Cold emailing, reaching out to prospects, that all-or-nothing first impression: these are the tough parts of any salesperson’s job. Once you have a rapport with someone, you can ascertain the direction of the conversation. Are you driving towards a conversion, or towards moving on to the next conversation? We all wish this part of sales could be easier. Luckily, using video for sales enablement can help considerably.
Let’s take a look at how video can make your sales reps’ communications stronger.
Your Video Doesn’t Have to Be Highly Produced
First and foremost, don’t panic at the idea. As Ellen Stafford puts it, “Your videos don’t have to be highly produced or scripted.” Stafford recommends thinking of the video as a simple way to “…put a face to a name and grab attention where emails and phone calls fail on their own.”
Obvious as this sounds, think about how many emails, voicemails, and other electronic correspondence you get in a given day. Assume your prospective customer gets at least that many. Adding your video (featuring your face and voice) differentiates you from the stack.
Remember, the brain is inexorably drawn to human forms. And the face is a high-resolution index of information to the mind. Your video will give prospects a memorable encounter with you, instead of just another email with a catchy title from an address they don’t know.
If this approach doesn’t yet sound sufficiently innovative to change your routine, Stafford has the numbers to back it up. Sales professionals using personalized videos report a 40% higher open rate on their emails, a 37% higher clickthrough rate, and three times the reply rate.
Kurt Shaver adds another dimension (besides Stafford’s impressive data) to the usefulness of videos in your sales reps’ arsenal. Video, like any outreach, should “not be all about pitching products or services, but about providing value that can lead to a sales conversion.”
Personalized Video as Content Marketing
You might have already picked up on the ‘providing value’ language, and you’re right to do so. Video as part of your sales enablement can also be a form of content marketing, married perfectly to prospect outreach.
Here, that value isn’t likely to be a stunning short film; we don’t need to contradict Stafford’s blessing of lower-budget videos to deliver the prospect something they’ll find worthwhile and relevant.
Videos sent in sales emails can provide a different, fine-tuned value: the value of personal connection and empathy. Video as a way to “speak directly to the person, with emotion and empathy, about their challenges and how to overcome them,” Shaver points out, is far more effective than “a bulleted list of problems the prospect must be facing.”
Empathy and understanding are truly valuable commodities and are indeed in short supply in our everyday email queue. Interestingly, we all know this, to one extent or another.
Ask someone what made them choose one product over another. You likely don’t expect to hear: “Well, the sales rep really made me feel like a number, you know? That’s what I look for in a pitch. Impersonal, brusque, fully generic language that really reminds me that I matter only as much as the money in my wallet.”
For some, the desire to keep reaching more prospects is all-encompassing. But video can allow you to counteract the empathy-free tendency of high-volume outreach with a message that looks and feels sincere and refreshingly human.
Make Video Part of the Entire Sales Cycle
So, we’ve established that video used by sales reps doesn’t require a high budget for high efficacy. And one of the best and most important reasons to use video is its humanizing, empathetic effect. Thus far, we’ve looked it video as an outreach/introductory tool—but where else should video appear in the sales cycle?
Hubspot blogger Aja Frost has a straightforward answer: consistently. While she notes that “the objective of your video depends on the stage of the sales process you’re in,” she nevertheless finds a good objective for video in each stage.
For the “first touch”, your video should “grab your prospect’s attention and show them you’re a normal person.” In other words, Frost is on board with the rest of our research: during that first contact, arguably the best thing you can do with your video is make a human connection.
Follow up, Frost’s next stage, involves recapping your initial conversation and verifying next steps. This step continues to shore up your personal connection while meeting the requirements of a good sales cycle (not letting a good initial encounter fizzle).
Use video to check in, or “make sure the deal is still alive.” This can sometimes be a part of communication that can seem difficult, as you need to pursue the deal but don’t want to lower you chances by pushing too much. The great thing about video here is its clarity—with your familiar face, voice, and word choice, your check in will feel a lot more natural than a text message or email.
And post-sale, Frost encourages video for the setup of future transactions or upselling, as well as gratitude. Perhaps this might be where you raise the budget of your video a bit and do something special for your customer to thank them for taking the journey with you.
There’s a fantastic synergy between these three points that leads to a fairly indisputable conclusion: include video as part of sales enablement. It can be used in all stages of the sales cycle, never needs to be high-budget (unless you’d like it to be), and always provides value by committing to a humanistic, personalized approach.
Humans are drawn to human forms and attach to faces. They also attach to those who understand their needs and desires, and offer solutions that feel individualized. Increase your sales team’s strengths throughout the sales cycle with the communication type that creates these connections so well: video.
Does your organization involve video in its sales cycle? Do your videos follow these guidelines and benefit from them, or do you approach video in sales differently? If you do not currently involve video, what might convince you to do so?