Have you ever attended a webinar? That is, a live meeting or presentation held on the internet.
Most webinars are either sales or training-related. The best ones deliver a high amount of value to the participants.
Chances are, you came away from your last webinar experience with a great deal of respect for the presenter and viewed them as an expert in their field. That is because webinars, like television or radio, position the speaker as an authority. Someone obviously vetted them and selected them based on their credentials and knowledge.
Have you ever considered using webinars for your own sales campaigns?
When Should Webinars Be Used in Sales
One amazing benefit of using webinars in sales and marketing is their sales ubiquity; they can be used at any level of the sales process. Think of them as a universal tool serving many needs.
We know that buyers progress through a “journey” when considering a purchase.
For the buyer, they experience three phases:
That is, they know they have a problem (Awareness Phase), they educate themselves on solutions (Consideration Phase), and they take action to resolve their problem and choose who will help them take that action (Decision Phase).
On the sales and marketing side, we measure those progressions in our own terms:
- Top of the (Sales) Funnel
- Middle of the (Sales) Funnel
- Bottom of the (Sales) Funnel
It really is a numbers game, the more people we can attract as anonymous visitors to our website, the more we can convert into known leads (Top of the Funnel) to gauge their interest and qualification of our product or service.
Next, our goal is to move them to the Middle of the Funnel as they progress to their own Consideration or Decision Phase. The Middle of the Funnel is where were help them understand that we understand their problem and know how to solve it.
Ideally, the prospective buyer sees the value in working with us (Bottom of the Funnel) and makes the decision to do business with us.
So how can we use webinars to help this process for both the buyer and our sales teams?
Using Webinars at the Top of the Sales Funnel
In all honesty, most companies have the top of their sales funnel pretty well covered. Commonly whitepapers, checklists, and ebooks do their part to convert anonymous website visitors to sales prospects.
I also recommend sales and marketing alignment to use webinars to generate traffic.
When used at the top of the funnel, brands can use a webinar to discuss high-level recommendations for their prospects. In my experience, the conversation rate is much higher for webinars because they have a higher perceived value than more traditional lead conversion materials like ebooks.
Using Webinars in the Middle of the Sales Funnel
In my experience, there is rarely a well-designed transition between the Top of the Funnel and Middle of the Funnel offers. This is an opportunity for many brands who have trouble moving a prospect through the pipeline.
In the middle of the sales funnel, leads are searching for the right vendor fit. They have already identified their need, now they are researching who should fill that need. As a provider of that service, you can use webinars to:
- Demonstrate your subject knowledge
- Increase transparency
- Deliver value
- Establish trust
- Build credibility
A brand can host a Question and Answer or “AMA” (Ask Me Anything)-style webinar to provide added value to a prospect without coming across sales-y. This transparent approach also differentiates you from your competition.
Using Webinars at the Bottom of the Sales Funnel
If you are looking to close a sale, a webinar is your tool.
To experience long-term success in sales, you must be rooted in a simple principle: the betterment of the customer.
To effectively guide a person’s buying decision, you must have influence. That necessary influence comes from being perceived as an expert — one that the buyer does not question.
Salespeople who have done their job correctly will be viewed as an advisor rather than a vendor. This positioning is powerful, and comes from understanding the exact needs of the customer.
Webinars combine a number of sensory elements (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc) to deliver an interactive and dynamic experience for the prospect. Regardless of the number of attendees, there is a intimacy that can only be rivaled in live, face-to-face interaction.
At the end of the funnel, prospective buyers have identified their need, sought out a solution, and are looking for a trusted partner to provide that solution.
When used at the bottom of the funnel, webinars:
- Address and handle buyer objections quickly and easily
- Filter out Sales Qualified Leads vs Marketing Qualified Leads (or even under-qualified leads)
- Create instant authority and rapport
- Are less costly (therefore have a higher ROI) than live-event sales
When Should Webinars Be Used in Marketing
Sales is a numbers game. And smart marketers understand that, for their sales counterparts to succeed, the number of qualified leads must always be increasing.
Marketing departments using webinars can target highly qualified groups by changing the topic and format of the webinar. If you are targeting real estate professionals, consider tailoring the content of a webinar to appeal to mortgage brokers one week and title and escrow the next.
By identifying your ideal customer through personas, their frustrations and pain points make for an endless supply of webinar topics.
Further, by making webinar recordings available after the live broadcast, each investment of time (to host the webinar in the first place) has the opportunity to continue converting qualified leads over time.
Set up landing pages, lead nurturing, and advertising campaigns for each webinar your sales team hosts to reap the benefits of those first webinars.
Help your sales team out by using webinars to open more opportunities.
Webinars In Sales & Marketing Are Key
As you can see, I firmly believe in the use of webinars to attract visitors, convert sales leads, and nurture to the point of purchase. Webinars are key to sales and marketing because:
- Webinars are capable of handling most of the sales process
- Webinars engage more prospects faster
- Webinars allow sales prospects to discover your worth to them
- Webinars create authority and rapport with multiple prospects at once
- Webinars allow sales and marketing to leverage our time and resources repeatedly
- Webinars allow sales to tackle objections “passively”, without a prospect knowing you’re talking directly to them
- Webinars allow a prospect to self-qualify (or self-dis-qualify) themselves
I have made available my own personal mindmap and webinar checklist. This is the same toolkit I use for every one of the webinars I am involved in. I believe a system and process can help reduce human error and increase productivity.
If you would like a free copy of my checklist, you can download it instantly here: