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How Salesforce Made “The Story of Sales,” a Documentary All About Selling

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At the beginning of 2016, Lynne Zaledonis, a Vice President of Product Marketing at Salesforce, set sail on a creative voyage to make the very first documentary about sales. For the next nine months, Zaledonis and her team (with the help of an external film studio) channeled their inner filmmaker and produced The Story of Sales.

Read on to learn how Salesforce tackled one of their most ambitious projects to date — a feature-length documentary that explores the history, evolution, and future of sales. Be sure to watch the trailer and learn more about the film!

Salesforce first hit the sales software scene in 1999 with its cloud-based CRM and later established its dominance in the space with their Sales Cloud product. Sales is in their DNA, and educating the sales community is something they’ve continued to be extremely passionate about over the past twenty years.

But while providing tactical and technical how-to advice for their audience and customers is their bread and butter, they were eager to do more. Namely, they wanted to create a piece of content that would resonate with the sales community on an emotional level.

“While providing tactical and technical how-to advice for their audience and customers is their bread and butter, they were eager to do more. They wanted to create content that would resonate with the sales community on an emotional level.”

“Our intent was really to take the time to educate people on what the sales profession is and what it takes to be a successful salesperson — hard work and genuine care about customers,” says Zaledonis. “We wanted to celebrate salespeople. We wanted them to identify with our content and feel good about their careers and jobs.”

In addition to pursuing a new creative direction, Zaledonis and her team also wanted to deliver their message in a unique format to engage people outside of their traditional funnel, so they decided to go with video. But, what started out as a short-form video series, eventually turned into something much, much bolder.

“Back in 2016, we found out that one out of nine people were in sales. And that got us thinking — here’s a huge population of people who we might not be engaging with. Maybe we could connect with them through some different mediums,” says Zaledonis. “And that’s when we came across the idea of creating some videos or maybe some little shorts. The next thing you know, the project evolved into a feature-length documentary.”

The Story of Sales was the first-ever feature-length documentary that Zaledonis and her team had ever worked on. Fortunately, Zaledonis and her team’s desire to honor salespeople fueled their motivation to tackle the documentary head-on.

“We had created video clips, demo videos, interviews, and videos, but we’d never done something of this magnitude. And to my knowledge, no one had ever made a documentary about selling,” says Zaledonis. “So, we felt like it was our obligation to do that. We also just wanted to see what would happen. The result ended up being really fantastic.”

The product marketing team for the Sales Cloud product, which Zaledonis was Vice President of at the time, crafted The Story of Sales from first draft to final cut. While Zaledonis wasn’t involved in the filming of the documentary, she oversaw the project and assembled the team that executed the documentary’s creative direction.

The leader of this team was Jim Hopkins, one of Salesforce’s Senior Product Marketing Managers at the time and, luckily, a closet filmmaker. According to Zaledonis, he was the lifeblood of the project. “In his heart of hearts, Jim was super excited to be able to take this on,” says Zaledonis. “You really need that kind of person to stick with something this big and get it across the line.”

Zaledonis and her team also hired a production company called RockBridge to help produce the documentary. There were dozens of people who helped in other ways, too, like creating the soundtrack, finding people to interview, doing work behind the scenes, and writing blogs. “Like anything, it takes a village,” says Zaledonis.

When Zaledonis and her team asked industry thought leaders and educational institutions, like the University of Texas, to participate in the documentary, they were more than happy to do so. But persuading actual sales practitioners, like Mercy Manning, who was the documentary’s lead character, to do the same was a bit more challenging — they didn’t want to be cast in a negative light. But Zaledonis and her team assured them that their documentary would not just be another Tommy Boy or Glengarry Glen Ross.

“I think there was some skepticism about how salespeople would be portrayed in the film, so we had to convince them that we truly were passionate about sales, know it to be an honorable profession, and would make sure to portray them in that light,” says Zaledonis. “And once we explained that to them, they were really eager to be a part of it.”

Another challenge Zaledonis and her team had to conquer was balancing the scales between the project’s artistic side and business side.

“We faced the obstacles that a typical production team would, like time and budget constraints, which were tough to overcome because we had to strike a balance between the project’s business side and artistic side,” says Zaledonis. “The artistic side says we need more time, we need to shoot this, and we need to redo that. But then the business side says we need to hit our deadline and work with what we have.”

In order to strike that balance, Zaledonis and her team decided to premiere The Story of Sales at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual conference. Setting this deadline, which was nine months, would force them to make the tough decisions required to finish the film within their budget and time constraints.

“Setting this deadline, which was nine months, would force them to make the tough decisions required to finish the film within their budget and time constraints.”

When Dreamforce finally arrived, Zaledonis and her team made sure The Story of Sales’ premiere was one to remember. They debuted the documentary at the beautiful Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where they had a red carpet, food, and a cocktail hour.

“It was such a great way to celebrate the film,” says Zaledonis. “We invited our Dreamforce attendees to the premiere, and it was really exciting to see people who are passionate about sales come watch the documentary.“

Once the documentary started, Zaledonis’ favorite part of the premiere wasn’t actually watching the final version of the film — she’d already done that enough during post-production. It was watching the audience’s reaction to it.

“I’ve probably seen the documentary 50 times, so to watch other people laugh at the parts I laughed at and be like, ’Oh good, they got that!’ Or, conversely to be like, ’Really? They thought that was funny? I didn’t think that was funny at all,’” says Zaledonis. “The little things like that were really fulfilling.”

After Dreamforce, Salesforce made the screening of The Story of Sales available to several businesses and universities and hosted nationwide screening events that their account executives could invite customers to attend. The film was met with even more rave reviews at these screenings, so Salesforce decided to make the film available to anybody who requested it. Zaledonis even showed up to one private screening herself.

“I was in New York for a big conference, and somebody invited me to their sales organization’s showing of the documentary at their office,” says Zaledonis. “The film really resonated with them, which prompted a Q&A session after the film about the future of the sales profession. I ended up staying for a couple of hours.”

The Story of Sales was not only one of the best branded documentaries around but it also became a pillar piece of content for Salesforce. They could now cut up the documentary into additional pieces of content, such as webinars, to complement their brand awareness and lead generation efforts.

“We were able to chop up the documentary into a ton of additional content like blog posts, which opened up the door for a lot of conversations with our install base and our prospects,” says Zaledonis. “We also gated some of that additional content, so we were able to use these really inspirational and educational pieces to open even bigger conversations about their professional lives and the business challenges that they face every day. Gating the content generated a significant amount of leads, pipeline, and revenue, too.”

“We were able to use really inspirational and educational pieces to open even bigger conversations. Gating the content generated a significant amount of leads, pipeline, and revenue, too.”

Despite all the marketing and sales success that The Story of Sales is responsible for, Zaledonis believes the most valuable result it produced was the emotional bond it forged with the sales community.

“I think The Story of Sales raised a certain level of affinity or connection that we’ll never really be able to measure,” says Zaledonis. “That’s the funny thing about affinity. I think that there are people who we might’ve influenced to pursue a sales career or develop a connection with our brand, but we don’t know who they are. That still makes a difference, though. And I’m really proud of it. At the end of the day, creating an asset always serves a business purpose, but it’s nice when those soft benefits come out of it as well.“

As you can see, The Story of Sales had a huge impact on Salesforce’s brand. But its impact on the sales community as a whole is arguably even greater, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, as the documentary’s message is more relevant than ever.

Sales isn’t really about selling — it’s about helping people. And if the business world wants to revive the economy in the wake of a recession, adopting this mentality is the most important thing that the sales community can do. Because everyone will need help after this, and salespeople can play a crucial part in providing it.



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Video Marketing

What is Design and how it influences your company

Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets

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Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets. Aces. A good card. Let’s talk about one in particular. The design! Design as a holistic approach, capable of solving problems not only stylistic, but of all types. You can make your product unique, create a culture associated with your company and influence your investors and customers.

 

How Design Influences Your Company’s Brand and Culture

A company’s culture is based on beliefs and values. These are communicated through various points of contact. They change perceptions, behaviors and understandings. Contact points must be genuine, they must be exclusive to your company. The thinking and research behind design can help you create the story of your business. A competent designer plays a decisive role in planning your strategic decisions and in building that same culture. The sooner the results are defined, the faster it will grow in the right direction.

 

When you know what your company stands for, it’s simpler to build your brand. This goes beyond the logo, the look of the website or the products: the brand is the value that your customers and investors get with you.

 

How Design Influences the Product Experience

In the past, it was possible to achieve success almost by chance. But luck has been losing ground in the business scenario. The democratization of the internet has opened the door to creativity. We have people capable of getting a product up and running faster than ever. Competition is fierce. The standards for what is considered a successful product have also changed over time. Currently, customers expect a great user experience on the first click, on the first contact. As smartphones and tablets spread – with people searching for everything on these devices – potential customers’ expectations soar. Tolerance levels have also changed.

 

If your website is not visually appealing, if your application has a complex and buggy interface, you can be sure that you will lose customers in a matter of seconds. People want simple technological experiences. And design plays an extremely important role in ensuring the satisfaction of its customers. At pixelinmotion the designer understands market standards and is already familiar with what the customer wants. With this knowledge, you will be able to create a solution from scratch, which will make your product more valuable compared to the competition.

At pixelinmotion, we believe in this philosophy of proximity. Our approach to design is attentive to trends and will be able to boost your company to stardom. Get to work!

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Video Marketing

How to Use Video Data in Your Next Retargeting Campaign

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Retargeting is a common marketing technique that serves ads to people who have visited your site or specific sections of your site. This tactic is a great way to remain top of mind with people who have already expressed interest in your brand. Many people treat every visitor to their site the same way, serving the same ads to everyone. Retargeting is a more nuanced approach that serves more relevant ad content based on behavior — thus providing a better experience.

With Wistia, we’ve made it super easy for you to hone in on your niche audiences by using Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube to create different user segments based on actions that people take on your video.

Many businesses still haven’t taken advantage of the ability to segment visitors based on video behavior. Videos help potential customers build emotional connections with your brand, and people who have that connection are more likely to purchase in the future. In other words, when someone is willing to watch your 2–3-minute product video, there is a better chance that they’ll sign up for an account when prompted.

We’ve found that, on average, viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.

“Viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.”

Implementing segments like this within your retargeting campaigns allows you to reduce spend on less effective segments (like our homepage segment) while focusing on visitors who are farther along in your sales funnel and more connected to your brand.

Wistia allows you to keep track of key events like video engagement, video form conversions, channel subscriptions, and more. Once you connect these events with your retargeting provider, you’ll be efficiently serving up ads in no time!

The first thing you need to do is set up your integrations and then start creating segments in your retargeting provider. We’ll review how to do this across our four integration partners — Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and since then, the two have become one, making it super easy to advertise across both platforms.

First, we’ll quickly walk through how to set up the integration with FacebookAds. You can do this in your Wistia account under the account drop-down — you’ll see “integrations” as one of the options from this screen. Under the “promotion integrations” section, you’ll find “Facebook Ads.” Select the “connect” button to begin the process.

It’s important to note — you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account that has access to your Facebook Ads account and accept the user permissions. That’s it! Voila — easy peasy.

With the integration live, Wistia will begin to send viewer event data for any video you have embedded on your website to Facebook. Now you can get started targeting your ads with Reach & Retarget!

Facebook and Instagram give you several options for video-related “events,” including:

  • Percent watched
  • Seconds watched
  • Played Video
  • Subscribed

Once audiences are enabled, they will appear in the Audiences section of your Facebook Ads account. You can also log back in and create new audiences any time after the integration is live. You’ll do this by creating a “custom audience” and using “website traffic” as the data source.

On the Wistia side, we’ll also provide a few recommended audience segments in the “promote” section of your channel. If a segment feels relevant, simply select “enable” to set up the list.

Keep in mind that these pre-populated audiences are just suggestions — you’ll be able to set up many more variations of these in the Facebook Ads platform. This flexibility is really where the integration is most useful; it allows marketers to easily define and create custom audiences based on viewer behavior.

Google and YouTube

Similarly, Google acquired YouTube in 2006, so you’ll be able to easily manage ads across both platforms within Google Ads.

To set up this integration, you’ll need to connect Wistia to your Google Analytics account. Navigate to the account tab and select “integrations” (just like you did for the Facebook connection). Remember, you’ll need to be an account owner or manager to connect the accounts. From there, select “Google Analytics” and follow the prompts to connect the two platforms.

To feed this data into other Google properties, you’ll need to do a little work in your Google Analytics account — but we’ve got you covered!

In your Google Analytics account, head over to the admin panel. From there, you’ll see the main screen with several options; select “Google Ads Linking.” This workflow will allow you to send analytics data over to the Google Ads platform. And, since YouTube ads are managed through the Google Ads platform, you’ll be able to leverage this data across both platforms without any additional work.

If you’re curious about how a specific segment is performing, you can set up custom audiences in Google Analytics, which can also be sent over to Google Ads for retargeting. Alternatively, you can set up unique custom audiences directly within Google Ads.

Once the integration is live, we can start to send event data to the Google Analytics account that you’ve connected. The following events will be tracked:

  • Plays
  • % Watched
  • Conversions (i.e., Turnstile submissions)
  • Clicked Links (i.e., CTAs or annotations)
  • Subscribed
  • Time Watched

You’ll see a few suggested audiences in Wistia and can turn those on or off at any time. But remember — these are just a few ideas to help you get started. Get creative with your audiences and segments to really unlock the power of retargeting!


Ok, great, you have your integrations set up, and the data is rolling in. Now what?

Connecting your accounts is the easy part. The next step is to roll up your sleeves and start creating your custom audiences. Here are a few specific examples of how you can use video retargeting throughout the conversion funnel.

Build brand affinity with video series

Are you promoting a new show or video series? If so, nurturing folks to finish an episode and the series is a great way to keep viewers engaged and build brand affinity.

You can take two approaches to this. First, retarget folks who started but did not finish an episode. To do this, set up a list on each episode for viewers that did not complete a defined percentage of a video (<75%, as an example). Then, serve this segment ads reminding them to finish. The best part? With Wistia’s resumable video feature, viewers will be able to pick the video back up right where they left off. Pretty cool, huh?

The second approach is to retarget folks who did finish an episode to encourage them to continue their journey with the next episode. To do this, set up a segment based on video completions, and serve these viewers ads for your next episode.

Nudge prospects with helpful resources

Video can do so much more than simply drive awareness for your brand; it can be a powerful tool to help nurture folks through your sales funnel. An example of this would be to use retargeting to provide helpful and timely resources related to the problem that your product or service solves.

This segment could be folks who convert on a video (fill out a Turnstile form). For example, you might gate a webinar or robust video asset on your website and then retarget those viewers to take the next step in your conversion funnel, perhaps downloading a related asset or viewing a product demo.

Drive leads for super engaged viewers

Are you looking to drive qualified leads from your videos? If so, Wistia has you covered. The exact equation for how you qualify leads will vary — but the same logic still applies. To do this, decide on what specific actions you view as “qualified.”

Let’s take folks who watched a high percentage of a high-intent video. For example, if viewers complete more than 75% of a product demo video, you could retarget them to set up a call with a solutions consultant for a personalized walk-through.

These are just a few examples of how you can get creative and set up custom audiences for retargeting. The options are only limited to your imagination. Meet with your team to decide on a few key segments that make sense for your business, and start building your lists today!

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Video Marketing

Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020

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Video marketing

The way content was created earlier has now changed completely, and innovation is now becoming the key in today’s content creation.

About 78% of people are watching online videos on a weekly basis and 55% daily, it is a big opportunity for brands and corporations to focus their marketing strategies more towards creating videos. 

Video engages your audience more effectively than text content, and they can understand the message you want to deliver in a much easier way. 

With videos, your audience can learn about what your business is doing in their daily life rather than reading blogs. 

Your audience prefers to watch the video over text content as it takes less time than reading text content, and the flow of engaging with content remains constant. Thus, focusing on video is crucial for marketers in 2020. 

Are you planning to jump to create video content for your brand? Learn these best video marketing ideas to do wonders in 2020. 

Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020

1. Get Sales With Shoppable Videos

Sales are the most important aspect for any business especially when it is the festive season. This season brings an opportunity for the brands to leverage the consumer intent to make more purchases and gifts.

Shoppable videos are the videos where users can buy the products in real-time directly from the video.

As a brand, you can create shoppable videos using a visual marketing tactic called visual commerce platforms that allows you to curate video content, tag products, and publish the shoppable video gallery on website or online store.

2. Engage Audience With Storytelling

In 2020, marketing strategies are more focused on storytelling as it connects business with real-life emotions. 

Storytelling delivers the purpose of business and what value they are giving to their customers. Whether it is text content or video, storytelling is an effective way to gain the loyalty of your customers and build their trust in a brand. 

However, reading text is a tedious task; video with storytelling has a greater impact on your audience. Not only your customers will engage with your content, but they also comprehend the message easily. 

3. Create Short Videos With Message

Nobody wants to waste their time, especially when they are engaging with a brand’s marketing content. Keeping your video for a short duration for all platforms, whether social media, website or any place where your customers interact with you has a great impact on your business.  

Shorter videos also increase the possibility that the audience will watch an entire video rather than leaving in-between. 

When people see a video is too long, they even don’t like to click on it or if it is an ad they skip and do not watch it.

In order to connect with your audience in 2020, you have to focus on creating shorter videos about 5 seconds to 2 minutes. 

Also, remember that lengthiness of video depends on the platform where you are sharing the content.

Thus, it is found that shorter videos help in boosting brand awareness and engagement among online audiences by 30%.

4. Make Mobile-Friendly Videos With Vertical Watch Option

As people are watching more videos and using mobile phones instead of computer screens, demand for vertical videos that can be watched directly from mobile phones has increased.

75% of mobile users say they like to watch vertical videos instead of horizontally on the mobile experience. It is because, in vertical videos, the audience gets a full picture on their screen, and there is no extra content. 

Thus, make sure to create videos for your brand promotion and marketing that is responsive to any screen and can be played vertically. 

5. Make An Engaging Video With UGC

User-generated content is the essential component of the marketing strategy in 2020. It is helpful in building trust by letting know your new customers about what your existing customers are saying about your brand. 

User-generated content is effective because it is created by your customers themselves, and you do not pay them a single penny to create it. 

You can curate user-generated content using social media aggregators and make a video that tells your new customers about your happy customers. 

People talk about your brand over social media in various forms of content, whether images, text, or videos, you can collect these UGC videos and compile them to make a single compelling video to promote your business.

6. Create Video That Convert Audience

As a marketer, you have to make sure that the video content you create brings conversions. Not that it just delivers the message, but it should be compelling enough to drive traffic to buy your product. 

Create value in the content so that your audience feels connected and like to take the next step to make purchase decisions. 

Video is the essential component of the marketing funnel and makes your customer journey effective to make a purchase decision. 

Make sure the video should not be promotional but contrary a value that your audience needs to buy your product and solve their problems.  

7. Don’t Forget To Create Stories On Social Media.

As you publish your brand’s marketing video on various platforms, social media is the crucial network that you should focus on. These days social media platforms have added features in which you can add stories which are small videos that your followers can watch. 

These stories are effective in telling your audience about the daily activities and create entertaining content to engage with them. 

Instagram has 500 million active users who interact with social media content regularly. Now other platforms also have story features that make possible that you connect with your audience wherever they are. Thus it is a great opportunity to post stories on social media to interact with your followers regularly and tell them about your presence. 

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