Looking to generate sales leads, increase conversion rates, customer retention and product adoption with your customers? One relatively simple, scalable method is to broadcast public and private webcasts featuring overviews of your offering. Public webcasts are increasing in popularity as a convenient option for consumers to get an in-depth look at your product without direct interaction from a sales person. As a salesperson, it’s hard for me to imagine that someone wouldn’t want to speak with me directly, but it happens. Private webcasts are also an effective tool where there is a scheduling conflict or a more personalized experience is desired. These webcasts are relatively inexpensive to produce with widely available software. At Swiftpage we use WebEx. GoToMeeting also offers a serviceable option to support your webinar efforts.
Choose your topic – Do you want to sell your product/service? A product walk through usually will answer many of your prospect’s questions and assist in moving your sales process forward. As a retention tool, a 30-minute overview will often remind your customer of why they made the purchase and how your solution addresses a problem or fills a need. Webcasts also provide a great training environment. Seeing how something works often demystifies it and encourages engagement.
Script – While I am not a fan of scripting per se, creating an outline of what you will say while coordinating what is on your attendee’s screen is critical to success. This will provide a smooth, professional look and feel to your events leaving your audience glad they attended. When scripting, keep in mind the length of your presentation and your audience’s attention span.
Practice – Conduct several walk-throughs of your webcast. First, a simple read out loud by yourself, then to an audience over the phone will help you build a confident voice. Next step is a practice session with your webcast software. Recording your practice sessions is a valuable tool in honing your skills and getting better. Next, a dress rehearsal (also recorded) using your webcast software to a friendly audience. This will give you a sense of how your script and visuals work together as well as getting the gift of feedback.
Schedule – Generally, Tuesday through Thursday are optimal days for webcasts in a Business to Business environment. Business to Customer sales will vary more so. Providing a variety of times for public webcasts will drive higher attendance. Of course, private webcasts can be set at a convenient time for all.
Sales and service personnel – Many of our sales reps share our registration link and/or mention it during their conversations during the sales process and post-sale. Support and retention teams can leverage webcasts as a customer-facing training tool.
Email - Promote your event using an emarketing tool that integrates with your customer relationship management software. This not only drives registrations, it provides another touch point as well as adds value to the customer experience. Add even more incentive by offering a prize. In our current webcast promotional email for Act!, we're offering a chance to win one of three $1,000 Amazon gift cards by attending the "Propel Your Sales and Marketing with Act! webcast in July. You can see the details here. If you don’t have a contact manager/customer relationship management (CRM), get one today. If you don’t have emarketing software for your business, start shopping. Fortunately, we offer outstanding solutions for both that fit almost any situation.
Social media – Leverage your networks, share the registration links, and build interest by discussing before and after your event.
Set yourself up to succeed – Log in 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Test your phone connection for audio clarity. There are options for PC audio but I have found that a landline provides the best experience. Test the screen and be sure to have your visuals ready.
Answer questions - Have the Q&A or chat window open to field questions during and in wrapping up your presentation. Be sure to mention how you will be interacting with your audience in your intro.
Record for distribution – Posting recordings on your site, YouTube and other public locations for later viewing extends the reach of your communications. It is also a great way to start building a training library.
Lead generation – Attendees can be asked to provide personal information during the webcast registration process. When choosing what will be required, generally a first and last name with an email address is sufficient for lead generation purposes.
Email offer – Following up with a call to action is an excellent way to move the ball forward.
CRM – update your customer records for sales and support teams. This information can prove useful in future interactions.
Producing and delivering a public webcast can feel like a daunting task but if you follow a few steps, your events will delight and engage your customers while assisting in driving revenue and customer satisfaction. Hesitant? Most of us are at first. My advice is to just do it and have some fun. There will be ups and downs, but most people who attend webcasts are very kind and gracious if there is some sort of difficulty. Webcasts supporting sales, training and retention efforts are an integrated part of our process here at Swiftpage. Getting customers and their teams engaged in using the product pre- and post-purchase is a critical step in building long term, mutually beneficial relationships.