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VP of Marketing @ Vidyard | Author of The Visual Sale | Host of The Sales Feed Show
Using video for sales outreach is on a steep growth curve – it’s a proven way for B2B sellers to humanize themselves and build rapport in a digital-first selling world.
It’s also effective – Vidyard reports a remarkable 3x growth in response rates when using video in emails.
As a sales leader, you can equip your team with the necessary hardware (external camera, microphone, and lighting) and software (tools like Vidyard) and train them – but they still may not be comfortable with incorporating video into their sales process.
Tyler Lessard joins Closing Time to discuss proven ways to get your sales team confident and enthusiastically on board with video selling.
Incorporating videos into your sales outreach is lucrative for salespeople – by integrating personalized video messages into their prospecting efforts, salespeople targeting key accounts have boosted their response rates from 3-5% to 10-15%. On average, incorporating video messages into outbound emails increases response rates by about 25-30%, providing a substantial uplift.
However, beginning to incorporate video into outreach can initially seem daunting, and it’s natural to encounter resistance from your sales team. Recorded videos are different from live remote calls – they require more planning, confidence, and structure. Sales reps who are just getting started may spend more time than they’d like, re-recording their takes until they are satisfied with the result.
To ease these concerns, Tyler has a few pieces of advice for front-line salespeople:
Prioritize Connection Over Perfection: Remember that the goal is to connect with your audience authentically. Focus on conveying your message naturally rather than striving for flawless production.
Embrace Authenticity: Videos allow you to inject more humanity and personality into your outreach. Think of it as an opportunity to communicate in a manner closer to a genuine conversation.
Start Small: Begin with short, focused videos to minimize the pressure. As you gain confidence, you can gradually expand the scope and complexity of your videos.
Practice Makes Progress: Don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. With practice, you’ll become more comfortable in front of the camera and better at conveying your message effectively.
Stay Customer-Centric: Tailor your videos to address your prospects’ pain points, needs, and interests. This personalized approach demonstrates your genuine interest in their success.
Leverage Tools: Platforms like Vidyard provide user-friendly tools for creating, sharing, and tracking video messages. Familiarize yourself with these tools to streamline your workflow.
Feedback and Improvement: Request feedback from colleagues or mentors to refine your video communication skills. Constructive criticism can lead to substantial growth.
Measure and Adjust: Monitor the performance of your video outreach. Analyze response rates and engagement metrics to fine-tune your strategy over time.
Like mastering any new skill, the more you practice it, the more confident you become. Using video in your sales outreach is no different – the key is to embrace a mindset that focuses on gradual improvement. As you consistently incorporate video into your communication, you’ll notice your comfort level increasing over time.
While there’s no magic number of videos that guarantees confidence, there is a point where most sales reps start to feel at ease – usually between 50 to 100 videos sent. As you approach this threshold, you’ll likely find that the process becomes more natural, efficient, and even enjoyable.
Many organizations create structured integration plans to help sales reps ease into video outreach. These plans encourage reps to gradually increase their video usage over a set period. For instance, you might set a goal to send 2 or 3 videos per day for the first 30 to 60 days. This intentional approach helps reps overcome initial hesitations and build momentum.
Don’t feel limited to sending videos only to external customers. Internal videos can be just as valuable for building confidence. Use video to provide team updates, share feedback, or answer internal messages. This internal practice not only helps you refine your on-camera presence but also fosters a more dynamic and engaging team communication culture.
Implementing any new tool into your sales tech stack can be challenging. Most video-selling tools, like Vidyard, have a free version. Before purchasing seats or paying for a subscription, encourage your sales team to create a free account, dip their toes, experiment with video for specific tasks, and gradually build comfort. Meanwhile, sales leaders may also embark on the video journey to set an example and motivate their teams.
Successful deployments often start with a small group of enthusiastic individuals eager to experiment. These “hand-raisers” are open to embracing video and aren’t resistant to change. They become pioneers, uncovering the ins and outs of video selling within your current sales process.
Once you have your ideal processes mapped out, it’s easier to inspire the broader team. Instead of just handing out a new tool, you can provide context. “Meet our video pioneers. Here’s what they’ve achieved, and here are examples of their successful videos.” This context makes the transition more relatable and manageable.
Video’s role in sales is changing rapidly, and its importance as a skill is increasing. Smart sales reps are already utilizing video in their recruitment strategy to send personalized messages to hiring managers and recruiters, highlighting their communication style and understanding of modern sales practices.
As video in sales continues to gain traction, hiring managers are recognizing video proficiency as a valuable indicator of a candidate’s skills. Soon, video skills will be a sought-after competency in sales roles, aligning with the broader spectrum of modern sales technology.
For sales leaders in the market for a video selling tool, look for features that allow organization-wide management, personalized branding, and detailed performance tracking. This empowers leaders to coach effectively and measure ROI.
Introduce video without creating barriers by selecting a tool that aligns and integrates with your team’s workflow and existing tech stack. Whether within sales sequencing tools like Salesloft, popular email platforms, or back-end CRMs, the tool should facilitate easy video recording and sending to prospects and customers.
Implementing video involves collaboration across departments. Sales operations, IT, and marketing all play pivotal roles. While some complexity can emerge in the implementation process, many teams start with simple, free tools before moving toward comprehensive integration. Incremental steps ensure alignment and value.
What are the most
common hurdles with using video and how can sellers get over them?
Let’s talk through it
on this episode of Closing Time.
Welcome to Closing Time, the show for go-to-market Leaders.
I’m Val Riley,
head of content marketing at Insightly today I’m joined by Tyler Lessard.
He is VP of marketing at Vidyard.
He’s the host of The Sales Feed podcast
and also the author of the book. The Visual Sale.
Welcome to the show, Tyler.
Thank you so much.
It is such a pleasure to be here, Val.
Well, let’s start with some numbers, because if we’re going to get sales
people to pay attention, we probably need to give them some data.
So I hear Vidyard is quoting a figure that is saying 3X growth
with response rates when they incorporate video.
Now, some may feel like that’s a staggering number.
Like, really can we like triple our response rates?
And like any good marketers, that tends to be what our best in class users report.
And we’ve heard that consistently from those who are using, really
personalized video messages
as part of their prospecting to reach out to their key accounts.
Many of them have, you know, lifted from a 3 to 5% response rate
to a 10 to 15% response rate when really leaning into it
On average, statistically, we’ve seen data that suggests that using video messages
in outbound emails increases response rates by roughly 25 to 30% on average.
So, you know, even the baseline is quite a boost for most salespeople.
And at the end of the day,
if you can get a few more folks to pay attention to hear your message
and ultimately respond, well, that’s really what we’re here for.
Yeah. So from my marketing chair,. I’m hearing your numbers
and I’m thinking, well, this sounds pretty easy to ask
the sales people to start using more video,
but we get pushback on it and frankly, it’s understandable.
So what are some best practices for getting over that initial hurdle?
Yeah, so what we’re
talking about here is still relatively new for a lot of us,
and particularly in the business world, is this idea of using a tool
like a Vidyard to record custom video messages or screen recordings
and send them over to our prospects as part of an email.
Typically, it can also be sent through InMail or a direct message or even a text.
But that idea of hitting the record button, recording a short video
and sending it over is again, new for many of us.
And it’s not always the most comfortable or natural thing.
It’s a little bit different
from hopping on a live video call where we’re used to having conversations,
but it feels almost a bit more like you’re presenting,
which might be a little bit odd.
And so what we find is a lot of sales reps, you know, start off feeling like,
I’m not sure about this.
I understand like them being able to see and hear me is really valuable, but
I struggle with it a little bit, and often they find it’s inefficient.
They say, Oh, I had to record this video ten times to get it just right.
And those are very common things when you get started with this.
But we’re going to talk through a number of tips to help with that.
And I’ll maybe kick that off by saying the most important thing
when you’re thinking about recording and sending video messages is to remember
that it’s about connection, not perfection.
If you strive for perfection with something
like video messages, it is not going to work for you.
encourage you to think about it
as a more natural, authentic way to say what I might have said in an email,
but to do it with more humanity and more personality and to just be myself.
It sounds like, like any habit, there’s a repeatability factor in there.
The more you do it, the more comfortable you get.
So is there like this magic threshold where a certain number of videos
per week or a certain number of videos under their belt and you’re noticing
oh gosh, all of a sudden it’s a little bit more comfortable for people?
Yeah.. I mean, that’s such a huge part of it.
The more you do it, you build
the muscle, you build the confidence, and it just becomes much more natural
I have heard from a few different customers
that I work with, a fairly consistent number where they’re saying
when my reps get to 50 to a hundred videos that they’ve sent,
they start to feel confident, efficient and really into a rhythm with it.
And so what they’ll often do is they’ll intentionally structure
a 30 to 60 day kind of plan to integrate video into their outreach
and say, you know, every day
we want to make sure you send two or three videos for these first couple of months.
And in some cases those might actually even be internal videos.
They don’t always have to be external to customers.
So it might be your answering an internal message
might be you’re updating your team on something,
might be you wanted to share some feedback you heard. Instead of typing it out,
hit the record button, record a quick video and send it over
and use that as just a means to practice how you speak on camera,
how you use a tool like this.
And that can really go a long way.
So is it like a top down approach or is it a bottom up approach?
Is there one is there one way that works?
Like, would you have a pilot with a certain number of reps trying it?
Would you ask your sales leaders to start first and kind of put themselves
on the spot?
Yeah, there’s opportunities for all of that.
The one nice thing is, you know, tools like a Vidyard,
and there are others, of course, that are almost as good, are free to use.
And so a lot of sales reps just get started and they again,
try it out for certain things and start to develop some level of comfort.
Sales leaders will do the same things,
but we found that for most sales teams,
if you think about how do I want to equip my team,
like many, you know, sales tools the most successful deployments are where
they find a small group of individuals who want to really experiment with this
and who aren’t going to
how might I say, push back a lot sort of those individuals
who are going to be hand raisers and say,. Yeah, this sounds super interesting,
I’m comfortable on camera. Let me try this out
Once you identify a few of those folks.
The benefit is now they can get past the on camera hurdles first,
but they can now start to develop OK, what works, right?
Like what kind of message do I want to send?
When do I want to use video in the sales process and so on.
And so you can start to learn best practices from those initial hand raisers
and then use that to start to think about rolling it more broadly to the team
so that you’ve got a bit of a framework
and you’re not just sending it out to all your sales reps saying,
Hey, here’s a new video tool, try it and see what happens.
We can say, Hey, here’s a new video tool.
These four people in the team have already tried it out and have learned
some best practices, and here’s some reference examples
of some of the videos that they’ve made to inspire you or to help you as well.
I like that approach a lot.
So it sounds like
you’re talking about getting people on board with this
within your organization, but at some point we’re going to start hiring
sales reps who maybe have had this experience already.
So have you seen or heard of like a video sales
skill test or
or being part of a sales interviewing process?
Because I feel like that’s either on the horizon or it’s already here.
I think if it’s not already here, it’s definitely on the horizon.
One thing that’s been really interesting on that note that we found
is that a lot of sales reps who are looking for a new opportunity
are starting to use video messages as part of the recruitment process.
And so they’re often sending a video message to the hiring manager
or to the recruiter.
After an interview, they’ll send a video to the
the interviewer afterwards, thanking them for the interview, recapping
some of the high points, maybe sharing a bit more information.
And what’s really interesting is that I often hear from, again,
hiring managers saying a big part of our decision to go
with this candidate was the way that they used video.
It was innovative.
It you know, and it showed me that they understand
sort of modern selling even in just selling themselves.
And so I think we’re at the point where hiring managers
are recognizing it and saying, wow,. I want to hire people with that skill.
And so I think that next tipping point is they are going to start
asking for it and saying, hey, video is a part of how we do things.
And we want to make sure the people we hire understand
a variety of different sales tech, because that’s important.
More now than ever,
they need to understand how to use sales cadence tools, data research tools
and video tools So I think it is more and more becoming the norm.
And again, if you’re not seeing it yet,. I have no doubt it’s coming very soon.
I can see that as like, hey, here’s our tech stack.
You know, here’s a writing test, here’s a video test, like,
incorporating all of that into the hiring process
so that, you know, it gives your reps an opportunity
to hit the ground running a little bit faster within your organization.
And one of the interesting things we’ve seen with video as well is
it may not surprise anyone to hear that the younger
generation tends to be very adept at video.
And it’s not to say that others are excluded from that.
And some of our best users are
in a higher age bracket,. I will say, who have really embraced video
as a way to build relationships, which is often
when you think about the history of sales, so much went into relationship building.
And so a lot of,
you know, existing sellers
find that it’s great for relationship building and saying,
hey, I can put my face back out with these people, I can use my personality.
That’s always been my secret weapon.
But for younger sellers, they’re coming into this going, you know,
email, like the only thing I use email for is for like signing up for services.
It’s like, they’re not growing up
I’m using email as a communication tool in their personal lives.
Everything for them is social and instant messaging.
And so when you think about things like when you bring somebody on board
and you’re like, we want you to be really good in Slack
and we want you to be really good with video
and we want you to be really good with social selling, they’re like, hallelujah.
Like, this is how I operate and how I’ve grown up.
And so it’s great to see this company embracing these technologies.
And so I actually think that we’ll start to see an expectation of it
where as we bring more and more of the, you know, Gen Z and certainly,
you know, parts of the millennial community into sales teams
that they’ll be almost an expectation that, hey, I’m hopeful
and would expect that we’re
using modern tools like social selling, like video and others.
And I think it will actually be a benefit for a lot of sales teams.
I think a purely marketable skill at this point.
Do you have any tips for sales leaders that are looking at a video platform and
I’m sure Vidyard would be high on your list,
but are there certain features that they should look for
if maybe you’re a sales leader and you want to add video to your your mix?
Yeah, there’s a couple of really important things to be to be mindful of
and to think about as you roll out video solutions.
First, and you’ll find this to some degree with pretty much any mature video
solution is the ability to roll it out and manage it as an organization.
And the ability for, again, you as a sales leader or as an executive team
to be able to manage those different users, be able to customize the branding
of how the videos or the playback pages look, be able to track performance.
Like who’s sending how many videos, what kind of engagement are they seeing
so those are things that will help you in terms of like coaching
and understanding the ROI.
The second piece, which is a bit of an extension to that, is thinking about
how is this going to fit in with how our team works today?
Because the real challenge can be when you throw yet another tool
and you’re like,. OK, you’re sending emails over here
and you’re doing this over here, and now you’re going to send videos over here,
it adds another barrier both to adoption and also to just them being efficient
and so think about where and how are they going to use video
in their outreach and can we ensure we have a tool that works well with those?
Like, for example, if you use Salesloft as a sales sequencing tool,
your reps are going to be sending videos right from inside of Salesloft emails.
So is it possible for my reps to just do that right inside Salesloft,
whereas they compose an email, they can click a button, record
a video and send. Or if you use Gmail or Outlook, same thing.
Is it easy from those tools to record and send a video?
Or if you’re using a back end CRM like a Salesforce, HubSpot or Insightly,
the opportunity to ensure you can track that data
and use it as part of your ongoing sales process.
This stuff is so important today, and it helps ensure that, again,
really an integrated stack, but most importantly,
that we’re getting the value that we’re looking for.
It sounds like in that purchase, you know, as I was hearing
you talk about the implementation, you’re really going to need sales operations.
I.T. on board, maybe a little bit of marketing for the branding.
So there’s really a lot of folks involved in the purchase decision.
I think there certainly can be
what we found is that most teams will start simple and small, right?
They’ll start testing out and using the free tools
and they won’t yet worry necessarily about a lot of the back end integration
and reporting because first they want to see value
and is this going to be worthwhile putting in this effort?
So what I would encourage
most folks to think about is, yeah, can you try some of these tools for free,
see if it’s going to work for your reps and for your business.
And then from there you can take those incremental steps to say,
yep, it makes sense to deploy this or to integrate over here.
And again, the best solutions out there will allow you to do that incrementally
and will make it sort of a nice, easy and
ongoing process where you can move at your own pace
rather than having to bring all these different teams on board.
Because today it’s so tough to do that when you know rolling out new sales tech.
Well, I love the connection, not perfection mantra.
Any other takeaways for us, Tyler, before we close?
I mean, I just get really excited about this because I have no doubt
that video is a key part of how the sales community is going to evolve and
and frankly, how buyers will want to interact more and more with sellers.
And so today,
a lot of us are doing great
with video calls, things like Zoom and Teams and others.
But this opportunity for us to use video as a way to record and send
asynchronous or on demand messages,. I think is just a really big opportunity
that I hope more and more people can tap into.
So I’m really excited about it.
And hopefully folks
listening can go try it out for themselves and see if it works.
Well, as SaaS buyer,. I’m going to keep my eye on my inbox
to see how many video messages. I’m getting now that I have an awareness.
So thank you for that.
Alright, that’s all we have for this episode of Closing Time.
Thank you for joining us, Tyler.
Thank you so much.
Absolutely, my pleasure.
And thanks to you all for tuning in.
Remember to subscribe to this channel, like the video,
and hit the bell for notifications so you don’t miss an episode.
We’ll see you next time.