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Shorten Sales Cycle by Tracking PDF Documents and Presentations

Written by Lidia Vijga
Shorten sales cycle by Tracking PDF documents and presentations

In today’s virtual sales world, having the ability to tell which prospects are really interested in your offerings and being able to follow up with them in a strategic way is priceless.

Did you know that you can track PDF files in real-time and get actionable engagement data?

PDF document tracking enables savvy sales teams to track pdf opens, see how many people opened their PDF files, how many times the PDF files were shared, how much time people spend per each page, track pdf downloads, and many many other engagement data points.

Just like your marketing team monitors your company website’s traffic doing marketing analysis using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, PDF tracking does the same thing but for PDF files.

Continue reading to discover how PDF document tracking can help you access game-changing insights that were previously out of your and your inside sales team and outside sales team reach.

To learn more about inside sales, be sure to read our article.

Table of Contents

Tracking PDF documents is essential for virtual selling.

The virtual sales environment has many advantages that inside sales teams appreciate: a broader client base that is not limited by geography, and more contact opportunities through new channels, like live and asynchronous video. Despite these benefits, inside sales teams understand that their sales processes and strategies must adapt in order to succeed in virtual selling environments.

Three two primary concerns about virtual selling are:

How can you tell if a lead is warm?

How can you develop strong relationships with prospects and clients remotely?

How do you build and maintain sales momentum?

In other words, inside sales teams are missing out on insights that could help them identify warm leads and engage prospects and clients more effectively. With more and better insights, they would be able to create stronger relationships with their clients.

Cold leads are bad when trying to maintain momentum in B2B sales

For example, it would be extremely helpful to know which prospects are genuinely interested in your products or services and be able to see which parts of your PDF file or presentation they spend the most time on so you can follow up more strategically. PDF document tracking gives inside sales teams the power to effectively identify which companies and which deals they should be more persistently going after.

Here’s how you can use PDF tracking to identify warm leads, nurture relationships with your prospects more effectively, and accelerate the sales cycle:

1. Identify engaged customers beyond email open rate with PDF document tracking.

While face-to-face meetings are still not an option for many sales teams, sales reps are increasingly turning to other methods to enhance their understanding of what prospects and clients are engaged (and who isn’t).

Taking advantage of prospect engagement data to identify who to follow up with and how to follow up is crucial for creating and maintaining sales momentum and improving sales closing ratios.

Sales video follow-ups

Although many sales enablement solutions allow sales reps to see if prospects open their emails, they don’t provide any insight into how prospects engage with their sales materials (marketing or sales presentations and proposals) once it’s sent out and most significantly if those PDF files were distributed to new stakeholders.

Moreover, with the rollout of Apple Mail Privacy Protection, the email open rate is no longer a reliable metric. As a result, inability to track PDF files can have a significant detrimental impact on the inside sales team’s performance.

If you want to learn more about apple mail privacy protection, be sure to read our article.

Too often, sales reps mistake an email opener for a prospect that is genuinely interested. We need to see what prospects are doing beyond simply opening emails. PDF tracking analytics gives us the ability to track PDF opens, collect information on how much time people spend per page, and more in order to better understand which companies and deals we should prioritize without spending time on deals that will go nowhere.

You can use DeckLinks to prioritize your prospects into HIGH, MEDIUM, and LOW priority lists based on their engagement with your PDF documents and presentations so that you can follow up with them more effectively.

What is DeckLinks? Simply put, it is like Google Analytics for PDF presentations and documents. And it also allows you to video narrate your PDFs and send video emails!

Learn why email open rate is not the best metric to measure prospect engagement and what are the alternatives.

High priority prospect:

Prospects who have frequently engaged with and read your PDF files and sales presentations, and have shared them with their colleagues.

Medium priority prospect:

Prospects who have engaged with and read your PDF files once or twice and never shared them with anybody else.

Low priority prospect:

Prospects who opened and maybe even responded to your emails but haven’t yet had their interest piqued by your PDF presentation.

DeckLinks provides a level of insight into prospects’ engagement that feels like magic. It is something that every sales rep has to experience!

By prioritizing prospects, you will be able move them more efficiently down the sales funnel, and build and maintain sales momentum more effectively.

2. Identify the key decision-makers with PDF tracking before it's too late.

Have you ever been blindsided by a lead telling you they’re the only decision-maker when you later find out that’s not true?

If you had used document tracking, you would have gotten notifications whenever your PDF files and presentations were forwarded or opened by somebody else. This way, if it was forwarded to their boss or another decision-maker, then you could’ve easily adjusted your follow-up strategy.

Knowing who is actually invested in the deal makes following up much simpler.

DeckLinks notifies you every time a prospect interacts with your sales materials, and when your PDF files are viewed by somebody else. This way, you are no longer sending your PDF documents and presentations to a black box. You’re always in the loop about when your PDF files are being shared within a company.

By taking advantage of document tracking you can understand who is interacting with your sales collateral and how often, you can optimize the sales content, your messaging, and follow-ups to better fit their needs and interests.

Tracking PDF files also allows sales reps to see which stakeholders are more engaged in the buying process based on their interactions with shared content. Having this level of visibility can help accelerate the sales cycle by uncovering the real decision-makers involved.

By understanding the concerns of all of the stakeholders and decision-makers involved in a purchasing decision, sales reps can better focus their pitch to match the organization’s needs and interests. Document tracking gives sales reps an edge when moving the deal down the sales pipeline helping them accelerate the sales cycle.

Video selling analytics

DeckLinks enables sales reps to identify additional stakeholders at the earliest stages of the sales cycle by taking advantage of the document tracking. This is important because if your prospect tells you they’re the only decision maker and you keep seeing other unique visitors viewing your PDF files, then that contact is likely not the only decision-maker or not a decision-maker at all!

The best course of action, in this case, would be to try to get in front of the other decision-makers as quickly as possible. Talk to your prospect and see if you can set up a meeting with other members of their team. Or you can offer to share an asynchronous video presentation (more on this later). Don’t attempt to skip past your contact. It is likely to backfire and you may lose the opportunity.

3. Engage prospects and clients with trackable video PDF presentations.

You can convert your existing static PDF file or a sales presentation into an asynchronous video PDF using DeckLinks!

Simply upload your PDF file and begin video narrating your PDF presentation as if you are on a live video sales call with a prospect or client. Your video PDF presentation can then be shared via a link that can be viewed on any device. And the best part … you can track your video PDF presentations just like you would track PDF documents without video narration! Plus, the video makes your PDF files and presentations more engaging and more personal.

how to create a presentation video in 2 steps

Asynchronous video presentations are a very effective way to engage prospects and clients. Unlike live video conferencing, asynchronous presentations allow the viewer to watch the presentation at their convenience.

Video PDF presentations are an extremely powerful sales and marketing tool. Not only do they enable you to explain even the most complex products and services clearly and concisely but they also allow you to connect with the prospect or a client on a human level.

The recipients can also pause and rewind your video PDF presentation if they need to review any information and then reach out to the sales rep with any questions or comments. This makes asynchronous presentations an ideal solution for busy decision-makers who want to learn more about a product or service without having to commit to a live video call. And you can track PDF in real time.

Not only that but if you are dealing with a non-decision-maker or a gatekeeper you can give them a link to your asynchronous video presentation so that they can share it with all of the decision-makers. This way you are not relying on your contact to deliver your sales pitch properly.

Make a presentation video to avoid corporate telephone issues

Control over the sales process is critical for sales reps. If a sales rep is relying on a product champion or a gatekeeper to communicate their sales pitch to the decision-makers, they lose control of the sale process.

4. PDF tracking makes it easier to personalize emails and follow-ups.

People don't read long emails, send a video message

Even though it is tempting to create your sales presentation around your product, it is more effective to tailor your presentation and narrative to your prospect’s unique situation.

By taking advantage of document tracking and tracking PDF files and presentations you are gaining full visibility into customer engagement metrics at every stage of the sales cycle.

PDF tracking provides essential insight that can help you tailor your conversations and follow-ups. Most of the time, measuring engagement is limited to email opens and clicks. But if you want to understand how prospects are progressing through your sales presentation or proposal, you need to go deeper.

You should examine client engagement throughout the entire PDF presentation. DeckLinks’ PDF tracking analytics allow you to assess the time people spend per each individual page, how many people engaged with your presentation this way you can identify exactly what content captured and retained viewers attention and what slides didn’t resonate with the prospects at all.

When it comes to your sales presentations, being able to determine which sections your prospect focuses on offers you an edge when it is time to write a follow-up email or jump on a video call.

Although CRMs like HubSpot have their advantages like being able to see whether or not your email was opened or not, they are lacking granular PDF tracking analytics. This becomes an issue when important information like PDF documents and sales or marketing presentations needed to be viewed by the prospect outside of the email client.

Therefore, solely relying on the email open rate is not an effective way to truly understand the level of engagement. If sales reps aren’t tracking PDF files their ability to effectively determine which sales content or products resonate with the prospect or client is practically non-existent.

Let’s assume I send an email with a PDF file attachment to a prospect, Bobby. Bobby opens the email, and because tracking is based on the recipient, it shows that Bobby opened it. If Bobby were to forward that email to somebody else, it would appear that he opened the email more than once. This is due to one of the email tracking limitations. It is only showing whether an email has been opened rather than whether it was shared with or opened by somebody else.

In this case, it can appear as if Bobby opened that email twenty times. However, is he really that interested in your offering or did he simply forward it to many other people? Either way, that means my message has really resonated with Bobby and his team, right? Not necessarily.

We’ve all received pretty bad sales emails before and passed them along to others as a comical example of how not to engage a potential customer. This is every sales rep’s worst nightmare! Simply by using PDF document tracking the sales rep would be able to see that even though email open rate went through the roof, nobody even looked at the PDF file. Therefore, the prospect probably not be really interested in the offering.

Without definitive data, there’s no way of knowing whether or not this scenario is actually taking place.

Be sure to read our article on how to increase sales engagement.

Pairing DeckLinks with sales tools like Lavender can give you the ability to write better emails to engage prospects, connect with them on a human level with video PDF presentations, and identify the most engaged leads using PDF tracking analytics.

My favorite way to get the best of both worlds is to include a DeckLinks link in the emails I send out to prospects using HubSpot. I get the advantage of scalability along with PDF tracking analytics. If I see that a prospect isn’t engaged with any PDF documents or presentations I’ve shared, then disqualifying them quickly helps me save a lot of time. I may also consider reevaluating my email messaging and sales collateral.

Be sure to read our article that will help you nail all your video sales calls with our virtual presentation tips and tricks.

5. Create trackable data rooms to maintain sales momentum.

DeckLinks’ data rooms streamline the process of sharing information with prospects by eliminating email chains and multiple links. The data rooms also allow tracking PDF downloads.

Data rooms are not limited to PDF files, you can upload any other file formats and even add any external links that can be tracked as well. You can easily see how your prospects engage with your content, and follow up accordingly. Plus, updating a PDF document only has to be done once – any shared links will update automatically.

If your contact is not a decision-maker, they may ask for a lot of unneeded documents and information. For example, they might request a vendor comparison page or a document on HubSpot integration. If they’re not reading or opening these PDF files, it could be because they’re not interested in your product or they are too busy. You can bring it up during your next conversation to determine whether they truly require more information.

For inside sales teams that haven’t implemented DeckLinks in their sales processes and don’t track PDF documents, sales reps can only assume that prospects view the materials they’ve shared. While the inside sales teams that are sending deck links have real evidence that their prospects did or did not look at the sales materials. Therefore they know how thoroughly they need to cover the key points from the shared materials during their next video call or an in-person meeting. This enables sales reps to create and maintain sales momentum.

The best way to use DeckLinks’ data rooms is by creating a custom company profile for your prospects. Your company profile should include any relevant pieces of content, like specific case studies for their particular industry and any relevant content. By doing this, you’ll be able to track engagement more easily and your offerings will come across as being tailored specifically to them.

Potential clients will feel appreciated and valued when you tell them that you’ve created a custom client portal just for them. Best of all, it only takes minutes to set up and you can create templates that you can reuse!

DeckLinks makes it very easy to update documents and PDF files in data rooms. You can even replace your main PDF presentation with a new one. And if the new PDF file got the same number of pages, your video narration will stay intact too! This way you don’t have to rerecord your video narration all over again!

When sales reps are updating collateral without DeckLinks, they usually attach their PDF presentations or proposals to an email, which means they lose control of the documents they have previously sent. Their prospect may be comparing the old and the new proposal side by side, but with DeckLinks a sales rep can quickly turn off document and PDF downloads, ensuring that prospects have only access to the most recent, up-to-date PDF documents and presentations.

Be sure to read our article on how to build and maintain sales momentum.

If you find yourself with a large PDF file that you really want to share via email, you can compress your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat DC (or Pro) or use our online PDF compressor.

6. Provide detailed sales collateral insights to your sales team with PDF document tracking.

You could be asking yourself what else you can do with all of DeckLinks’ document tracking data. Can it be directly synced back to my CRM? Yes, it can!

Not only that you can also access all of your sales materials and video presentations directly from, for example, HubSpot.

You can generate unique trackable deck links, right inside HubSpot, and share them with your prospects and clients.

DeckLinks’ HubSpot integration enables inside sales teams to see how their content is performing at every stage in the buyer’s journey.

In the past, sales reps would have had no way of knowing whether the material they were sending out was having an impact. With DeckLinks you can keep track of content as it travels through the sales process.

With HubSpot – DeckLinks native integration, you can enhance the sales process in various ways.

For example, you can create automated workflows inside HubSpot that correspond with customer engagement on your PDF presentation. If a prospect spends more time reading about Product B, an email providing more information on the said product can be triggered automatically! How cool is that?

Sales deck - Next step CTA

Learn more about video sales and how using video for sales can improve your productivity, help you build and maintain sales momentum and accelerate the sales cycle.

If you are interested in our free PDF tracking tool, you can register here and get started with DeckLinks today (Google Analytics for your PDF files and sales presentations)!

Track PDF files and presentations.

Close deals faster.

Share video narrated PDF documents and accelerate the sales cycle.

New to using video for sales? Want to brainstorm some video selling ideas with our team?

Hop on a virtual coffee with us! Let’s make a video PDF presentation together and take your sales videos to the next level!

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