Before I jumped to the other side of the sales and marketing spectrum, I was a successful salesperson for several software and telecommunications companies.  One of the biggest challenges I had was generating sales leads.  Sure, the marketing department would hit trade shows and purchase lists, but I was divvying up these leads with the rest of the sales staff.  I was looking for “uncharted territory” – not easy in an oversaturated market.  In the long run, I was successful because I identified a few niches for myself where I had first-hand knowledge of the industry – retail, non-profits, and construction.  Then I picked up the phone and dialed, dialed and dialed.  I was always looking for new methods to generate leads and if I had access to the technology of today I’m sure I would have been much more successful.  Today, I would have jumped at the chance to utilize webinars as a prospecting tool.  Sales and marketing professionals have proven that webinars are an effective way to identify and qualify prospects and shorten the sales cycle.

To conduct a lead generation webinar such as a paid webinar, you need to create an informational webinar on a topic of interest to your prospects. It is important to remember that “content is king”. In other words, your content must be compelling enough to entice people to attend the webinar and it must be specific to their pain points. You want them to stop and think, “Yes, I have to have this information. This is well worth an hour of my time.”
In today’s world, your prospects are constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information – from social media ideas to economic reports to updates on new trends. But ask yourself: how does this information relate directly to my prospects?  Think carefully about the type of content that might entice people to spend an hour with you – and keep it specific to them. Without a strong beneficial message, prospects either won’t register to attend your event or will log off your event before its completion if it doesn’t hold their interest.

The measure of success for a webinar is simple:  How many people registered and how qualified are they? How many people register is a function of (a) how big a group you’re marketing to and (b) how compelling the content is to them.

To maximize attendance it’s important to know your audience. You need to deliver something they want, something they will spend their time on. Too often, companies offer one “blanket” webinar in which the try to be all things to all people.  Your webinars will generate better leads when you segment your market and tailor specific webinars to each of your best clusters of customers. Why? Because the more targeted your message, the more your attendees feel like you understand them and the more willing they will be to continue down the sales path.  This helps to position you as an expert in their industry – someone who understands the challenges they currently face.  Providing information and a potential solution to a problem they’re facing certainly qualifies.

Having said this, you don’t want to attract people that are NOT good prospects for you – they’ll simply cost you money and waste your time. By keeping your topic narrow and focusing your presentation towards your target audience, you will get more people to register and they will be better prospects.

It may take a bit more time to do several webinars geared toward a specific niche, but in the long run, the benefits will outweigh the time spent to generate those leads.

To learn more about Lead Gen Webinars, attend the free webinar ConferTel is hosting on Wednesday, “Get Quality Sales Leads Using Webinars”.

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