Marketing content vs. sales content
CSO Insights research director Tamara Schenk has noted that salespeople often complain that the content they’re given to work with is too product-oriented. She says, “It doesn’t help them engage on the level of business challenges, and doesn’t help them engage in different industries.”
A recent CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study considered content in the following categories.
• eMail templates
• White papers
• Product collateral
• Needs analysis template
• Customer case studies
• Sales presentations
• Tech presentations
The overall conclusion was that there should be more content or sales enablement and it should be better aligned to the customer journey.
It’s not surprising that video is not considered in this list. Most videos function as sales collateral of one sort or another.
Vidyard recently published an infographic that cleverly maps 12 types of video productions (explainers, product info, chalk talks, personalized, etc.) to the customer lifecycle. It suggests appropriate levels of production values for each genre, and where it should be placed in the buying cycle. It’s worth a look.
But this “generic” approach is mostly geared to marketing content, not to sales enablement.
According to the CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study, most organizations don’t produce much content specifically for sales enablement. They make do with marketing content — which is apt to be product focused.
How would sales enablement video be different?
According to the same study, quality of content used in sales enablement has a big impact on revenue plan attainment. By and large, most B2B videos are of pretty good quality — but there would be a lot more quality videos if companies concentrated video resources on doing what video is really good at, rather than producing video “programs” in established genres.
Enhancing the quality of all content
For example, video is good at clarifying processes. It’s good at dramatizing relationships between people, processes and technology. Of the content categories listed above, there’s none that couldn’t be improved by the addition of a short video to drive home a key point. Most white papers deal with problems and solutions. Video excels in depicting both.
Even a “needs analysis template” could be improved with video recordings of where the needs are of the employees describing them. Enhancing the quality of other content with video requires editorial judgment and skill — but not a lot of production expense.
New life for existing content
Any good sales enablement program will involve inventorying, rationalizing, and tidying up existing content. If you have a library of seldom-viewed videos, you can probably give them new life. Do one or both of the following:
• Break them up into bite-size chunks that answer frequently asked questions, depict key use cases, or demonstrate cool features. You can use these excerpts in social media and to generate engagement along the buyer’s journey.
• Add diagrams, photos and animation to make them livelier.
Here again, generating useful video content is mostly a matter of understanding what your sales team can use combined with editorial agility to recombine content to tell a different (short) story.
A library of short videos on specific topics is a valuable resource for “conversational commerce” in which customers use messaging apps to engage with businesses in preference to email, contact forms and phone calls. Having your question answered with a spot-on 20-second video can be a very satisfying customer experience. Feeling that you understand something your didn’t understand 20 seconds ago is a great feeling.
Giving the customer control
It’s increasingly easy to add clickable objects to navigate a video. That means the user is in control. The user can display new content (video, graphics, even web apps and forms) right in the video window — without leaving the website or page — with a click or a touch.
This kind of interactive video gives you a lot more control over the user experience, too. For example, in the mockup above, the viewer has the advantage of knowing what’s in each section of the webinar, and how long each is. You get to choose how each segment is billboarded. And you get data on viewer choices to help you offer better choices. With a library of videos, an interactive video player, and an alert imagination, you can transform sales enablement content into a personalized customer experience.