Vidyard recently published an infographic that cleverly maps 12 types of video productions (explainers, product info, chalk talks, personalized, etc.) to the customer lifecycle and suggests appropriate levels of production values for each genre. It’s worth a look. But this “generic” approach to video is mostly geared to marketing content that is essentially promotional. I don’t think this approach works as well when it comes to video content for sales enablement.
Marketing content vs. sales content
CSO Insights research director Tamara Schenk, an authority on sales enablement, has noted that salespeople often complain that the content they’re given to work with is too product-oriented. She says “it doesn’t help them engage on the level of business challenges, and doesn’t help them engage in different industries.”
The CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study backs this up with the finding that the quality and quantity of content has a remarkable impact (±15%) on quota and revenue plan attainment, adding that it’s a dangerous illusion to reduce the required sales content to only “marketing content.”
Sales enablement content types
Here are the types of content used in sales enablement considered the survey.
- Email templates
- White papers
- Product collateral
- Needs analysis template
- Customer case studies
- Sales presentations
- Tech presentations
All these items are used throughout the customer journey. Templates and white papers (65.3%) are the most used items during the prospecting phase. The others tend to be used more in later phases of the customer journey.
How to use video for sales enablement
While video is not broken out as a separate category, this list is an excellent starting point for thinking about how and when to use video. For starters, the quality of any of these content types could be significantly improved with the addition of a video component — a simple process animation or a subject matter expert interview, for example — can enliven just about any text-based, online, or in-person communication.
On the issue of engaging with different industries, it’s not difficult to create multiple versions of a video, as long as you plan for it.
As to specific business challenges, these can be addressed if your approach to video (and other content) is based on a more conversational model. That is, video is great for explaining stuff quickly. Explanations don’t need to come in the form of product overview explainer videos. They could also be answers to frequently asked questions, or specific segments excerpted from demos and webinars. I call short videos that enable a customer to understand something he didn’t understand a minute ago “chatbot-ready” videos because they’re purpose-built for one-to-one engagement.