We’ve heard time and time again questions about how we create so much content. There is a concept at our company called “Window Time.”
Window time is a simple process. Sales professionals are on planes, trains and automobiles all the time. They’re pretty busy. It’s rare to get their fingers to ever hit a keyboard and contribute to the company blog. But what salespeople can do better than anyone else in the world is talk.
Window time maximizes their down time such as commutes to work, sitting on the tarmac of an airplane, sitting on the train from New York to Philadelphia, etc. They have this downtime, but they’re still unwilling to write. But if you have a placed call from your marketing team, where they call them and they say, “We want to do an article on X. Talk about what you’re hearing from your customers,” it’s much easier to get them involved in the content process.
So the marketing person just lets the salesperson speak. That way, the salesperson can write a 500-word blog in minutes.
This process captures all the intellectual property that’s stored upstairs in the sales professionals minds. There’s dozens and dozens of these blogs just waiting to be written! And salespeople legitimately want their voices to be heard, they love to see their name in writing on the company’s blog site. But they usually aren’t willing to do the hard lifting. Window time maximizes all of these opportunities so everybody wins.
Here is a step-by-step process we use to complete Window time.
1) SCHEDULE TIME WITH A SALESPERSON
This can be done via Google Calendars, or using whatever internal time management systems your company uses. Before you schedule time with X person, ensure:
You’ve built an editorial calendar and have selected a topic that best speaks to that salesperson’s area of expertise. For example, for window time with an SDR, I suggest a topic on tactical tips, or with our CEO I suggest a topic on the future of social selling training, because these are the areas have the most insights in.
You’ve picked a time that works for both of you. Some salespeople have their best thoughts in the morning; others in the afternoon. If you want the most valuable insights, you have to carve out time when their thoughts are clear and unobstructed. Booking a half-hour session with a salesperson before they close that big deal? Not a good idea.
You’ve picked a location that works for both of you. The beauty about window time is that it can be done in person, over video chat, or on the phone. Note: Only resort to doing window time over email as a last option, as the natural ebbs and flows of conversation are often lost over email.
2) MAKE AND RECORD THE CALL.
Don’t be late. Treat window time as any other meeting. Ensure both parties are at ease before starting the recording.
There are many different kinds of software you can use to record your window time conversations, a few of which I’ve listed below.
This is the app I personally use to record calls. It’s reliable, relatively easy-to use and inexpensive. All you have to do is call someone on your phone through the app, and “merge” the call. Afterwards, your recording will be available as an mp3 file.
This online seminar software is excellent for recording audio and/or video with the use of a computer. The only thing to note is that only the creator of the meeting has access to the recording, so either get the salesperson to send you the recordings after or create the event yourself.
Google Hangouts and QuickTime
If you don’t have the budget for either of the above, a free workaround for recording video and/or audio is the combination of Google Hangouts and QuickTime. Simply type “QuickTime” player into the search bar on your computer, and under the “File” tab, and you can do various combinations of recordings.
The Good Ol’ Recorder
If you have the luxury of meeting in person, you can use any kind of recorder. Another, very easy option is the built in recording software on your mobile devices. On iPhone this is called “Voice Memos.”
After you’ve recorded the call and everything has gone smoothly, it’s time to transcribe. As a former journalist, I don’t mind transcribing conversations — in fact, I actually enjoy it. But anyone who’s ever transcribed before knows it can be a tricky process. Pay careful attention to natural pauses, punctuation, and rephrasing grammar.
If you are crunched for time and/or don’t have someone who can transcribe on staff, there are many programs or sites that will do this for you for a small fee. Fiverr, for example, is a huge freelance marketplace that includes transcription services.
You’re almost there. Now the finesse. If you and the salesperson haven’t decided on a title together, you need to come up with a catchy but not click-bait title for your post. A trick we do here is a title brainstorm: simply let your mind run and type out all the titles you can think of, and after you’ve come up with about twenty, stop and select one. Make sure it speaks to what the piece is about and entices your target audience to click on the blog.
Once you’ve picked a title, your marketing team will select a photo that best matches the theme of the blog. Make sure you’re signed up for a stock photo service such as Shutterstock or iStock. If not, you’ll have to take your own photos. (If you can’t afford photo licensing maybe you should rethink your blogging strategy).
Marketing and the social team will now publish your blog with the salesperson’s name, and promote it through your company’s email database and social channels.
To get the most visibility, the rest of your company should be leveraging employee advocacy and sharing your blog within their networks as well. Marketing — don’t forget to mention any companies or personalities in the post, as this could also increase your post’s chances of going viral.
And voila! Hopefully you have created a solid insight with your salesperson’s name attached. Don’t forget to analyze the results (what kind of posts resonate best with your target audience?) and optimize your process.
Want to further the conversation? Connect with me on LinkedIn!