In an interesting blog post, guru-to-the-startups Rita Baker makes a strong case that, if your product or the needs of your market are complex, it is sales, not marketing, who should run the show. On that logic, since most tech solutions are designed to eliminate or hide complexity, the answer to the question “Should sales or marketing produce your videos?” could well be “sales.” But that’s not the way it usually works. Marketing usually produces video and other content, which goes on the website and gets used in campaigns and sales automation. But what about video for sales engagement?
Is video for marketing, sales engagement, or customer experience?
Current thinking about buyers and sellers puts the emphasis on the customer experience over time. In my favorite buying cycle model, from Gartner, there is an “owning cycle.” Most customer journey models for tech products appear to call more for empathy and hand-holding than for conventional content marketing. Marketing content may bring in leads, but the rest of the process depends on engagement.
Stalled opportunities in their pipeline
Most companies are better at bringing in leads than they are at engagement. As Bill Butler, C.E.O. of Journey Sales (and a client of ours) said in a Top Sales Magazine interview, “We chase a quarterly sales metric with some customers, and disengage with other customers regardless of where they are on their journey. It’s no wonder companies have an estimated 60% of stalled opportunities in their pipeline.”
The Journey Sales solution is their “Smart Room” app. It allows any salesperson with Salesforce CRM, to quickly create a microsite personalized for an account with curated content and tools that help the sales team and the buying team collaborate to shape the solution. It’s very different from sales automation because the goal is not to keep people informed, but rather to keep them engaged. It’s about interaction, not messaging.
Personalized video for sales engagement
Videos usually can’t be “personalized” like an email letter. But if they’re intended for engagement, they exist in a personalized context where insistent sales pitches are out of place. Video can be tailored to different buying committee personas in several ways, as:
- Links to short excerpts from webinars and demos
- Editing more explanatory graphics into existing “talking head” videos
- Video “bundles” aimed at different buying team members
- Chapterization with interactive tools
All any of this takes is editorial skill and imagination. And the involvement of the salespeople who can best define what the customer is looking for.