B2B website features: must-haves and nice-to-haves

A client recently asked for some input on what features and functionality she should be incorporating into her company’s new B2B website.  She also asked for a few examples of B2B websites we think are doing things right.  These are great questions, and we hear them quite a bit from clients and prospects.  So in the interest of sharing with a wider audience, we’ve posted our reply here.

Fortunately, thanks to some of the tools available these days, it’s a bit easier to scope out functionality for a good B2B site.  With a content management system, marketing automation system, and some analytics tools, you’ll get most of the functionality you need.

B2B Website Must-Have Features

Some capabilities will be critical:

  • site content additions, updates, and organization are quick and easy, and can be done by marketing team without IT involvement
  • all content and page components are well optimized for search engine indexing
  • site visitor activity is trackable both in aggregate and at the individual level
  • marketing leads can be captured into a marketing database that includes activity data, and shared with sales when determined to be qualified as sales-ready
  • measurement tools are in place for content engagement and marketing program performance (both inbound and outbound)

B2B Website Nice-to-Have Features

Once you have those elements in place, the nice-to-haves are about ease of use, customization capabilities, and level of sophistication.

For example, you might want multiple user accounts for website content changes, and levels of approval and editorial control.  You might want the marketing database tool to have a rich graphics interface with drag-and-drop functionality, drillable and customizable reports, and fancy charts and graphs.  You might want automated synchronization of data between your marketing database and the salesforce autiomation or CRM system.  More sophisticated marketing teams might also want features like automated marketing triggers based on sales and finance data that is stored in other systems.

Other nice-to-haves would be around interactivity.  Features like social media sharing of content, live chat with customer service agents, discussion forums, comment threads, and reviews can all improve engagement with site visitors.

As for good B2B sites, there are lots out there.  Here are a few good examples that do quite a bit of what I mentioned above:

For more on B2B website best practices,
download our 1-pager:
7 Proven Best Practices for your B2B Website

B2B Website Best Practices

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