Inbound Marketing Assets Like Video Improve New Customer Close Rates
In yesterday’s blog, we talked about how important it is to create a remarkable experience during the marketing part of the buyer journey. Lead nurturing emails are one way to do that. But, your prospects view the pre-customer experience with you as one single experience, while you view it as two: marketing and sales.
You need to consider matching your perspective to your prospect’s perspective, which means making sure the experience is remarkable from click to close. Video is one way to take your ordinary sales process and turn it into an interactive, multimedia experience that helps your prospects get to know, like and trust you faster. We all know that this means more new customers and shorter sales cycles.
Here’s how to add video to your new inbound sales process.
Prospects have questions, and you have answers. How you deliver those answers is usually the difference between getting hired and getting ignored. You need to know the questions your prospects are asking, and most salespeople are extremely proficient at sharing a long list of them. Inventory those questions and make sure you understand which ones are getting asked at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel.
Once you know the questions, create a series of videos that answer them. Since your prospects don’t believe you (no offense, but they know you want to sell to them), get your customers involved. This provides the type of proof that most prospects are looking for early and often in the sales process.
Plan out when prospects typically ask certain questions and strategically include video links in emails to prospects. In essence, you’re answering their questions before they even ask. This proves that you understand their business and challenges and that you have experience helping businesses like theirs with your solutions.
If you have any type of demo, apply it carefully. I’ve seen many a deal die in the demo. It’s important to know why demos are so detrimental to the sales process. Remember: The purpose of your sales process is to make your prospects feel safe that buying from you is the right choice. Believe it or not, demos rarely make people feel safe, and most of the time, they actually create more questions than they answer.
Here’s why demos underdeliver. First, the people doing the demos don’t know enough about the prospect to make the demo valuable. So, they show all kinds of features and screens, clicking around, moving quickly and confusing prospects. Even worse, almost every conversation is out of context to the buyer’s journey. Now you’ve accomplished only one thing: The product looks complicated, and your prospect is anxious. That’s very bad news.
Instead, consider a series of pre-produced videos that are short and answer a specific question. Here’s how you do this. Here’s how you do that. Here’s how you solve your challenge in this area. Rather than pushing a comprehensive demo, you’re finding out what their issues are in advance and delivering a series of short, pre-produced and controlled demos that answer simple questions. This is a more strategic experience and one that makes your prospect feel safe. Mission accomplished.
Most of us have to provide references to our potential clients at some point, typically near the end of the sales process. References present a whole set of challenges. First, just because a client was happy yesterday doesn’t mean they’ll be happy today. Next, clients are busy and don’t always want to take the time to talk with one of your prospective clients. How many times can you ask them to serve as references before it becomes a chore? Finally, the task of connecting with strangers typically adds at least a week or more to the sales process as they try to coordinate schedules and connect.
These factors make traditional reference checks problematic in an inbound sales process. Instead, go to the video. Create a reference reel that includes short snippets of real customers telling real stories about what it’s like to work with your business.
Right before prospects typically ask for references, email them with a link to your reference reel, offering the option to watch the same people you’d likely be working to connect them with anyway. While this might not eliminate all the requests for live references, we’ve seen it reduce those requests by at least half, and in some client situations, it has eliminated references entirely.
More important, we’ve seen clients who have implemented reference reels peel off 10% to 20% of the sales cycle and improve close rates by up to 50%. This type of content marketing works, and it works well. It helps your prospects feel very safe at a time when they’ve already emotionally decided to hire you, and now they’re trying to rationalize the decision.
Video does wonders for helping you tell your story in a way most people would prefer. The world’s population is about 60% visual learners and only 40% verbal learners, which means most people prefer to watch instead of read. Tailor your sales process to match how your buyers want to buy, and you’ll see an immediate lift in almost all your sales funnel metrics.
Start Today Tip – Once you understand the buyer journey and the questions your prospects are asking, adding video to the sales process isn’t hard. You might need help creating the set of questions that pull out the right response or editing the video footage into a short, 90-second video vignette, but once you get those assets, applying them to your lead nurturing and sales process is easy. Set a benchmark that defines your sales funnel metrics today and then track those numbers as you apply the videos to your sales process. You should see improvement in 30 days.
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