We all know that video killed the radio star, but now it’s coming after the written word, too—at least that’s the consensus among many experts. In fact, LinkedIn just released native video capabilities to 500 people. I’m not one of them, and I’m cool with that. I didn’t want video anyway.
According to research compiled by LinkedIn:
- 74 percent of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video
- 59 percent of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text
Fifty-nine percent is certainly a lot, but what about the other 41 percent your account based sales team wants to reach?
I’m in that supposed minority. Videos are a lot of work for me. I need to put on my Bluetooth, my headphones, or my ear buds (which keep falling out), and close my office door. Maybe if I were 40 years younger, video would be my #1 way to consume information. Oh wait, I wouldn’t have to put ear buds in. They’d already be a permanent fixture on my head.
But beyond the time it takes me to get organized, there’s a bigger issue. My learning style is not compatible with video. And I’m not the only one. We all have best ways to learn—including your buyers and your account based sales reps.
The Question Account Based Sales Leaders Must Ask
Each of our brains works differently, which informs our learning styles. I actually watched a TedX video of Dr. Lara Boyd. I typed and took notes while she spoke. Then I found an article with the video, plus the transcription. Whew! Her research proves that every time you learn a new skill, your brain changes to support that learning. It’s called neuroplasticity.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning,” Dr. Boyd says. “So, there is no recipe for learning. The uniqueness of your brain will affect you both as a learner and also as a teacher. And now this idea helps us to understand why some children can thrive in traditional education settings and others don’t. Why some of us can learn languages easily and yet others can pick up any sport and excel.”
As exciting as video content may be, it doesn’t work for everyone. Want your account based sales reps to devour information and training, and to have passion for growing their skill sets? Ask them how they prefer to learn. Some will certainly say video, but not all of them.
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Want buyers to engage with your content marketing and sales presentations? Ask them how they prefer to learn, or at the very least, include the transcripts.
How do you prefer to learn? It’s a simple, straightforward question that no one is asking. The answers can make all the difference in the success of your account based selling team.
Can You Put That in Writing?
It’s not just video that bugs me. I don’t read charts and graphs. They give me hives. Your infographic makes my head spin. I don’t know where to start.
I recognize that pundits tap multimedia as a key way to engage readers. However, it takes me way less time to read what you say than to listen to you. I get your personality and your passion in your written words. It’s the same with podcasts. Do I really have to make time to listen? I don’t.
But that’s just me. For some people, a picture—or video—is worth a thousand words. With the right image, you convey your message in seconds. I use pictures on every slide in every presentation. If I choose the right picture, some people get my perspective without reading the three bullets next to the picture.
Visuals are particularly valuable in our global economy, where people speak more than 6,500 different languages. English isn’t everyone’s first language. We must make it easy for our buyers in a global population to understand us and learn from us.
But we must also think about how to engage people who still prefer to read. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of us out there.
The Bandwagon Is Getting Crowded
Every time a new concept, buzzword, or technology emerges, everyone rushes to adopt it—whether it’s AI, predictive analytics, IOT, or new monikers like account based marketing, account based selling, and account based everything.
Yes, sales teams need multi-threaded approaches to reach prospecting targets. It’s no longer just email, just webinars, just social media, or just cold calls. Now everyone’s on those bandwagons, and they’re full up. Worse, many authors write that cold calling isn’t really dead after all. In fact, it’s having a resurgence. (I’m not even going to touch that one.)
What does this all mean for your account based selling teams? You figure it out. As a sales leader, it’s your job (not mine) to determine how your reps sell the best. Each one is different. You manage each account based sales rep differently, so why wouldn’t you ask them how they like to learn?
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As for engaging buyers, the key is usually to mix it up. Sharing your expertise is a great way to engage customers and increase B2B sales leads—but what resonates with one person might not resonate with another. An effective communication strategy must acknowledge different learning styles. I include many videos and podcasts on my website, but I also have many more blog posts, eBooks, and books.
Multimedia is cool, flashy, and engaging for many people. Just be careful to strike a balance so that you don’t exclude those who want to know your point of view but don’t have patience with your approach.
If you’re one of those people who prefers watching over reading, check out my collection of short videos with referral tips for account based sales teams.