Transaction experience turns website visitors into potential customers

With an unprecedented amount of information available to business owners it is more important than ever to display your experience succinctly. According to research from Google and CEB, customers reported being 57 percent through the sales process before engaging a company representative. This means 43 percent of the sales process is being discovered through google searches, LinkedIn, Axial, PEHub and alike. If your experience is not adequately represented on your website and other online mediums you will not win your fair share of sell-side engagements. In fact, you will not be invited to pitch your fair share of engagements because you will be qualified out before you even had a chance!


Your website should convert visitors to sell-side engagements

Your website should act like a funnel that allows visitors to get to know you better and connect with a relevant professional. The most basic professional service funnel begins by:

1) Displaying a broad set of experiences (tombstones);

2) Making it easy to investigate the transactions they find interesting and relevant to their needs (case studies); and

3) Find the professional that most meets their current needs (professional resume and biography).

Tombstones: the broader the better
Transaction tombstones are often the first interaction a prospective clients has with your firm. Business owners will come across your firm transaction history through a search engine or see an announcement or press release naming the advisor to a comparable transaction. Your tombstones should be easy to find – we suggest as a main heading to your website. Each tombstone should clearly state: i) the company you acted for; ii) the service or the role of the engagement that was completed; and iii) any counter parties involved in the transaction. Here are some of our favorites.                                               

Make this information user friendly. If your tombstones don’t display service, industry, or deal value make it easy for website visitors to filter transactions to find what they are looking for. You would expect to be able to filter the location and type of house you would like to purchase. Shortlisting an investment banker should be no more difficult than shortlisting a house in your desired neighborhood.

Stephens filter tombstones

Case studies should convey aptitude and opportunity

Case studies should include specific details of what happened in the transaction, what the banker prepared, and non-descriptive key insights into getting a great result. Visitors want to see what sort of service they will receive, and what you have or could have learnt transacting similar firms.

Lincoln case study

The style of a case study and the information that it presents differs between firms but should hit the key points to entice the visitor to move to the final stage of the funnel to find out more.

Conversion to an opportunity

The final step of a transaction professional funnel is the banker that completed the deal. It is important to prominently display his or her full name, direct and cell numbers, and email address and a portrait photo helps build confidence. A summary paragraph of the bankers professional experience at the firm and prior firms and tertiary education achievements is also common. It is important to include a list of completed transactions, both at the firm (links to case studies and tombstones) and at other firms (linked to press releases). Do not mention the other firms party to transactions because the visitor may think your prior experiences more appropriate and leave your website to begin the funnel process at a competitor!

Example in action: KPMG Corporate Finance Landing Page

We are seeing a number of large professional service firms create a landing page dedicated to a specific service they offer. This is a great tactic for large, multi-disciplinary firms because its make relevant information more readily available to a visitor because they will not need to sift through multiple sub-menus to find your services. The KPMG Corporate Finance landing page is a great example of this trend and the funnel process in action. Tombstones are prominently displayed. If you click a particular tombstones you are directed to an indepth case study of the deal and information of the team member who completed it. A shortfall of this experience is no direct link to a detailed biography of the senior team member, but if you spend a couple of minutes researching the team member you will find Wesley Brown’s professional resume.

This examples demonstrates the logical sequence of events a visitor would follow and is a great example of how you can maximize you visitor traffic to inbound deal opportunities!

About Pitchly

Pitchly makes it easy for corporate finance professionals to store information about transactions the their firm advised on. Users add a transaction through an easy-to-use based platform specific to their firm. Key information is stored, customizable, searchable, and can be marked confidential. Users can also create tombstones and case studies to a transaction for use in pitchbooks, digital or printed marketing material and for display to their website. Sign up for a free account here.

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