How has your sales process changed throughout the pandemic? Have you written so many emails that your fingers are numb? You may have had to wake up to another zoom call. If you’re like the Video in Business Awards 2020 winners, you use a lot more videos throughout your sales process. This year, our winners and finalists have shown us that in a year filled with limitations, video has helped sales teams get through to book more meetings, remove friction in the buyer’s journey. and shorten transaction cycles.
We’ve rounded up the top five ways VIB finalists are using video for sales to win more deals and gain an edge over the competition, so you can be inspired to do the same.
Be personal, be noticed
According to a recent HubSpot Study, the number of commercial emails sent in November 2020 increased by 124%, compared to a pre-pandemic baseline. And guess what – responses are down 30% from the same benchmark. Read the sign: Your prospects’ inboxes are overloaded (even more than usual) with emails that won’t connect. If your email is to be noticed, it’s better if it’s relevant and even better personal.
Since video is the best thing to be there in person, you should think of it as your crowbar for breaking into inboxes. Even using the word video in your subject line makes your email 5 times more likely to be opened and 8 times more likely to be answered. Once opened, a video thumbnail is a powerful opportunity. So make sure you put in the effort to create a creative and eye-catching video (and thumbnail) that your prospects can’t ignore!
VIB finalists in our Pitch Perfecter category showed how to stand out from the crowd with creative video ideas specifically tailored for their targets. Sam Kean at Fresh relevance won the award for the most creative use of video for prospecting thanks to her personal approach. Since Sam started using video, he’s seen 95% open rates and response rates 3 times higher than text emails. “Video has allowed me to get more corporate meetings than any other medium,” Sam says, including meetings with three of the UK’s top 5 retail brands.
In his winning example, Sam reached out to a prospect who sells weights online with a video in which he lifts weights… all the time. (Ouch!) He felt the burn and his prospect felt the love.
Winner: Sam Kean at Fresh Relevance
In the same category, Domino Data Lab finalist Kayla Cytron-Thaler took a similar, personalized approach when she noticed her prospect was a Jay-Z fan. She dusted off her rap skills to book the reunion and showed a lot of personality in the process.
Finalist: Kayla Cytron-Thaler at the Domino Data Lab
Explain yourself clearly
Besides being a great tool to connect personally, video is a fantastic tool for demonstration. And in a remote environment, it’s also your most efficient tool. Think about it – the medium combines audio and video instruction and lets you add emotional emphasis. Add in the ability to pause, replay, and share, and a video can just beat a demo in person in terms of convenience and efficiency.
The winner of the Pitch Performer category for the most effective use of video for prospecting demonstrated the show-and-tell of video with a riff on the popular unboxing video format. Matt Hall works for the packaging company, Woodway United Kingdom, so it was natural to unbox your prospect’s products and then show how they can help them improve. Booking a meeting took Matt over forty calls, but so far with video he has been able to book two meetings from just eleven videos.
Winner: Matt Hall at Woodway UK
Another finalist in the same category, Lou Casados at Channel advisor uses screen recording videos to report specific issues or online opportunities for its prospects that would otherwise be difficult to explain over the phone or in an email. Since his work is digital, it is much easier for him to show than to say. Although he does too. Recording his voice along with the screen recording gives prospects a sense of who he is – a nice, easy-going guy who really wants to help them.
Recording videos can be quick and easy, but they won’t be effective without a plan. Work smarter and not harder by leveraging video analytics and understanding video best practices before you get started.
For example, Visual Seller Category Winner Thomas Buchanan at Modus relies heavily on video analytics to get the most out of its efforts. He made a fundamental change in his sales process by replacing face-to-face meetings (including video calls) with short, lead-oriented software demos. He now monitors who watches these videos (and how often) to prioritize who he should call first. As he puts it, “optimizing sales efforts is everything” for his small team with big dreams. Since implementing video in his process, he has seen win rates quadruple. With analytics to guide his actions, he continues to confidently experiment and innovate with video.
On a larger scale, due to the pandemic, the finalists in the Virtual Selling Team of the Year category, Thryv, have also revamped their sales process to shift a large team of field salespeople to a video-first approach. In order to prepare for the change, they created a pilot program that includes a three-phase training program to certify their reps in video sales. This strategic transition ensures that their representatives will feel supported and can get started effectively with video. Although in its early days, Thryv is already seeing positive pilot results in the form of shorter sales cycles, with sales reps reaching leads on their own terms.
In just 20 minutes you can learn the basics of selling effectively using video
Personal awareness scale
Speaking of strategy, here’s a quick tip: Not all videos in your sales process have to be made specifically for one person. If you want to step up your efforts, you can still make a personal connection while sending the same video to multiple people.
Take this example from another Pitch Perfecter finalist, Jared Ingram, an AE at Global IT OSI. He made a creative narrative video that showed his sense of humor for starting conversations and building relationships. There’s no doubt that most of Jared’s contacts could be related to the video’s work from the house theme, so he released it widely to link up and book more large-scale meetings.
Finalist: Jared Ingram at OSI Global IT
To help increase sales and eliminate friction throughout the sales process, the team at AIS stepped up their use of video, making them a finalist in the Virtual Sales Team of the Year category. For several years, they’ve been producing a series on their YouTube channel to answer frequently asked questions from thinking buyers. But when the pandemic hit, they saw the need to create a pre-date video to send to prospects who book a meeting. Video saves time explaining services and products and builds trust and relationships even before the first meeting. The success of this video in shortening transaction cycles along with the positive feedback from their customers has led AIS to start planning similar videos for their other products.
Use video throughout the sales process
There are many ways to use video for sales: to book meetings, build relationships, and gain more business. And you’ll get even better results by combining these different methods to use video across your business.
Video transformed the way SDR and AE teams #paid sell, making them this year’s winners of the Sales Team of the Year award. They know that a strong brand is built by consistently delivering a great experience throughout the buyer’s journey, from prospecting to demos to how objections are handled. Since video was injected every step of the way on this journey, the #paid team has seen results like a 5-fold increase in outgoing call response rates and a 2.5-fold increase in sales opportunities. They also credit the video for helping to build better relationships and close more deals faster. Here’s an example of how video can break the ice when a prospect has gotten cold.
All of the Video in Business Awards 2020 finalists have used video as a secret weapon, and so can you. Start by thinking about ways to personally connect with your viewers, explain yourself clearly, scale your operation, and strategically use video throughout your selling process. We hope reading our finalists has inspired you to take your video selling to the next level in 2021. Because even in a distant world, you have the tools to make connections and improve your selling process!
Explore sample outreach and transaction acceleration videos to help you connect with your customers and prospects.
To be inspired