How to game the sales cycle during and after COVID-19

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June 10, 2020
Alex Koby Alex Koby

COVID-19 has disrupted all aspects of our society. The traditional approach to sales has been broken by stay at home orders, social distancing, and widespread uncertainty. Without clarity on when things will normalize we must adapt to grow. The days of primarily face-to-face sales interactions are over for the foreseeable future, so what are you doing to overcome this challenge?

The traditional sales approach relies on the salesperson to be the source of knowledge about a product, or service. This system has worked for centuries to convert leads into tangible sales; however, now that COVID-19 has hit we cannot rely on that old system to keep revenue coming in. We must do something to evolve that system in order to survive. Who can save us? Wait, what’s that? It’s a bird. It’s a plane. NO! It’s video to the rescue!

The reliance on the salesperson for knowledge has been eroding since the dawn of the internet. COVID-19 may just crush the final companies holding onto their traditional way…

Today, customers in every industry are educating themselves prior to speaking with a sales person. The availability of information and the advent of the inbound marketing approach has trained buyers to research and understand products or services before reaching out for sales support. This kind of self-identification has been on the rise for years and now that we are in isolation this trend has increased exponentially. In this new environment, companies with the most easily digestible information that is readily available to consumers will win.

So how can video be used to help you win in this new world??  Great question! Video has the innate ability to deliver powerful messages that actually lead a potential buyer through their buyer’s journey. Companies that rely on their salespeople to deliver information at the beginning stages of the buyer's journey are about to lose big time unless they invest in significant changes. The day for the traditional approach has passed and now we need a novel solution to support sales personnel while delivering relevant information for your buyers during the awareness and consideration phases of the buying process. 

Embrace the new normal of educated and well-researched buyers.  If you facilitate this by creating a system of video content that is used in both marketing and sales to effectively nurture the buyer through their buying process, you will benefit from better sales interactions and more closed deals. 

Let’s take a look at four steps that can help you get there.

Step one:

Let your customer find their problem through their own research.

Your customer is most likely online right now browsing Google and social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. In this new normal, you will benefit from being able to get in front of these customers while they are researching, working, and interacting online throughout their day. You can accomplish this through organic social content and paid advertising. Creating bite sized video content for these platforms that peaks interest about your product or service will allow your customer to see what you offer and how it may apply to them. This creates awareness and can lead customers into a buyer’s journey.

Keep in mind that generally speaking, only 3-5% of potential customers are actively looking for a solution to a problem. The remaining 95-97% of potential customers are essentially waiting for a reason to enter into a buyer’s journey. If you create the right content and get it in front of the right people, you are no longer battling the competition for crumbs, you are pulling in prospects that aren’t even aware your competition exists.

One of a series of FAQ videos we shot for our friends at Exterior Medics

Step two:

Allow your customer to identify you as a potential solution to their problems.

After identifying that you may be able to help them with a problem they will be inclined to do a bit more investigating. Now is when a well placed product or service overview video can provide a taste of what you do to bring value to people like them. This video is designed to be easy to digest, highly relevant, and full of useful information for your customer about how your solution makes their life better. After a potential customer views your overview video they should leave with a feeling that what you have to offer is a good fit for them (assuming it is). The video, if produced correctly, adds value and credibility to your brand and satisfies the expectations of the buyer in the modern digital economy. 

Now that you have shown them what you claim you can do for them, it’s time to prove it.

A great example of an overview video we did for Solaris Oilfield

Step three:

Prove to your customer that you can deliver on your promises & show them a better future from working with you.

Your customer has identified their problem at this point and can see you as a possible solution but now they need more proof that you can deliver as promised. Insert case study and testimonial videos. These videos serve to prove the value of your product or service to potential customers. Having your real customers deliver the message increases the authenticity of the message. Your past customers will tell their story including identifying a problem, researching a solution, learning about your product or service, reaching out to you for more information, forming a working relationship, and finally happily satisfied and realizing the benefits of the solution you delivered. The way case study and testimonial videos are created lead the viewer to resonate with the message and see themselves and their challenges in the storyline. They will see the success of your past clients and believe they can have a similar experience, assuming they work with you.

One of our own customer success stories

Step four:

Call your customer to action.

The last step in the process is the customer raising their hand and wanting to interact with your sales professionals. When a prospect is considering reaching out, many times they will visit a website page that will initiate your team’s involvement (e.g. request pricing, get started, ask an expert, etc.) Placing a video sales letter on this page is a proven method to increase conversions through a simple and direct message focused on why they need to take the next step. Video sales letters are short one-on-one style videos that work to remove any last objections to meeting with you. Using video sales letters on landing pages and in email campaigns can drive the core of your message home to customers and prompt them to take the next step in solving their problem by working with you.

If you want to adapt to our new normal and continue to super-serve your audience with relevant and useful content, video is the way to go. Is your company ready to benefit from a  video strategy that allows you to stay competitive in this new economy? Adapt or die, the choice is yours.

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