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The Ultimate Guide to Video Prospecting in Sales

One of the latest and greatest tools to help SDRs connect with prospects is video. 📹

Why has video prospecting become such a popular sales tactic?

It’s easy to see its appeal from both sides. Prospects can instantly put a face to a name, knowing they’re dealing with a real human.

Plus, SDRs can get their foot in the door with a prospect in a way that catches their attention. Sounds like a win-win to us!

We wanted to investigate this method further. What are the pros and cons? Should video be added to your prospecting toolkit?

In writing this article, we called on the expertise of Ivana Ivanova, Cognism SDR. She’s been very successful in utilising video to reach out to prospects. Who better to ask?

Scroll 👇 for Cognism’s ultimate guide to video prospecting! 

What is video prospecting?

Ever wanted to appear on the big screen? Here’s your chance! Well, kind of…

Video prospecting is when SDRs approach prospects with video content to communicate a specific message. You can send videos on a number of channels, and you can make them as specific and personalised to the prospect as you like.

Why did Ivana decide to film videos to send to prospects?

The idea was first proposed by her manager. She went on to tell us:

“I haven’t heard of many other companies using it, but I get a great response from it. Most of the SDRs at Cognism are now using videos in their prospecting in some way.”

“It’s a good way to stand out from the crowd. I usually send my videos over email, but if I connect with someone with a LinkedIn messaging template and they don’t respond to my initial request, then I’ll send them on LinkedIn as well.”

“The platform I use, Vidyard, is fully integrated with LinkedIn through a Chrome extension. Usually, if I’ve been ghosted by somebody and I send them a video, they respond.”

The benefits of video prospecting

According to Ivana, there are a number of attractive benefits to using video in outbound sales, including:

It puts a face to your name

With video prospecting, you show your prospects that there’s a real person behind the screen! 

This helps you build trust and develop a relationship.

It saves you and your prospect time

Your recipient can watch your sales call video when it’s convenient for them, hopefully meaning they’re more focused on what you have to say.

It’s more immediate than text-based communication

You can inject more fun and energy into a video than you can a sales email or LinkedIn message!

Also, messages and tone are less likely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

It can be easily personalised

A personalised sales video shows that you’ve taken the time and effort to think of your prospect and are thinking creatively to engage them.

Depending on what you sell, you can also demo your product or service during your video.

Some of your prospects will never have seen or heard of you before. Showing them exactly how your solution works can improve their understanding and provide colour to the descriptions you discuss over the phone or in emails.

It captures attention

As video prospecting is still fairly new, you’re more likely to grab a prospect’s attention; they likely haven’t received this kind of communication before!

Remember, prospects - and especially decision-makers - have mailboxes filled with people trying to pull them in a thousand directions.

A video is more memorable, meaning the prospect will recall more of what you say versus an email they’ve only skimmed.

It improves sales skills

Ivana shared some personal benefits of using video prospecting:

“It helps me enhance my personal skills; I’m improving presentation skills, building confidence and honing my messaging. It’s a great method everyone should use!” 

“Moving into a fully digital age where so many people are working from home or hybrid, it makes you stand out.”

What’s the ideal length of a prospecting video?

There’s a knack to creating video prospecting content that your prospects will want to receive and pay attention to.

The trick is to get the balance right between giving enough information to let your prospect know who you are and what you’re about, without making them watch too much footage. They’ll only lose interest if you send them a 10-minute epic!

Instead, be concise. Use the minimum amount of words you can to get your point across. if you struggle with what points to address, try using intent data to enhance virtual prospecting.

Ivana’s advice is to keep your videos to about a minute in length.

“The idea is to save time for both you and your prospect. They can watch it when it’s convenient for them, but that doesn’t mean you’ll hold their attention for long.” 

“So keep it short, try to spark interest, and end the video offering them a chance to learn more or see more of the features.”

How to add video to your prospecting routine

How successful is video prospecting?

Well, it depends on who you’re hoping to contact and with what message.

For example, Ivana has found more success using video with younger prospects. In general, though, it’s all about testing and experimentation.

We asked Ivana how she incorporates video into her daily routine:

“I use a dual prospecting approach. I’ll send videos to prospects I’ve never spoken with before via email, while on LinkedIn, I’ll only ever use them for follow-ups.”

“I also personalise my videos depending on who I’m contacting. For example, the messaging will be different if they’re a sales or marketing leader. I always try to include specific details about the prospect or their company, such as any pain points I know they’re dealing with.”

So, when video prospecting, you should tailor your approach to the channel you’re on and the persona you’re targeting. This way, you’ll avoid annoying prospects with irrelevant content and keep your videos fresh and compelling. 

Ivana said:

“Another way I use video is to show my prospects exactly how I found them [their contact details] using our sales software. It’s useful to be able to demonstrate the product I’m selling right off the bat.” 

“With video, you can get them to see it in action.”

With 'seeing it in action' in mind, check out this example of one of Ivana’s prospecting videos 👇

 

Video prospecting top tips

Filming yourself might feel daunting at first; if it wasn’t then we’d all be Hollywood actors or YouTube stars!

But, with a bit of practice, you can create videos that really help to boost your prospecting.

Follow these top tips 👇

1. Plan your video

Put yourself in the shoes of your future viewer. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What kind of information would they need?
  • What can you show them to improve their understanding?
  • How can you personalise the content to your specific recipient?
  • How long can you keep their attention?

Base your video script on the answers to these questions.

2. Record your video

Really important, this - find somewhere quiet to record!

You want somewhere where you’re comfortable speaking. Make sure your surroundings are well-lit and your backdrop is tidy.

Feeling natural on camera might take some time and practice, but it’s no different to being on a Zoom call with your prospect.

When recording, follow B2B sales best practices. Be friendly and human - and don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get it right! No one is an expert on their first go.

3. Iterate and improve

Once you’ve filmed and sent some videos, use the data at your disposal to iterate and improve.

Ask your prospects for feedback on your video prospecting - this is a great way of making your videos better.

4. Just try it!

Ivana is new to video prospecting but urges other SDRs to take the leap.

“I’d recommend anyone thinking about video prospecting to just give it a go, if it isn’t for you, then at least now you know that. But 100% try using it.“ 

“Creativity for SDRs is so important - every lead you get is probably being sold to by someone else at the same time, so any way to stand out is helpful.“

“Not everyone will click the video but if they can see you’re a real human then they’re more likely to give you time out of their day, especially if you make the effort to make it personalised and are willing to be creative. I’d love to be prospected in this way!”

How to use video for follow-ups

The good news is, you can use video prospecting at any stage of the sales process.

Ryan Reisert is a best-selling sales author. He told us he finds video to be a great method for delivering follow-up information after cold calling.

“Instead of just sending text in an email, add a video!”

“This helps to interrupt the pattern that prospects are used to when being sold to, grabbing their attention and making the experience more memorable.”

“More and more people like to consume content in video form. You can provide more context and use imagery alongside text. It’s a powerful way to communicate, so roll with it.”

Even if you don’t choose to send short clips to your sales prospects, Ryan suggests trying to incorporate video calls into your routine.

The reason being?

It’s easier for the prospect to feel comfortable building some form of relationship with you when they can see your face.

How to measure the results of video prospecting

Depending on your approach to video prospecting, there are various ways to evaluate your success. 📈

Ivana uses Vidyard to send her videos. With it, she can track metrics such as:

  • Link clicks.
  • How long prospects spend watching the video.
  • What percentage of the video they watched.
  • What parts they skipped.

You can’t get this kind of data from an email or phone call! It allows the SDR to pinpoint the exact areas of interest - or alternatively, the content their prospects don’t care about.

You can use these insights to improve your videos as you go.

The challenges of video prospecting

As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to video prospecting.

We’ve covered the benefits, but Ivana highlighted one of the slight hiccups she has faced in her video prospecting journey:

“People are more aware of security these days. If I send someone a link, especially if it’s a cold prospect, then they may not trust it enough to click through and watch.”

“As this approach is new, some won’t have experienced it before, and while that works in your favour if they do click through and watch, it can also be the reason people are hesitant.”

This may be a downside that SDRs have to live with for the time being - but in our opinion, it’s likely technology will find a way to catch up and resolve this issue in the near future.

Ivana was quick to add:

“Whenever I ask for feedback on my videos, I get positive comments on the approach. So the videos work really well; the downside is just getting people to click to watch them.”

Aaaaand action!

There you have it - if you’ve been considering using video for prospecting and lead nurturing, then now is the time to try it out.

Don’t be afraid of getting creative with it - after all, it’s about doing something different to stand out from the crowd.

Be bold, build trust and book meetings! 📅

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