How does your current sales outreach cadence look like? Do you get enough engagement and response rates? This is a question that many growing companies ask themselves
Meet Tibor Shanto and Karthi Mariappan who will be leading this event with the growing B2B sales teams.
Tibor is voted top 30 salespeople in the World by Forbes.com and Reuters says he is one among 50 sales experts and influencers you should be following.Top Sales Management Association voted Tibor as the 50 most influential people in sales lead management.
Karthi is the Co-founder and CEO of Hippo Video – A Video Personalization & Distribution Platform. He is a Senior Product Strategist, Marketer, and Product Manager with 16 years of experience. In his tenure at Zoho he built several successful products like – Zoho Recruit, Zoho People, OpManager, Studio from scratch and nurtured them to multi-million dollar revenue.
Watch the full video here:
Tibor [1:46]- What have you seen change most dramatically in B2B Sales this year?
Karthi [1:52]- I would answer in two parts – Pre Covid, where people had started using videos as a replacement to face to face meetings because it was very convenient, you could reach your prospect anytime at their convenience, they can open the video email and send it back but what was a trend then has become an essential part in your sales prospecting or sales cycle. That was one huge change that happened in the B2B sales, I would say.
Tibor [2:34]- In terms of video, we see people from sales putting more and more emphasis on medium and not message, and you could see why video would be more appropriate for that. Could you describe a couple of areas where you have seen people succeed with video?
Karthi [2:54]- Yes, so as you said, the medium is the important thing. Video actually captures the non verbatim as well, right? So when you communicate, they say 93% of communication is non-verbal, like shaking your head, acknowledging all of those are captured in videos, right? Videos are an interactive medium, and it is two way possible since CTA buttons are embedded in videos. So videos inherently possess that attribute of engaging effectively with the other end.
Now, where are we seeing people using videos? Especially in the sales cycle, I would say many use cases, but how do you cold-reach your prospect? By putting a face to a signature instead of typing or texting. How do you put a face to your signature is what videos are helping them. You can simply put it as a sales page, landing page and send it across. The other part is the closure of contracts.
With face-to-face meetings not available today, how do you end your contract very positively? You bring out your document, put your video into that, describe the essential part of the document, say why you have put that clause into your document, and send it out as an email to the other party. When they look at it, they understand why you have included all of this. So there is continuous communication possible with a video that adds a face to your content. These are some areas I see where people have started using videos and how it has become an essential trend today.
Tibor [4:43]- It is a big move in sales that the consumers have started moving towards sales and I think there are still many opportunities. We are at the crest of the wave here, but I am curious that the salespeople always want to differentiate themselves and be relevant at the same time. Maybe you can share some experiences where people have used videos in an interesting way to be relevant and again differentiate from others.
Karthi [5:14]- So we think, videos are REAL. REAL means Relevant, Emotionally engaging, Actionable, and Lively. I’ll describe each of these quickly.
Relevant is when you communicate, you want to bring out all the relevant details into that communication and make it a whole discussion, right? So when you send out a video, you do not send just a video in Hippo Video. You can send it as a branded page, where you can attach all your collaterals, be it a pdf, ppt, and bring that relevancy into your communication—That’s why we call it Relevant.
How is it engaging? Yes, you can have some CTA buttons or embed a chat into your video. So when someone views your video, you get a notification back in your CRM, which you can integrate, and your sales agent can either immediately begin a chat or a call and connect with them and describe more other things. So it is more engaging.
Actionable – with all of those buttons and interactions on the video and the page, you can connect back to your site or a different landing page and bring them very contextually.
And Lively, you are doing a 1 to 1 person, and the liveliness will be there. That’s why we call it a real thing. So Hippo Video has been put into a real framework, and we see greater success with our customers, especially in varied areas.
Tibor [6:55]- You mentioned prospecting, but I myself have used it. For instance, say throughout the sales cycle. One of my favorite use cases is to reactivate dormant accounts for people who have gone radio silent where human touch brings back the conversation. What are some of the do’s and don’ts in a prospecting phase and later on, when you are doing some customer support functions?
Karthi [7:14]- There are many, but the top three I would say.
- Keep it short–less than 90 seconds.
- Straight to the point. As for the meeting or the next call. Attach your video with a gif image with a personalized text over that video, and putting it visibly would be the second use case.
- The third part is how you engage with your prospects.
As I said, bring relevancy with all those collaterals. So you don’t attach the collaterals in the email. You send a video, and when you click on it, it takes you to a single page where all your collaterals are found and deliver the value quickly. These would be the top 3 things.
When you go down the part, I have heard something called warm calling. Basically, you need to establish the calling, then what you can do is bring in videos because people love faces. I have seen people sending out follow-up emails or reminders for zoom calls that I have set up, or once a zoom call is done. They take the discussion, cut it into different excerpts, or take the main discussion to send it across. So you can do it in cold as well as warm contacts, I would say.
Tibor [8:40]- One of my favorite uses is to send a thank you note because if you were in a meeting, a thank you note with a smiling face than flat texts are way more effective and so on. One other thing I like about videos is how well it fits into other forms of communication like they can go beyond voice and air other things. But I am curious about what you have seen or what your experience has been using various types of sequence or cadence, tools in choosing how your video fits into email, LinkedIn, telephone, you think it is natural?
Karthi [9:12]- We have seen people using in 7 or 13 level cadences which has a sparse space between them.. like..the first one is a video and the second one will be a LinkedIn message – again a video where we have integrations with LinkedIn where you can quickly record a video and send it as a LinkedIn message and the third one will be a text message where you are being ensured with a text. Kind of people have alternatively used text with a video, and it has been quite effective there.
Tibor [9:48]- I am curious if you have seen people extend one of the more interesting practices like seeing an email if you are trying to save up a story in those almost like using Netflix for prospecting, but I am curious if you are using videos as a way of unpacking story overtime?
Karthi [10:04]- Yes, So as I said the cold outreach, you have to keep it short, but once the contact is established, now you want to explain your services/product. You can have some well-shot videos as an explainer story of what you do or how you differentiate from others and send it as a video to say what you want from that video. So you can sound like,” Hey, This is Karthi from Hippo Video, I am connecting with you, I am sending out a video on what we offer and what other outcomes occur.
Tibor [10:42]- I don’t want to eliminate the information we have shared here to my imagination. So I’m curious to know what other unique ways people use videos, not in a conventional way but a unique and impactful way?
Karthi [10:52]- So one of our customers, what they did was they shot some testimonials, we have our testimonial feature, they asked their customers for an authentic testimonial which they shot using an iPhone and they sent in their follow up emails. So what other customers are saying about them. It isn’t a marketing video. It is a very well shot video using their mobiles to talk about for one minute on why their product is superior. That was an authentic way of passing their social credentials to other people when you interact. That is essential in the consideration stage, and that was very impactful. So that customer showed us how he was able to do it.
Tibor [11:45]- What have you seen companies do, in the past times they would send documents for support, this that or the other. What are the ways we are seeing video being utilized in the support function as opposed to the sales function. Because we see SAAS as an important process in revenue getting them in.
Karthi [12:07]- As you rightly pointed out, videos are being used not only in sales but also in brand marketing, campaigning, and also in support. It is possible through the integrations you provide—tools like Salesforce or HubSpot, Zendesk, or Freshworks etc. You can quickly use videos to explain certain aspects of how to use something and quickly send it across and solve it quickly. So that is where people have started using videos.
Tibor [12:40]- Now imagine if you do it as a pre-qualifier or separating people from those worth investing time in. I’m curious to see a surprising stat or insight that you have learned about using video?
Karthi [13:05]- People, when they start off with videos. They’re skeptical in two ways – Should I have to invest more time on getting a video out or typing out an email and the second part is how effective it is. Over these years, we have seen that it is very easy to create a video because it is a natural way of expression. So that part we are solving through – easy to use. But the important aspect is the ROI that you get.
To give you an example, we have a customer in the airline industry where the SDR made three meetings out of 100 emails. Today she was able to make ten meetings out of 22 mails with video emails. That is the kind of increase in response to getting a meeting. I would say a response rate of 3x or a booking rate of 2x is what we see across different customer segments and industries.
Tibor [14:18]- So with anything, things could be overdone and overcooked, are there any certain times when video is not the right way to communicate?
Karthi [14:21]- I’m not sure about that, not just because I am a video guy. But I have seen cases where videos have always elicited a response.
To give an example, there was one customer who replied saying, “Hey I did not get a meeting, but I got a very good response from the prospect saying, you have taken that additional effort in sending a video. I respect that and maybe sometime later I’ll get back to you.”
So I’ll say video will not defeat you at any moment.
Tibor [15:04]- Where do you see videos evolving to, say the tools are evolving right now, it is a straight type of conversation. Where do you see it evolving from the sales perspective?
Karthi [15:13]- I feel that with more interactive videos coming through and becoming a norm. Videos are becoming an effective medium where you can integrate the whole sales process with videos itself.
I see videos emerging as an effective medium capturing all the interactive keys that a salesperson wants with his prospects.
Tibor [15:50]- I think it is safe to say that with 5G coming, it is going to be much more prominent with videos consuming more bandwidth as that comes along. Do you think companies need to get ready now or do they still have some time to get ready? What they need to focus on is messaging or getting the people ready or everything all at once?
Karthi [16:16]- I would say that the time has come already. We have seen many organizations across different industries, adopting videos today. Thanks to the enablers – the technology – like the mobiles, which are there today. So I would say be natural and authentic on the video as that’s what people would like.
When people go for a sales meeting, they need to be authentic the way they are. So that is what we are going to transform in the video. Initially with 5 or 6 videos, you will struggle, becoming comfortable with your own self. Once I have seen someone create 600 odd videos and are still going. It is becoming strong because it is very natural and faster than typing an email.
Tibor [17:14]- We talked a lot about communicating with prospects, customers but sometimes the most crucial communication which costs you more money and opportunities are the internal communication – sales manager, team and so on. I am curious to see how people are using video cleverly and driving revenue through internal communication.
Karthi [17:39]- We have seen many of our customers using videos as a tool to enable the champions to describe what they wanted to do. Shoot a video, with the advantages you provide over the other services and provide it as a tool enabler to your champion.
That champion circulates your value internally. You’ll also be notified when more people are watching the same video. That is a clear signal of how interested that prospect is. So we are moving away from opening emails to watching videos and sharing videos for a greater intent.
Tibor [18:21]- One of the things I like about it is giving opportunities to prospects to respond to a video, draw them in, and help them discover and so on. Are you seeing to take off the feature in customers willing more? What can we do to make the salespeople encourage that type of response?
Karthi [18:44]- We have an option where you can put a small button in the sales page, which says reply with video. When prospects see your videos, they have an option to reply with video, and this is getting uptake. People want to put their face back into the reply, and they want to be real natural. That is a clear indication of how videos are being adopted by the people.
Today the mindset has changed. People have the mindset to accept. It used be be two video calls per year, now we are used to 5 video calls per day. The transformation has happened, and people have started accepting video as an effective medium for communication in sales cycles.
Tibor [19:38]- It is interesting how more and more people are willing to turn on their camera when they are in web conferences. So it is a growing phenomenon. So we have talked a lot about sales people’s view of things. What feedback have we had in terms of customers’ view of getting a video because they are an important part of this conversation?
Karthi [20:04]- As I already said, the mindset has already been enabled with all these technologies evolving like GIF, etc. is a quick enabler for them to what they want to see in the video. So the people are getting enabled. They understand, they play the video. If they like it, they are sharing it internally as well. So all of those are already there between the customers’ side.
Tibor [20:30]- What about in terms of who communicates with a video, the best coverage is a team coverage and that’s why we have specialised areas but on the other hand how many different faces, do we want in front of that customers or do you have any suggestions on just to how many people on the revenue side of the team should be using videos to communicate with the customers side of the team?
Karthi [21:01]- An excellent question. We have seen people when they want to introduce their services/product to their prospects, it’s the SDRs who create videos. Once that prospect books a meeting or a demo, they hand off videos and the account over to the AE. So they both come on a video and introduce themselves, that this is how the process of selling will happen. So both the SDRs and AEs are getting involved, but only at the later stage AEs are involved.
Tibor [21:40]- What have you seen customers do to some reluctant salespeople to actually use videos? How can we ease this as we could not force it on them?
Karthi [22:00]- Patience is key and as I said about those 5 or 6 videos but in Hippo Video we have got multiple enablers. The teleprompter feature we offer allows sales reps record videos easily. Sales reps can type down the script, watch the teleprompter and start speaking into the video to get yourselves accustomed.
We have multiple templates. And, there are coaching videos inside the product itself where you can use those videos to coach yourself. In addition, you can collaborate with your team using videos, understand how to pitch, practice it, show it to the team, get confirmation. So there are multiple enablers we bring in within the system. Also, we tie up with sales training people like Tibor Shanto and Jeffrey Gitomer, to help people onboard faster.
Tibor [23:00]- I can tell you that it helps from the point of view that when people are using video, it is a lot easier to do practicing not just because they have to do it because you can see what they are doing, but with a video. You can capture and break it down into similar coaching and watch the development and so on.
Most people get past the shyness with video, and it does work. I am curious if you have seen clients put together a best practice video library. So they will find the best rep who does a great job communicating with people.
Karthi [23:45]- Yes, we have seen two ways.
- Writing down scripts on the teleprompter–what is the 1st level, 2nd level, how you want to go through a video.
- People who are getting a lot of responses through videos are taking some sessions. So the AEs can sit with them, understand the best practices, take it to the team and have training sessions. Internal Champions are there who take it forward.
Tibor [24:15]- So what’s the manager’s role in helping somebody who hasn’t used video in the past?
Karthi [24:37]- So the primary angle we have seen with the enterprises we have been working with has two aspects in which the managers enable people to get on with videos. One showed the results, what the others have been achieving, as I said about 3x, 4x, ROI on using videos. The second part is showing them that it is effortless to get into videos. It is an initial period, once you are through that, it becomes a back of your hand kind of skill.
Tibor [25:02]- Salespeople are a bit competitive like who has got the best video or who has got the most conversions and so on. Have you used videos to spur on this kind of activity among the users?
Karthi [25:31]- Yes, there have been cases where people had used leaderboards on the video spot. They were tracking who had got how many responses, how many they had delivered. That is also one of the team building activities people take it out.
Tibor [25:43]- Some people are better seated to have conversations with a sort of camera on their own or others are not just good at it. What can we do to help people who may be really good salespeople to migrate to this medium?
Karthi [26:13]- The mobile app comes as a handy tool, for people to get adopted to videos immediately. We just have to install it and shoot a video in selfie mode. Mobile app works as an entry for people who are reluctant to record videos. Get into the mobile app, shoot a video, and you can start sending videos out. That is how we see people adopting videos effectively.