TBV Insights

Sales Transformation and self-service video

Why Sales Transformation? Buyers researching instead of talking to sales.
Why Sales Transformation? Buyers are researching on their own instead of talking to sales.

You may have noticed that more and more sales management roles are adding “Sales Transformation” to their job descriptions. It’s not hard to see why.

  • Today buyers spend 80% their buying time researching independently and talking with other decision-makers on their team (Gartner).
  • 99% of B2B buyers would opt to make new purchases through self-service, if they could (McKinsey).
  • And, even when they do meet with vendors, they prefer meeting online. (Gartner)

Where does video fit into this necessary Transformation?

Virtual selling and visual selling

We all know from experience that it’s very easy for attention to wander during online meetings. That’s why it makes sense to use as many relevant visuals as you can in your online presentations. Short-form videos are attention-grabbers. Did you know that videos under 60 seconds draw 57% of YouTube views (as of July 2022), compared to just 11% two years earlier?

Self-service and the microlearning model

With self-service B2B buying efforts, the buyer’s attention is more or less guaranteed — but so is their frustration if they don’t find out what they want to know. White papers and blog posts are valuable learning resources because the content is easy to skim. Information-rich visuals like diagrams, charts, and screen grabs get the point across quickly.

Many videos can be skimmed, too. YouTube and other platforms automatically add chapters and subtitles (though adding them manually gives a better result).

Still, traditional video forms aren’t designed for self-service learners. Explainer videos and testimonials are sales-y, webinars are slow, tutorials get too far into the weeds.

Perhaps the best model for self-service selling can be found in microlearning —  the use of2-5 minute lessons that deliver bursts of learning for people who are eager to learn. Microlearning lessons are typically devoted to a single problem and its solution — the opposite of an overview.

Leveraging short-form videos

If you can break down your messaging into interesting problems and solutions, you can easily make short videos that can be leveraged and shared it in multiple channels.

Your sales team’s cadence, for example involves a certain number of emails or text messages, some of which can include video. And Sales always needs follow-up messages.

What’s more, these problem-solution videos are extremely effective because they are very easy to share within the buyer’s organization.

A more consultative role for sales

In a recent Salesforce survey, 74% of sales reps said that their roles have become more consultative and less transactional since the pandemic. Buyers will have done their homework when they talk to sales—  and sales should know what content they’ve viewed.

As the conversation develops, having new insight and guidance —   subject matter expert perspectives, software demos, customer stories — readily available can be a real confidence booster for both the seller and the buyer. At this stage, videos don’t need to be slick —  but they can’t waste time getting to the point, either (the same is true for other content).

All of this is to say that sales transformation will require changes in how we think about the role of sales support content, including video.

Videos to support your high-value offer

The High-Value Offer is a customer interaction with so much business value that the buyer feels compelled to engage. It’s an account-based marketing concept recommended by Gartner for customer acquisition, too. A high-value offer’s business value depends on timely topics

photo representing IT exec pondering how-to video content

Reframing your demos as How-to video content

I was surprised to learn from a Foundry (IDG) white paper on customer engagement [download link] that the average technology decision-maker spent 14.3 minutes watching each How-to video they viewed in 2022, up from 12.2 minutes in 2016. If you really want a technology