Customers in an array of industries, from IT to insurance to business process outsourcing, are often way ahead of the salespeople who are ‘helping’ them.
Harvard Business Review
In many of today’s buying processes, actual living, breathing salespeople are likely to enter the game when it’s more than half over. If the buying process goes awareness –> consideration –> action, it’s probably somewhere in the consideration phase.
Companies typically publish overview videos to create awareness. But what other kinds of video can help the salesperson help the buyer complete the journey?
Targeted videos for sales training
Sales training, of course, has long relied on instructional video. Today’s eLearning platforms, it could be argued, are largely interactive video platforms.
But there’s not a lot of courseware out there that prepares a salesperson to help out a customer who has been considering the subject longer than the salesperson has. Especially, if the salesperson has just moved into the role or if this is just one of the hard-to-explain technology solutions she is representing.
This is a situations where content marketing and sales enablement overlap. (It’s an increasingly common situation, as is persuasively argued in the ebook Business 2 Business Selling in the age of the customer, which was recommended to me by a client in the business of sales enablement.)
Whether a buyer is asking your sales team see how a solution fits their problem, or trying to answer that for himself, the seller is ahead of the game if there is content that at least partially answers the question. If the salesperson knows and understands the content, so much the better. And if there is a short video that makes it easy for both sales and the customer to grasp the content, so much the better better.
Targeted videos for account penetration
Of course, it’s not always the case that buyers are self-educating — sometimes you’re trying to get an existing account to buy in to new services, or even a new strategy. That’s the case with a client of ours in the IT outsourcing business. Their salespeople tell us that, when they conduct meetings around mobility device management, they get very different kinds of questions from facilities managers, IT execs, and line-of-business execs, who think about “mobility” in different contexts (in this case, 1) a tangle of telecom issues and costs 2) data security 3) mobile workers getting stuff done.
Now, knowledgeable salespeople on an account generally won’t need video to answer questions in a meeting. But videos aimed at specific members of a buying team can be very helpful in getting the meeting in the first place, because they make it clear that the sales person does indeed have something to say about the issues that concern a given person (or persona). Similarly, video that looks at an issue from a single point of view is likely to be shared within an account among people who may not have attended the sales presentation.
Channel Partner education
As with existing accounts, you can’t assume that channel partners are on any sort of “buyer’s journey” researching solutions like yours. Sometimes you’re introducing a new product. Other times, you’re trying to get the channel partner to pay attention to your products and to represent your line more enthusiastically and accurately.
Videos may be packaged with other tools needed by channel partners (e.g., solution guides, cheat sheets, ROI calculators, proposal templates).
Channel partners need to nurture leads, too. Videos that make that easier are almost sure to be used. In particular, short videos that lend themselves to sales automation, e.g., a series based on a cheat sheet, or a set of videos that look at your solution from the point of view of sales, marketing, and delivery.