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October 13, 2017 | By

How to Use Webinars to Improve Every Stage of the Sales Funnel

Your sales team may not realize it, but marketers do a lot more than tweet and whip up hilarious memes. It’s up to you to generate leads and successfully move those leads down the sales funnel. It’s a big job, but webinars make it easier.

From generating awareness to onboarding new customers, different types of webinars will help you push prospects through each stage faster and with higher close rates. Get ready — your sales team is going to love you.

Increase brand awareness

During the awareness stage, you want to get the attention of prospects who are unfamiliar with your company. This stage is all about that first touch, and webinars are a proven way to get the conversation started. In fact, according to InsideSales.com, 73% of B2B sales and marketing leaders say a webinar is the best way to generate leads.

Here are a few tips for creating awareness-generating webinars.

Use webinars for co-marketing: Who doesn’t love co-marketing? Teaming up with another company or influencer helps broaden your reach, drive more leads with less work, and create new types of expert content you couldn’t produce solo. Plus, co-marketing on a webinar is less time-consuming than an eBook or video.

Find a partner or influencer who can share their expertise on a topic your audience cares about. Then take advantage of their network. Work with your partner to drive registrations by emailing both your databases and promoting on your websites, blogs, and social profiles.

Don’t give a sales pitch: At this stage, your webinar is all about your audience — don’t go for the hard sell. Don’t even talk about yourself. Try to think of it like a first date. You’re just getting to know each other. You want to show you’re trustworthy, an expert, and that you deliver on your promise. You want to show you care.

Learn about your audience: A webinar is a great platform for interacting with your prospects and learning directly from them. Use attendees’ questions and responses from your polls, surveys, and/or Q&A session to gain insights into their industry, job title, biggest pain points, and more. You can use these data points to inform lead scoring and personalize nurturing and the rest of their customer experience.

Awareness-stage webinar examples: What types of webinars work well at this stage? Here are a few sample titles to give you a little inspiration:

  • The 5 Dumbest Digital Marketing Trends of 2017 You Should Abandon
  • 5 Growth Hacks Every SaaS Start-Up Leader Should Try
  • 2018 Predictions from Financial Services CMOs

Educate prospects

You may be surprised to learn that the average webinar attendee session time is 61 minutes, according to our annual Big Book of Webinar Stats. Your prospects may be strapped for time, but when they stand to learn something that makes them better at their job, they’re all ears.

Use webinars in this stage to educate your audience on best practices and trends in their industry. Present rich, engaging content with interesting visuals, relevant stats, and memorable stories.

In this stage, your webinar needs to provide valuable content first and foremost, but you can also use it as an opportunity to position yourself and your product. Webinars in this stage can highlight a challenge and position your company as part of the solution. Just stay away from going too deep into your product’s use cases and key features.

Education-stage webinar examples: 

  • Measuring Content ROI 101
  • The New Way to Personalize Your Marketing Emails
  • 10 Best Practices to (Really) Achieve Sales and Marketing Alignment

Close the deal

By the time your prospects are ready to join you for a decision-stage webinar, you’ve earned their attention and interest by demonstrating that they face a real problem and need a solution.

Now it’s time to transition to a selling posture. Your prospects will likely be conducting their own research into solutions, and a webinar during this stage can give you another great opportunity — another hour block of your prospects’ attention — to show off your product, demonstrate its use cases and value, and show why your solution stands above the rest.

Hosting a webinar lets you include rich, interactive content you couldn’t provide in any other format. You could do a live-demo of your product or host a case-study type-webinar where you bring on a customer to discuss how they’ve used your product to drive success. You can also include a live Q&A so your prospects can get their questions answered.

Decision-stage webinar examples: 

  • 10 Reasons Insurance Companies Choose [company name] for Data Security
  • Live Demo: Web Personalization in 3 Easy Steps
  • How [big-name customer] Closes More Deals with [company name]

Improve customer onboarding, loyalty, and retention

At this point, you’ve successfully used webinars to pull prospects through every stage of the buyer’s journey — and you’ve earned more than a few new customers. Continue to use webinars to build customer loyalty and learn how to continually improve your products.

According to our research, nearly one-third (31%) of all webinars are designed for customer onboarding and retention. Webinars (live and recorded) are a great way to onboard new customers and provide ongoing training on new features and best practices.

Customer retention webinar examples:

  • How to Get Up and Running on [your company platform] in Minutes
  • Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most from [your company] Platform

Bottom line: If there’s a stage in your prospects’ buying journey where a webinar doesn’t offer tremendous value, we haven’t found it.


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