Accounting software benefits businesses by providing control over areas such as invoicing, inventory, expenses and money management. Each year more companies turn to programs like Microsoft Dynamics GP or Intuit QuickBooks to get the job done. If you are a reseller of these accounting software programs, then you are already aware of how important it is to distinguish yourself from your online competition. The following are the top mistakes to avoid when selling accounting software online.
1. Expecting the software to sell itself.
Intuit and Microsoft make great products. And they’ll supply you with some useful marketing material to start with. But you need to take things a step further.
Think about the last time you walked in to a retail establishment on a mission to buy something you needed or wanted. Odds are you didn’t just walk in, pick up the item, pay for it and leave. A more likely scenario is this: After locating the product in question you discovered there were several options to choose from, at which point you spent some time reading packaging, finding a sales associate, or even getting a recommendation from a fellow shopper. Something prompted you to choose one product over another, and the same principle applies to selling accounting software online; find that wow factor to prompt your customers to choose you over the competition.
Call on your knowledge of your own shopping behavior at local retail establishments and use it to guide you when creating your website content. The better job you do of educating your visitor and anticipating their questions, the more likely they are to become a customer.
2. Thinking you don’t need a blog.
Nearly all types of business owners can benefit from a blog, particularly an accounting software reseller. Providing current, relevant content on a regular basis drives visitors, and potential customers, to your website. Sharing your expertise as a user of the software, or as a CPA or bookkeeper is another way to educate, and connect with, your visitors.
You don’t need to be an English major to maintain a blog, but if the written word isn’t your strong suit you can always hire a content writer to do it for you. Just be sure to respond to all comments on your blog to build a sense of trust and community.
3. Becoming a social pariah.
When used correctly, social media marketing can help direct visitors to your site and boost sales, but used incorrectly, it can send them in the opposite direction. Separate your professional and personal life online with unique Facebook and Twitter accounts and avoid irrelevant updates. Consider social media an avenue to get to know your customer base and them you, but save the heavy push for your website.
4. Not being your own customer.
Not knowing how your website works can cost you. Just like you’ve already learned the accounting software you are selling so that you can highlight features, know your website inside and out.
One way to do this is to envision a scenario or two that represents your best customer type. How would this person get to your website? What would they search for? Once on your site, what would they be looking for? Can they find it easily? If you offer online sales, go through the entire purchase process in the mindset of your customer type to ensure your checkout is functional and easy to use. Note any questions or problems you had throughout the transaction and include them in a FAQ section on your site.
5. Ignoring the KISS (keep it simple) principle.
There’s no shortage of options for those looking to buy QuickBooks or Dynamics GP, so why should anyone buy them from you? Managing customer relationships online is tricky business; avoid gimmicks, high pressure sales and unnecessary fluff.
Your website should be clean and easy to navigate with no fine print. Whatever your shipping or return policies may be, make them easy to understand and find. Invest in a toll-free number and make it visible on each page to instill confidence.
What you don’t do can be just as important as what you do when it comes to online marketing. Have a clear plan in place, and above all be flexible; if something’s not working, change it. Your willingness to work through lists like this one, and respond to what you learn, will have a positive impact on your bottom line.