Horizontal vs. Vertical Selling, And Why Your Website Matters


Are you a horizontal seller or a vertical seller? Does it matter? I mean, at the end of the day we’re all trying to get prospects to understand why my company’s services are better than your company’s services. Well, it does matter and the real answer is you should sell both horizontally and vertically – especially in the technology space. Unfortunately, all too often we see companies going in with a one-dimensional approach and it doesn’t have enough oomph to convert that lead into a sale on its own. Furthermore, with the internet, prospects are doing much more research on their own before you even have a chance to talk to them. So instead of selling on one horizontal plane (services focused), stand up! And let’s get vertical (industries focused).

Sales success

The website & the buying process:

  • Research phase: 60% of B2B buyers visit websites of potential vendors
  • Consideration: 59% use site when comparing/determining vendors

-Ranked 12% higher importance than sales rep (used to verify sales  rep)

  • Purchase: 74% say it holds some influence over ultimate decision

Your business-to-business website should:

  • Establish your business as credible
  • Provide pertinent information
  • Create visibility
  • Educate the visitor

It lets prospective clients know who you are, what you offer and if your offerings appeal to them.

Positioning the website:

  • By positioning your site for both services and industries (including broader industries), you’re showing that you not only offer specific services but you understand business challenges
  • It does not change the way you sell, but shows your deep expertise along with an understanding of business issues
  • It indicates you may not have specific industry solutions but you understand broader industry concerns and how your services address them

The Message:

  • Speak to specific challenges/priorities
  • Present benefit oriented points
  • Cross sell/promote across industries and services

You can see there is a lot that goes into this multidimensional approach and many times you’re dealing with an educated prospect. Make sure you’re using all your sales tools to the best of their potential so you’re priming your prospect, not sending them away before you even get in front of them.

Need help? Tech Marketers, powered by Marketing Works, has been working with technology firms for decades and can help you navigate this new terrain. Contact us to set up your complimentary consultation and learn more about positioning yourself for success.


Jess H. • August 29, 2013

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