The buying process for many B2B solutions (especially technology solutions) can be long, and the buyer’s journey meandering. Sales engagement is harder to come by as buyers by-pass the sales organization for 50% of their journey. Today, more than ever, short videos can help you reach more buying influences in the customer organization with more targeted messages.
Here are three tactics that can help you extend your sales reach.
1. Make your videos shareable
On average, there are 2.5 people involved in B2B buying decisions when the dollar amount is over $ 30,000, according to the 2015 BuyerSphere report from Base One. That’s why it’s essential to think of the B2B “buyer’s journey” in terms of buyers — plural. What’s more, these individuals don’t start the journey at the same time, or with the same levels of awareness of, or interest in, your solution.
A key conclusion of the BuyerSphere report is this:
The most influential source for buying information is when it is sent by a friend. This is hard to argue with, and reminds us to keep shareability top of mind in everything we do as marketers – if we can encourage buyers to talk to other buyers in their own words, we’re onto a winner.
Now, it’s hard to think of anything more likely to be shared on the Internet than video. But sales team members will only want to share relevant videos that make them look smart. If a video spends the first minute or so on operational details — however significant — it’s probably not something the operations manager wants to share with a busy colleague concerned mainly with bottom-line impact or compliance issues, for example.
Five9 (a leading provider of cloud contact center software) understands that if they want to attract and engage with more decision makers, they need to make it easy for different buying team members to share video content that’s relevant to others on the buying team. For this reason, they created a landing page with short explainer videos to re-frame the Five9 value proposition for each member of a typical customer buying team — the heads of operations, sales, and IT.
Subtle differences in style among the videos reflect personas developed by the Five9 product marketing team.
2. Create Mobile “Video Moments”
As reported on Forbes.com, more than half of today’s executives are doing some of their research on mobile devices. The extension of the buying process to mobile affords the marketer more opportunities for engagement, but this involves some rethinking of format options.
In Cisco’s best practices interview guide, “Getting in Sync with Mobile Customers” Daragh O’Byrne, CMO of banking infrastructure provider BPC, notes that mobile users expect all content to be adapted to mobile devices.
For example, instead of PDF versions of corporate newsletters that are attached to emails, they are expecting to receive email newsletters with snippets of content and links to more details. They are expecting to get short summaries rather than long documents, and ideally, they are looking for video content.
An innovative approach for creating engagement with buying teams across channels is taken by Journey Sales, whose new application for the Salesforce1 mobile platform creates instant portals (“Smart Rooms”) for specific sales opportunities. In addition to delivering varied content customized for the prospect’s buying team, each Smart Room features tools for secure collaboration between the buying and selling teams as the sales process advances.
Journey Sales encourages Smart Room users to load up on video content because, “video helps to maximize the number of ‘micro moments’ in the buying process,” says CEO Bill Butler, referring to the short spans in which people interact with smart phones. A practitioner of what he preaches, Journey Sales’s own Smart Rooms feature short videos that target the key buying influences for their solution: individual salespeople, and sales execs keen on analytics. Another video shows how the app works from the customer point of view.
3. Send more emails with buttons that link to video
Another actionable conclusion in the BuyerSphere cited earlier report is this:
. . . if there was one activity that was characteristic of the winning supplier (as opposed to the also-rans) it was that they used email to its full extent. 41% of the survey sample said their chosen supplier used it more. We’re not saying increase your volume and fill those inboxes. We’re saying that buyers seem to remember good, pro-active, well-planned use of email as being part of their experience – and it was an experience they enjoyed enough to sign on the dotted line.
Research published by Vidyard, using data from the Marketo sales automation platform, found that emails with an unmistakable video call-to-action have a 53% higher open rate than emails without, and that leads who were considered to have gone cold (in the dormant part of the pipeline) actually converted at a very high rate (6.5%) if they clicked the video button.
Conclusion: send more emails that lead people to relevant videos.
Increasing sales engagement
The need to increase sales engagement is why we’re being asked to make more and more videos like the ones mentioned above: short videos that tie business impacts and proof points to the buyer persona. They are videos people share because they are relevant to the person they are shared with. They are videos suitable for opportunistic viewing on mobile devices. They are videos that lend themselves to highly targeted drip email campaigns.
Done right, and integrated with the rest of your sales and marketing efforts, such videos can do a lot to extend your sales team’s reach.
Download the Buyer’s Journey free guide.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community