You’re selling an exceptional experience, so make the selling experience exceptional
“They’re not fatigued of ALL digital content, they can just be a lot more selective of digital content – choosing better content.”
- Shirley Macbeth, CMO Forrester
There’s lots of discussion in the sales world today about “digital fatigue” and the challenges of selling in this new world of remote meetings and hybrid work. We all feel some of this digital fatigue and see it in our distracted, less-engaged clients and customers. This fatigue is resulting in clients pushing for shorter meetings, requesting content be emailed rather than discussed live, and an overall sense of disengagement in the sales process.
With all the digital content we now have to use, remote meetings we’re hosting and attending, and the endless email threads, it’s easy to blame the new virtual space we’re all working in now as the cause of this disengagement and lack of customer focus.
In most cases the tools we use are not the cause of digital fatigue, the quality of our content is. We’re not fed up with watching videos online, we’re just fed up with seeing bad sales content—like PowerPoints and text-heavy PDFs.
“The average that might have worked a year ago is not working today.”
- Drew Neisser (Renegade)
What worked before doesn’t work anymore. We used to be in the room together with our audience and had the benefits of live interaction and the freedom from distractions that being in a room together necessitates. A flat, text-heavy PowerPoint presentation wasn’t great before we all went online, but at least our audience couldn’t switch tabs or turn off their cameras while they were in the room! Average content might have worked before, but it certainly doesn’t now— and won’t going forward.
No one is binge-watching PowerPoint
Every business, especially media companies, should know better than thinking they can sell an exceptional experience with the same old sales materials we’ve been forced to sit through and look at for the last 30 years. The media business is about storytelling and engagement, and it is amazingly successful at doing just that. Trying to sell a great media experience with PowerPoint undermines your sales message before you even start speaking. You may be talking about amazing audience engagement, but your audience just sees boring text and bullets.
People love to watch TV shows, go to the movies, listen to podcasts – they go out of their way, spending time and money, to engage with the media your brand is delivering. That’s a superpower that every media sales team should be using to their advantage every time they engage with their customers—from the initial sales outreach right through recaps and renewals.
Whatever kind of media company you’re selling for—broadcast, local TV, CTV, digital, magazines, newspapers, journals—you’re selling engagement and an experience that uses video, text, and images to effectively engage, inform and entertain your audiences. Your sales materials need to do the same thing throughout the sales process.
So how do we fix this?
Now that the digital genie is out of the bottle, we’re never going back to the way sales used to be. We all have to learn from this and make changes to how we create and deliver sales content throughout the sales process. Fortunately, with just a few changes to how your teams think of and create sales content, you can turn this new digital sales world into an opportunity to deepen engagement with your brand and start selling your brand’s full experience.
Use What You Have
The first place sales and marketing teams should look is to their own non-sales materials. You’d be surprised at the amount of amazing content that’s created for other channels – social, broadcast, OOH, events, digital – that is significantly better than the traditional PowerPoint presentations that most salespeople think they have to use. A great trick is to reuse on-air video bumpers or digital video brand elements as stock elements in your presentations and other materials so your sales content really looks like your on-air or digital brand.
In the past, this rich media content editor was often overlooked because it was clunky and difficult to incorporate into standard PowerPoint presentations, however with the new digital tools and platforms—like fullfeel.io—incorporating rich media content into digital presentations is easy, reliable, and effective.
Repurposing content from other departments and from the content teams usually requires only minimal editing or updating to make it work for sales. Tricks include editing down content to small bite-size pieces that can be incorporated into presentation slides and other sales content instead of trying to create full-length produced pieces for sales. Keeping as much of the sales content editable and customizable by sales is key to making sure that the content remains relevant and the sales team uses it effectively as part of their sales process.
So start by collecting all of this rich media content from across your organization, organizing it into buckets that make sense to your sales team, and start incorporating that content into all your sales materials.
Create Engaging Content
Organizationally media companies have the skills, resources and expertise to create amazing, engaging content – it’s at the core of their business, after all. So sales and marketing teams need to bring that same level of design and storytelling expertise to the materials they use in the sales process. It doesn’t have to be the same designers and tools, or produced at the same cost, as what’s being produced for broadcast or other channels. Just make sure the quality of storytelling, the visual impact of the materials, and the tone of the content are as engaging and on-brand as the brand’s main content.
Engage At Every Touchpoint
Even when amazing sales content is created – the Upfront Deck or the brand sizzle – another mistake is thinking that the “meeting” is the only place that content of that quality needs to be shown and that every other touchpoint can just be a PDF, Word document or PowerPoint file. Starting with the initial customer touchpoints, through initial engagement, nurturing, the pitch meetings, follow-up, close and renewal/retention, every touchpoint needs to deliver the same high level of brand experience to remind your buyer’s of your core value and your differentiation.
Make Content Modular And Snackable
Whether this is repurposed rich media content or bespoke sales materials built just for your team, make sure the content is built to both be modular and snackable – built and organized in discrete units that can be combined to tell personalized stories for clients as well as easily viewed and consumed by your customers with minimal effort on their part throughout the sales process.
5 Things to do to Fight Digital Fatigue:
Whatever size your team and whatever types of media you sell, follow these steps to improve your sales content, eliminate digital fatigue and start creating an exceptional selling experience:
- Get your sales and marketing teams to both agree that the sales content experience needs to truly represent the brand experience
- Identify what rich media content already exists within your organization and leverage that to start your new sales content library
- Work with brand content creators to identify key aspects of your brand’s media experience that can be incorporated into all new sales content going forward
- Design a workflow for creating new sales content that incorporates your brand’s storytelling and visual expertise
- Build a modular library of sales content that be combined to create full presentations or used individually as teasers, follow-ups and self-guided customer journeys across the entire sales process