In our latest installment of the Bowery Capital Startup Sales podcast, Raphael Carty joined us to talk about a topic that’s likely near and dear to the hearts of many salespeople, but doesn’t often get much coverage: webinars. Raphael is currently the founder and CEO of Callida Energy, a software solution that powers building optimization—from energy usage and sustainability to facilities management and automation. Raphael also brings with him a long history of thought leadership in the marketing space, having previously served as Head of Marketing for Dealertrack, the market leader in vertical software solutions for the automotive industry and a company with one of the fastest times-to-IPO in recent history. He’s also taught marketing at Harvard Business School and worked in various other CMO and leadership roles in the past. One challenge that he repeatedly faced over the course of his career was driving high-quality leads in a cost-effective way—no doubt a topic top-of-mind for most startup sales leaders out there. In this episode, Raphael joined us to talk about one tactic in particular that he found both dramatically raised the quality of his leads, but also ended up reducing his org’s total spend to acquire them.
While we’re all familiar with the traditional screen-shared product demo that an SDR or inside salesperson may walk a potential client through, the concept of a webinar—at least as we’ll define it today—is quite different. While a pointed approach and no doubt a cornerstone of startup sales, the standard demos aren’t effective lead-generation methods. They focus on driving one opportunity home, but because they are usually one-on-one, they are a bit hard to scale and aren’t always optimal tools for lead nurturing or market education since they are more transactional (i.e. “salesy”).
Webinars done correctly—as Raphael will describe—are just the opposite: they are focused on educating the lead by discussing best practices more so than individual products (though there’s a time for that too). They give the lead a chance to ask questions and learn about their own industry. They feel like a webinar sign-up is less of a commitment upfront and more of an opportunity to absorb knowledge. Should you be selling into a vertical market, this educational aspect has even greater appeal, which you can emphasize by leveraging industry experts and even product managers to lead sessions.
At the same time, webinars draw very high-intent leads and—structured correctly—are perfect venues for leads qualification and scoring (e.g. do they use a competitor but aren’t satisfied, do they have no current solution, did they even know there was even a product available, or are they actually just there to learn?). Even sign-ups who don’t end up attending are often better leads than your standard MQL. Raphael shares with us a few particular anecdotes in which he was able to use webinars to achieve an average conversion rate 3-4x higher than other channels. We hope today’s podcast will clue you in as to how you might execute a similarly successful strategy at your startup.
If you liked “Driving High-Quality Leads Through Webinars with Raphael Carty” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog.