How to Sell on Video: Tips for Pre-Recorded Video and Virtual Sales Calls

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Lestraundra Alfred
Lestraundra Alfred



When YouTube launched in 2005, the world of video changed. Previously, video content was only created by professionals and viewed on live TV (unless you count the old-school camcorders that documented your childhood if you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s).

sales rep hosts a discovery call over video

Suddenly, videos were shorter, easier to create, and more accessible than ever. As technology evolves, we are all relying on video more and more personally and professionally.

And if you aren’t specifically including video in your sales process you could be leaving revenue on the table.

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According to Vidyard, in 2019 one-on-one video conversations were used in 7% of sales processes. In 2020, this figure rose to 40% and is expected to continue climbing. Not only are more sales teams relying on video throughout the sales process, but using video may help increase the chances of closing the deal.

Research by Proposify found SaaS companies that used video proposals had a 41% higher close rate than those that didn’t. Now you might be tempted to start cranking out videos. Before firing up your webcam, implement these best practices to get the most out of incorporating video in your sales process.

Video selling is crucial because it adds a more personal element to your communication, and helps you create a deeper connection with your buyer. HubSpot channel account manager Jill Fratianne says, "Video email is the best email. You can’t hear sincerity in a written email – there’s no emotion in a written email no matter how well you write it."

She continues, "When connecting on video, your contact will hear sincerity in your voice and see it in your eyes if you have their best interest at heart."

Brandon Kirsch, Inbound Growth Specialist at HubSpot, also considers video essential for working in sales. He says, "With folks working from home and being more accessible online than ever, consumers are far less likely to give their time away. Video allows you to humanize your outreach, and most importantly showcase your authentic self to earn that time from your prospect or client."

As mentioned above, the two main types of video selling are pre-recorded and live video calls. Both can be impactful when done correctly. Now that you know what video selling is and why you should use it, let’s break down how to use both pre-recorded and live video throughout the sales process.

When to Use Pre-Recorded Video

If you feel nervous about using video, try leveraging pre-recorded videos before a live call. Not only does pre-recording your video give you a chance to practice your pitch, but you can also take your time creating video content, which helps you ease into the process. Pre-recorded videos can be especially beneficial when prospecting and conducting outreach.

Kirsch likes to connect with new contacts through pre-recorded video before scheduling a video call. During this stage, he emphasizes the importance of being yourself and establishing a genuine connection with potential buyers while prospecting to make future video calls smoother and more effective.

"With each video I send, my hope is to build familiarity with every second they watch so that when we enter the Zoom meeting room they feel like they already know me. Let your personality show and lean into your authentic self; like the old sales saying goes ‘people buy from people,’" he says.

According to Jacob Fernandes, Customer Outcomes Manager at Vidyard, nailing initial video communications can set you up for success while prospecting. He stresses the importance of focusing on the needs of the prospect from the beginning.

"When creating prospecting videos it's important to put the prospect in the spotlight when recording. Make sure you use their LinkedIn profile or public website to showcase that your video is targeted towards them."

Fernandes also emphasizes the impact of custom content. He likes to follow this process:

"Find relevant information on their page to have a reason to reach out — such as checking out their newsletter or recent blog posts — and use this information to tie into your value proposition.

Using the subject line ‘First name, I made this video for you’ increases the chances of them opening your email.

Once you see that your prospect has viewed your video, use this information to pick up the phone and call them, since they are likely at their desk or near their phone if they just watched your video (make sure to give them five to 10 minutes before you call in case they are replying to your email)."

Pre-Recorded Video Tactics

So you’ve decided to include a video in your initial sales email. Great! However, that isn’t an invitation to record a 10-minute rambling manifesto. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to nail your pre-recorded video.

1. Be Concise

According to Yaniv Siegel, EMEA Sales & Partnerships rep at Vidyard, 45-70 seconds is the ideal length for pre-recorded videos. He says, "Don’t make the video too short because that feels impersonal. However, if the video is too long, your prospect will tune out."

Research backs up Siegel’s advice — a recent study found 58% of viewers will watch a video from a business if it’s around 60 seconds or less.

2. Don’t Be Too Scripted

In addition to keeping your videos concise, Siegel recommends not relying too heavily on scripts as sounding too rehearsed can compromise authenticity. "You don't need a script that you read line by line, but you should have a few bullet points that give you a structure so you know what to say in your video," he says.

3. Do Your Research

We’ve stressed the importance of building trust early in the sales process, and your initial video should show that you’ve done your research and are well-positioned to help the prospect solve their problem.

Kirsch likes to use the prospect’s company website as a backdrop while recording video messages to showcase familiarity. Though if the potential customer you’re working with doesn’t have a website, Kirsch recommends these other options:

"If the person you're hoping to chat with doesn't have a website or may not value it you have other options. Research their social media channels and try beginning your video on their LinkedIn profile recognizing one of their job responsibilities or accolades.

If they're from a certain part of the country bring up a landmark or sports stadium to start your talk track off with something familiar. The key is humanizing your outreach by researching who they are or what their company does and showing that you've done it by starting the video off at a place they recognize."

Now that you know how to leverage pre-recorded video, let’s discuss how to get the most out of your live video calls.

How to Sell on Live Video

Tips for Selling on Zoom

Chances are you’re used to speaking on video with people you’re already comfortable with. Compared to these feelings of familiarity, hopping on video for a discovery call with a new contact can feel awkward. Let’s discuss how to feel more comfortable selling on live video calls.

1. Ask open-ended questions.

During your first face-to-face interaction, asking open-ended questions is vital. If you sent pre-recorded videos earlier in the sales process, your prospect had a chance to learn more about you, and what you were all about. Now it’s your turn to learn about them beyond your research.

Gain a solid understanding of their position and what support they are looking for by asking thoughtful questions and actively listening for understanding.

2. Schedule shorter calls.

If you normally ask prospects for a 30-minute call over the phone shorten it to 10 minutes when requesting to meet over video. If you typically ask to speak for an hour over the phone, aim for only 15 to 20 minutes on video. Why? Because you want to use frequency more than length when selling on video.

When meeting in person, you can have a bigger impact on people by spending more time with them. But on video, your conversations should be replaced with shorter, more frequent interactions. The frequency of your appearance will have more of an impact when connecting remotely than how much time you spend talking to your contacts.

3. Use video calls to break up the day.

Part of what makes video so powerful for sales calls is the venue change phenomenon. To understand venue change, let’s walk through an example of what your day may have looked like working in an office.

When you go through your day, you constantly are experiencing the world through a different view. One minute you’re taking a call from your desk. Then later, you may move to another location to get some administrative work done. After that, you may head to a meeting in a conference room. Later in the day, you could have a colleague stop by your desk and ask you a question.

With all of these events happening in one day, your memory helps catalog different moments. Not just with what you learned or the details of your conversations, but also with the different locations and changes of scenery. So the more frequently you're changing a venue the easier it is for you to retrieve things from memory.

However, with more of us now working from home, including your customers and prospects, we don’t have venue change helping us catalog the various events of the day.

Many workers are now spending their days in one spot. Two in the afternoon looks exactly like 10 am. Thursday looks like Tuesday. When this happens, the brain has to work harder to retrieve memory and process information.

When you have a lack of change you start to stagnate. That's why at the end of an eight-hour work from home day you may feel more tired than you used to be working from an office. This fatigue could be because you're asking your brain to work twice as hard due to the lack of venue change.

We're going to help that with video conferencing with calls that are shorter in duration and held on a more frequent basis. These video moments that you have with your prospect are going to anchor the conversation to a higher level of importance because you're the one different thing that we're looking at throughout the rest of the day.

It helps break up the day for both you and the prospect, making your conversations more memorable. That alone is a good reason to use video for your qualifying conversations.

Tips for Selling on Other Video Call Platforms

Though you will likely use video calling software for your live calls, it is important to maintain good video etiquette when creating and sharing your pre-recorded videos. Keep these tips in mind when sharing videos:

  • Track video performance — How will you know when a potential buyer has opened your email or watched your video? By diving into the analytics of your sales videos, you can gain a solid understanding of what resonates and what doesn’t.
  • Have an organized video library — The ability to keep your videos organized based on the date they were created and whom they were created for can save you time and energy hunting down old videos to recreate. Have a solid storage and labeling system in place to organize your video content.
  • Turn static sales documents into video messages — Many video tools have features that allow you to quickly add unique visual elements to your videos. Hernandes says, "You can easily record with yourself on camera and walk them through your proposals, quotes, and scope of work." This idea can help you elevate standard document sharing.

Here are a few platforms specifically designed to support your video selling efforts.

1. Hippo Video


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Hippo Video is a holistic video program that promotes engagement with your prospects, sales team, and marketing and service functions. This platform’s video selling tools have notable features for every level of your sales organization including custom landing page builders, a video teleprompter for recording natural-sounding videos, and advanced analytics so you can track video performance in relation to sales.

Hippo Video plans start at $30 per month per user with their annual sales plan.

2. Cincopa

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Cincopa is a video hosting service for Inbound-focused agencies. Cincopa’s video sales tools help your team easily create and send personalized sales videos with the click of a button. Users can also create their own video libraries to share with teammates for further training and development.

Cincopa plans start at $25 per month when billed annually.

3. Vidyard

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Vidyard is a robust remote selling tool that empowers your team to create and share engaging videos at every stage of the sales process. Vidyard offers recording, editing, hosting, optimization, and sharing within one easy-to-use platform.

Vidyard offers a free plan with unlimited uploads, and additional features in paid plans starting at $15 per month.

4. Dubb 

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Dubb is the video sales operating system that gets you more connections, conversations, and conversions. The Dubb platform includes everything you need to make an impact in your sales and marketing including video messaging, email/SMS campaigns, workflows, and a CRM add-on. Get the Dubb mobile app, desktop app, Chrome Extension, and website dashboard to increase your sales today. 

The professional plan is $32/month per user

5. trumpet

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Trumpet is a digital sales room with video and screen recording built in. It allows salespeople to put a personal spin on their outreach, spice up those post-demo recaps, and bring their onboarding process to life using the in-built tool.

Some ideas on what to use video for in trumpet are: Sending pre and post-meeting recaps through quick video messages, addressing customer queries and sharing updates with meaningful async videos, capturing every detail of your deal in an easy-to-digest video message and guiding buyers through video demos, pitches, and presentations.

Trumpet plans start at $29 per month when billed annually.

Video is going to be an important part of the salesperson’s toolbox for the foreseeable future. As you approach sales conversations, remember your customer should be your top priority.

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