At our conferences, I often get the question, how can we be persuasive on business to business sites or intranet sites, even though these sites seem to be very different from e-commerce sites? Ultimately, all of these interfaces are used by people, whether they’re e-commerce customers or corporate employees. So we want to make decision making easier. We want to simplify decision making. Here’s how we do it with B2B websites. Make sure your calls to action are appropriate for your persona’s with some of our clients. We’ve seen this button install a free trial. They noticed they weren’t getting the leads they wanted, so they figured they’d try some changes. So they changed it to request a demo. When they had requests a demo as their call to action, the lead skyrocketed. The reason that happened was because employees couldn’t always download what they wanted to. Of Demo, on the other hand, was something they definitely could do. Another persuasive strategy is testimonials. A B2B website may not necessarily have reviews, but with testimonials, users can get a sense of the scale of past projects as well as the job titles of past customers. Having that information helps the user make a decision more quickly and decide whether or not this product is appropriate for them when it comes to intranets. Here’s a couple of things to consider. One of the biggest challenges with designing intranets is encouraging engagement. Get your foot in the door and ask the user for a small commitment upfront. This is the rule of consistency. When a user does something once, they feel a lot more compelled to follow up with that same behavior. That’s one way to encourage engagement. Another way to encourage engagement is systematizing behavior. What I mean by that is observe the different behaviors that your users have, see if there’s ways to code them so that they’re helpful, and then later on have those available for the user so they can figure out what information they might need in order to share information within the company.
While B2B and Internet sites seem to exist on some different planet, they really don’t. What those sites have in common with a lot of other e-commerce and B2C sites is people we want to make decisions easier for people. And at the end of the day, we’re designing for people.