We've spent the past 10 years helping sales organizations prepare for the inevitable shift to on-demand selling. It's always been the future, but COVID-19 has brought it to the present.
Overhauling all your systems is too slow to help with near-term revenue. You need a plan you can implement quickly, which requires getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page.
Never in my 35 years have I seen a turnaround in this period of time — and to this magnitude.
CEO, $1bn Genetic Testing & Diagnostics Company
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Everyone is refusing to interact with salespeople. If your sales funnel relies on events, in-office demonstrations, or face-to-face meetings, then you have two choices:
For sales organizations committed to surviving this challenge, the answer is obvious.
So the real question is: what can be done quickly enough to make an impact? And how can you get your team rowing in the same direction?
Use digital techniques to accomplish the same objectives you used to fulfill in-person. Don't fix what ain't broken: your message still sells.
Your data still needs to get to market. Product demos must be held. Pricing conversations still gotta happen. The only thing that must change is how and where you deliver those messages.
Now is the time for open-mindedness, and your team must be prepared to learn new skills and rise to the challenge.
Even before COVID-19, buyers were becoming resistant to salespeople. Busyness and sales fatigue, combined with an abundance of information and choice, resulted in salespeople losing power over information.
For example, how do you feel when you visit a website that doesn't address pricing? Does it make you want to call their sales team? Or do you lose trust (and interest) right away?
Holding back vital information hurts you more than it helps. It doesn't create leverage unless prospects are ready to buy; for everyone else, it breeds resistance and mistrust.
And yet, information-withholding is still commonplace in traditional sales industries. What information have you been relying on your salespeople to deliver in-person?
Common culprits include:
Get your best salesperson or spokesperson on-camera and have them explain the tricky bits you've always delivered in-person. Run these through your regulatory team (quickly!) and get them into the hands of your sales team.
In fact, compile everything you think your sales team will need to replicate their sequence digitally. Maybe the answer is a Zoom call? Perhaps it's a pre-recorded demo with an automated follow-up? Whatever makes sense for your business, your marketing team needs to take your sales message (and sequence) digital.
For everything else, such as specific questions, objections, or follow-ups, get your outside sales team trained to send personalized videos.
If you're not sure where to get started, don't hesitate to book a brief call with a member of our strategy team. We're happy to help!
Our 3-step process ensures you don't leave money on the table
To create profitable content, we first identify topics that your best prospects care about now, but that also offer an opportunity to share a meaningful sales message.
If it doesn't resonate, or if viewers leave early, your content can't do its job. Plus, if you think it's hard getting budget to create content, try getting budget to recreate content.
We don't just create videos, we also offer web design, automation, and other services to help our clients deliver their content to the right prospect, at the right time.
Relationships start differently online. We can help you adapt your message to hook prospects at a moment of tension.
You can't wait to pitch in-person, so we can help you create a video version featuring your best salesperson.
Raising awareness online requires a more sophisticated strategy compared to event launches. Execution is everything.
Simple animation videos can be created quickly to adapt your print collateral for online engagement. Plus, you can track it!
We frequently train enterprise sales teams to create personalized videos that simulate the face-to-face experience.
Video can be used to deliver virtual poster presentations, abstracts, KOL case studies, and product updates.
While many people still think of us as “the video guys,” we're actually sales and marketing nerds with an award-winning crew. But we know it takes more than a great video to get ROI; you also need to use it effectively. That's why we also offer services throughout the customer journey, from web design to copywriting and automation.
Here's what our clients have been asking...
Understandably, many people aren't buying right now. In some markets, asking for the sale would make YOU feel gross. If that's the case, prepare your market for the inevitable recovery. Don't just throw time away: you can't get it back. Instead, use this window of time to build trust and deliver value to prospects. Borrow lessons from industries that "launch" their products, rather than selling year-round. Look at how Apple and other tech giants launch new products and announce updates online each year.
This is a matter of training. Your salespeople "should" already be sharing regulatory-approved messages, but we understand that creating a digital "paper trail" presents greater risk. That's why we always advise our clients to create "pre-approved" content for the thorny conversations. In the short-term, that may look like assembling a small "A-Team" to crank out some content you don't have. You can always make it better, right now you need it done!
The key to a successful product launch is to respect the adoption curve (Innovators - Early Adopters - Early Majority - Late Majority - Laggards). That means you need the biggest "nerds" in your industry to discover and validate your product first. Industry events are a wonderful shortcut, because they tend to attract the biggest influencers to one place. Without that shortcut, the key is finding ways to target the influencers in your space first, and then leverage those early customers to earn the larger market. Traditional online targets may include things such as trade publications, industry journals, PR, and even 1-on-1 outreach. But don't discount newer media opportunities to find these pockets of nerds, such as Podcasts, YouTube channels, and even Reddit threads (using ads). In the early stages of an online launch, it's more about "who" than "how many."
Most businesses are doing the opposite of what they should: they're cutting marketing budgets. Ad spends are down, because many people aren't buying in this climate. It's harder to show ROI. But that isn't an excuse to STOP, it's a reason to PIVOT. Your customers have the same problems and desires. What's changed are their priorities and behaviors. We're either focused on urgent issues, or we're in an information-gathering season. If your business addresses urgent challenges, then you can align with those needs and keep selling. Otherwise, it's essential to create "pre-launch" style content to prepare your market during the information season. Shift your mindset from "hunting" to "planting and harvesting."
Everyone buys online these days. The only reason your customers don't buy online is because it isn't more convenient than the alternative. But what if it were easy? What if prospects had all the info needed to buy with confidence? Have you ever tried creating a "complete" online sales message? Do you have a sales page on your site that has been tested and tweaked over time? Or is this question a thinly-veiled excuse? Remember, Pizza Hut got destroyed after waiting to adapt to online ordering. Don't be Pizza Hut.
Many of our email inboxes are a crazy hot mess right now. Without face-time, salespeople have gone straight to email. Meanwhile, stores and retailers have increased their email frequency in an attempt to blunt the impact of store closures with online sales. So yes, your prospect's inbox is probably a challenge. We're teaching clients to create personalized video to stand out, but you're going to need to diversify your content promotion strategy to reach prospects online. The good news is, ad costs have been lower during this crisis (at time of writing), so while email is crowded, other platforms are hungry for advertiser dollars. Just remember this is a "planting season," so don't try to go in for the sale (unless your product is helping people).
Have more questions? Let us know...