It’s easy to understand why people are more honest, agreeable, and willing to do deals face-to-face, because looking someone in the eye gives you a natural level of trust. But in today’s virtual selling and remote work world, the ability to meet a prospect in person is limited. The fix? Video for sales.
Video is no longer used just for product demos. With the help of online video platforms, video can be at every stage of the sales cycle from outreach through to closed-won and handed off. We’re talking about one-way video, known as asynchronous video, which brings back that high-fidelity face-to-face connection and all the mutual accountability that comes with in-person meetings.
Asynchronous video is nothing short of a sales secret weapon and this article will explain how to use it to crush your quota.
- 1. The Benefits of Video for Sales
- 2. Where to Use Video Throughout Your Sales Cycle
- 2.1 Grab Attention
- 2.2 Breathe Life into Your Value Prop
- 2.3 Move Deals Towards Close
- 3. The 4 Types of Video for Sales
- 3.1 Webcam Video (a.k.a. Selfie Video)
- 3.2 Screen Share Video
- 3.3 Video Playlist
- 4. Video Selling Best Practices
- 5. Why Sales Teams Need a Video for Sales Strategy
- 6. Selling Your Team on Video
- 7. Get Up and Running with Video for Sales
- 8. The Key to Getting Started is Starting
The Benefits of Video for Sales
Video makes people’s ears perk up. Almost all of us feel compelled to click a play button when we see it, and that gives you the power to compel people to watch your video, even when they wouldn’t read what you wrote.
If you clicked the button above, you know what I mean. Really, there are five good reasons you should be using video in your cycles.
- Break through inboxes and can earn 3x more responses.
- Build relationships at a distance. Video makes people feel like they know you, which makes them more emotionally committed and responsive.
- Explain complex topics simply. Video allows you to show, not just tell, and explain more thoroughly.
- Save time. Higher response rates mean more time spent actually selling.
- Accelerate deal cycles. Some companies cut their deal cycles in half with video.
That’s probably why HubSpot has called video prospecting one of the 10 skills every sales development rep needs to master. (And they’re not the only ones who stand to benefit.)
HubSpot uses video across their entire global sales organization spread across five continents. With video, they’ve achieved 4x booked meetings. Hear from three people in HubSpot’s sales organization on how they use video, how they rolled it out to such a large team, and why they think it’s so important to sales success. Get the full story in our case study.
Ready to try? The only question is where you should begin.
Where to Use Video Throughout Your Sales Cycle
Not sure when to use video in the sales process? In short, video is useful anywhere in your sales cycle where you’d like higher conversions. It excels at the top of the funnel, where you’re trying to crack the attention barrier, but also in the middle and bottom, where you’re trying to dislodge sticky deals and guide them to close.
Subject lines that contain “video” are more likely to be opened, and emails that contain a video are highly likely to get a click. That’s even more true if they include an attention-grabbing thumbnail.
Video prospecting works just as well in LinkedIn InMails and Twitter DMs as email. In addition to driving new leads, they’re also effective for cracking into target accounts in account-based marketing programs. Wherever attention is finite and standing out is paramount, videos help.
In this video, Pat grabs her prospects’ attention by using everyday office supplies to create an eye-catching gif thumbnail.
Breathe Life into Your Value Prop
When you have someone’s attention, you can explain your points much more clearly with video than you can a novel-length email or a PDF that’s dense with screenshots. Video is good for walking through a deck or explaining the reason you reached out.
Vidyard’s own sales reps like to walk through the prospect’s LinkedIn page or website to point out why they’re such a good fit.
Matt Hall from Woodway UK made an unboxing video to show prospects where they’re going wrong with packaging, and how he can help. To double down he also used the Vidyard bubble feature over top of his unboxing video so that he could walk the prospect through the pitch.
Showing the prospect their own company’s product provides a compelling reason for them to click.
Move Deals Towards Close
Maintain deal momentum with video reminders. If you use video throughout your sales process, prospects grow increasingly accustomed to your face. Many Vidyard sales reps report that customers say they feel like they already know each other by the time they meet, and that’s a big competitive advantage. It makes people feel more accountable to you.
If a deal gets tied up over technicalities or stakeholders drag their feet, you can unstick things with targeted micro-demos. They’re perfect for prospects who feel hesitant about committing to a full demo, or for explaining the value proposition in terms that matter to a particular business unit. End the video with a link to your calendar.
Video continues to be useful even when the deal is won. It’s great for contract walkthroughs, handoffs to the customer service team, and support. Wherever things need explaining, video makes it simple.
In this quick video, Customer Outcomes Manager Jacob Fernandes reminds his contact about an upcoming meeting in a personal way, making a no-show far less likely.
The 4 Types of Video for Sales
Most sales videos fall into three categories. Each has different strengths, and each serves a slightly different purpose.
Webcam Video (a.k.a. Selfie Video)
Videos recorded with a webcam, often known as selfie videos, are the workhorse of video in sales. They offer a nearly face-to-face level of personal connection. Use them to build relationships and introduce prospects to your office and your team—a technical sales rep, a customer support rep, or even other customers.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of webcam and selfie videos has risen drastically. User-generated content made for your prospect can offer value by putting a face to a name where you can’t meet in person or at an event. Sales reps have even learned to master virtual networking at events through webcam and selfie videos.
In this outreach video, Chris van Praag of BabelQuest used some simple editing, creativity, and humor to create a truly engaging outreach video for his targeted account. This creative approach helped him connect with his prospect in a memorable way.
Screen Share Video
Screen share videos are used for explaining complex topics simply in a digestible format. They’re great for showing, not telling, prospects why you reached out. Tour their site or app, your site or app, their LinkedIn page, an article, or a diagram.
In this screen recording video, Vidyard sales rep Daniel uses the Vidyard Chrome Screen Recorder as a sales prospecting tool to hover over the prospect’s LinkedIn profile. The bubble with his face in the corner makes even a straightforward video like this more personal.
Pro Tip: Record a selfie plus a screen share to get the best of both formats.
Once you’ve made a screen share video for a prospect, you can now use Vidyard to send a direct video message on LinkedIn. Adding a screen share video to your initial introduction will increase the chance that your recipient will open the message and hear what you have to say.
Playlists let sales reps tack a personal recording onto a pre-recorded video. That way, they get all the benefits of a thorough explanation and high-production value without recreating it each time.
This playlist includes different versions of Vidyard’s 3-minute demo video for different use cases: Marketing, sales, and internal communications. Viewers can watch all of them or skip ahead to the individual video that interests them most.
Video Selling Best Practices
You don’t need a video production degree to make videos that sell. But, it does help to listen to people who do have one, because small adjustments make big differences in how appealing and easy your videos are to watch. Consider your:
- Lighting: Position yourself facing a window with daylight, if possible.
- Sound: Use the microphone on your headphones and record in quiet spaces.
- Location: Aim to use a professional looking space that is tidy and does not distract from your messaging. Since many offices have moved to remote workplaces, that means many people are making sales calls from their homes, and that’s okay! Just make sure everyone in the house knows that you are recording.
Above all, be interesting. That starts with your message. No amount of video dressing can mask an irrelevant message that’s not worth responding to. Tailor your:
- Thumbnail: Does your video thumbnail make people want to click? Try using motion, with a GIF.
- Message: Why them? Why you? Why now? What’s the benefit? Start by explaining why they, in particular, should care, then explain part of how it works. But don’t give away everything. The point is for them to be interested enough to respond.
Why Sales Teams Need a Video for Sales Strategy
Video works best when the entire sales team is using it. This feeds a virtuous cycle of experimentation, feedback, and sharing.
Someone discovers that sending late-night videos to chief legal officers gets great responses? Everyone should try it. Someone finds out that ending with a cliffhanger earns added interest? Make it a best practice.
Analytics can be a huge help. Reps may not always know whether the results they’re getting are good or bad, and a sales leader with access to everyone’s videos can discover pockets of excellence.
For instance, if one salesperson with average response rates closes an unusual number of deals using video, that’s worth knowing about. They should share their secrets with the rest of the team.
Sales managers should look at:
- Email opens
- Email responses
- Meeting book rates
- Win rates
- View time percentage
Also, consider how you can reduce your team’s effort. A good enterprise video platform can pass data to your customer relationship management (CRM) system to alert reps when buyers watch, trigger workflows when viewers don’t complete a video or score leads based on view time percentage.
Selling Your Team on Video
Not every sales team has video in its DNA. Some sales reps don’t initially understand its potential or don’t want to break their ingrained habits to try something new. But if we have all learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that business will go on and so sales reps need to adapt and embrace virtual selling if they don’t want to get left behind. Virtual selling is no longer a “nice to have” skill, it is now and forever a necessity. If a member of your sales team is still hesitant, consider coming at it the same way you seal a deal, and sell them on video’s productivity gains.
There are two ways video typically spreads:
- Bottom-Up: A rogue sales rep begins to exceed their quota, and part of the story is that they’re using video. The numbers say it all, and other reps are quick to copy.
- Top-Down: Leadership understands video’s potential and implements a video platform. In this instance, it’s a good idea to certify salespeople on the use of video, so they’re armed with enough guidance to see initial success, to get excited, and for the process to catch on. Sales leaders can use promotions or spiffs to encourage video’s use, and even make video mastery a prerequisite for promotion.
If you find yourself pitching someone in the organization on the benefits of video, do it based on the organization’s needs.
Do salespeople need more top-of-funnel interest? Video in email can offer 3x higher response rates than email alone. Does the organization suffer from a complex product or sales cycle? Video helps establish and sustain relationships needed to carry out a year-long sales cycle with many stakeholders. Does the organization want to do more expansion deals? Video’s great there too.
Get Up and Running with Video for Sales
Don’t simply arm sales reps with video tools. Create a video rollout plan that ensures that the political capital you’ve spent bringing video into the organization doesn’t go to waste.
- What software do you need? You’ll need a video platform if you want reps to share videos, create playlists, personalize content, see analytics, and pass all of that data to the CRM.
- Who needs to be trained? Sales managers as well as sales reps. The gold standard is a certification program.
- Who needs to be involved to acquire and launch a new software? Probably marketing and possibly IT.
- Where do you start? Make it simple for everyone by identifying the initial use-cases. Pick ones that play to your organization or team’s strengths. Start small, look for success, then expand from there.
- How many videos per week? Set expectations for the volume of content that sales reps are expected to make and send.
- How is it going? Create channels for feedback so that winning leads to more wins. If you share closed/won notes or other deal won notifications with the team, consider encouraging reps to note when they used video so that others see it.
The Key to Getting Started is Starting
Video can help you hit your quota, if you let it. When you get responses from prospects like, “Wow, never seen that before,” and “Honestly this is the best cold email I’ve ever gotten,” video becomes habit. The benefits trickle throughout the sales team and raise everyone’s numbers.
And that’s how you build a video-first sales culture that consistently crushes quotas quarter after quarter after quarter…
This post was originally published on June 15, 2020. It was updated on March 11, 2022.