Lights, Camera, Revenue: Selling with Video in 2021


In the absence of face-to-face meetings, companies are increasingly relying on email to communicate with prospects and customers. But the more emails we send, the pickier customers become about what content they find valuable and what content they find just annoying.

Sales and marketing teams have to fight harder than ever to get attention in crowded inboxes, and find new ways to create real, personal, human connections with customers.

This is where the power of video comes into play. "Emails with video not only stand out from other messages people are getting, but they also help build the human connection we all strive for, now more than ever," says Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing and Chief Video Strategist at Vidyard.

One of the world's top experts in virtual selling joined Actuado for a webinar, where he talked about how businesses, salespeople and marketers can leverage video in a remote world.

You can watch the webinar recording or read the recap below (along with Tyler's 'cheat codes' for creating effective personalized sales videos).

Actuado x Vidyard webinar recording

The world of sales has changed

According to HubSpot’s COVID-19 Benchmark report, the number of sales emails has increased 79% since the start of the pandemic, but response rates have stayed 30% below the benchmark.

But it’s not just email volume that has changed. Buyer expectations and preferences have been evolving for many years. People don’t want to be ‘sold to’, rather they value marketers and salespeople who they feel are genuinely interested in helping them. Prospective buyers don’t want to schedule a 30-minute call with someone every time they want to learn something new; they expect to be able to access that information on their own time.

Plus, companies may have employees who work from home or even in different time zones, so scheduling live meetings can be a big challenge.

Video in sales is not just about live video calls. With online video hosting platforms like Vidyard, you can record and share personalized, one-to-one video messages that prospects can watch on their own time and easily send to other relevant people.

You can also create screen recording videos and ‘show’ instead of just ‘tell’, grab people’s attention by sharing something they recognize and keep customers informed throughout the sales process.

The superpowers of video for sales

Video isn’t just for prospecting, you can use it throughout the sales cycle to attract attention, establish trust and build relationships with leads, keep deals progressing and close new business.

When you’re prospecting, your goal is to break through the noise and get your message across as quickly and effectively as possible. Unlike a cold call that interrupts the prospect’s schedule, they can watch a video on their own time. Unlike a boring text-based email with a bulleted list of key points, a visual medium like video helps you connect in a personal and authentic way.

Actuado x Vidyard webinar recap - personalized sales video

Introducing yourself through video helps you create a sense of familiarity and lets the prospect see you as a real person, rather than a scripted, ‘off-the-shelf’ message. Prospects that have already seen your face are much more likely to connect and kick-off the sales process.

Once you’ve captured the prospect’s attention, you can explain your value proposition much more clearly with a video than a long-winded email. After the initial meeting, you can send a follow-up video, a short, customized demo that moves the conversation forward, or walk the customer through the proposal.

Video is the perfect format to help you:
  • Get the attention of prospects and buyers.
  • Establish rapport and build personal relationships.
  • Clearly demonstrate value and help prospects ‘get it’.
  • Stay top-of-mind and keep deals moving forward even in the absence of live meetings.

How to make a great prospecting video

Research shows that prospecting emails with videos average a 26% higher response rate. Vidyard’s own findings at among their users support this data – top performers using the Vidyard platform report 2-3 times higher response rates once they incorporate videos in their prospecting.

So what are their secrets to success? What makes a great prospecting video that generates a response?

  1. Connect on a personal level

It’s important to plan your message ahead to deliver it more confidently and coherently. This doesn’t mean you should read off a script. You want to be approachable and relatable, so talk to the camera the way you would talk to them in person.

Make the message about the person and focus on why you’re reaching out to them. You can talk about a potential problem they have and how you can solve it, or ask a question you’re hoping that they can answer. You can show you understand the unique pain points the prospect is facing and explain why your product is a good fit.

  1. Keep it short

According to Tyler, the best length for prospecting videos is 45-60 seconds, and your video should be maximum 90 seconds long. Remember – at this point your message is still unsolicited and you want to show that you respect their time.

  1. Explain (or show) clearly how you can help

Since you don’t have much time, you need to use it wisely. One of the biggest advantages of video is that you can use visuals. You can quickly demonstrate your product, use physical props and diagrams, or even screen captures to walk through the prospect’s LinkedIn profile, their company website, or your own sales deck. Our brains are naturally drawn to visuals rather than text, and a message delivered this way is much more memorable.

  1. Close with a strong call-to-action (CTA)

Make it as easy as possible for your prospects to take the next step by using interactive CTAs. You can point prospects to fill out a form, visit a specific webpage, download a resource, watch another video, request a demo, or give you feedback on the video you just shared. One of the coolest features of Vidyard is that a calendar can pop-up at the end of the video, giving the prospect an easy way to schedule a meeting with you.

  1. Get creative to ensure they press play

You need to make sure people click on your video in the first place. Subject lines that contain the word ‘video’ are several times more likely to be opened. Your goal is to create curiosity in both the subject line and the introductory text. It can be as simple as saying, “Hey [name], I made you this 54 second video to clearly show you how I can help you [solve a pain point].

Another trick to maximizing clicks is personalizing the video thumbnail. Vidyard makes it easy to set a custom thumbnail, even in the form of an animated GIF, which is guaranteed to grab even more attention. Tyler suggests having the contact’s name appear in the thumbnail image – a perfect way to intrigue AND engage them.

  1. Enlist help of professionals
Of course, creating great selling videos requires skill, but luckily, Vidyard has partners like Actuado, that are Video Selling Certified and Implementation Certified. Learn how Actuado can help your team use video effectively in sales. 👇

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How to use video to accelerate and close deals

As a sales rep, you can use video throughout the sales process to shorten deal cycles and increase close rates. Every video you send is an opportunity to familiarize prospects with your voice and face and build a relationship. By the time you meet them in person, they will feel like they know you.

Use videos to reduce dependency on live meetings you can educate, engage and connect with your buyers between meetings to move things along faster. Tyler outlined a number of interesting ideas on how you can use personalized videos throughout the sales cycle:

  • Following up on inbound leads

When you get an inbound lead, follow up with a short personal video to introduce yourself as their sales rep and create an instant personal connection. Be personal, helpful and authentic – it's all about humanizing the sales process and building trusted relationships.

  • Custom demos, walkthroughs and updates

If a customer has expressed interest in a particular product or feature, this is an ideal opportunity to walk them through it in a video. You can record custom demos or short overviews to show exactly what they are interested in, in a format they can easily share within their organization. Record walkthroughs of pricing information, competitive comparisons, answers to FAQs, post-meeting recaps, 'checking in' videos, thank you messages, etc.

  • Proposal videos & stakeholder outreach

After meeting with a customer, you can send them a short video recap where you summarise key takeaways and define the next steps. You can record a video-based walkthrough of your sales proposal to clearly communicate your value proposition, or highlight some of the most common legal issues. You can send videos to different members of the buying committee, including those you've never met - they will see you as a real person, which makes it harder for them to say no.

Video sales tools like Vidyard make it a snap 

For those who might be thinking video creation is difficult if you’re not a video producer, Tyler demonstrated the simplicity of using the Vidyard tool. Recording personalized sales videos is actually very simple:

Step 1: Launch the recording feature via the Google Chrome browser extension or HubSpot/Gmail/Outlook plugins.
Step 2: Select either the Webcam or Screen Share recording options.
Step 3: Record your video (yes, you can restart 😊).
Step 4: Share your video via a dedicated sharing page (no need to upload/download videos, they are stored on the Vidyard platform).

That’s it!

It’s worth adding that the premium version of Vidyard includes additional cool features, such as adding your calendar or other CTA’s to the end of your video, securing videos with a password, adding captions and subtitles, etc.

Equally important: Vidyard’s video analytics dashboard lets you see who’s watching your videos and for how long. You can import video data into CRM or marketing automation platforms like HubSpot or Salesforce to learn even more about how your videos are performing, and measure (and improve!) their ROI.

Read more about video in marketing and sales:

Using Video in a Contactless World [Webinar Recap]
Using Video on LinkedIn to Engage Your Audience
Why Video Is a Key Marketing and Sales Tool

Watch the webinar recording: 👇

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Iza Križaj

Iza got her Master’s degree in Communication Science at one of the top-ranked universities worldwide, Graduate School of Communication at the University of Amsterdam. Before becoming a content writer, she fostered her passion for language by tutoring English and freelance proof-reading, translating and editing various kinds of texts. What she appreciates most about content and inbound marketing is the non-pushy, customer-centered approach. She is a night owl and believes her best work happens after midnight.