Webinars are consistently listed as a top demand generation tactic in almost any stage of the B2B marketing funnel.
They are cost effective to deliver and known to produce the most qualified leads.
As more and more studies confirm how powerful webinars can be, marketers have been ramping up their webinar programs over the past couple of years.
While this has been the trend, when we dig into the details of webinar as lead generators we start to see some common reaction from sales and marketing teams in all industries.
One of the most common issues I hear from marketers daily…
Why does my sales team not respect my webinar leads?
Even with all the data about the effectiveness of webinars, many marketers I speak to struggle to quantify the ROI of their webinar programs.
What is most interesting, is that those with the largest audience count on their webinars often struggle the most to convince their sales team to respect or follow up on webinar leads.
Sales teams may believe that these webinar generated leads are just tire kickers or not sales ready.
When you have a high performing webinar you don’t want to lose those leads, at a minimum you want those leads in an automated funnel.
Let’s take a look at the two most common mistakes that cause sales teams to dismiss marketing generated webinar leads.
First Mistake – Let’s stop treating all webinar attendees the same way!
When you are giving a presentation in a boardroom, the body language of people in the room shows you a lot.
You can easily tell which attendee is engaged in the presentation vs. falling asleep or the girl with her arms crossed who is not buying what you’re selling!
You don’t treat each of these people the same during your presentation, so why would you do that in a webinar just because you cannot see them?
Many marketers are using a very binary approach to scoring their webinar attendees by giving those who register a “1” and those who view a “2”.
This does not give your sales force the right information nor does it even give them the right names of people to call.
Let’s dig deeper into the behaviour of our webinar attendees.
Let’s look at 2 webinar attendees: John and Jennifer
Both John and Jennifer registered and logged in on the day of the webinar.
John watched the first 20 minutes and then tuned out while Jennifer watched the full 60-minute presentation, asked 2 questions, responded to a poll, and downloaded a white paper on the webinar producer’s product.
Jennifer is a much more engaged lead than John. Jennifer is a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and possibly a fully Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and should be followed up with accordingly.
I go into more detail in this Huffington Post interview on Webinar Engagement Metrics.
The Second Mistake – A one size fits all approach to follow up
Just like each webinar attendee should not be scored the same way, your follow up should not be a one size fits all approach.
With proper integration into your Marketing Automation Platform or CRM you can score your webinar attendees by both their demographic and their engagement score to create an automated follow up plan that will garner better results and get your sales reps to respect the leads you send them (even if the volume of leads goes down).
So, what does this look like?
Here is a very simple way to organize your webinar leads.
Now let’s bring it back to our friends John and Jennifer.
By looking at my CRM, I can see that Jennifer is a VP of Marketing for a leading B2B SaaS provider while John is a Marketing Coordinator for a leading telecom equipment manufacturer.
John’s business is a household name with billboards and commercials on TV while Jennifer’s company is generally only known by those who work in her industry.
If both John and Jennifer had been passed to the sales team without any further information and guidance from marketing, the visibility of John’s company would likely make the sales team more eager to follow up with him rather than with Jennifer, which is a mistake.
If you are scoring your webinar attendees better and only passing Tier 1 (MQL or SQL) leads on to the sales team, they will be talking to people who are in the buying cycle with the authority to buy and as a result….
They will respect your webinar leads!
Here is what lead routing and follow up should look like.
Wait…what are the Tier 4 leads?
Tier 4 leads don’t even make the first matrix because they are not really leads.
It’s important to remember running a webinar program is not easy: in the average webinar program 44% of those who register for a webinar will not actually attend the webinar.
Your work with Tier 4 leads is to get these people who had some interest in your webinar but could not attend to actually view your webinar so that you can properly score them on the matrix.
Deliver Your Glengarry Leads to Sales
If you haven’t seen the 1992 classic film Glengarry Glen Ross, then I highly recommend you take a couple of hours of downtime to take it in.
What are the Glengarry Leads? They’re most highly qualified leads, closest to the actual sale. These are the leads your sales sales team wants and the leads we should be delivering to the sales team.
One of the key reasons we have marketing automation platforms is the pre-qualification of our leads. They’re nurtured, we know more about the individual’s needs.
We’re giving our sales team the best leads with background who are ready to take the next steps.
You are on the right track if you are already running a webinar program and collecting leads, but we need to get you qualifying all of these leads and only delivering Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) to your sales team.
When you’re able to accurately qualify leads, your sales team will become very excited about your webinar strategy.
At The Streaming Network, we score all webinar attendees on a 24 point scale and integrate this data into our CRM so that our leads are automatically slotted into our follow-up sequence and SQLs are delivered directly to the right member of our sales team.
Visit our website to speak to a webinar expert today.