Saleswhale Blog   |   27 Min Read

How to convert your webinar leads into pipeline in 2021 [Webinar]

10 January 2021 by Gabriel Lim

Insights

How do you think about post-webinar nurturing? How do you get sales to follow up with your webinar leads?

Brooke: As marketers, we can all commiserate on how hard it is to get sales to follow up on leads.

And here's what I learnt from talking to my sales leader - sales people don't just want any random email address.

They want context and information. What the use case should they lead with? Why did the attendee decide to join the webinar? 

This means we try hard to extract engagement data from our audience. We look at who asked what question in the chat. How did a lead respond to a poll?

And we make sure this data is available for our sales people to do follow up with.

It's important to align with your product marketing and sales teams on the call-to-action (CTA) for different segments.

It's not always "take a demo, take a demo, take a demo". That's not compelling at all to anyone.

But an offer for someone to talk with you about "how to wrangle your SaaS spend in 2021 because budgets have came down"? That could be interesting.

How are you leveraging webinar poll data for lead follow-up?

Alexandra: Our poll questions usually align to our use cases, and the problem statements maps to our solutions.

We usually flip the problem statement into a question.

The answers to the webinar polls help us form which use cases would be the best for our sales reps to go connect the dots on.

How do you track intent or sales-readiness?

Brooke: Sometimes at the end of webinars, we outright ask bluntly in a poll - "Do you want to speak to a rep?" And people do respond and say yes.

But I suppose there are other subtle ways you can do it as well.

Give me an example of a successful webinar, in terms of revenue created, that you have ran?

Alexandra: We look at a list of accounts that our sales reps are targeting. And we created stories that resonated with these prospects.

For example, we ran a webinar in September called "Forget your wish-list, here is your win list."

We talked about strategies to help our customers outperform last year's campaigns, and how to generate revenue for Q4.

We discussed problem-solution pairs relevant to our audience of e-commerce marketers, and tied that back to what our product could do.

We managed to get one of our super-users as a panelist. Who went on to share the lift they saw in their campaign performance, as we went through each problem-solution pair.

It was highly effective. We saw 14% of attendees who attended the webinar upgrade to a paid premium plan.

What are you seeing now in terms of attendance rates?

Brooke: We are seeing 45% from registered to attended. The thing about today's world is that a ton of people just sign up to get the on-demand content.

Alexandra: Our attendance rate has stayed pretty stable at 50%.

How Saleswhale can help convert 18% of webinar attendees into sales meetings for you

If you are interested to see a use case which leverages webinar polls to convert as many as 18% of attendees into sales meetings, check out this article.

TRANSCRIPT

Gabriel Lim (03:02):

Welcome to today's webinar on how to convert your event leads to pipeline in 2021. So I'm your moderator for today, my name is Gabriel, Co-Founder and CEO at Saleswhale, and I'm super excited to have both Brooke and Alexandra here with us today to share more with our audience.

Gabriel Lim (03:36):

So I'm going to start with Brooke Vogelsmeier, I hope I'm pronouncing your name correctly. So Brooke is Senior Field Marketing Manager at Zylo, who raised $22 million in their series B I think last year. And she started off as just second marketer, basically wearing all the hats, and evolved from kind of a customer and field marketing background, and took Zylo all the way from kind of start-up stage to scale-up stage over the last three years. So I'm really excited to have you here, Brooke, and I don't know if there's anything you'd add to how I introduced you?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (04:18):

Yeah, you covered it. I think you hit it that I have a marketing generalist background, and I'm really leaned into field and customer marketing, so virtual events and webinars are a huge part of my life right now.

Gabriel Lim (04:31):

Nice. I think it's [inaudible 00:04:33] for every marketer's life right now. Nice, cool, and on the other side, on the right-hand side, we have Alexandra Matheny, I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (04:47):

Matheny, but you're good.

Gabriel Lim (04:50):

Matheny, all right. So yeah, so Alexandra, Senior Product Marketing at Zaius. They raised, I think, $30 million in your series B in 2018 as well. And I know that you spent the last four years in product marketing, having come from a digital marketing background and kind of an unconventional background of being an application consultant and then into the wonderful world of marketing. Yeah, so great to have you here today, Alexandra. Do you want to say a few words and say hi to the audience?

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (05:24):

Sure, hi everyone. Thank you for having me, I'm really excited to be a panelist today. I love webinars, I love storytelling, so I think we are going to have a great conversation today.

Gabriel Lim (05:37):

Nice, cool. Yeah, so right, so here's the premise: So ever since the world went to hell in a hand basket, everyone has been kind of jumping on this virtual event, webinar bandwagon, and there's a ton of material online about doing great webinars and doing engaging webinars, but there seems to be this gap in knowledge in how you use virtual events and webinars as a tool to generate pipeline, to generate demand for the sales team.

Gabriel Lim (06:07):

And that's why the three of us are here today. So Brooke, I'm going to start off with you: So it's been a crazy year. Like I said earlier, virtual events are exploding. Every company is doing webinars today. So it's always a challenge to get people to your webinars, so how do you think about promotion and even driving people to attend your events in the first place?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (06:34):

Yeah, you're right. I think we'd all attend 100 webinars a day if we really wanted to right now. Blessing and a curse, I think. So what we always try to do is start with the audience in mind and make sure that that audience is out there, and then kind of like Alexandra said, just really forming that story that the audience is going to care about. We pay a lot of attention to timing and we've actually shortened our webinars.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (06:59):

We used to do full hours, 45 minutes. Now we're trying to deliver content in 20, 30 minutes so that people aren't committing to really long chunks of time staying in front of a camera again. And then just promotion, we're trying to get creative. We're trying to use video and sound clips, and giving our outbound team really different, creative ways to get people coming into the webinar.

Gabriel Lim (07:27):

You have an interesting story around it, tell me more about that. How did you incentivize your outbound team to promote your webinars?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (07:35):

Yeah, so we actually work to craft the messages for them. So we will come up with a series of emails that they can send, and our smartest outbound reps actually have learned how to take those and create cadences. We use SalesLoft as an outbounding sales tool, and then they can just load those in, and start to load their target lists up, and it starts to become almost like an automated motion to get more and more messages out the door so that people can register and get into us. So it extends the reach a little bit without necessarily having to have more manpower.

Gabriel Lim (08:08):

Gotcha, awesome. This is clever, right? Because instead of following up with your [inaudible 00:08:14] prospects for the hundredth time at least now you're offering them some value, and it gives you the chance to touch base and to reignite the conversation.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (08:22):

Exactly, yeah.

Gabriel Lim (08:24):

Great. Alexandra, how about yourself? How are you thinking about different shading and standing above the noise, and in terms of promotion for your webinars today?

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (08:36):

Just like Brooke said, we have been more conscious about the length of our webinars. We definitely experienced some webinar fatigue over the summer months, so we wanted to be cognizant of not flooding our prospects and customers with more and more content when they just can't pay attention to more. So over the summer, we took a little break, but then come September, we started webinars again. And I will say this multiple times during the call, but relevance is key when hosting webinars. So that's what we've been doing when generating interest and coming up with topics for our webinars.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (09:17):

So specifically, what we've been doing is we look at a list of accounts that our sales reps are targeting or will be targeting in the next quarter, and we create stories and collateral that will resonate with those prospects. Or, on the flip side of that, we can look at our best customers and tell their stories, and invite prospects to webinars who are in the same verticals. So we ran a webinar in September called Forget Wishlists, Here is Your Holiday Win List, and in this webinar we talked about strategies for outperforming last year's holiday campaigns and generating revenue in Q4.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (10:03):

And we discussed problem and solution pairs that were relevant to our audience of eCommerce marketers, and then tied them to what our product, Zaius, can do for them. And what was key to the success of this webinar is we had one of our super users as a panelist, and as we were talking about our solution, they would share the lift that they have seen in their campaign performances as a result of working with our features. And we actually had existing customers on this webinar too, and 14% of those customers have ended up upgrading to the premium features that we were talking about.

Gabriel Lim (10:40):

Oh, wow. That's huge.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (10:42):

It was fantastic. So in a nutshell, what we've done to generate more interest and get success out of our efforts is we identify the right audience and then the right content that got prospects interested in our product.

Gabriel Lim (11:02):

Gotcha, awesome. Thanks, thanks for sharing, and I love the fact that you're sharing numbers as well. I think our audience love numbers, so that's great. So I want to take some questions from the audience. So I think Rena [inaudible 00:11:18], I hope I'm pronouncing your name correctly, has a question for Brooke, "Brooke, are you guys doing ads to drive leads to webinars?"

Brooke Vogelsmeier (11:28):

Yeah, so we do have a paid ad strategy, and it's funny, I can't tell you that it's worked every time, but certain webinars perform very well and certain webinars, it's been pretty mediocre results. We've got [inaudible 00:11:42] running ads, usually on LinkedIn, sometimes on Facebook, and then we've tested Google a few times. If you have a very specific audience built, the ads have worked when we've done some more of the general audiences or could be of interest to a wider range, it needs specific targeting to see some success, from our experience.

Gabriel Lim (12:06):

From your experience, what kind of webinars tend to perform well with ads and what kind of webinars ads just doesn't work to drive attendees?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (12:15):

Yeah, I think, and Alex hit on this some, just having that third-party validation to what you're speaking to. So I can stand up on a soapbox and tell you about Zylo all day long. I obviously believe in it, I work for the company. But having, whether it's ... We work a ton with analysts from Gartner, from Forrester, from some of those bigger organizations. We work with our venture firms that back us, so we have an upcoming webinar with [Baier Endeiter 00:12:42].

Brooke Vogelsmeier (12:42):

His name and [Bessemer's 00:12:45] name alone just starts to bring people in. So if you can get, whether it's company names, or analysts' names, or even venture names into your webinar, or recognizable customer name, I think that has always helped us a ton, because people trust what they say 10 times more than what we say, even though we're usually saying a very similar thing.

Gabriel Lim (13:08):

That makes sense. So I will answer one more question from the audience, from Sophie, Sophie [Mulkin 00:13:15] I think, so she's asking, wondering how webinars are doing for everyone in terms of attendance rate? Well, it's interesting, right? At least from my perspective, we see from a quarter to quarter basis, attendance rates are dropping, but I'm not sure if that's necessarily a bad thing.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (13:32):

Yeah, I can start with that one. So our attendance rate is right around 45% from registered to attended. The interesting thing in today's world is I think you have to assume tons of people sign up just to get the content, and that's one of the things we address right away, is content will be recorded, it will be provided, a recording will be provided to your email within 24 hours of the webinar.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (13:57):

So it's been interesting, because I think attendance rate is now, you have to look at that within the context of maybe a bigger just view rate. We call it ... We always put our webinars on demand, so then how many people have watched it on demand or fill out the form to get the information afterwards? So about 45% attendance rate, but then we also have added another data point or two for context of overall views or overall attendance after 30-, 60-, 90-day period.

Gabriel Lim (14:25):

Gotcha. Oh, that makes sense, like how's the on-demand resource doing over time?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (14:30):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gabriel Lim (14:31):

How about you guys, Alexandra? What are you seeing in terms of attendance rates and how has this tracked over the last few months, last few quarters?

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (14:39):

Our attendance rate has remained relatively stable, 50%. It was the registration rate that dropped by 50%, so that was really interesting. And then now we have climbed back, so our September webinar started showing better metrics than what we have seen in June. And like Brooke said, we have to now keep in mind that a lot of people register but they can't attend the webinar and they are going to wait for the recording to be sent to them. So we have to look at the metrics of the video that we uploaded on demand and see how many people have looked at that. So we have to layer that in to really determine the success of the content.

Gabriel Lim (15:26):

Gotcha, makes sense. So switching gears a bit, Alexandra, you mentioned that the way that you prep for webinars, especially this year, is opportunistic. So could you share with us more about this and maybe give us an example, what's the most successful opportunistic virtual event or webinar that you ran for your team in terms of pipeline creation?

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (15:53):

Sure, so the reason I said that we are very opportunistic when it comes to webinar creation and hosting is because we are a very small and scrappy team. So we do have plans for what topics we want to address in the next quarter or so, but we prioritize based on what's happening now and what is relevant to our target audience of eCommerce marketers. And 2020 was also a year of significant development for Zaius in terms of really seeing new features. So we tie our releases and their benefits into current topics.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (16:31):

So a specific example for this is we came out with our SMS offering around the same time that COVID-19 hit. So when we hosted a webinar about omni-channel marketing and the role of SMS in it, we talked about how in this new, strange situation where everyone is staying at home and they can't visit physical stores, SMS and omni-channel messages are extremely effective in getting to consumers. So that's what I mean by creating something that is relevant, that is current, that is affecting our target audience, and tying it together with the message that we want to convey to them.

Gabriel Lim (17:16):

Gotcha, makes sense. So in terms of back to the question I was asking earlier, in terms of the most successful campaign that you have ran, could you share with us more about that and if we can get into brass tacks, like the numbers and the amount of pipeline created, how many sales opportunities? You know I'm going to ask this question.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (17:37):

Sure, of course.

Gabriel Lim (17:38):

So yeah, yeah, so sorry, go ahead.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (17:42):

Okay, so my favorite webinar is one that we ran with our agency partner, and it was our agency sales team and our partner who came to us with a request to host a webinar on business use cases within a very niche vertical. And in this vertical, some of them, the largest challenges were driving customers to their online stores as opposed to offline stores, and tying in-store customers to their online personas. So the partner generated interest: They sent out emails, they put out LinkedIn messages, and they did personal outreach, and we prepared the content.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (18:29):

So at the end of this webinar, 26% of the attendees converted into customers, and the rest of them are still in the sales pipeline, and our sales team is still actively working with them. What was also incredible to me is how fast some of these prospects converted into customers. There was one prospect who ended up converting the day after the webinar. So while this is fantastic and I think it's a pretty rare opportunity, I think the reason that this webinar was so successful is, one, we had the backing of our agency partner.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (19:10):

So like Brooke said previously, if you have somebody to vouch for you, you should definitely go and partner with them, because they are going to increase your validity. They are going to back you up to your prospects, so that was one reason. And then the other one is because, again, the content was extremely relevant to the attendees. So what I did is I told a story of all of us, all of the attendees and myself working for the same brick and mortar store, and we needed to adapt to our customers, growing demands to be served online.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (19:47):

So I covered use cases that described how our platform can solve for those business problems that they face on a daily basis, like winning back disengaged customers or connecting offline customers to their online footprints and so on. So again, extremely relevant content in a timely manner, because this was right around at the beginning of the holiday season, and also increase our validity by having a partner, or a super user, or an investor partner with you to back you up.

Gabriel Lim (20:25):

Awesome, nice. Thanks for sharing. Brooke, I'm going to ask you the same question, an example of most successful virtual event or webinar that you've run this year in terms of pipeline and, in your opinion, what made it so successful?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (20:42):

Yeah, I think we're in the process of planning what will be our most successful one right now. I'll give you my example in a second, but we actually have a webinar tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern with Byron, and-

Gabriel Lim (20:55):

Oh, amazing.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (20:56):

... we're releasing our fund 2020 benchmarks report, and we're bringing in data, a huge story, a person to back it up, and we have more registrations for this webinar than we've ever had. So my bold prediction is my favorite is yet to come, it's probably going to be tomorrow. But earlier this year, we actually were on the road, doing a roadshow, when COVID shut the world down. So our team was out actually in San Francisco when San Francisco locked down, and it was like, "Oh crap, go home.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (21:24):

Figure out how to get this event virtual immediately." So we moved it from an in-person event to just a longer, extended webinar, and it was similar to what Alex said. It had a really great story where it was early in the year, we were going to make our prediction for SaaS management in 2020. Boy, was it different than what we were predicting, we had no clue. But what made it amazing was we brought in an analyst to speak with us, we brought in some really cool customer names to speak with us, and it actually was interesting to watch when we made it virtual, our audience just widened so much.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (22:04):

So we had people, it didn't matter which town you were in, which city you were in, if you were accessible to an airport or in a big city. Everyone can be on this webinar and hear this story, and we had people coming in, saying, "Hey, this is going to be a problem this year. You should take control of it."

Brooke Vogelsmeier (22:20):

So similar to what Alex said, I think about 20% of the audience actually converted to pipeline, and then I would say about 50% of that, so about 10% converted to late-stage pipeline, and we actually can attribute closed deals back to it. Our deal cycles are a little bit longer, we sell more into enterprise, IT orgs, so not glamorous, short-deal cycles there. But definitely, I think that the story, and then the audience, and then the follow-up and the engagement after was great.

Gabriel Lim (22:52):

Awesome. I'd love to double-click into that, the follow-up and the engagement in a bit. But I think as of now, there's a question by [Avin 00:23:00]. So Avin [inaudible 00:23:03] asks, "Should marketers be thinking about combining webinars and putting together an interactive virtual event?" So I'm not so sure about the gist of this question. I guess my interpretation of it is that he's thinking about not doing webinars altogether and just only doing virtual events, kind of like round tables maybe, where there are kind of audience interaction. So what do you guys think about this?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (23:34):

Yeah, I think to me they would serve two different purposes: So for us and for our strategy, we would probably keep both. I think virtual events are amazing with a bigger message. Like I think with our capacity, we could probably do one, maybe two virtual events a year, where you have a bigger platform, you have audiences, you could have breakout rooms. You could even potentially have sponsors and maybe a booth or something to visit your sponsor. And I just don't know that we could pull that off on a regular basis with our capacity, nor do I know if that's what our audience wants all the time.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (24:10):

I think once or twice a year, that would probably be interesting. I think also offering the 20-to-30-minute webinar is not a horrible thing, especially for more of the top and middle of funnel prospects that you're planning to engage with. I also think with webinars, I almost wish they weren't called "webinars", because I feel like that's such an old-school word, and it's not glamorous. But we try to think of, "How can you make them as engaging as possible?" So making polls pop up in the middle of a webinar and getting people to engage in that way, answering questions, just like we are throughout the webinar.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (24:47):

Even sending content links out during, as we refer to whatever report or whatever process, making sure that the links are sent out through it. So I think webinars are here to stay for probably at least the next year or two, the world we live in. So it's like, "How do you adopt them and make them as engaging as possible to where people don't feel like they're just sitting silently in front of their camera for [crosstalk 00:25:13] that day?"

Gabriel Lim (25:15):

Gotcha. That's a fantastic way of answering the question, like instead of gathering of webinars, how do you make webinars more interactive and more like virtual events, which is kind of the problem that I think [goCast 00:25:24], the platform that we are, is solving right now.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (25:27):

Yeah, for sure.

Gabriel Lim (25:28):

Yeah. Oh, so I think we have a very interesting question by Alexandra, so hi Alexandra. She's a friend, I think she actually joined in our event today. So her question is what's the biggest failure or learning for you this year in terms of virtual events and webinars? And I want to ask the both of you, but maybe Alexandra, you can go first. I think that would be interesting.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (25:56):

Oh, gosh. That's a really big question.

Gabriel Lim (25:59):

Yeah, that's a tough one.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (26:02):

[inaudible 00:26:02]. Okay, let me think. [crosstalk 00:26:05]-

Brooke Vogelsmeier (26:05):

I know my biggest failure, if you want me to go first while you think [crosstalk 00:26:09]-

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (26:08):

Yeah, yes, please.

Gabriel Lim (26:10):

Brooke, you go first.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (26:11):

My biggest failure was a goofy one: We did a lunchtime webinar very early on during COVID, and it was with a partner, and we thought a good way to drive registration was to offer a free lunch for the webinar. So if you registered, you'd get a $2,500 ... Or $25, excuse me, gosh, not $2,500, $25 Grubhub gift card. And it was a great way, Grubhub's a customer, we're supporting a customer, we're going to make these people feel special. Boy, did the registrations fly off the shelf, and it was awful targets. The targets were not our audience, it was just people wanting the free lunch.

Gabriel Lim (26:49):

Literally.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (26:49):

Oh, literally. We had competitors' sales reps signing up, and I think it was like, I lost a little faith in humanity almost. It was [inaudible 00:26:58]. I was like, "You guys are shameless. You'll enter your information just to get this free ..." And the interesting thing was we said we could send you $25 to Grubhub, or we would make a $2,500 donation to Feed America on their behalf. So it's still lunch themed, food themed. No one selected donation.

Gabriel Lim (27:22):

Oh, my God.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (27:22):

So don't do that, people. Only offer gift cards, or coffee, or whatever to qualified prospects that you engage with. Never do that on a mass basis.

Gabriel Lim (27:32):

How many people turned up for that webinar?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (27:35):

Oh, I think we only had 30 people in the webinar. That was the whole thing, is we were sending out hundreds of dollars in gift cards. Not proud of it, guys. I'm not proud of it.

Gabriel Lim (27:44):

Yeah.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (27:44):

I have not-

Gabriel Lim (27:44):

What about you, Alexandra?

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (27:52):

I have nothing of that scale to show. I would say I'm the type of person who likes to have plenty of time preparing for a webinar. You know, noodle on things, sit on things, optimize the content. One of our webinars, we rushed, and we kind of [inaudible 00:28:19] to the curb and we thought, "It's talking about our features, what can be so difficult about it?" And the engagement suffered because of that, so it just reiterated how important storytelling and talking about relevant use cases in the course of the webinar is.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (28:45):

I would say that's it, like give yourself plenty of time to develop a good story, to take screenshots if you are showcasing your product and it's within a certain vertical. Work out use cases, create screenshots of, "What would this email look like if you were in food and beverage vertical?" Because if you don't, you will lose the possibility to engage your audience as much as you can.

Gabriel Lim (29:19):

Nice. I have an interesting learning this year as well. I think that, at least on our side, so we created this program called the Saleswhale Masterclass program, where we got really heavy-hitter speakers speaking at these webinars. I think a mistake we made was that we stacked them so closely, I think within a two-week period we had literally six webinars that was happening live. And I think our audience just got so fatigued and so bombarded with our emails, they were like, "Oh, my God. What are you guys doing?"

Gabriel Lim (29:54):

And towards the tail end, we see attendance just plummeted, and people are like, "Please unsubscribe. You guys are doing six webinars in two weeks. I do not want to be part of your list anymore." So I think that was pretty funny. Yeah, so now we have learned to space things out. Yeah, all right. So back to, I guess, the next piece, and for me the last component of our session today, which is the whole interface between ...

Gabriel Lim (30:25):

How do you hand over these leads over to the sales team, and how do you think about post-webinar nurturing, how do you think about getting sales to follow up with the leads? And I guess some of this actually happens upstream, like designing ... I think you had a pretty clever way of designing poll questions to segment these leads. So I'd love to hear more from you, Brooke. How do you engineer your webinar in a way such that you are able to hand off great leads to sales to follow up with?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (30:59):

Yeah, absolutely. I think that, as marketers who put on webinars, I'm sure we can all commiserate on how hard it is sometimes to get your sales and your outbound org to follow up with leads. And what I learned as I talked to our sales leader and we aligned was we don't just want a name and an email address. If there's context, or we understand a little bit of information, or what the use case would be, or why they joined, that data is gold. So like we talked about webinars, just trying to get some sort of engagement data.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (31:32):

So whether it's making sure that we track who asked what question or who answered the poll in which way, we always try to make sure that data is available in follow-up. And then we also align with our product marketing org or sales org on just what is the [inaudible 00:31:50] actually that this audience wants? So it's not just like, "Take a demo, take a demo, take a demo." That's not compelling at all to anyone. But if it's you're trying to wrangle your SaaS spend in 2021 that you bought because of COVID, great, here's how we help with that.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (32:07):

So it's all about having the data for a rep to make it relevant, and then we try to help craft that message. So if there are only five options on the poll, then all five of those options, we'll have the use case for, and then hopefully reps can just insert that, and go and fly. So that's with our sales org. I think the other piece of it is be best friends with your digital marketing team. My counterpart who owns our digital, she gives the webinar legs way after it's over.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (32:36):

So whether it's taking clips of the [inaudible 00:32:39] and promoting those or using those in ads to drive to the on-demand webinar, just because the webinar happened in a point in time, it's not over. We can continue to promote it, we can continue to put it on social. Just continue to get the ROI from the webinar, instead of just, "Oh, it happened today. It ends at 2:45, see you later."

Gabriel Lim (33:01):

That's true. No, that makes a ton of sense. How about yourself, Alexandra? How do you get your sales team to be fired up and excited to follow up with these webinar leads?

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (33:12):

Sure, and just, I want to reiterate what Brooke said, that just because the webinar is over at 2:00 PM one day, it's not over. You can't just drop nurturing those customers. You have to pick them up again, walk them down the funnel, and also keep reusing content that you created for the webinar, because it's so much effort to create a webinar. You need to recycle bits and pieces of it to really get the ROI out of it.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (33:48):

But yeah, to answer your question about handing off prospects and leads from webinars, remember earlier I was talking about that webinar that we ran with our agency partner. So in that webinar, we had our sales people who are handling agency partnership prospects attending the webinar. And at the end of that webinar, they actually addressed some of the questions. So it was almost like the transition from marketing to sales was happening right in front of our prospects.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (34:25):

So what I've seen at Zaius and at my previous company is the importance of promoting your webinar internally. And the way I look at webinars is the same way that I look at and treat my products that we are really seeing and taking to market. I want to get my customer-facing teams excited about it. I want to tell them what the benefits and the value prop of this piece of content is, and tell them, "How is this going to make their prospects' lives easier?" So by getting them excited, I know that they are going to be more likely to follow up with the attendees. Oops, cat is making a surprise ... Excuse me.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (35:12):

But a more tactical action to make this sales hand-off smoother and more seamless is by creating the recommended copy for sales and then ask them to use that when reaching out to webinar attendees. So that's completely in line with what Brooke was saying. If we have any unanswered questions from the webinar, we will draft the answers and give it to sales. I understand that for product people and for marketing people, we are taking on the extra load here, but that will allow our sales people to do what they are best at doing, which is selling. So providing them the answers to questions and then giving them additional info ...

Gabriel Lim (36:04):

I think we've lost Alexandra.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (36:07):

... important.

Gabriel Lim (36:09):

Hey, I think we lost you for a moment.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (36:12):

Oh, I'm sorry. Where did you lose me?

Gabriel Lim (36:15):

"Giving more information to sales."

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (36:19):

I think I was saying that by using information from polls during webinars, that gives that piece of ammunition-

Gabriel Lim (36:29):

[crosstalk 00:36:29] to brass tacks in terms of a concrete example of how you actually leverage poll data in both the sales outreach and maybe the post-marketing nurture? And I guess it would be interesting to ask both of you later as well on the poll questions that you guys actually tried that worked well. But sorry, I'm sorry I cut you off.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (36:48):

No worries. So regarding polls, I would say that polling our participants has to do a lot with collecting information about our prospects and those who are in market for our products. So we ask them what we really like to do. And I've done this at Zaius and I've done this at a previous company too, is we ask them what their biggest challenges are and how they are currently solving for them, what are their methods? What solutions they are using in house or what third-party application they might be using.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (37:25):

What we can then use this data for is in the decision making process, for what business use cases we want to flesh out more. It helps us prioritize the features and their value propositions that we want to talk about in our blogs, in our one-sheeters, or our next webinar. So this is important to us, because again we are a small team, so we have to be very conscious of where we are turning our attention. So these pieces of data help us prioritize that.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (38:01):

Specifically, an example for this is at my previous company we ran a webinar in which both prospects and customers were participating. And we asked them what problems they are trying to solve or what problems they are looking to solve, why are they attending this webinar? And we used the data that we gathered when marketing was refreshing our corporate website and they wanted to put out new positioning and new messaging on to that site. So obviously, we used different sources of data to make those decisions about how we want to talk about our product. But the data from these polls was pieces of gold that we would not have gotten any other way if not for those polls in the webinar.

Gabriel Lim (38:54):

Gotcha, awesome. Nice. How about yourself, Brooke? How are you leveraging poll data, and if you can go into specifics, like on what kind of polls did you guys design, what's the thought process behind it? That would be great.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (39:07):

Yeah, absolutely, and apologies, my mailman of course is showing up right now, so if you hear my dog go crazy, that would be [inaudible 00:39:14]. Never fails when I'm on a call. Yeah, so for polls, our poll questions usually align to our use cases, and it becomes the problem statement that matches the use case, and we usually put it into a question. So Zylo is a SaaS management platform, we show you all the SaaS that is within your organization in one place.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (39:39):

One of our favorite questions that leads to that solution is, "How many SaaS apps do you think you have?" Everyone's always greatly underestimating it, so not only is it a great question because people take wild guesses, but then we actually have the data to back it up right away, and can have that wow moment that hopefully sears that in their head, where it's by organization size, here's how many you actually have.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (40:05):

And it's usually two to three times more than what they guessed, so we always just try to make it correlate with a use case, but then also have a piece of data so that as they answer the poll question, we can hopefully wow them with a piece of data afterwards to make it stick in their head a little bit. So we had a person who guessed that they had 200 apps, they had 651 apps, and we were like, "Yeah, isn't that ..."

Brooke Vogelsmeier (40:29):

It kind of blows your mind, but then it makes you realize the extent of the problem that quickly, and it's like, "Okay, let me talk to a rep right now. This is crazy." So that type of thing, and then the answers to those questions help us form which use case would work best for you for the rep to then try to go connect the dots on.

Gabriel Lim (40:48):

Nice. Is there any specific polls that you guys track intent or sales readiness, or is that the main way that you guys use to track [crosstalk 00:40:58]?

Brooke Vogelsmeier (40:57):

Some polls, we try to even ask, "Do you want to speak to a product expert?" or, "After this call, do you want a rep to follow up with you?" If people are saying yes to that, I would say then like 70% of them are accepting those meetings and saying, "Great, let's actually have that conversation." What's funny is we're probably going to follow up with anyone anyway. That just moves them to the top of the list of people with highest intent.

Gabriel Lim (41:24):

Gotcha, awesome. Nice, so I think we are at time, but this has been a really fantastic session. I myself, I learnt a ton from both Brooke and Alexandra. So I hope that this session has been as useful and enriching for you guys. And I think if you guys have any questions, I think the three of us are happy to connect with you on LinkedIn or answer your questions via email. So thanks for being here with us, you guys, and thanks for taking the time to share with us, Brooke and Alexandra. Really appreciate it.

Brooke Vogelsmeier (41:59):

Yes, thank you so much for having me.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (42:01):

Thank you, it's my pleasure. Thank you.

Gabriel Lim (42:03):

Thank you, see you guys.

Alexandra Solymar Matheny (42:05):

Bye.

Gabriel Lim (42:06):

Bye-bye.

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Gabriel Lim

Co-founder & CEO at Saleswhale

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