Updated: April 25, 2022 & March 23, 2018
Originally Published: September 1, 2015
You’ve held off redesigning your website, but now you have no choice: Your top competitor is collecting so many leads from her new site that she’s had to add staff.
Time to catch up, but where to begin? How do you choose a vendor to build your next B2B website? You’ll probably search “Best B2B Website Design,” find the top-3 rated local vendors, and set up meetings. But what do you say to and ask of these vendors? They’re savvy. You’re not. You’re concerned about looking naïve, not to mention being taken to the cleaners.
This scenario happens all the time. As vendors, we meet with lots of uncertain potential buyers who ask the wrong questions, set the wrong priorities and, without proper guidance, would set themselves up for failure.
Want to look smart at those vendor meetings? Compare these 12 common, naive questions with the smarter ones clients ought to ask.
1. What Does it Cost to Build a Website?
Smarter: How will you help us determine requirements and website project scope so we can create realistic budgets and timelines?
2. Who Will Lead Your Development Team? Tell Us About their Qualifications and Experience.
Smarter: How will you assess our needs and match your team members to meet those needs over the long term?
3. Which Parts of the Job Will You Handle In-House and which Will You Farm Out?
Smarter: We don’t want to be orphaned. Do you retain and nurture staff over the long term, so your team remains intimate with our installation and needs?
4. We Want to Integrate Our Website with Other Tools. Can You Do it?
Smarter: What is your strategic approach to building a website and digital strategy that will scale as my business grows? How does your strategic approach determine the best possible integration of available tools that are within my budget?
5. Should We Use WordPres?
Smarter: How does your B2B website development process determine the best content management system for my needs? How many times have you launched a website using your proposed Content Management System for businesses similar to mine? Tell me how that CMS solved three problems for those businesses.
6. What Do You Think of Our Current Website?
Smarter: Please review our website and propose three ways your CMS and/or design and other services could improve it. Show us examples of these types of improvements in place on websites of other clients.
7. Is Our Content Good or Do We Need to Do Something Better?
Smarter: What tactics do you employ to review the current content on our website to determine whether we're reaching our intended audience? Does your team have the capability to write new, strategic content for us if the need arises?
8. Can You Guarantee that We Will Be on the First Page of Google?
Smarter: How do you determine the roles of Search Engine Optimization, content marketing, and digital advertising in attracting customers to my website and keeping them engaged?
9. Will Our Non-Technical Staff Be Able to Manage Content on the New Site?
Smarter: Show us examples of successful distributed content management that you have implemented with the proposed CMS. We define “distributed” as multiple non-technical content editors maintaining information assigned to them in an organized process.
10. Five Years from Now, Will We Have to Build from Scratch or Will We Be Able to Update and Upgrade the Site You Build for Us Now?
Smarter: Explain your process of updating our content management system without forcing clients to implement painful and expensive migrations of CMS platforms. Show us three case studies of clients who have successfully updated your recommended CMS platform multiple times.
11. What Will You Do for Us After Our Site Launches?
Smarter: What is your approach to client education, training, emerging trends and generally keeping us up to date?
12. What Happens if Something Goes Wrong?
Smarter: Tell us about the last time a project faltered. Explain the intervention and remedies you employed to right the ship.
Why would Northwoods reveal these insider questions to potential clients? First, we're known for sharing our knowledge openly and often so that others can grow and flourish. And second, we strive to become our clients' digital BFF - we want you to succeed!
If you need asssitance with website design and development or digital marketing, don't hesitate to contact us. We're happy to help!