B2B selling is (or has at least moved toward) a complex, rigid, and unfortunately, bland experience for both the buyers and sellers. Complexity in the buying/sales process leads to behind-the-scenes consensus buying, removing the tangibility of you, the salesperson. And between the NDAs and product licensing terms, it’s nice to make sure us humans are still in control. Occasionally.
So what is Video Selling? I describe it as using video either directly in the sales process (e.g. cold email introductions, contract reviews, repurposed marketing content, demos, etc…) – or at the very least – leveraging viewing data that are integrated into your CRM/MAP so that you can begin to understand which content a prospect has watched informing your sales process and strategy moving forward.
So what makes video selling so attractive?
1. Video is (or can be) cheap to create.
You could spend thousands of dollars on sound-proof booths, high-quality cameras and mics, and lighting equipment. But when you’re using video in sales, it’s not about the production quality, necessarily. It’s about building that connection with a human on the receiving end.
For a prospect that is higher up in your funnel, sure, go ahead. Spend the money to make something brilliant, high-quality, clever – whatever (isn’t that Marketing’s job though?). The higher up in the funnel, the more you want them to connect with your brand. Of course, in sales, a prospect is low enough in the funnel that you need to start building a personal connection.
What better way to break the ice, or rekindle an old deal that than a friendly hello and a smile? Show Lady Prospect you’re neither a robot nor a serial killer. (I can’t promise she won’t make that assumption, but at least try to smile.)
2. Video is fast.
I should know – I’m writing this on a computer and it’s taking way too long.
And if you’re like me, you’ve written and re-written email more than you’d like to admit. One of my favorite quotes is, “If I had more time, I’d have written a shorter letter.” I think that was either Don Draper or Tom Landry who said that. Anyhow, the reason writing can take so long, is because it lacks inflection and body language. Both of these are important when communicating, and the written word or picture doesn’t do the trick.
By nature of an audio/visual format, video overcomes both of these email/writing setbacks.
3. Video enables action.
Video allows your prospect to take action right then and there, in the video playlist itself. There’s no delay between the viewer receiving the call to action and having the power act.
Several popular video hosting platforms already offer a variety of interactions for your viewer to take action:
- Forms / Gates (get them to volunteer information)
- In-video links (reference product pages, landing pages, etc…)
- Clickable CTAs
- Choose your own adventure options
4. Marketing and sales are becoming more and more aligned.
Many of the videos that Marketing makes (e.g. product explainer, demos, webinars, etc…) can be very helpful for salespeople. And you need to be able to leverage that in a way that doesn’t just mean passing along a link from a campaign they may have already seen.
Good hosting platforms (like Vidyard, Brightcove, others) will indicate which videos your prospect has seen and what steps they took next. When you link video selling solutions with your CRM, the data you have about your prospect suddenly become multidimensional: what other videos they’ve seen, what they’ve shared, what sections they re-watched 4 times. I.e. “did they make it to the 37-second mark in Video X where we showed how Client A used our service and got this return?
So what does this mean? Marketing probably makes video content by now. You should be leveraging that content beyond marketing’s bullhorn approach. Bring this content into a 1-to-1 conversation when it makes sense. For those early-stage prospects, you should show inspiring, results-based videos like case studies. Towards the end of the sales process, the testimonial videos help reassure your prospects that your solution is the right choice.
Understanding how to take advantage of the relationship between your marketing video and your sales cycle can seriously increase your video ROI.
5. Play buttons are irresistible.
Who doesn’t want to see what’s at the other end of this?
6. Video is accessible.
At any given moment, I have access to 3-5 video cameras. Two on my Pixel 2 XL, one on my Macbook Pro, as well as at least one DSLR with video capability in arms reach. All of these take better, if not comparable, quality video than a prosumer digital video camera of the early 2000s. That’s easier than ever. But if that’s not easy enough…
There are at least 3 free sales-related platforms for sending personal 1-to-1 video emails that not only record, host, and package the video for sending, they also give you real-time feedback on your recipients viewing statistics.
- GoVideo, by Vidyard (recommended; this platform has recently become available through HubSpot Sales)
- SoapBox, by Wistia
(Note: these solutions become more beneficial and insightful as you start paying for the premium features.)
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When you adopt these methodologies across an organization, you start to see big changes in how you sell, how much you sell, and how video influences interactions between you and your customer.
For those of you who are nervous about looking like an idiot…
Welcome to sales. Just get yourself out there, and start building connections. The naysayers will self-select out, the cool ones (the ones you are meant to work with) will be delighted you chose to make a connection rather than just a sale.
If you’re looking for more great tips on video selling, check out Vidyard’s Fast Forward Seminar videos.