Content is no longer exclusive to the marketer’s toolkit. There is a common need for good content to support both marketing and sales goals; content that spurs engagement, drives conversion and meets the needs of your customers.
Video is a powerful tool that can work across departments and across the sales cycle. For marketers, video is often a key component of the marketing mix. Its purpose is focused on positioning the brand, promoting products and services and generating leads for the sales team.
The sales opportunity lies in leveraging video content in the sales strategy, from introduction to follow up. In order to succeed, your sales team needs the right content to complement their calls, pitches and proposals. When marketing and sales work together to develop content and share resources that meet the needs of their customers, success is realized.
Here are some tips for effectively incorporating video in your sales strategy:
Arm the sales team with the right content.
The first step towards integrating video into your sales strategy is to identify the right type of content that engages customers at different stages in the sales cycle. To do this, focus on the needs of your customer: What are customers asking for? What sets us apart from competitors? What matters to our current customers? Use the responses to these questions to engineer the appropriate content to enhance your strategy.
For example, showing how a product works or the technology behind it may eliminate misconceptions, skepticism or conflicting beliefs. A testimonial, on the other hand, might be used to show its application and enhance confidence through social proof. Focus on short video clips that demonstrate key competitive advantages, prove performance and validate your claims.
All too often companies create stand-alone videos that are expected to do too many things and appeal to too many audiences. Don't fall victim to this approach. Coordinate with the marketing team to repurpose video assets and develop multiple versions of your content to meet specific needs and scenarios.
Always make sure you are maintaining a level of professionalism in regards to the production value or quality of your video. Your content is a reflection of your brand, products and services. Don’t show customers a poorly lit, shaky videoshot with an iPhone. Make the investment in your business and create a quality video. Planning ahead for content needs can often lead to economies of scale when producing multiple videos. A good video production partner will counsel you on these potential efficiencies and help you tell a better story.
Utilize video at each stage of the sales cycle.
Once the appropriate content is developed, determining how and when to use it is critical. Video can be used in different ways throughout the sales process. For example, in advance of an initial sales meeting, a brand video might be appropriate to tell a story and convey value. This can show that not only is your product or service the right solution, but there is value add of working with your brand. For a less experienced sales person or someone less brand centric, this type of video may be an effective way to articulate your value proposition.
Demo videos can be powerful during pitch meetings to support selling points and leave a lasting impression on the customer. Sharing case study videos is a good way to follow up to reinforce key takeaways from your meetings.
To identify when to leverage each type of video, consider where the buyer is in the sales cycle. What will drive the conversation? What supports the dialogue? What closes the deal? Engage your audience to find out their needs, and tailor the content to them. Having a thorough understanding of your target audience helps to best determine what type of videowill make the most impact – and when it should be delivered.
Consider tools for effective delivery.
Sales pitches can happen anywhere, and your sales force should have convenient tools to support them in a variety of settings. Effective delivery of content is key. Many sales people have moved to utilizing tablet devices. Consider a custom sales support app that allows easy access to video content and other useful selling tools. Further reinforce your selling propositions by embedding video links into proposals. This can further the reach of your video content when the proposal is reviewed by additional stakeholders who were not present in previous meetings.
Train your sales team to effectively use video.
Every selling situation requires a unique approach and each customer can be very different. A good salesperson understands this and prepares accordingly. Creating and deploying video content that seamlessly complements the selling process is critical. Help your staff determine how these tools are most helpful in supporting different conversations during the decision-making process. Arming your team with video and an accompanying script to help close the deal is a win for everyone.
For example, during the meeting, the salesperson shouldn’t compete with the video. Consider creating your demo videoswithout sound so he or she is not talking over a narrator. Incorporate on-screen text and graphics to highlight the key points you make in your presentation. For the follow up, send testimonial videos that provide further narrative.
Let the conversation drive how video is used. Salespeople should be able to work on the fly during meetings, quickly jumping to specific aspects of the video depending on what feedback or questions they’re getting.
Video is also a great tool in the absences of deep technical knowledge or the presence of a sales engineer. This still allows the salesperson to take the conversation to the next level and explain the complexity of the product or manufacturing process.
But it’s a two way street. Video content – and how it’s used – needs to also fit how your employees sell.
Solicit feedback and monitor consumption.
Marketers have long understood the value of analytics and feedback to measure and modify a content program. Salesteams need to also utilize these tools to manage their video library and implementation strategy.
Regularly collect feedback from your boots on the ground about how video is working. How did they use this tool? How did customers respond? When do they feel video helped them close a sale? What else do they wish they had? Use this qualitative feedback to optimize your efforts and share best practices to benefit the whole team.
Monitoring video consumption can also help you gauge the effectiveness and appetite for your program. Identify what videos your team is sharing and how often. And when sending follow up video content, track who’s viewing and sharing the content.
The key to using video successfully is not to abandon your current sales strategy, but rather, use video to complement your strategy. Video is a really great tool if used properly. A successful video strategy meets your customer’s needs, complements each step of the sales cycle and is delivered effectively to win more business.
To help your team create video that builds credibility and delivers content to convert leads, JPL has developed A Content Marketer’s Guide for Video eBook series. The three-part series provides practical guidance on crafting video content that achieves higher performance results.
Matt Daly is vice president of Client Solutions at JPL, a full-service, integrated, marketing agency. The firm provides strategic thinking and creative execution across a full range of services that include brand, digital, marketing, advertising, video production and internal communications.