Consultative sales is often an intensive process that requires one-on-one relationship management, making it a lengthy sales cycle and usually very expensive in terms of cost of acquisition. There are right ways and wrong ways to approach consultative sales, but that’s not our focus today. Whether you approach it more like an advisor or a manager, online video can help move your prospects through the sales cycle and convert them to a paying customer. Here’s how.

Start at the Beginning

The consultative sales process begins when a customer comes to your company with a problem. You may not know the problem they are trying to solve yet, but you likely have a solution, and in doing research for options, they discovered your company.

Video can help with this by improving your on page SEO, and by giving your company presence on multiple social channels focused on video. Video helps with SEO because it is a rich content element on a page, and because it can improve vital page stats that help your site move up through the rankings. Using tricks like transcripting your video can increase keyword density on the page, and visitors who view a video tend to stay on the page a lot longer than those who do not, improving your bounce rate and time on site statistics which contribute directly to page rank.

Video also enables you to be present on sites where a lot of your potential future customers are spending a lot of their time. YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram and Facebook are all potential outlets for your video, and a great video can be shared very widely.

Moving Through the Sales Process

Video is especially powerful downstream in the sales cycle because it can communicate important information more effectively. Nearly 60% of executives will watch a video before reading text on a page, meaning you are more likely to capture attention if you have a video on the page.

Percent of executives who will watch video before reading text via Forbes
Chart Credit Forbes

Although the data from the Forbes study is somewhat dated today, it’s safe to assume the proportion of executives and other people in buying positions seeking video for information has only increased over time. Video has permeated many types of sales because it provides information so efficiently. For instance, video has been shown to make people 85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a video about it. Video has even been shown to increase cart size by up to 74%.

Qualifying Leads

Video offers double advantages when it comes to qualifying leads. If you capture a lead at the end of a product explainer video on your website, for instance, you have already started convincing a prospect that they need your product or service. By the time that lead is routed to a salesperson, you already know they processed the information in the video and went for your call-to-action. What’s particularly nice about this is they will be anticipating contact from your company, which sure beats cold-calling or similar prospecting methods.

Sealing the Deal

Even the best salesperson won’t be able to anticipate a customer’s every need, or respond immediately to every request for information. Video works extremely well as a self-serve research tool. Case studies, testimonials, product information, the setup process, and ongoing optimization are all great topics for videos that can be leveraged for prospects as well as existing clients. This type of content can help move people along the sales cycle while also helping with retention down the road.

Want to implement video in your sales cycle? Have you tested it? What were the results? Tell us about it in the comments below or share with us on Twitter.