INSIDE Inside Sales – Ep 111: Taking Video to the Next Level

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If you are still not using video for sales to connect with your prospects, you are missing out on a simple way to improve your success.

This week on INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl welcomes video marketing expert and Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, Ethan Beute. Darryl and Ethan share valuable advice on how you can use video more effectively to engage with your prospects. They offer tips such as optimal durations for keeping interest, getting feedback from those you trust, and ways to integrate personalization. Learn how to increase your engagement and influence on this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales!

''I've had opportunities opened up to me. I've built relationships like this. Just getting comfortable on cameras changed my whole life.'' 🎧 Listen as @ethanbeute shares his secrets on using video to improve your success in sales. Click To Tweet

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Video for Sales: Build Relationships with Prospects and Increase Sales

 

  • Using video to connect with prospects and clients may seem intimidating. But it’s easier than you think, and it’s a proven way to get prospects’ attention.
  • Video marketing expert Ethan Beute says face-to-face contact via video takes a willingness to be vulnerable, but that’s precisely why it works.
  • Ethan shares best practices for using video in your sales prospecting cadence, including recommended duration, personalization tactics, and ways to measure success.

Boomers dating on Zoom. Kindergarten via Webex. Today it seems everyone from five-year-olds to great-grandparents use online video to connect with others –– and learn new things.

So if you’re not using video to connect with prospects and clients, you’re missing a massive opportunity to humanize your business with face-to-face (though virtual) contact.

“Just getting comfortable on camera changed my whole life,” says video marketing expert Ethan Beute. As chief evangelist at BombBomb, a company that makes user-friendly video messaging software for business, he knows just how powerful it can be.

And although camera-shyness is incredibly common, he says it’s possible –– and actually quite empowering –– to get over it. When you leverage video in the realm of sales, you’re not making the next viral YouTube hit. You’re usually speaking to an audience of just one or two people.

“I often talk about the paradox of vulnerability,” Ethan says. “The reason this style of video is effective is the same reason it’s so difficult to get going. It’s emotional exposure, a fear of judgment and rejection.”

Those fears are “deeply human,” he adds. “Dropping our guard a little bit and being more of who we are, relinquishing some of the control we traditionally have over every single touch we make, is uncomfortable for a lot of people.”

There’s another paradox, though: If you get comfortable being uncomfortable, that discomfort eventually goes away. And when you build better relationships, it will all be worthwhile.

On this of INSIDE Inside Sales, Ethan explains how you can use video to engage with prospects, including how long to make your clips, ways to personalize them, and how to measure your results.

1. Best practices make perfect

Even if you’ve been FaceTiming your mom ever since the Great Toilet Paper Shortage, chances are your clients are less forgiving than she is about poor picture quality and wonky sound

Look (and sound) your best

Most problems Ethan sees from a technical standpoint can be solved with a simple fix: more light. So turn on as many lights as you can. If possible, take advantage of natural light by sitting near an open window (though not in front of one).

Angle your camera at eye level or slightly higher. It’s more natural and flattering.

Next, pay attention to your background. “We don’t need to see the exercise bike and the basket of dirty laundry behind you,” Ethan says.

“It’s okay to have personal effects –– this invites conversation and allows you to say things about yourself without saying them verbally. But just tidy your background a little bit and make it easy to focus on your face. That’s what video is all about.”

Get real

“If you’re not sincere, don’t use video,” says Ethan.

“This is your opportunity to communicate in a way that cannot be faked. You can’t do it as a bot. You can’t slug in variable data. Look someone in the eye and communicate with some basic level of sincerity, and ideally some enthusiasm, about why you’re reaching out with a particular opportunity.”

Authenticity is important in every sales interaction, but especially in the medium of video.

Even though they might not know exactly why they don’t like or trust someone, everyone can read microexpressions, Ethan notes.

“When there’s a discrepancy between our words and the meaning and the spirit behind the words, it comes through,” he explains.

Keep it short

Ethan recommends keeping your initial video touch under 40 seconds or less –– “unless you have a really compelling, interesting, fun, highly relevant, and highly personal thing to add.”

And even then, we’re talking less than two minutes.

Remember: The goal is simply “to generate a reply or to get someone to take you up on an initial lightweight call to action,” he adds. “It’s not to sell them the product or service.”

Refer to other touches

One of the main goals of video is to put a face with a name, “and the act of using video alone is completely differentiating at this point because not enough people are doing it,” says Ethan.

He recommends referring to other touches that you’ve made in your cadence. If you’ve previously sent an InMail, for example, refer to that so your prospect can more easily connect you with that message.

2. Test and assess

If video is new to you or your team, what are the metrics and methods that can tell you whether it’s working?

For the most part, you can use the same ones you already do. But Ethan does recommend a few video-specific strategies and stats.

A/B and see

If you’re on the fence about video, the best way to learn is to start.

“Let’s say you’re running a team of six or 12 BDRs or SDRs,” says Ethan. “Pick a few of them that want to go down this road and just A/B test.”

First, add videos to the emails you’re already using now, he explains. Then look at the results.

Ethan doesn’t think open rate is the first metric to look at, “although it matters,” he says. “And there’s certainly some research that says if you have the word video in a subject line, the more likely it is to be opened.”

That research varies widely, but based on an analysis of about 20 million emails sent through BombBomb, Ethan is confident that video can lift the open rate by 12%.

Rate of play

The open rate isn’t nearly as important as the video play rate and replying response rate. The former suggests “not only did I experience you in person, but it was sufficiently compelling to reply,” he says. But the video play rate is truly telling.

“You can look at an open rate and say: Cool –– 47% of people opened this email. But did they open it for two seconds or did they actually read it? Short of the reply you’d never know, but with video, you do. You can see that, of those who opened it, 41% of them played the video, and on average they watched it 87% of the way through.”

That’s another reason video is effective: You’ll know for sure if they heard you.

About ‘face’

Taken together, the video play rate, response rate, and video play duration metrics “let you know you are creating something that we measure across our team accounts, which is face-to-face time,” says Ethan. “We think it’s a transcendent metric because it captures all kinds of the sub-metrics.”

Those all “roll up into the amount of face-to-face time each of your reps in your team, in general, are creating with the people you’re trying to connect and communicate with,” he adds.

3. Counter every objection

Need some ammunition to battle the video skeptics? Here are some can’t-miss talking points. You’re welcome.

Schtick shift

Even though video is increasingly part of our daily lives, we still hear folks say using it in sales is a fad –– or a gimmick.

“It’s only a gimmick if you make it a gimmick,” says Ethan.

Because video as a sales tool is relatively new, he thinks we haven’t quite figured out all the standards and best practices: “There aren’t a lot of norms yet,” he notes.

But video is like any other tool. It can be used wisely and effectively or it can be misused. And your results will reflect the effort, time and ingenuity you put into it.

‘Asset’ management

“You, as a BDR or an SDR, are your own best sales asset,” Ethan says. “You’re looking to connect and communicate more effectively.”

And although he adds that “we know we do this better in person,” it’s not always possible.

Video is the next best way to provide a personal touch.

Ethan points out that most organizations hire customer-facing people for their ability to connect and communicate (and sometimes how they can influence and persuade), based on “how they carry themselves and present themselves.”

“But then most organizations equip them to sit behind a cloak of digital anonymity: faceless voicemails, emails, and LinkedIn messages,” he argues.

And so much of what they do is automated –– lacking both personality and personalization, which is “just a shame,” Ethan says.

Mix it up

If sales leaders see video as a way to lead with their best sales assets by equipping their teams to put their personalities front and center, they’ll be in a position to make video “a long-term add to the mix,” Ethan says.

But video doesn’t take over. It’s one channel of communication, along with phone calls, LinkedIn messages, Zoom meetings, and any other ways you reach out, like handwritten notes or gifts.

That’s why Ethan says video “can be a long-term, sustainable, dramatic benefit to the way your team builds relationships with the people who matter most to your success.”

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