How to tell a video sales story (Pt 1)

how to tell a video sales storyThis is the first of a series of posts on how to tell a video sales story. Here’s where to see Part 2 and Part 3

How to tell a video sales story? An OpenView B2B Buyer Insight survey points up some differences between what IT buyers and IT salespeople think motivates buyers to reach out to salespeople. I think it’s interesting that salespeople tended to underestimate the importance of these buyer motivations:

  • To research a market
  • To replace a solution that isn’t working well
  • To bring about a major change in the organization

It put me in mind of an issue we face every time we develop a technology marketing video — How do we frame the story? Even more important — What happens in the first scene?

Turns out, we have framed videos around these motivations — not deliberately — in the past, and the videos have worked well. But we’ll consider them with a little more deliberation in future projects. Maybe you should, too.

“Here’s what’s new in your market” (vs. “Here’s why we’re the next big thing”)

When everybody’s doing it — in IT today, “it” is cloud/virtualization, big data analytics, mobility, social media — solution providers tweak their solution to stay on top of the trends. A relevant video solution might be to feature these special tweaks in shorter-than-average videos.

For example, Cisco’s Workload Automation solution has been around for a while (as Tidal Enterprise Scheduler). Here are a couple of short videos emphasizing special features related to big data and cloud integration.

This video describes the benefits of Cisco’s workload scheduler in terms of making things easier for analysts and data scientists.

This video presents the same solution in terms of IT efficiency and system integration.

“Here’s what’s new in your market” (vs. “Here’s what’s new in our product”)

The survey quoted at the top of this article was about what motivates customers to contact sales. We all know this contact seldom comes early in the customer journey. In our company, the videos we make are more and more often designed to engage prospects who are not at the top of the sales funnel. They may even be existing customers. They’re people who read analyst reports and industry news and are likely to have pretty good idea of what’s going on in their market, but they want some more specifics and to get an idea how you see things.

Network provider Brocade has been a client since 2009, and we’ve made videos about lots of new products and product upgrades. But now we’re frequently asked to come up with videos — or bundles of videos — that present the product or upgrade as something new in a specific market.

For example, the latest generation of switches improves performance in different ways, depending on your point of view. We produced a video for each viewpoint.

From the viewpoint the storage network admin, the switches can eliminate finger-pointing and conflicting goals that sometimes arise between network teams responsible for different kinds of storage networks.

Brocade’s new switch line as seen by storage network admins

The new switches have different benefits for mainframe operators who count on outside service providers for long-distance data replication.

Brocade’s latest switches from the mainframe team’s point of view.

For operators needing to replicate data in IP networks for disaster recovery, there are still other implications.

Brocade’s new switches from the IP network DR vantage point

The videos are similar, but each addresses a question that prompts people to reach out to sales: “What’s new in your market?”

In my next post, I’ll share some ideas and examples on how videos can address prospects who are looking to replace a solution that isn’t working well.