Effective Follow Up
It’s important to conduct thorough follow-up activities soon after the completion of the broadcast. Regardless of what type of webcast you’ve completed, you’ll want to review what went well, what went wrong, and what you can do to improve. Immediately after the conclusion of the broadcast, set up a new conference bridge and get your webinar team together. Do not just tell everyone to “stay on the line”. The team will be discussing internal matters related to the logistics, planning, and delivery of the webinar. You will not want outside parties listening to potential “dirty laundry”.
What went well?
Do a five to ten minute brainstorm on the question “What went well?” Capture all participants’ opinions on a whiteboard or flip chart or Evernote in short, “bumper sticker” format.
Again, do a five to ten minute brainstorm on what didn’t go so well. If there were many negatives about your broadcast, you’ll obviously want to take whatever time is necessary to capture them all. Remind the participants that this is a brainstorm, and the intent isn’t to discuss, debate, or solve any of these items, but rather to capture them for the next brainstorming section, which is…
What will we do to improve?
Now that the team has enjoyed the “What went well” part, and endured the “What went wrong” part, it’s time to take what was learned from both of those and apply it to “What will we do to improve?” Take five to fifteen minutes with the team to capture the key things that need to be done for future webcasts, based on what everyone learned from the one just completed.
Document and Distribute
Copy all of the bullet points from the review process verbatim into a single document. Distribute this document to the entire webinar team so that all participants have the entire review. Set up a short meeting or online chat to assign tasks based on the “What will we do” section.
Since the entire purpose of the webinar was to generate quality sales leads, the critical step after the conclusion of the webinar is the contacting and qualification/disqualification of the registrants and attendees.
There are two organizational process decisions to be made prior to undertaking any lead generation webinars. 1. What organization conducts initial contact and lead qualification? Will the marketing group be assigned, with the objective of delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) to the sales group? Or will the sales group take immediate responsibility for follow-up, with ownership of the lead from first contact through closure (win or lose)? Each company has its own strengths and weaknesses in follow-up and qualification, so there is no standard answer. The key is making the process and responsibility decision before conducting the lead generation activity. 2. At what point in the process should registrants first be contacted? Do you want to try to
engage a registrant at the point at which they register (which could be weeks before the broadcast)? Or do you want to wait until the webcast has been completed and begin all phone contacts at that point? Similarly to the previous point, this really is an organizational decision. There is not much evidence to point toward either choice. The one factor that might sway the decision is that waiting to contact registrants until after the webinar provides the follow-up caller a conversation point and ice-breaker. “How did you like the webinar?” “Was it informative and useful? Do you have any suggestions I can take back to the webinar team?”
Different levels of interest among webinar registrants
Unlike other content marketing tactics, such as white papers, e-books, or podcasts, webinars present the marketing organization with deeper statistics and analytics. Most importantly, your webcast reports show you not only who registered, but also who attended, and the amount of time they were logged into the broadcast. From these statistics, you can derive an implied level of interest for each registrant. Registered — Interested in the topic. May or may not become an MQL or SQL Attended — More interested in the topic. Took the time out of their busy day to watch and listen. Will almost certainly become an MQL. Attended and remained online for the entire broadcast — Significantly interested. Took an entire 45 to 60 minutes out of their busy day to watch and listen. Will become an MQL and probably will become an SQL. Attended, remained online, and asked one or more questions — The most interested lead. Took an entire 45 to 60 minutes out of their busy day to watch and listen. Paid enough attention and has a high enough degree of topic interest to form a question and expect an answer. Will become an MQL and almost certainly will become an SQL.
The follow-up call
Make sure your follow-up callers — whichever organization they’re in — understand that they are not conducting cold calls. They are calling individuals who have expressed interest in the topic of the webinar, which means they have some level of interest in what you sell, if you’ve chosen your webinar topic correctly. Follow-up callers should have all of the webinar stats at their fingertips. It’s best to script something at an outline level for each of the levels of interest described above. Leads who attended the entire webinar and posed questions should be prioritized and perhaps even handed directly to outside sales (or account sales, or whoever is ultimately responsible for closing). They’re ready to be qualified in or out and their specific questions during the webinar Q&A present opportunity to generate very specific sales discussions. The tone and “voice” of the initial follow-up calls should be helpful and supportive rather than probing and pushy. “I’m calling as a quick follow-up to our webinar that you attended recently. I just wanted to make sure that you were able to see and hear our broadcast alright, and answer any questions you might have.” After the person has responded to this question, one might ask “I’m curious about what may have led you to register for this. Are you working on a current project? Facing some immediate challenge?” If they answer affirmatively, then you have yourself someone with whom you can proceed into a selling/buying process. If they answer (as most people do) that they are just researching or learning, you should ask if it was helpful, and mention that you have a “resource center” on your website with white papers, e-books, and other relevant webcast recordings. “Would you like me to send you that link?” Then update your CRM system to reflect the outcome of this conversation and move forward with whatever tickler or lead nurture process you use.
B2B webinars are an outstanding tactic for cost-effective lead generation. Registrants and attendees are usually people from your target market who have a higher level of interest than those from other lead gen tactics. Content creation, setup, administration, and follow-up can be conducted with internal resources, if they are experienced, detail-oriented, and able to meet tight deadlines. For those with limited resources or a desire to keep the marketing team focused on strategic initiatives, webinars can be outsourced to experts in marketing agencies who conduct them all the time. Outsourced webinar production and campaign management actually cost less than in-house production when all costs are considered, and the time to do all 50 steps in this paper is returned to the marketing organization for more strategic tasks like brand, promotion, marketing communications, product marketing, and field marketing. WinGreen Marketing Systems can run a comprehensive webinar program for you, whether you want just one webinar per quarter or 50 webinars over 12 months. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.wingreenmarketing.com/contact-us. For those of you who remain committed to in-house production for your own organizational reasons, we do hope you’ve found our 50 step process to be helpful and informative. We’ve honed it over the course of delivering hundreds of webinars for dozens of companies over the past 15 years, so we’re confident that if you follow these steps, with no shortcuts and no missed deadlines, you’ll deliver world-class webinars every time.