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The Ultimate Guide to Using Video in Sales

Imagine if you could 5X your email open rate and 8X your click-through rate. That’s a huge jump in the number of prospects reading and taking action on your emails -- the type of jump that makes other reps on your team ask how you’ve been crushing it recently.

But the answer isn’t a highly complex new technique or sales methodology.

It’s video. Salespeople are using quick, easy, inexpensive (sometimes even free) tools to send videos to their prospects, and the results speak for themselves.

Video in Sales

You’ve seen selling trends come and go -- and before you hop on the sales video bandwagon, you want definitive proof it works.

Here are three case studies from HubSpot salespeople.

Case Study #1: $3,150 MRR and 31 opps in 4 hours

Yaniv Siegel, an associate account executive at HubSpot, used video emails to book 31 meetings. He closed two deals, generating $3,143 in monthly recurring revenue.

Siegel sent two kinds of video emails -- an initial outreach message and a “reignite stalled deals” one. He sent 197 in total. Each video was around 70 seconds long, the equivalent of just 3.8 hours of prospecting.

More impressive still: His emails had a 93% click-through rate and a 28% response rate.

“In an increasingly automated sales world, I believe that the one true way to stay relevant is to be human and create a real and personalized connection with our prospects,” Siegel explains.

A sample response:

Tomtom telematics Viewedit response.png

Case Study #2: 50+ opps per month with one hour of prospecting per day

Nick Saltzman, an account executive who works with HubSpot agency partners, knew he needed “something to differentiate himself” to prospects who’d already been “hammered with outreach.”

So he tried video prospecting. Saltzman sent 191 email videos in August, which led to 50 opportunities -- a 27% opp creation rate.

“It takes me roughly 3-4 minutes per prospect, depending on how deeply I want to personalize the video,” he says. “Otherwise, the due diligence you put into making the video is the same you’d be putting into a connect call or traditional email.”

Case Study #3: 4X more meetings booked

Over the course of 45 days, five corporate business development reps (BDRs) used sales videos to discuss their prospect’s marketing strategy opportunities. The goal: Book more meetings.

Not only was the CTR for video emails far higher than traditional templated emails, meetings booked increased by 4X.

And rep productivity didn’t suffer in the slightest. In fact, the two BDRs who used video the most were also the most productive.

Why use video in sales?

Why does video work so well? There are four reasons.

  1. Video is more interesting. Let’s be honest, going through your inbox can suck. Watching a video -- versus reading yet another block of text -- is more fun for your prospect.
  2. Video is more visual. Well, duh. But it’s also much easier to give someone an idea of how your product looks and works when you can use your screen.
  3. Video is more human. Once your prospect sees your face, you become a person they can relate to and trust.
  4. Video is more memorable. Buyers are flooded with traditional sales emails. How often do you think they get a personalized video message from a rep? Not often … if ever. Stand out from every other salesperson who’s trying to connect with them.

How to use video in sales

When you’re creating videos, follow these guidelines.

  1. Keep it short. No one wants to sit through a five-minute video, just like no one wants to read a page-long email. Stick to 30 seconds or less for “quick tip” videos and three minutes or less for product-related ones.
  2. Pick the right setting. It’s fine to shoot your videos in the office, but make sure you have adequate lighting and a presentable backdrop. Your prospect might be distracted by the huge pile of pizza boxes from last night’s prospecting blitz behind you.
  3. Use props. Some of the most entertaining and memorable videos use props. Write your prospect’s name on a whiteboard to show your prospect it’s a custom video (and make sure you’re holding the whiteboard in the thumbnail so they’re intrigued enough to click).

Video prospecting

Videos can come into play at every stage of the sales conversation -- from initial outreach to post-sales follow up. (See below.)

However, as you can see from the three case studies above, sales videos are especially effective in the prospecting process. Your prospect likely has no idea who you are. Plus, you’re fighting for a tiny sliver of their time and energy. Anything that makes them stop and sit up is going to boost your results.

As this Vidyard post explains, video prospecting emails are similar to normal prospecting emails. You want to A) get your prospect’s attention, and then B) build value. When you pull of those two things, their curiosity about what you have to say turns into interest in buying your product.

If you’re already using a strong outreach strategy, not much needs to change. Take the quick tip, blog post, or relevant data point you were already planning on including in your email, and film yourself sharing it.

Here’s a before-and-after to give you an idea:

Before:

After:

Don’t have time to shoot a ton of videos? I’d prioritize on prospecting videos. But if you want to go all in (which considering the statistics, isn’t a crazy idea), use these guidelines.

When to use video in the sales process

Unsurprisingly, the objective of your video depends on the stage of the sales process you’re in.

  • First touch: Grab your prospect’s attention and show them you’re a normal person
  • Follow up: Recap your connect, discovery, or qualification call; reiterate the next steps you agreed on
  • Check in: Make sure the deal is still alive
  • Post-sale: Thank them for working together; lay the groundwork for cross-selling or upselling; potentially ask for a referral

Let’s dive into the scripts you can use for each.

Sales video scripts

Outreach sales video template

This video should be 80 seconds long at the max. Remember, the buyer doesn’t know who you are -- so while they might be curious enough to watch your video, they’ll quickly lose interest if it’s boring or too long.

Here are some ideas:

  • Provide a tip or ask a thought-provoking question
  • Share a few key takeaways from the content you linked to in your email
  • Describe your company’s mission and why it relates to your prospect

Sample scripts:

"Hi there. Since you [work in X role, have Y responsibility, likely face Z challenge], I wanted to share [tip] with you. If you want to talk about this more, let’s set up a call. You can book time on my calendar right from my email signature. Talk to you soon."

"Hey there. I’m sending you a link to a great [blog post, ebook, podcast, webinar] on [relevant topic] -- but I know you’re probably super busy. So if you don’t have time to [watch, read] the whole thing, here are the most important points:

  • [Point #1]
  • [Point #2]
  • [Point #3]

If you want to talk about this more, schedule time with me using the link in my email signature. Have a great day."

"Hey, [prospect]. Wanted to send you a quick video explaining what [company] does, and more importantly, why you should care. We [focus on, specialize in] helping [X type of prospects solve Y type of problem]. I’d love to learn more about your company and how we can help you. Please schedule some time on my calendar using the link in my email signature. Talk to you soon."

Follow up sales video template

Once you’ve successfully connected with your prospect, use a video to summarize the meeting and make sure you’re on the same page about what’s happening next. Again, keep it short and sweet. You may also want to consider including the same information in bullet points in the email so they can refer to your meeting without rewatching a video.

Script:

"Hi [prospect]. Thanks again for our conversation [this morning, yesterday, on X day]. We covered [point #1], [point #2], and [point #3].

I’ve followed up on [earlier question or concern], and it turns out [answer to their question or concern].

As we agreed, next steps are [X].

Looking forward to our meeting on [date] at [time]."

You may also need to re-engage a prospect who’s gone dark. In this scenario, a humorous or helpful video can put the deal back on their radar -- and you won’t need to guilt-trip or harass them.

Sample scripts:

"Hey there, [prospect]. I’ve been mulling over your [struggle with X, plan to achieve Y], and I think I’ve got a few ideas that may make a difference. For example, [brief description of idea]. Happy to provide more details if you’re curious. Talk to you soon."

"Hi [prospect]. I hate sending irritating 'just checking in' emails … So instead I’m sending an irritating 'just checking in' video. Okay, hopefully it’s not too irritating. Let’s schedule a call to discuss your goals for X and how [company] can make those happen."

Proposal sales video template

As League VP of Sales Kyle Norton explains, sending a video proposal is extremely powerful. Most sales require multiple decision makers to sign off, so creating a handy resource your champion can send around her company can help drive consensus.

Norton recommends “preframing,” or giving context and setting expectations so your audience focuses on the numbers in the proposal that matter most.

Script:

"Hi [prospect]. I heard [fact #1 about prospect’s situation] and [fact #2] and know you have X and Y needs. I think we can help by [solving A and giving you the power to do B]. Here are the two things in the attached proposal to consider. Let me know if you have any questions."

Post-sale video template

Saying “thank you” or offering yourself as a resource after a prospect buys is a strategic move. Not only do you further win their trust (which builds your company’s credibility), you also improve the likelihood they’ll refer you, give you good reviews, and most importantly for your revenue goals, purchase from you again.

Scripts:

"Hi [prospect], welcome on board to [product]. I’m excited to see how you use it to [solve X pain, accomplish Y goal]. If you have any questions, please let me know -- I’m here for you. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our customer support. The best method is usually [phone, email, chat]. Good luck!"

"Hi [prospect], just wanted to say thanks for choosing us and that I really enjoyed working with you. Your [account manager, implementation specialist] will be taking over from here on out -- I’ve asked [name] to take great care of you. Have a fantastic day."

How to send videos to your prospects

The most popular platform for video is email. It’s simple and easy to insert a video into your messages; plus, you’re already communicating with prospects over email.

But that’s not the only platform where video can be effective.

LinkedIn

To send a video to a LinkedIn connection, upload the file to YouTube and send the link in an InMail.

For example, here’s what you might write to a prospect you met at an event:

Hi Sharon,

I had a few ideas about increasing your sales team’s efficiency after we met at the Traction conference last week. I summed them up in this video: [Link]. Do you want to discuss further on a call?

Best,

Harry

Facebook

More and more people are using Facebook for professional use. If you’re friends with your prospects, you can upload videos to Facebook Messenger -- or simply record them within the app itself.

Since Facebook still feels relatively informal, it’s a good medium for funny, casual messages.

Twitter

Twitter lets you import a video you’ve already created or record one in the app, then send it to the followers of your choice.

Try using videos to reach out to prospects who have followed you on Twitter but haven’t responded to your emails or calls. Sometimes, a new type of touch is all it takes to break through the noise and get a response.

One-off vs. reusable videos

Not every email has to be created from scratch. If you have a tip you’re repeatedly sharing with prospects, or a product feature you’re walking through again and again, consider making a video you can reuse.

For example, let’s say buyers tend to respond more frequently when you give them a suggestion on hiring new support reps. You could turn that suggestion into a 15-second video. Next time you identify a prospect who could benefit from that advice, simply insert your video into a personalized email.

You’ll lose the impact of a one-to-one video, but your prospect will still be impressed by the unique format and relevant content.

Some salespeople are getting the best of both worlds. They send standard first-touch videos explaining who they are and their company’s value prop to normal leads and highly customized videos to high-value leads. According to Wistia, one rep who used this strategy saw her success rate go from 5% to 13.3%.

How to get started with sales videos in three simple steps:

Step 1: Create your list(s)

First, you need a list of contacts.

“Create the list of prospects you want to target for the week,” HubSpot account executive Nick Saltzman recommends. “Then spend a bit of time each day working through the list. It’s much less efficient to go back and forth between identifying prospects, and creating videos, at the same time.”

For your first video experiment, I recommend starting with prospects you’ve never engaged with before. Trying a new first-touch strategy makes it easier to see the impact.

Step 2: Get your materials

There are a few things you’ll need to record a video:

  • Free video and screen recording software, like Soapbox, ViewedIt, or Loom
  • A computer with a working webcam and microphone
  • A place to record (try booking a conference room if you sit in a busy area of the office)

Optional:

  • A small dry-erase board and pen so you can write, “Hi [prospect name]” and hold it up in the thumbnail

Step 3: Write a script

The scripts in this post should help you craft a reusable talk track you can customize to each recipient or situation. Practice your script several times before you record your first video, but don’t worry if your delivery isn’t perfect.

As HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah says, “I wouldn't worry too much about the uhs and uhms. I'm not a professional video marketer, but I do buy things and I think it’s most important thing that the video is helpful and human. It doesn't have to be flawless.”

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