A recent LinkedIn post asks “Are B2B sales reps getting spoiled by inbound marketing?” Now, I don’t know about all B2B sales, but in my experience with technology solution sales, I’ve certainly never run into a sales professional who seemed overly satisfied with the leads produced by inbound (or any other kind of) marketing.
A recent Hubspot report provides the telling stat that only 24% of marketers have any formalized agreement with sales on who does what and when. This has been construed as marketing “forgetting” sales, which may be unfair, but it’s certainly true that an awful lot of product-centric marketing content appears to take very little notice of the many different scenarios in an actual sales process. In the Hubspot research cited above, marketing’s top goals are identified as:
Reaching the right audience
Converting leads to customers
Increasing total lead volume
Creating quality content
Proving the ROI of our marketing activities
Buyers notice the disconnect
The disconnect between sales and marketing is borne out by the dislike buyers increasingly express for promotional content that doesn’t connect with their needs and concerns (detailed here). Connecting with “needs and concerns” is, of course, what sales engagement is about.
Technology solutions are decided upon by teams of people whose needs and concerns are not the same. So, for each member of the team, there is a more-or-less unique “path-to-purchase” with different scenarios in which engagement with sales could happen.
Even those marketing materials intended as sales support are much more likely to be structured around generalized “messaging” on product benefits, not messages keyed to specific buyer needs and concerns at specific points on the individual path-to-purchase.
Better collaboration through video
In our process for scripting videos we almost always rely on the sales point of view to find the starting point for a script. Key to creating an effective video is deciding which need and concern to address first, because you only have about 30 seconds to get someone’s attention. If you begin with a clever tagline that doesn’t speak directly to the viewer’s concern, a) you can’t be sure the viewer will even get it, let alone think it’s clever; and b) you’re wasting the viewer’s time. Start with a real need identified by sales, and everything else falls into place.
Our new “video bundle” is also based on the idea that there is a different “path-to-purchase” for each member of a sales team. Even if the “team” consists of two people, it’s more effective to have a sales support video for each one than it is to have one video that attempts to address the needs and concerns of both. Again, the question arises, whose needs do we address first?
But what about automation?
Admittedly, tailoring content to individuals scattered along an ill-defined “buyer’s journey” seems to be the opposite of “automated” — “opportunistic” or even “improvisational” is more like it. But thinking along these lines will help you come up with subjects for your video that are vital and interesting. Instead of thinking about the content of your videos, try thinking about the effect you want your video to have — on the buyer, and for your sales team.
Videos that speak effectively to customer needs that have been identified by sales can be shared in many different sales and content marketing automation schemes. If the content marketing produced to support sales really does support sales, they won’t be shy about making it known. Which will help to meet one of those key marketing goals: “Proving the ROI of our marketing activities.”
For more about designing videos for sales engagement, download our free report Creating Videos that Support the Technology Buyer’s Journey.