points, which need smoothing over.
There are no perfect numbers of contact points in the sales funnel. Still, an upside of using digital marketing is that you can count each time a contact opens an email, downloads information, reads your newsletter, or watches your video, helping your company refine the sales process.
And voila, before you know it, your climate tech solution is profitable, and your company is changing the world.