Businesses have tinkered with video for several years, but many have been slow to implement it as a core part of their sales strategies. While video in sales was starting to pick up before 2020, the pandemic accelerated the trend with grounded travel along with the need to continue making human connections with potential and current customers, remotely. Because of the new workplace and sales reality, leading industry reports like the Forrester Tech TideTM are encouraging sales teams to invest in user-generated video as a core part of their business strategies. Mary Shea, Principal Analyst with Forrester, noted that “asynchronous video messages will be an essential arrow in the seller’s quiver in 2021 and beyond.” And I couldn’t agree more.
A digital-first strategy for sales and marketing is now necessary for the success of every business. Thanks to expanded access to vaccinations and diminishing COVID rates, a return to the office in some form may be on the horizon. However, sales teams are already seeing a boost in sales and productivity thanks to implementing video strategies that go well beyond simply using Zoom for video calls. According to research from McKinsey, between April and October 2020, revenue from video-related interactions jumped 69% and now accounts for more B2B revenue than sales happening through any other channel. With video’s proven success over the past year and with in-person sales meetings still far off, video outreach won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
But it’s not just enough to use video — sales teams need to understand when, where and how to use this emerging medium for maximum impact. Here are five things you need to know as you develop your video strategy:
Video Will Help Your Sales Game
2020 saw the use of one-to-one video creation increase by 471% and expand throughout the entire sales process, including post-sales and support, as remote selling became the norm.
According to a recent blog post from Forrester research, “As buyer preferences collide with pandemic-related realities, 40% of B2B reps told us in a recent survey that they plan to modify their tactics to adapt to remote selling activities. Traditionally limited to email, phone calls, and screen–sharing interactions, sellers will look for more dynamic ways to earn buyers’ attention.”
One of the teams already seeing success is Boston-based Corporate Traveler, the U.S. corporate travel division of Flight Centre Travel Group. The company had to swiftly implement a modern sales approach in an attempt to cut down on the amount of cold-calling and outdated processes. Instead of teams taking 40 calls or 100 emails to get a sales meeting, it now only takes 15 videos to do the same.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Video Creation
It used to be that you needed to have an understanding of how video development and editing works. But thanks to new user-friendly and freely available tools, anyone (whether a tech whizz or not) can create and share videos over email or social media using the equipment they already have.
Have fun with the process — there’s no one size fits all. You likely know your customer base and what they’re looking for, so focus first on catering to them. After that, the rest is up to trial, error and a bit of creativity.
Videos don’t have to be long to impact your customers either. In fact, having shorter bites of information is beneficial to keeping someone’s attention.
Leverage Your Virtual Events at Multiple Sales Points
While we’ve all experienced some amount of Zoom fatigue over the past year, the virtual events space isn’t going anywhere. They may slow down or shift formats, but virtual events or on-demand events will help your sales teams.
Not only are virtual events cost-effective, but they also help you get your message out to a more diverse and wider audience. And when you enable your event to be played on-demand via social networks or sent through marketing emails, it will only increase the potential engagement and room for a call to action. You can also cut these events into smaller clips to use in your marketing.
Use your virtual event to showcase your expertise or to educate your potential customers. Bonus points if you use LinkedIn, which is increasing in popularity for live-streaming to B2B audiences.
Understand What Your Customers Expect
I know many of you reading this may still not be comfortable on camera, but it’s time to get used to it because it’s what your customers and your colleagues expect.
You know customers expect to see video, but you also need to understand what types of videos they’re expecting and when to share them. For example, it’s not enough to send a video explaining what your product or service does. Everyone appreciates a bit of show and tell, so incorporate customer testimonials or use cases on how your service helped their business. It may also get your potential customer thinking about new ways to incorporate your service into their business.
Use Video to Make the Process More Efficient
Part of the power of video is the ability to repurpose it, use it at multiple points in the sales process, and have it be shared across a customer’s organization. Teams can put together short videos or use-cases for numerous different features or capabilities. You can also share recordings of your proposals or do executive summaries of what you went over.
Companies are seeing the efficiency benefits of incorporating video across their sales teams. Identity verification company, Jumio, turned up the dial on video in 2020 to get in touch with current and potential customers located around the world. When Jumio recently sent out an email-embedded video to all its customers, the open rate was 48 percent — much higher than the typical email open rate.
At the end of the day, with sales teams restructuring, downsizing or just trying to reach a different customer set, video is proving to be cost-effective and impactful.