Webinar tips and tricks
Developed by Marc Benioff in the late 90s, Salesforce is by far the most famous CRM software in the world.
Salesforce is used by over 150,000 customers across the globe. And if you are reading this post it is likely that, at some point, you have been in contact with Salesforce.
I must not be very far from the truth when I say that, statistically, a relevant portion of those customers have done webinars in the past. So, tracking your webinar information inside Salesforce is probably something you could be interested in.
But tracking activities in a CRM and tying those actions to revenue often comes with customization. And this is when it happens: you just stare at your dashboard and think: "How am I supposed to do this in Salesforce".
Customization in Salesforce is indeed very powerful, but it often requires a deep understanding of the platform. You need to really dive into the configuration to even start drawing your webinar workflow.
We've taken the dive for you and this is a simple workflow you will be able to reuse for your company.
Let's start with webinar KPIs. Often, people want to capture registration and participation information.
So we will watch for webinar registration data and attendance data linked to a contact for any given webinar.
Before we start, I wanted to underline that we are using Lightning and not Classic which can slightly change the location of certain settings.
I often refer to "contacts" and "leads." A contact in Salesforce is a "person" that can be linked to either an account or opportunity.
A lead is a prospect that your sales team try to convert in the form of accounts and opportunities. A qualified lead can be converted into a contact, account or opportunity.
Generally, a lead comes before a contact in a sales funnel.
Now let's list a couple of features that you could use to track webinar registration and attendees:
Tasks are often used to track to-do activities, such as calls, quote, emails, or follow-ups. Hence the presence of features like "due-dates."
It is true that you can use tasks to create a log of activities for your contact. But consider two things: first, you will be mixing two types of data sources, sales data and customer data. Second, Salesforce is not supposed to log all of your contact's events.
It's true that the webinar is probably hosted by you as a salesperson. Again you will create a task for the webinar hosting and then you will probably want to attach the customer's participation data, so you end up mixing two different things.
As far as we know, we have discarded tasks to not interfere with the way you do sales.
Salesforce Events are used to block one-off events that have a duration (unlike tasks). This looks more like our need for webinars, and often Salesforce users use it to log meetings and conference calls.
The main cons when trying to achieve a good workflow with webinars are the feeling of mixing data and a lack of personalization. The main problem was that each event was scoped to our contact.
Meaning that an event inside a contact's activity list will only be tied to the contact. rather than to all the contacts who had the same event. So, for a given event, I was not able to retrieve my list of attendees/registrants.
When researching the documentation (always read the docs), it says that the solution for tracking marketing activities like webinars is to use the Campaigns features:
Manage outbound marketing campaigns with direct mail programs, seminars, print ads, email, and other kinds of marketing collateral. Organize campaigns into hierarchies for easy analysis to see what works best for increasing your company’s sales. Salesforce makes it easy for you to quickly locate, manage, and report on campaigns.
Sounds pretty much like what we are looking for. Now, let's set up our first Salesforce campaign for webinars.
Head over to your Campaigns tab, and create a new campaign. In the creation form, under the campaign type, you will find a default option named "webinars" (which proves the relevance of campaigns in that case).
You will be able to give that campaign a name,a start and end date, and a status.
Here's the logic: for each webinar you create, you will set dates and a status (in-progress, finished, planned). At the end of the webinar, you will pass the status to "finished".
What about recurring webinars?
So you're hosting a recurring webinar (multiple dates) for your product demo you say? Easy.
You will create a "Product Demo" webinar campaign with the status "In-Progress" and for each new session, you will create a campaign with "Product Demo" as a "parent campaign".
You have your webinar campaigns set up in Salesforce, now let's work on getting the attendees.
Every campaign can be tied to contacts by adding them as "campaign members". In our webinar language, it can be translated to "adding attendees to your webinars".
In each campaign, you will have a button to add a lead or a contact:
We have our webinars in Salesforce as well as our attendees. We need to import our webinar data inside Salesforce to enrich our webinar attendees profiles.
Here's what we need:
You can add as many other fields as you need as long as you know what you are doing.
To configure the new status, you need to head over "object configuration" > "campaign member" > "fields and relationships" > click on "new field".
For both fields, you can create a new checkbox field set to unchecked by default.
To display the new fields information on your campaign member list, you can go to "object configuration" > "campaign" > "page layout" > "campaign layout".
Under "Related list" you can click on the tool icon next to the section title, and add the new custom fields you just created for the campaign members.
I agree that this requires a bit of manual action. You could just import a CSV export of your webinar attendees inside a Salesforce campaign. But to really get the most of this workflow, you should consider integrating you webinar software, Livestorm for instance, to Salesforce.
A simple automation workflow would look like this:
For each new webinar registration:
You can duplicate the same process for a contact.
This a very first simple approach to managing webinars and webinar attendees inside Salesforce. Of course, there are as many use cases as Salesforce users. This is our first take on the matter.
If you use Segment or a different software for tracking maybe you want to push your webinar data into those platforms.
Regarding the Salesforce interface here are some leads worth exploring: creating a new type of activity called "Webinars" with all the right data (but still on the contact level), or adding more fields to the campaigns.
A thought? A suggestion? Please add yours in the comments below.