Leveraging Webinars to Generate Leads
These days, webinars are a popular way for organizations to reach potential buyers and establish themselves as thought leaders in their space. Recent research, cited by Ringcentral.com, illustrates the importance of webinars for B2B business. For example, while 58 percent of B2B marketers use webinars in their content marketing programs, 91 percent list webinars as their favorite type of content. More importantly, the average webinar registration page conversion rate is 30 percent for cold traffic, and webinars themselves convert between five and 20 percent of viewers into buyers. As you can see, your buyers are out there, and they are watching. Here are a few tips for sales leaders, with a little help from their marketing friends, to incorporate webinars into their sales process:
Webinars are great for lead generation and can become an integral part of a business development strategy, and there are several ways to get people to sign up and attend your webinar. Many of these activities will be most effective through close collaboration with your marketing team:
- Identify target audiences within your existing contact database that can be reached via mass email campaigns
- Offer incentives for early-bird registrations
- Advertise your webinar via paid media and remarketing channels
- Promote the webinar on your social media networks
- Promote the webinar on your website
- Partner with a well-known industry source that could co-sponsor the event and promote it with their followers
Once you get people to register, it’s important to devise a follow-up strategy to reach out to the attendees and offer value, whether that is through automated email workflows or a phone call by one of your reps. Pertinent information collected during the registration process, such as organization name, title, interests, and expertise, will aid such efforts. Many of these post-registration steps can be automated, as most webinar apps, marketing automation solutions, and CRMs come with built-in integration, or these can be set up to talk with each other through workflow automation solutions such as Zapier.
The key is to optimize the strategy and workflows for maximum effectiveness through inter-departmental collaboration and set clear project goals, timelines, and responsibilities.
It’s an Opportunity to Build Your Brand
In addition to lead generation, webinars are essential to build and solidify your brand. After all, there’s no better way to establish yourself and your organization as trusted advisors than offering free content to illustrate your knowledge, experience, and expertise. Remember, potential clients want to deal with someone they can trust and, in lieu of an actual meeting, webinars let you show yourself in action and position yourself as someone who can provide the solutions your clients need.
How to Conduct Your Webinar:
According to the research in Ringcentral.com, the average webinar attendee will watch for 52 minutes, and 40 percent of webinars last just 45 minutes. As anyone who has attended multiple webinars can tell you, the length and structure of the presentation matter. For best results, consider the following structure:
- Use the first five minutes for welcomes and introductions. This provides enough time for the inevitable late comers to join and get acclimated before you start presenting.
- Leverage the majority of your time for your presentation. Pace yourself to cover all your main points. Ideally, you should also do a couple of dry runs to time yourself and to become familiar with the content, flow, and delivery.
- Leave a cushion of 5-10 minutes toward the end for a Q&A following your presentation.
Make your webinar interactive by allowing attendees to ask questions via the chat that can be addressed in real time or during the Q&A session following your presentation. Polling and surveying are also great tools in your arsenal to gauge interest and analyze potential client needs following your webinar.
Keep your content simple and at a high level. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too many facts and figures, and you certainly don’t want to provide information or services for free that are usually reserved for paying customers. Remember, the point of a webinar is to generate leads you can turn into long-term customers. As such, provide enough of an overview to pique your audience’s interest as you do the talking and incorporate slides with text as visual aids.
As so much of the selling experience has gone virtual, webinars allow sales leaders to present themselves to potential clients before you even set a meeting. This vital tool helps sellers showcase their personalities, knowledge, and expertise so clients can see you as someone trustworthy who can help them. Also, as registration pages can link directly into your CRM, you and your sales team have an entire list of potential prospects who have already seen you and developed a positive impression you can build on in your outreach efforts.
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