Much about the sales process has evolved over the last decade. Buyers are more informed. Where selling and building a strong sales pipeline used to be a hardcore outbound, cold-calling, and prospecting exercise, it’s evolved into a more subtle, guided approach.
Undoubtedly, this change has been spurred-on by inbound marketing. Buyers have access to more information today than ever before.
Take blogging for example. There are over 600 million blogs today, with 77.8 million new blog posts published each month on WordPress alone. It’s no wonder two-thirds of buyers focus on online research before engaging sales. The need to find helpful and accurate information has grown.
And with this shift in the power dynamic of the sales cycle, a new requirement for sales has emerged.
Salespeople must know how to use new tools to generate results.
Video, while previously not a medium sales would use, is fast becoming one of the most valuable assets for forward-thinking sales organizations. Getting started isn’t costly. You don’t need to set up a video studio, a simple webcam or laptop camera will do.
Terminus is a great example of a brand that’s artfully embraced video withing their sales pipeline. They are an account-based marketing SaaS provider. Morgan, a Terminus sales rep, recorded over 3500 videos for decision-makers in 2018. She uses video as an opportunity to engage with her buyers on a deeper level.
She creates videos for each stage of their sales cycle. Her videos also include responses to common questions buyers have.
She went on to crush her quota, achieving 350%.
You wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking that using video, results in a protracted sales process. But the truth is, it’s able to do more for your brand than an email or any other sales collateral could.
Videos are more personal than product guides and brochures. They’re also able to communicate a sense of authenticity and credibility about your brand and the salesperson. And as all marketing and sales professionals know, the faster buyers trust and connect with you, the quicker the sale.
Videos are also the perfect fit for today’s sales landscape. More organizations are beginning to realize that while they may have a large target audience, few are really ready to spend money on a solution.
This idea is best articulated in Sticky Branding. Author, Jeremy Miller explains that only 3% of your market is ready to invest in what you’re selling.
7% want to switch to a new solution, 30% have a need but aren’t ready to commit, 30% have no need, and the remaining 30% are likely not interested in your organization.
It’s clear that sales have the opportunity to get in front of ready-to-buy buyers with strong, engaging and effective videos.
But what does this mean for the sales funnel?
How does video in the sales pipeline influence the sales funnel? And how are these critical sales models related?
Whiles the sales funnel and sales pipeline may sound like similar models, they differ.
A sales funnel is designed to track the quantity and conversion rates of prospects who move through your pipeline stages.
This often results in sales referring to how effective sales engagements are at various stages of the sales funnel. This is also why sales funnels and their effectiveness is measured in percentages at each stage.
A sales pipeline is used for tracking the stages a prospect moves through as they progress from lead to customer.
Sales pipelines are also used to track the revenue and deal potential of a sales organization at each stage of the sales pipeline.
Together, your sales funnel and sales pipeline work in concert to help you track the effectiveness off your sales process, while video works to create stronger and more meaningful and personalized engagements with leads.
The beauty of using video to build your sales pipeline has to do with the various engagements sales have with buyers. Video is versatile, it can be used for anything from prospecting to qualifying, and demos.
And as shown in Morgan’s example above, video is a perfect tool for educating buyers as they become primed for the next stage in the sales pipeline.
Video, therefore, becomes a vehicle for elevating the sales process. You’re able to use it to communicate stronger messaging.
While the objective is to engage ready-to-buy customers, sometimes changes can influence the speed of the sales process.
The great news is that videos can also be used to engage buyers in moments where the deal may appear to be losing momentum or at the start to educate buyers.
Here’s a look at the types of videos you and your sales team can create to engage buyers on a more personal level.
Prospecting is undoubtedly one of the most common uses for video and an important part of the sales cycle. Using video is a great way to differentiate your brand from the competition and make a powerful first impression on your prospect.
For example, Kyleigh from Power Reviews uses his prospecting video to reach out to Karen in a highly personalized way. He starts the video off by establishing a personal connection with Karen; Kyleigh is an actual customer of Karen’s.
He goes on to praise her product and then connects the dots. Kyleigh explains that Power Reviews helps brands like Karens share more great reviews (like his), and he can help her do the same on her site to help sell more shoes.
Like prospecting, qualifying is crucial. You need to identify whether you have an audience with the decision-maker, what information your buyer already has (and what they need more of), what challenges or specific problems they must address, and more.
While you could leave a voice message or send an email, this example from Chantelle shows that a request for a demo can be handled with a video.
In it, Chantelle shares that she’d like to schedule a 30-minute call with an account executive to provide the demo and answer any questions.
While demos supersede qualifying in the sales cycle, it’s not uncommon for leads to opt for demos without having engaged sales previously. Chantelle’s video proves how versatile the medium can be.
Demos are an inescapable part of the modern sales process. They help buyers better identify how effective a solution will be for their business. And when it comes to using video, while OTT live streaming video would be ideal, pre-recorded video works just as well to connect with a buyer on a personal level.
In Huey’s video, she shows Kaitlyn how Vidyard collects valuable information about videos viewed and how various analytics can be used by brands.
Huey also does a great job of personalizing this mini-demo. She constantly refers back to Kaitlyn’s interaction with her previous video at various points and thanks her, highlighting how effective Vidyard’s solution can be.
It’s not uncommon for deals to stall or lose momentum. It happens for many reasons, all of which can leave sales wondering what to do next.
Videos, like this one from Reva, show that there’s always a smart and relevant way to create an effective video to engage leads before they forget about you.
In Reva’s video, she recaps on the issues James mentioned he’s sales team experiences on their call. She proceeds to connect the dots between James’s sales teams inability to showcase all the amazing content his marketing team produces, and how video is the key.
One of the most daunting aspects of the sales process is submitting a sales proposal. It often means waiting to get feedback and questions about its contents, both of which require additional engagements and a potentially extended sales cycle, especially if you’re engaged with more than one decision-maker.
Video helps accelerate the process.
For example, Fred created this very brief, helpful and easy-to-follow video for Josh. In it, Fred simply covers all the elements that appear on the sales order and makes references to previously discussed points and agreements between him and Josh.
This video is a great example of how easy using video to make what could be an uninspiring step in the sales cycle feel more personalized and engaging.
Email marketers know that an effective email outreach needs strong and powerful subject lines. You need to generate interest to get the open. And when it comes to creating strong and effective subject lines, including the word “video” has been proven to boost open rates by as much as 13%.
Video is far more engaging than text and voice messages. As a medium, it allows sales to inject character and exemplify important qualities buyers seek from brands they want to do business with. It’s also a powerful medium for communicating messaging and value that may otherwise be below in a text-based email or on a voice message.
If your brand has been toying with the idea of incorporating video to support its sales pipeline, now’s the time to act. Using video can separate you from the competition and speed the formation of trust, credibility and position your brand as a leader.
There’s always a risk, but plenty of reward if you’re sending out the right emails to your Millennial audience.
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