4 Ways Webinars Help Close More Deals
Webinars are one of the few tools that encompass an entire SaaS sales strategy. One webinar can create lead generation, demand generation, qualify leads, customer research, community building with customers and other businesses, content creation, and a nurture sequence all in one place at one time. That makes webinars the workhorse of your organization.
A targeted webinar + automated sales interaction before and after your event = a full-blown sales strategy with minimal manual effort.
The 2017 Big Book of Webinar Stats found that “60% of webinars are designed to move people through the entire customer lifecycle-from unaware prospect to loyal customer.”
At Demio, we’ve seen webinars help businesses grow, so we’d like to share with you four ways you can use webinars to close more deals with great customers.
Webinars help you get to know your customers
Webinars offer multiple ways for you to interact with your customers. Whether the webinar’s purpose is lead generation or customer education, it’s the perfect opportunity to provide a personalized experience and engage with your customers.
Why are personalization and engagement important?
Well…let’s look at some stats, shall we?
- 87% of marketers report a measurable lift from their personalization efforts. (Airship)
- 72% of respondents ages 18–34 say they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that replies to them, compared to companies that stay comparatively silent. For respondents aged 45 and up, 47% feel the same way. (Airship)
- 80% of consumers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. (Epsilon)
- Consumers who believe personalized experiences are very appealing are 10x more likely to be a brand’s most valuable customer – those expected to make more than 15 transactions in one year. (Epsilon)
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. (SuperOffice)
- 73% of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions. (SuperOffice)
- 65% of buyers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. (SuperOffice)
Personalization, customer engagement, customer experience — it’s all about tailoring your interactions with your customers to give them a better experience. And there’s no better way to personalize a “one-to-many” interaction than with a webinar.
How to get to know your customers through a webinar
Before the webinar
Take the opportunity to get to know your attendees before the webinar begins. Once they have registered, send them a thank you and welcome email. Start the engagement early by asking them questions: ask if they have any questions for you, or what is one thing they’re hoping to learn. Let them know their input is valuable and helps to tailor the webinar to meet their needs.
This is a great time to begin building a relationship, because “triggered email messages have 71% higher open rates and 102% higher click rates than non-triggered emails,” according to The Giant Email Marketing Statistics Guide. That makes the first email after registering for the event the perfect time to engage with your potential customers.
During the Webinar
Engage with your customers during the webinar. Before the webinar begins, ask people to shout out their city, or the company they work for, or one thing they’re hoping to learn during the webinar. When you see comments in the chat, respond to guests by name and personalize the interaction. Treat each attendee as if they are a guest in your office, and you’ll create a positive, personal experience. Remember the stats from above, it’s all about giving customers an individualized experience.
Allow time for a Q&A after the webinar. This could be an incentive for customers viewing live. This time allows you to hear their questions, concerns, and struggles, which is invaluable information for your sales team that will help guide future sales calls.
Each interaction with a potential customer is a learning opportunity. The great thing about hosting a webinar to attract potential customers is that you can learn what struggles or concerns they are having before they buy, and that, my friend, is a goldmine of information.
You can take those problems and provide solutions before potential customers can object or bring them up themselves. It automatically makes you the authority figure, someone to listen to and trust, because you understand their problems and know how to solve them.
Another way to get to know your customers and increase personalization is to poll your audience during the webinar. A good poll question will engage your audience's participation and help you learn something valuable.
Poll questions provide statistical data that is very helpful in determining where your audience stands on a certain belief or how many of them struggle with a specific issue. Demio is working on a pretty sweet polling option that will allow you to poll your audience during a webinar, then have those poll responses go straight into Reply or your CRM. (Coming Soon!)
That means more actionable data for you without the hassle of manually screenshotting poll results and posting them in some doc, only to sit there forever unused. Poll data will be accessible in your CRM and easily used for future content ideas, or whatever your heart’s desire.
Webinars generate qualified leads
The Inside Sales report, Optimal Lead Generation Methods, found that small executive events and webinars are the most effective way to generate qualified leads. The report states, “Webinars, although known for their ability to generate quantity of leads, were the second most effective at generating quality leads.” This is why we are webinar obsessed at Demio; we know it’s the best tool a company can use to market, sell, and grow.
Registration is the first step in generating qualified leads and being able to easily automate the sales and buyer experience at every touchpoint.
Generating qualified leads is all a part of the webinar experience. Your customers know they’ll need to register for the event with their name, email, and other pertinent information in order to attend. So, qualifying leads happens at the first step of a webinar without any friction or inconvenience from the customer.
Gather the Right Information
It’s important to decide what you need to know about the customer before building your registration page. The registration page is how you’ll segment your attendees and personalize their interactions. To help automate this step, we automatically send the field information to your CRM.
Require as many fields as necessary to segment attendees in your CRM, but not so many that you’ll overwhelm the person registering. Because the “right” answer is different for every company, test the sweet spot of required fields for your audience.
Set It and (Almost) Forget It
The most efficient way to use a webinar to close more deals in less time is to automate much of the sales process. Sometimes people hear “automation” and think “generic” and not personalized, but with Demio, Reply, and Zapier, you can automate personalized responses and integrations for a better experience for the customers, meaning more closed deals for you.
How To Automate and Personalize
To simplify and automate the process, integrate Demio and Reply using Zapier. With up to 18 possible integrations, you can create custom triggers for your webinar and CRM, putting much of the sales strategy for your SaaS on autopilot.
The first step in seamlessly automating the sales process is to segment your registrants by the actions they take. For example, if they registered for the webinar, did they attend the webinar, and for how long? Or, did they miss the webinar altogether?
You can set up the integrations between Zapier, Reply, and Demio to trigger a different response based on the registrants actions. This allows you to customize the nurture sequence to meet the potential customer’s needs and personalize their entire experience (and we know how important personalization is).
When someone registers, but isn’t able to attend the webinar, you can create a nurture sequence that shares a recorded webinar, invites them to the next event, or shares a piece of content created from the webinar. The goal here is to show that you missed them at the event and you don’t want them to lose out on the knowledge shared or the opportunity to make the next one.
You could segment a different interaction for those who do attend the webinar. This action can trigger a nurture sequence that takes the prospect from warm lead to loyal customer.
Each of these interactions and triggers is done automatically with Demio, Reply, and Zapier. Your sales CRM will run smoothly while leads are turning into sales all in one campaign, without you having to keep track of everything.
Webinars are content repurposing machines
Consistent content creation is a great support for your SaaS sales strategy. In fact, “Social Buying Meets Social Selling: How Trusted Networks Improve the Purchase Experience” found that “75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level execs use social media to make purchasing decisions.”
What Is Content?
This may seem like a basic question, but it’s important to cover so we’re all on the same page. Content is anything you publish, share, record, or say that is customer facing. A blog post, LinkedIn post, Tweet, Facebook status, Snapchat, Youtube video, infographic, selfie on Instagram — it’s all content. Content is how your customers interact with you and your business, and in a world where brands, businesses, and influencers are consistently making content, it’s key that yours resonates with your audience.
Content also helps you close deals; in fact, “47% of buyers viewed 3–5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.” (Demand Gen Report, 2016) (Source)
3–5 pieces of content isn’t that much; it could mean they saw a short video clip on Facebook, which took them to watch the longer video on Youtube, and then they registered for the webinar. There are numerous combinations of how a customer reaches you, but it all starts with content, and if you’re using webinars in your sales strategy, you’ve just made content creation much easier.
For example, one webinar could be repurposed into numerous other pieces of content. If you have a one hour-long webinar where you’re sharing information with your audience, that one webinar can become:
- Four 15-minute video clips for Youtube
- 3–5 minute video clips for Facebook and LinkedIn
- Transcribed and turned into a blog post that you can promote on every social platform
- Slides shared on slideshare as a presentation
- Slides as a graphic with a caption on a social post
- Poll your audience on Facebook and Twitter the same questions you polled your webinar audience
- Share your poll results in a social post
If you schedule one webinar a month, you automatically have informative content to share with your audience, which helps you build authority as a brand that knows how to help their customers and keeps you in mind as the company or person with the solution to your customers’ issues.
Webinars build community
Webinars are a great way to build community with your customers and other businesses. Use webinars as an opportunity to let the subject matter experts within your company share their knowledge of a specific topic or cooperate with other businesses that complement yours.
Community > Competition
A joint webinar is a great opportunity to build a community with other businesses that have the same or similar audience to yours. A joint webinar is where both parties participate in the content and promotion of the webinar, and both share in the leads! This helps you reach an audience you haven’t reached before, and it automatically establishes a bit of trust and authority with the audience because you’re being introduced by a company they know, like, and trust. Generating warm leads from the beginning of the sales process only helps to shorten the sales cycle and close more deals with customers happy to buy.
Build Community with Customers
We covered earlier how important it is to get to know your customers, but beyond just getting to know them, it’s important to build community with them. Use your webinars as a means to interact back and forth with potential prospects, leads, current customers, and other businesses.
10 Best Ways To Build Community Using Webinars
- Take the time to ask and answer participants' questions.
- Give your email address to participants so they can ask questions after the event.
- Share your social handles so that participants have a way of contacting you after the webinar.
- Thank the participants for attending the webinar.
- Segment the pre- and post-interactions according to their needs.
- Interact with attendees as much as possible.
- Encourage their participation through poll questions.
- Have a conversation with other webinar hosts.
- Treat every participant as if they are a guest in your office.
- Personalize every interaction as much as possible.
Basically, building a strong community is how webinars help you close more deals.
Sum it up!
Webinars are an amazing piece of your sales strategy puzzle. Create a webinar that fits the needs of your audience and you’ll have quantity and qualified leads that can automatically be placed into your CRM and nurture sequence with the help of Demio, Reply, and Zapier.
Make sure you work smarter and not harder by turning one webinar into multiple pieces of content for your audience to learn from and engage with, which will help to build trust with a thriving community.
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