September 19, 2017 Mark Bornstein
For most marketers, when you think about a webinar, you think about a platform primarily used for top-of-funnel lead generation. And let’s face it, for that purpose, webinars are awesome! Forrester lists webinars as the number one method to generate new leads. But webinars can be so much more. Really savvy marketers today are using webinars to drive the entire buying cycle, from generating the lead to closing the deal.
We are firmly in the age of the self-educated buyer. Forrester says that 70% of buyers would rather do their own research than talk to a salesperson. For many companies, that kind of buying behavior can be a pretty scary statistic. So as a prospect becomes interested in your product or service, how do you convince them to become a customer without direct sales engagement? Yup, the answer is webinars. What other marketing tool do you have that allows you to get in front of your audience for up to an hour at a time? And there is a lot you can accomplish in an hour.
And where webinars can really the heavy lifting is at the bottom of the funnel. Let’s analyze the problem. When a prospect is strongly considering making a purchase, what do they need to make a decision? They probably want to see how your product or service works and they want to have their questions answered. And if they are not talking to a salesperson, then they are probably checking out your website, watching some videos, or maybe watching a demo. But none of those activities are interactive and none directly engage the prospect. Meaning you may not close the deal.
Bottom-of-the-funnel webinars are built to give the prospect the information and comfort they need to make that final purchase decision.
So what happens to the self-educating prospect at the bottom of the funnel? Maybe they sign up for your canned demo or watch a video or read a data sheet. But that content is often boring and they don’t allow the prospect ask specific questions or direct the conversation. Enter The Deminar. This is the modern version of a demo, given in a webinar format. It enables you to demonstrate your product or service while having a real-time conversation with your prospects.
Here are some keys to building effective deminars:
Show, don’t tell
Many demos have a tendency to do more talking about products then showing how they actually work. With a webinar, you can deliver a live or on-demand demonstration using various tools including screenshare, integrated videos clips, or an actual on-camera demonstration. Mix up the media. If you have great video clips explaining your products or highlighting key features, integrate them into your deminar. Whatever you need to help your prospects see themselves using your company.
Selling — without the salesperson
If you can’t get our prospects to a sales call, then you need another way of getting their questions answered. Make your deminars interactive, and give your audience a chance to get their questions answered and direct the demonstration. This works best when the presenter is knowledgeable and able to answer every question. Product Managers are often the right choice for this role. Consider having them take questions throughout the demo and not just at the end.
Move them to close
After someone attends your wonderful demo webinar, you want to strike while the opportunity is hot. Don’t let them leave without taking the next step. If there is additional content that they might need to see, link to it right from the webinar. This can come in the form of links to product pages, additional demo videos, or written resources. Further, you may want to provide links to free trials or even an offer to speak to an expert to help them get up and running.
The digital world may have created some space between us and our customers, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still engage with them at those critical decision making moments. And webinars are the best way to drive that engagement. So think about how you can build your own bottom of the funnel webinars, or deminars. It can be your best way to turn a decent prospect into a good customer.