Recently a business associates raised an objection about the effectiveness of Web Video in their business development strategy. He said, “I don’t know how your other customers see it, but to be frank, this will be a tough sell. The Internet is not much of a driver for our business – relationships and the trust they represent sell complex services much more than advertising does. We see a credible web presence as necessary and “supporting” revenue generation, but unlikely to produce incremental revenue. In fact, you will see a re-launch of our website in the next few days. All that comes down to the point that any further investments in our Internet presence are likely to be modest.”

The traditional text and graphics based website is rather impersonal. For a simple B2C product, that may suffice. For complex B2B solutions, a much richer set of interactions is required. The investments his company, and most others, have made in traditional websites don’t provide that rich interaction. Not investing further in something that hasn’t worked well seems to be the right decision.

But my friend betrays his predisposition with a single word, “Advertising.” Many people, when they think of video, think of television; and specifically, television advertising. That is, consumer oriented (B2C) advertising where the objective is to get the consumer, after a single viewing, to run out and buy the product. And that won’t work for complex B2B solutions.

However, there are many ways to use Web Video. It’s not all about lead generation. And it’s certainly not about trying to eliminate the role of the sales or business development executive in closing business. None will replace the importance of building relationships and face-to-face meetings in a complex B2B environment. But you can use Web Video very effectively to augment that personal interaction.

Web video can create incremental revenue in several ways. Web video can increase sales people’s productivity. It can reduce sales cycle times. And, it can increase close rates. This is especially true for complex solutions.

Video lets you break down the messaging about provider capabilities and solution functionality into small, digestible chunks. By structuring your Video RoadMap™ correctly, you can provide all the relevant information clearly, concisely, completely, and consistently.

Prior to the first meeting, the sales rep can tell the client, “Based on our conversation, I think we can help you address your needs. I’d like the primary focus of our in person discussion to be those specific needs; and I want to make the best use of your time. So, before I come meet with you, would you please take just 10 minutes to watch videos numbers 1, 2, and 4 on our website? These will answer your basic questions about what we do, and how we do it. That way, we can spend most of our time addressing your particular challenges. I’ll email you the links right now.”

At the meeting, the prospect may say, “My boss, the decision maker, had to go out of town, but I’ll pass along your information to him.” To which the sales rep can reply, “Great. Please ask him to watch not only videos 1, 2 and 4, but also video 6 which explains why our solution’s ROI is the highest in the market.”

In some cases, after viewing the suggested videos, the prospect may call back and say, “Now that I understand your company and solution better, I realize that we need something different. Is this something you can address?” If not, you’re better off finding that out before your sales rep travels to meet with the client.

Finally, no sales person can convey all the basic information accurately and completely every time. Video provides unwavering consistency in always presenting the basic messaging correctly. This frees up the sales rep to focus on the personal interactions needed to maximize your recognized value and differentiate you from your competition.

So, while video can’t replace personal interactions, it can increase the yield on your sales calls. It can reduce the number of calls needed to close business. That improves cash flow. And it increases the productivity of the sales team.

Investing more in traditional websites should be a tough sell, but investing in Web Video is a real game changer – especially for complex sales.

In my next blog, I’ll address another objection: “We haven’t budgeted for Web Video.”

Check back soon!