There are many things you could do when your webinar is completed. You could high-five or crack open the champagne, or you could check out the reporting and marvel at the interaction and conversion rates you had. You could lock all files away and draw a line under the webinar or you could start planning the next webinar. You could even give the list of attendees to your sales team. All of these things are things you COULD do. But what SHOULD you do? What SHOULD be the first thing you do after your webinar? Read on to find out.
In the run up to a webinar there are so many things to focus on, it can be hard to keep a handle on it. We created The Ultimate Webinar Checklist to help you with your webinar preparations ahead of the webinar, but what about the first thing to do after your marketing webinar?
To get the answer you need to understand why you are doing what you’re doing. What is the purpose of your marketing webinar? You might say things like “Tell people about our company / products / philosophy / approach” or “Show off our cool new product” or “Raise awareness of an issue and how we solve a business need” etc. There are many of these statements floating around marketing departments and board rooms. But what all of these statements come down to is one thing: Lead Generation.
Understand that lead generation takes place on multiple levels, i.e. you may be generating a lead when they first register their details with you (e.g. in return for a piece of content), but as part of your lead nurturing process you generate different types of leads. Most commonly, you may have heard of them as MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads), Marketing Generated Leads, or simply as leads or prospects. Your leads pass through the sales funnel and across various sales funnel stages before they reach the sales team.
So if that’s the goal – to generate and nurture leads, then what must be the first thing you do after you marketing webinar concludes?
And the answer is…
The answer is: Add your leads to your Marketing Automation (MA) and/or CRM tool. Whether you do it manually or automatically makes a difference, but ultimately both of these are better than not adding them, or adding them at some point after you’ve done some other things. It must be the first thing you do!
Why? Because leads go cold. Quickly. In fact they can go cold VERY quickly. With the amount of distractions in the B2B world, we can attend a webinar one minute and be distracted for a whole week straight after. An inspiring webinar presentation (“We MUST do that!”) turns into “We must do that – at some point…”.
The hard facts
A company called SalesStaff LLC did some research into the pace with which B2B leads go cold. They reviewed 1000 inbound sales enquiries from a 12 month period. They correlated the lead response time with the leads’ conversion rate. They found that leads that received a response within 30 minutes had an 82% conversion rate, while leads that received a response later than 48 hours only converted at 33%. Here is the full graph:
Obviously, these rates may differ for each company, industry and sales funnel stage, but the trend will be exactly the same for all B2B leads. Have you ever analysed your own leads for these figures?
If you don’t have your own figures, you should make sure you get and analyse them. In the meantime, here is some independent research. The Harvard Business Review analysed 2241 US companies to evaluate how quickly companies responded to a web enquiry. If we use the same time slots analysed by SalesStaff in their research, we find that a third of companies (32.5%) responded within the first 30 minutes. On the other side of the scale, rather unbelievably (and unforgivably) 23% of companies never responded at all.
Since these figures were first analysed several years ago, marketing technology has seen tremendous advances. But even so, these companies still had the opportunity to integrate seamlessly with marketing automation and CRM tools. In fact, the 26% of companies that responded within 5 minutes most likely had their marketing automation tool do the work. What would it have looked like if they had just handed a list of attendees to their sales team? Slower for sure. That’s not a judgement on sales people, but rather a comparison of how much faster technology can follow up on 100 leads versus how long it takes a human being with manual processes.
So whether you manually export and upload your webinar attendees and registrants to your marketing automation tool, or have an automatic upload set up, you’re doing the right thing. As we’ve seen, the faster the better. And it obviously doesn’t end there. Just sending a “Thanks” response won’t do the trick. Your response needs to be part of a wider strategy to follow-up and nurture your leads towards sales readiness. But it starts with a quick response.
Make use of the technology available to you and avoid manual processes where possible. If you don’t you will pay for it when you get to the bottom line. Compared to many other business challenges, the solution for this one is comparatively quick and easy. Start doing something about it today! To find out how to seamlessly integrate your webinars with your marketing automation tool, give us a call on +44 207 1939 748.
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