A technology consultant contacted me recently looking for a video solution to this problem: how to spread the word about his firm’s software solutions in order to start pilot projects for new applications. What he had in mind was a 2-Minute Explainer® video — that’s what we’re best-known for. But it quickly became clear that, while his target audience can be defined with unusual precision, the “product” and its value proposition hadn’t really come into focus as yet. What’s needed is the type of conversational video, which I’ve been writing about for years — but in a format that meets the needs of today’s hybrid selling styles.
The “Rule of Thirds” for Hybrid Sales
More digital, less in-person.
Recent research has been published by McKinsey & Company on the hybrid sales model that has emerged to prevail during the pandemic. Basically, hybrid sales is like field sales, but much more digital, less in-person. McKinsey’s research identifies what they call a “rule of thirds.” B2B buying decision-makers say they are using roughly an even mix of three sales channel types at each stage of the sales process:
- Traditional sales, like in-person meetings
- Remote sales, like videoconferencing
- Self-service, like digital portals
94% of decision-makers now say this ‘omnichannel’ sales model is at least as effective as what they were doing before the pandemic. (By contrast, in April 2020, only 65% of respondents thought the new ways of selling were as effective as their pre-COVID-19 model.)
Conversational Video: Credible Personalization
At each stage of the sales process there’s a conversation going on in every channel that would probably move along faster and smoother with strong visual support, including video. Take self-service portals, for example. They have always been the sweet spot for explainer videos — but there’s room for lots of different types of videos here and elsewhere. The more specific to the customer’s interests, the more “personalized” the feel.
The technology consultant who is looking for pilot projects, for example, needs videos that illustrate the concepts and use cases that are normally discussed on video calls and searched for in web portals. He doesn’t need traditional videos as much as he needs animations and stories can both arouse interest and help to better define the product’s appeal from the customer’s point of view.
Sources for these visuals could be whiteboard sketches, PowerPoint or technical discussion diagrams, even internal demos and presentations recorded with Slack. The key is to deliver them in a cost-effective video format —like video messaging, that promotes conversation. Hybrid selling is here to stay. Tap the talents of your video team to give customers more of what they are looking for.