Why All Companies Should Leverage Webinars to Generate 10-20% Sales Growth
What exactly is a webinar and why should you incorporate them in your B2B sales & marketing strategy?
The term “webinar” is simply fancy jargon for the sophisticated internet users out there and basically means Online Seminar. Webinars are extremely useful as marketing tools and provides your sales team with the weapons necessary to activate cold leads, warm up leads that have gone cold and also helps demonstrate capability.
Generally speaking, webinars can be used to showcase a core capability that your firm operates, a demo of your software, market studies etc. Most marketing consulting firms rather focus on digital marketing rather than webinars … a big sham!
Today, I want to let you in on a little sales growth technique you can implement tomorrow. This step by step guide is what I use with current clients to generate more leads, increase market credibility and provide value to prospects and existing customers.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
How do you deliver a webinar that gets you more sales, generates leads and credibility?
1. Decide on what you are going to present. Is it going to be just a demo, observations in the market etc.?
I always recommend clients to present one of two things along with a demo. Either a short read case study that puts emphasis on business outcomes achieved by your solution or services OR you present on current technological, social and economical trends that will serve as a catalyst for growth for your product (ex: emerging trends of AI in compliance).
Here, a hybrid of the two works wonders: focus the bulk of the presentation on delivering as much value as possible to your audience via market research, observations, surveys in the marketplace.
Limit “advertising” your solution demo to only a few short minutes at the end, once you have positioned your product to be capable of welcoming these changes in the market (i.e. demonstrating capability).
2. How should you structure your webinar?
This is a crucial part. Most webinars are typically presented by one person, presumably the department head at the host company talking for an extended period of time.
While this is definitely a format you can resort to and avoid the hassle of 5% extra work, the productivity gains are minimal.
Structure your webinar this way to maximize results: Panel discussion.
Your slides are there to simply add visual cues and allow readers to take notes of important findings you found. The same way we have 2 ears and 1 mouth suggesting we should listen twice as much as we talk in a sales conversation, the same applies for webinars. Dialogue is the key. Do not fret over what is on the slides, do not discuss the slides. Use your graphs, bullets and illustrations as reinforcement to the dialogue.
Invite an expert in your field to host the discussion and webinar with. This helps you
Gain credibility because you have a leader in the field discussing their observations and offering their opinions.
Drives traffic thanks to the guest speaker’s network traffic.
Facilitates outbound efforts because you now have a valuable industry peer as part of your presentation.
Remember, like attracts like. If you invite a CEO to discuss their views, other CEOs (i.e. decision makers) will also join the webinar to hear what their peer/competitor is saying.
One very important piece of advice:
You MUST ask intelligent questions during the panel discussion. Do not under prepare. Treat this as a client discovery. We are here to uncover the needs of the guest, from implied to explicit needs.
Alternatively, you can also discuss a case study of past clients, invite that organization to discuss at the webinar and let them talk about your value. Wouldn’t that be nice to have our own customers talk our company up?
3. BONUS STEP: Invite some of your existing clients to the webinar along with your prospects, both warm and cold. While this really works well at corporate gatherings, it definitely can help virtually too. Typically, a webinar platform as well as the social media sites you will be sharing it on will allow for comments. What better way of generating interest in your company products and services than having your best customers show up and talk you up during the webinar? Pinch me, I must be dreaming! That is evangelist marketing at its finest.
4. Create a slide deck that screams PROFESSSIONALISM; make sure all fonts are consistent in size, dashboards/graphs/shapes and other illustrations are centered and aligned. Anything to the contrary means you did not put much thought into the presentation and can certainly caution the prospects and existing customers you are not as careful with your solution/services.
5. Personalize and Mass Invite. Give yourself roughly 1 month to do this well. With clients, I go through the exercise of compiling a list of 200-500 prospects. From there, we sort them out in 3 columns: Warm, Lukewarm and Cold. Do the following for each.
Warm leads (20%): Hyper-Personalize each invitation to the webinar. Relate to previous discussions with them and mention one problem you know they are having that this webinar will help them solve.
Lukewarm leads (30%): Personalize these invitations too but modestly. With these ones, you might have to add 2-3 other touch points to really get them to engage and convert.
Cold leads (50%): Mass–Automate. As cold leads are generally by far and large the longest column, because not every lead can be qualified at the same time, your best bet is to automate these emails. Follow up with them 5-6 times in the coming weeks with valuable articles, LinkedIn connections and so on. The goal here is to treat them as new prospects and you have 7 touchpoints to get a meeting. So….start clicking!
BONUS STEP 2: Get your customers to actively share that they are participating at this webinar and ask them to share the webinar again after the presentation. S-O-C-I-A-L proof is they key here. Again, no one can market your company better than your customers, and that is a fact!
6. Design a KILLER invitation template using Mailchimp.
By KILLER, I really mean simple;
Professional picture of your guest speaker
Summary of the guest speaker’s experience
Bullet point summary of the topics being discussed
Simple CTA with name and email address.
Less is more 🙂
After the presentation, follow up with participants a week later, ask them what they want to hear about next, what they loved about the webinar, what they disliked and if you can set up an intro call.