How to Sell CRO Internally

We’ve all been there. You have a great idea about something that you think will help your company make a lot of money. You go to your team or boss to make the suggestion and…*crickets*. Your boss has their own opinions about what would work and they’re very different from yours – so that’s the end of it – for now. This scenario plays out all the time with marketing people who believe in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

CRO is the process of using testing and data to increase the
percentage of visitors to your site who do a meaningful action

Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of using testing and data to increase the percentage of visitors to your site who make a transaction (whether eCommerce or leads). Because it involves numbers and testing and other nerdy things, CRO isn’t always the sexiest thing to invest in for organizations.

Blending Art and Science

Traditional marketing involves more art than science with its creative designs, comedic commercials and clever copywriting. If it’s an art, then what matters is its aesthetic appeal.

CRO, on the other hand, is all about forming hypotheses, testing them, analyzing the data, and only coming to a specific conclusion if the data is clear.

Because the scientific process is foreign to most traditional marketers it can be hard for them to grasp the benefit of CRO. So you’ll have to work on showing the value from different angles. Also, with CRO data trumps opinions. This can challenge traditional marketers and make them dig in their heels.

Two Types of Company Resistance to CRO

As Tommy Walker explains you may have one of two types of resistance to CRO in your organization: ignorance or opposition.

  1. Ignorance: With ignorance, the solution is fairly simple – you need to educate your higher-ups on the benefits of CRO. I say “simple” not because it won’t take work, but because if your “students” have open minds the data on the proven benefits of CRO speaks for itself (more on that soon).
  2. Opposition: If the resistance is of the opposition variety, you will need to try some more creative techniques. Some traditional marketers or bosses are against anything new and disruptive. Some are averse to anything that involves numbers and math because they feel it’s a threat or they don’t fully understand it. Their opinions may be worth less if the basis of organizational decisions becomes objective facts and data. This is a hard thing to overcome, but it’s not impossible.

First, let’s take a closer look at education. There are only two ways to get more conversions on your website: get more traffic, and/or convert your traffic at a higher percentage.

There are only two ways to get more conversions on your website:
(1) Get more traffic, or (2) convert your traffic at a higher 

What Your Team Needs to Hear About CRO

What you need to convey is that paying for more traffic without focusing on CRO is like trying to fill a leaky bucket with water. You are wasting opportunities to get customers and grow your business. Even small improvements in conversion rate can make a huge impact on your bottom line.

As the chart below shows, just relatively small increases in lead conversion rate can have a gigantic impact on revenue. This is true even with keeping everything else the same, including the rate of turning leads into customers.

The Pitch

The first thing you need to do is frame it as a user experience issue. Users convert when they understand clearly what they need to do on the website and don’t have any barriers to getting what they want quickly.

By looking at conversion data and making improvements based on it, you are listening to your users on what they think is working or not working on your site. If there’s one thing management usually understands, it’s that you need to listen to your customers’ opinions.

Find Out if Your Competitors Are Already Using CRO

Another thing you can do is tap into the competitive spirit of your bosses. CRO is growing in popularity so chances are that several of your competitors are doing it. Find out which competitors are doing CRO and show this data to your team and boss – she will not want to be left behind by the competition in this area.

How do you find this information out? Use a tool like BuiltWith to find competitors who are using CRO tools on their websites. Examples would be AB testing tools like VWO or Optimizely, analytics tools like Kissmetrics or Google Analytics, or user research tools like Hotjar or Clicktale. Even better would be also showing how the competitors’ sales have increased after adopting these tools.

It can be tough to overcome ignorance or opposition on the part of team members or upper management when it comes to CRO. But by discovering what type of resistance you are encountering and adapting your persuasion techniques accordingly, you will have your company making giant leaps in conversions in no time.

When they see those results I promise your bosses will thank you.

After all, you’re fixing their leaky bucket for them.

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