Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Webinar Helps Close the Deal

Working with a new client is always fun. There is an inevitable apprehension about newly launched marketing plans. Once the results are in, seeing the skepticism giving way to sheer excitement is a very satisfying moment.

A couple of weeks ago I helped a client put together their first ever webinar. They were concerned whether their audience would tune in to this media. The results exceeded their expectation on every metric – from invitation open rate (over 40%) to the number of registration and attendance rate (over 55%). Moreover, Over 30% of the registrations were highly qualified NEW prospects.

It gets even more exciting.

The webinar took place Tuesday. On Friday morning we sent each person who registered to the webinar a follow up e-mail from the salesperson in charge of their account. By Friday afternoon I got a call from a salesperson telling me that he received five responses to the e-mail, all of them interested in learning more about the software.
Can it get even more exciting? You bet!

One of the e-mails was from a prospect he has been working with for a couple of months and was trying to close as a Q1 deal, but the guy has not been returning e-mails or calls in the past few weeks (I’m sure you’ve been there…). The e-mail said “come over and get a check for a 1/2 of the cost, we’ll pay the rest next quarter.” The date: Friday, March 31st.

This doesn’t happen very often, so the point of the story is not to create the impression that webinars are good deal closers.

The point is that you need multiple touches to move a prospect through the sales cycle. A salesperson can use marketing help in creating these touches by providing information that is of value to the customer. In many cases, these will generate better response than a sales call. And once in a while, it can even help seal the deal.

That’s fun!

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