January 9, 2018

Shrink Your Sales Cycle with Account-based Web Pages

By Kurt Shaver

Most people like to feel special and be entertained a bit, too. That includes your prospects.

Fortunately, three sales trends are now coming together to help digitally-savvy salespeople do just that. It’s called the “account-based Web page.”

The three trends driving this opportunity are:

  1. Account-based marketing and its close cousin, account-based selling
  2. Tools like LinkedIn PointDrive, OneMob, and Folloze, which enable salespeople themselves – not HTML jockeys in the marketing department – to easily create Web pages with custom content
  3. People’s increasing appetite for short video messages

A quick story illustrates the use of account-based Web pages. A training manager recently contacted me and asked for a quote on a social selling workshop for her company. She indicated she’d be discussing the project with her VP of sales the next day.

I knew I had to act fast. My response was in the form of a custom Web page that included

  • A 45-second video overview explaining the assets on the page. It featured me speaking weatherman-style in front of the client’s Website as my green screen background.
  • A five-minute narrated PowerPoint® movie (mp4) describing my understanding of the requirements, our solution, and our credentials. It’s the PowerPoint I would have delivered in person if I could have traveled to the East Coast on the redeye flight at a moment’s notice.
  • A blog article one of my partners, Viveka von Rosen, wrote about 15 Ways to Rock Your Personal Branding with LinkedIn
  • A link to my Calendly page where they could book a meeting with me

When I opened my (West Coast) email the next day, the training manager had already booked an appointment with me for later that day…and she included her VP of sales.

When we all got on the video conference call, he told me he was impressed with my presentation of the solution. (I knew from the analytics that he had viewed the 45-second overview and the five-minute PowerPoint movie – and had opened the blog post.) He went on to say he had shared the page with his VP of marketing, who downplayed the video as “a simple green screen trick.” The VP of sales understood the demands of salespeople and he shot back, “This isn’t some marketing video that took weeks to produce. A sales guy did this within a few hours of our inquiry.” It was clear from that statement that he was on my side.

I told him we could teach his sales team how to do the same thing. It ended up being one of my shortest sales cycles ever (two days).

This story illustrates some of the benefits of account-based Web pages:

  1. They allow sellers to present their solutions to remote or hard-to-reach decision makers rather than rely on an intermediary messenger who is less knowledgeable, persuasive, and motivated than the seller. This is particularly valuable in situations where the seller cannot present in person due to time or geographic or role constraints – for example, if the seller is an inside sales rep in Chicago who is working the NYC territory.
  2. It’s a way to stand out from the competition, who often just emails a proposal document, thereby limiting the opportunity to inject their unique personality into the interaction. Sure, getting comfortable doing videos takes some practice, but I say, “Good! It’s the barrier that will keep many competitors from using it.”
  3. It provides analytical information on who viewed what content and for how long. This is important to know if a proposal is gaining momentum and being shared with people on the ever-increasing buying committee.

While account-based Web pages are powerful selling tools, the same technology can be used for marketing purposes. Here is a crazy promo I did for an executive sales conference.

So, make your prospects feel special and entertain them using an account-based Web page. You might shrink your sales cycle, too.

Kurt Shaver is chief sales officer at Vengreso.com.