How to drive leads for sales and build pipeline with a webinar
Webinars are an effective way to generate sales pipeline in B2B. It may sound old-fashioned, but if done right - it will soon be one of your main channels. In this article, we will give you the exact lowdown on how this works, and how you can use lead generation with webinars to increase sales.
Converting leads into sales is all about building loyal customers- like that movie The Godfather, only the mafia family is replaced by customers. Use webinars to generate interest in your products or services - nurture your leads towards becoming loyal customers.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation means stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service to develop a sales pipeline. Timing is a common disqualification, no matter how good your product is. Thus, lead gen activities allow companies to nurture their prospects until they're ready to buy.
Are webinars effective in generating leads?
Webinars can be a highly efficient part of the lead generation machinery. With webinars you can continuously nurture leads - providing value and keeping you top of mind until the prospects are ready to take the next step and convert.
How effective are webinars?
ZoomInfo reported that, “79% of buyers say they will share information in exchange for webinars and 44% of marketers have hosted or participated in a webinar. 87% of those marketers found it to be an effective strategy”.
Webinar can be a part of your sales machinery - driving lead gen with both MQLs, SQLs and brand awareness as outputs
Why webinars convert leads into sales
Hosting a webinar establishes brand trust and authority, powers your content marketing, and pulls in more qualified leads.
The Center for Sales Strategy did the research so you don’t have to:
73% of B2B marketers and sales leaders say a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads.
Here is a number of factors to why webinars convert leads into sales:
Webinars can be engaging - this allows you to feed your audience with relevant messaging and make them feel more involved
You get exclusive live time with your prospects - you are top of mind
You give your prospects real value, without being too pushy - they will associate you with being a thought leader and professional actor in your space
Your brand is humanized/personalized
It gives you and your company a place in the spotlight
Generating high-quality leads and converting with webinars
By setting the right topic, your target group will find value in your webinar. Thus, each webinar registrant and attendee has clear incentives to sign up and fill out some information about them in exchange. So, just this part of getting signups - acquiring a list of MQLs, can be super valuable in activating and pushing the deals in the current sales pipeline forward. Also, enriching your CRM data with more properties per contact and getting insights from the live engagement.
Analytics dashboard with engagement insights and list of registrants (SQLs and MQLs) for your webinar
Who in your organisation should host the webinar?
Who should you bring into your lead generation webinar to speak - sales, marketing, or a specialist? Well, the answer depends on a number of factors. Let's go through the 3 most important ones, and how they apply to you and your organization. Ask yourself the following 3 questions:
Who has experience of hosting vs. skills on the topic? 🛠️
How deep into the funnel are you working? ▼
What does your niche, ICP and customers look like? 🎯
1. Who has experience of hosting vs. skills on the topic? 🛠️
Obviously some people in your organisation, probably in marketing and sales, are used to hosting and participating in webinars - making them good candidates to be part of the next webinar. Think about the dynamics and crafting a storyline that engages. Bringing on a person that always gives a show whenever they present, can set a good mood and lighten up the audience. Even though he or she is not providing the heavy part of the value-adding content.
Think about the mix of personalities and skills needed to deliver a successful webinar - make sure you have both Mr. Crowd Worker and Mrs. Content Queen present. This could in practice be the same person.
Also, make sure to include specialists in your organisation that can share valuable insights and knowledge in their field, relevant to the target group attending. You don't want to end up falling short on the value and expert insights you provide.
2. How deep into the funnel are you working? ▼
It also depends on how early in the funnel you are working. Generally, webinars are a great way of demand generation, quite early in the funnel, where you educate and give a lot of value to your potential customers, specialists, or influencers in your field. But, they can also be hugely successful in driving actions further down into the funnel, such as booking a demo, scheduling a meeting, or filling out a intent form.
A typical sales funnel and what activities each stage typically consists of
Higher up the sales funnel: "I need to establish thought leadership and awareness in my niche"
By leaving out the sales talk, and explicit call-to-actions to buy from you, the audience will feel that the intentions are genuine - they get real value and will be much more likely to check you out on their own, recommend their friends to attend your next webinar, etc.
By not even explicitly mentioning your product in detail in every webinar, you will be trustworthy and seen as a source of value. However, starting with a brief intro about you and the company hosting, with an elevator pitch can also be a great way to highlight what you do, so the (hopefully) very relevant target group of attendees can be intrigued to check you out on their own. Also, a softer CTA-buttons could work excellent here for next steps such as reading more about the topic, downloading an e-book or signing up for coming webinars.
Top of the funnel call-to-actions that a webinar could drive
Further down the sales funnel: "I need SQLs or late MQLs to convert"
Webinars are not just suited for top of the funnel. Working with clear call to action buttons further down the sales process can be very efficient, if done right. Make sure you are still primarily focusing on delivering value to the attendees, and the conversions will follow.
Bottom of the funnel call-to-actions that a webinar could drive
Wherever you work in the funnel - make sure to have your branding on point and make it clear that you are the organiser bringing valuable content to the audience.
3. What does your niche, ICP and customers look like? 🎯
As you are most likely aware - people in B2B make buying decisions differently today. People love making their research, talking with their peers, attending value-driving webinars, and discussing solutions in communities - rather than having some old-fashioned sales pitch on why this one solution is the best in the world to solve all their life problems.
Know your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or Ideal Webinar Attendee Profile (IWAP) to choose the right topic and speakers
Employees and professionals bring their consumer behaviors into organisations, so B2B is starting to function more and more like B2C has functioned for a long time.
5 tips for you to start generating leads through webinars
We have compiled some of the best ways to generate leads that will be converted into sales - using the power of the webinar. If you are interested in a guide on how to create a webinar from start to finish - check out our 10 step guide.
Know your audience 🎯
Don’t use your salesperson hat 🎩
Think visually 🎨
Craft a story and value that suits your offer 💫
Know and clarify the desired next steps 👣
1. Know your audience 🎯
If the goal of your webinar is to sell a product or a service, then you need to first determine who’s going to buy it. That means you have to know exactly who you want to be attending your webinar.
To clearly define your audience, create a buyer persona map.
You can create this by undertaking pre-webinar surveys; research through social media profiles, publications, and other websites; looking at customer data by finding customers who have purchased the same or similar products as you’re promoting in the webinar. You can also gather information through your email subscribers, on the phone, and via social media.
Your buyer persona should cover the pain points, frustrations, and desired outcomes of your target market in relation to the product or service you’re promoting.
2. Don’t use your salesperson hat 🎩
Personalise your message to each person you speak to.
Webinars are a great way to provide additional information to webinar attendees and shouldn’t be focused too heavily on selling something during the we. Tell a story and make it a compelling one-don’t pressure your guests!
3. Think visually 🎨
Use graphics that tell your story rather than relying on a lot of text on the screen. Even if you plan on using a script with your notes, nothing is more boring than a PowerPoint with bullet points and lots of text that the presenter is reading. Don’t make the audience do the work for you!
Spending a little more time choosing graphics that can tell your story can help keep your presentation interesting and stimulating for attendees. This also goes for the design of the webinar - make sure it looks awesome, gives a touch of your brand, and does not feel like any other gray boring Zoom meeting.
The Univid template gallery where you can get inspiration and duplicate a theme to get started with a premium webinar design, and customize it to your need within seconds
4. Craft a story and value that suits your offer 💫
Align your target audience’s needs and desires with your need to generate leads for your specific product line or service - preferably done indirectly.
If you can create a cohesive narrative/story that ties together your prospective customers' challenges and how your product or service can solve that challenge, it’s a win-win for everyone. You can design the webinar around the topic of the challenges, different approaches to go about address the challenges, and possibly hint that you have an alternative solution to these in the end - leave the audience wanting to know more - don't oversell and make sure that your webinar addresses a specific need!
5. Know and clarify the desired next steps 👣
The desired outcome of your webinar should be crystal clear. Both for you, but also the attendees should have some low effort, easy and clear next steps they can take. If they enjoyed the content and presentation, they will happily continue building a relationship with you.
The next steps could be of different kinds, depending on your strategy and where you are active in the sales funnel - as we explained in the funnel section above. But important are that they are low friction for the attendees - meaning they are clearly in their attention span, they are not difficult to take, and they don't feel like they are being forced to. Preferably, this is done through call-to-action buttons directly in the live webinar platform.
Try Univid out, if you are curious in how it works in Univid - where you can work with one or many call-to-action buttons throughout the webinar.
Call-to-action buttons that have been highly efficient for webinar hosts in Univid
Use these tips as a handy guide and you’ll become the lead generator pro in no time- sales will be flying through the roof and you’ll wonder why you didn’t utilise the magic power of a webinar before!
They’re easy to use, implement and host- so what are you waiting for? Those leads don’t generate themselves.