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Bulk video production for sales enablement

One of our biggest projects ever was 700 minutes of simple animations doing sales enablement content for a company we can’t publicly disclose due to an NDA.

During this project, we set up a local team in Vancouver specifically to

  • Hold daily meetings with the client to discuss bottlenecks
  • Have everyone in one place for an optimized production pipeline
  • Be able to troubleshoot through any problems - junior to senior animators

What was mind-blowing is that in the end, our production cost was 30-40% LOWER than what we had initially not only thought - but been quoted by other production teams.

Which really shows the power of an effective process for bulk videos. Especially if you want to make hundreds of minutes for sales reps hungry for micro-learning.

How do you deliver sales enablement content?

The first thing we had to learn was it’s not done in a typical way. 

And that’s when we learned about sales readiness software in particular Mindtickle.

We had never considered even the need for onboarding salespeople with video, or how it could be used directly within the dashboards they were using.

In fact, something which stuck with us is a story the client told about one of their best sales trainers who way flying around the country giving presentations with PowerPoint to rooms of reps.

The word used to describe this was: unscalable.

Not bad, or ineffective, but just questions of: 

  • how do we get this information to everyone in the organization? 
  • How does everyone deliver one message, one unified brand experience? 
  • What’s the fastest way to level up everyone?

Here we learned about micro-learning. About the principles of learning like repetition, using text to re-iterate main points, and keeping the speed accessible.

What was the process like on this project?

At some point, the throughput was upwards of 50+ minutes of animation per week. 

This stress-tested our systems hard. At some points - it was hard to do QC. 

At other points, the client would be backed up with feedback and it would all come in at once.

Sometimes the agency delivering the briefs wasn’t ready.

Sometimes it was just us. Multiple mistakes. People being people.

Wow. Some days it was rough. 

I remember specifically the beginning of the project - before having onboarded staff, other animators, we had to handle the whole thing with 2 people.

Those early days were hectic, but within 2 weeks we had a team of 8 people up and ready to go. 

Within about 1 month a process emerged from working with the agency, client, and us:

  1. Agency creates briefs + content
  2. Our team uses visual systems, guidelines to turn into videos
  3. Client approves 
  4. Client team uploads to MindTickle
  5. Execs/program leaders approve 

Revisions could honestly happen at any part of the process - and - they would just have to get done. There were no two ways about it… which again, created some weird production pipeline back and forth.

And made things like after effects version history and project file management essential. Imagine having 40+ renders with similar titles as part of a series, but one is misnumbered, or you don’t have the source files for a render you did 4 weeks ago.

These are the problems that surface at this kind of scale.

So it takes a lot of diligence, detail, and devotion to keep everything moving on track towards the daily, weekly and monthly quota deadlines. 

Ways to improve bulk video production

From this project, we managed to learn a lot. 

In fact, since then our overall effectiveness and efficiency has risen - having to do such an enormous scale really makes you re-think about systems and processes.

Some of our key lessons learned:

  1. It really pays to do it right the first time. This means super tight briefs. Strong feedback loops. And most importantly: vigorous quality control - let nothing slip through the cracks.

  2. Clients will be clients. Their expectations will be sky-high, and deadlines will be even tighter, higher more than you need for the days you need it.

  3. Creatives work at different throughputs. With something like illustration/animation not everyone has the same technique, process, and therefore output varies - that’s fine.

  4. You can always do more. In terms of planning ahead, finding ways to optimize video creation processes, even things like file structure, or team communication. At scale, there’s a ton of improvements to continuously pursue which are justified.

  5. Cash flow was an issue. It took about 2 months before it stabilized. We could have negotiated better terms around this, at the time it didn’t “seem” important.

  6. Because of this hiring was delayed, and purchasing equipment took more time than it should have. Usually, this wouldn’t be an issue, but with scale, even 1 day of delay adds up really fast to a lot of work.

Hiring the team was an adventure as well. From going through hundreds of candidates to doing in-person interviews, to trying to understand what’s a good amount of output.

It was one of the most draining parts of the whole project - since we would do 8 hours of interviews for basically a week straight, while still needing to manage other aspects of it.

So the solution: start interviewing way in advance, build out your team and roster so you can hit the ground running. All in all, we kept our head above water and delivered plus evolved our own processes along the way. Win-win.

What about the future of video and sales enablement?

Most sales trainers or managers seem to be in agreement: we will see video continue to skyrocket for sales enablement.

The future is: more video.

There’s more though. What about the edits?

We’re realizing that there are limitations to videos and one of those is massive amounts of work editing and revising existing content.

Some teams are at maximum capacity editing and optimizing video assets for different regions, languages and it’s not exactly exciting work - and there might be weeks or months of it.

The problem? You can’t just use AI, humans need to do it. 

And you can’t have outdated information being spread to reps. All this speaks to the importance of planning refresh dates into the content.

Making sure it’s split up into parts, well documented, and that the source files can easily be edited. Because more and more refreshes are going to be a normal part of the future.

The same way marketing videos have a shelf life, so do your internal training or educational campaigns. And it’s only natural that the cost calculation should be factored into your sales enablement training program.

  • Can you do the edits in house? 
  • Will you need a special team?
  • Will you need completely new training at that point?

These are some of the questions to consider when approaching a project with scale in the hundreds of minutes. 

Video content drives sales readiness        

Your perfect sales rep is one who is informed, knowledgeable, can advise clients beyond their limitations. Can drive the interaction, move it forward.

This sales rep needs content. They want it. They want to consume everything and anything about your product, brand, history, context, details, information… 

And it’s up to you to decide how to get it to them. Video will inevitably be a part of this strategy. How much. Where? When? Why?

These are the questions that you need to answer to make video content at scale that drives sales readiness and gets you the outcomes you want (faster onboarding, better retention, knowledge).

It’s not a magic button, but, it’s is without a doubt one of the most engaging mediums currently out there. How will you take advantage to scale your sales enablement training?

Rocketwheels bulk video production service maybe just what your organization needs.

Micro-assessments may be the next step to sales readiness.

Knowledge checks. Simulation. Observation.

These can maximize the impact of video. 

Yes, we agree that video is an effective medium - but we must learn what we apply. Some experts in sales readiness give a good case for sales rep micro-assessments to go with video content. 

It seems like most programs already have an element of this at some level - but - it’s worth pointing out that applying what you learn immediately does lead to better retention.

What’s known as a continuous learning journey (wait this is starting to sound a lot like life).

We’ll keep you informed as more emmerges on this front. Rocketwheel team out.

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