A few years ago, I was in charge of a business development team in the US, fresh off a new funding round with huge ambitions. We had just expanded our team with more SDRs, ready to fuel our growth. Everything was set: a robust sales engagement platform, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and a well-positioned inbound machine.
But we hit a snag – our emails were getting lost in the noise. With a reply rate of just 4%, it was clear that something wasn't working. Our potential clients, bombarded by endless emails, simply weren't reading ours.
That's when we shifted gears to video prospecting. The change was striking. In just a few weeks, our reply rate jumped from 4% to 20%. Our team was finally having meaningful conversations with prospects.
In this article, I'll share the insights we gained and tips you can use with your SDR team about Video Prospecting. And yes, Claap can help with that ;)
What is Video Prospecting?
So, what exactly is video prospecting? At its core, it involves using personalized video messages to reach out to potential clients or leads. Unlike traditional cold calls or standard text-based emails, video messages add a layer of personalization and engagement that can significantly increase response rates and foster stronger relationships from the outset.
In general, you can think of it as a personalized video that you add to your traditional sales communication platform: Salesloft, Lemlist, Outreach, or even just Gmail.
Why You Can’t Skip Video Prospecting
Sales is tough, and prospecting is tougher. Building meaningful relationships has always been at the heart of successful deals, traditionally through face-to-face meetings and phone calls to understand customer needs.
However, recent shifts have made engagement harder. In the post-"Zoom fatigue" era, people guard their time more and are reluctant to engage in lengthy conversations. It's now easier to buy software without talking to salespeople. The rise of AI and the "automate everything" trend have only compounded the challenge, flooding inboxes with unwanted emails. In fact, according to Mailbutler, the number of sent and received emails globally is projected to increase to 347.3 billion per day in 2023, and this figure is set to grow to 392.5 billion by 2026.
In this landscape, cutting through the noise is paramount, and video prospecting emerges as a potent tool. It offers a personal touch in a brief, engaging format, making it more likely to grab attention amidst the clutter. According to Leadfeeder, 80% of people have been convinced to purchase an app or software because of a video, highlighting the significant impact of this medium on buying decisions.
When to use video prospecting
There are many moments when you can use video prospecting. The idea here is not to give you a precise answer but to tell you the things we tested and what we learned along the way.
Video prospecting for initial outreach
One of the easiest ways to get started with video prospecting is to include it in your initial outreach sequence. In the past, we decided to include it in the 1st email of our Salesloft sequence with a short personalized message. It was the guarantee that prospects would notice that the video was recorded for them. The only downside is that you need to be ready to dedicate some time doing it. Like crafting manual emails, the reply rate is much higher but it also takes a bit more time (more to come below on how to address this challenge).
Video prospecting for follow-up
The second way to include video prospecting is in your follow-up email. You just had an initial conversation with a prospect but you need to be more convincing to go to the next step of your sales process. Try to include a short demo highlighting the challenges of your prospect and how you can help them in your follow-up email. This short video can easily be re-shared to other stakeholders by your prospect.
Video prospecting for lead nurturing
Most of the sales opportunities you’re going to close come from prospects you engage with months ago and that you kept nurturing. One of the challenges of lead nurturing is to keep engaging with prospects with content that is relevant to them. You’re launching a new feature that might interest them? You have a new customer story to share that is the perfect match for them? Just record a short video to give them a quick heads up.
Video prospecting - a step-by-step guide
While using video prospecting for follow-ups and lead nurturing depends a lot on your use case, you can use a more systematic approach in your outbound sequences. Here’s a deep dive on the different steps you can take.
1. Decide when to send it
First, decide when to include video prospecting in your sales sequence. From what I’ve seen, there are no right or wrong answers. When doing it, you want to maximize 2 things:
- Personalization: how much personalization you can bring to your videos
- Productivity: create as many videos as we can in a short amount of time
For example, one thing we realized for us was that it was easier to include videos in the 1st email of our sales sequence:
- Personalization is easier as it also corresponds to the moment when you review your prospect list and slightly tweak the sequence to make it more personalized.
- You often review all those leads all at once so you can block some time during the week to record all videos. Repetition will also make it easier to create.
2. Select the type of video to use
Bringing personalization is one of the most important aspects of video prospecting. First, you want to make sure your message is tailored for your prospect but most importantly, your prospect needs to see it straight away. One of the challenges of video prospecting is to make people watch your video. If people realize you made a video just for them, they will be more likely to watch it.
That’s why you have different ways to do it:
- Showcase your face while holding a board showing a personal message to your prospect
- Record your screen with your prospect’s Linkedin profile
- Record your screen with your prospect’s website
- If you can also showcase your product in the real environment of your prospect that can also be a good tactic
3. Write your video script
Writing a sales script is very similar to the script you typically use during phone calls. If you have one, it will be easy.
If not, you can use this structure to keep your video short and engaging:
- Introduction: introduce yourself to start building a connection.
- Explain why you’re reaching out and that you understand their problem
- Explain quickly the value you can bring
- Provide a clear next step and encourage them to book a meeting
- Thank them for watching
4. Record your video
The first time you record a video, you might feel uncomfortable. Don’t worry, it’s normal. When recording videos, there are 2 things to be aware of:
- Don’t look for perfection. Imperfection actually makes it feel more authentic and engaging.
- Repeat, repeat, and repeat again. Repetition will make you very sharp so block some time in your calendar to record all your videos all at once. You’ll feel more at ease and you will probably want to try new approaches to be even more engaging.
5. Edit your video to make it more engaging
While the idea is not to spend 10 minutes editing your video, you can easily make it more engaging with a couple of things:
- Title: include the name of your prospect in the video. They will be more likely to click on it.
- Video editing: remove some parts of the video. If you misspell a sentence while recording, just repeat it and you will be able to easily fix that right after by editing directly in the transcript with a tool like Claap.
- Auto-chapters: a tool like Claap will help you automatically segment the video into Youtube-like chapters to make your video easier to read.
- Call-to-action: add a custom CTA to your video to let prospects easily book a meeting with you.
- Comments & Polls: in some cases, it might be relevant to highlight some parts of the video. Use annotations and polls to let your prospect interact with it.
- Thumbnail: you can easily add a custom thumbnail. However, if you’ve recorded yourself holding a board with your prospect’s name, it might be more relevant to use the automatic one with the gif that comes with it.
6. Copy the video in your email
When adding the video in your email, there are 3 things you need to pay attention to:
- Copy-paste the link should automatically add the gif of the video below to make your email more engaging (and increase the likelihood of clicking on the video)
- Mention you made a short video in your copy and include the length of your video (usually avoid saying it lasts 5 minutes, aim for 30-45s video)
- Access rights, make sure your link is public so they can access the video. You can also control other access rights such as “Can comment” or “Can download” if you want your prospect to take other actions.
7. Set up alerts & review engagement
Another interesting aspect of video prospecting is that you can get notified when a prospect watches your recording and you can easily reach out if needed.
On this, I recommend installing the “Claap App for Slack” to automatically receive new alerts on Slack. For example, if you notice that a specific video is being watched by 5 different persons, that’s a good sign ;)
Video prospecting - best practices
1. Keep it short and sweet
The shorter, the better. One important thing here is to also include the duration of your video in the email. People are more likely to click if they know the video is going to be super short.
2. Aim for authenticity, not perfection
Your video prospecting approach will be more likely to work if you craft something super personalized. Join, one of our customers, had tremendous results incorporating videos in their sales sequences to showcase how the product would work on their prospects’ websites.
3. Personalize at scale
Personalizing can be sometimes tough if you have many emails to send. In that case, there are 3 different ways to aim for personalization:
- One-to-one personalization: this is the most personalized one but also the one that takes the most effort. You really want to showcase your research to come up with something that is very relevant for one specific person.
- Account-based personalization: sometimes, the same message can sound personalized to multiple people in the same account, especially if you need to showcase how the product would look like on their product or website. In that case, you can use the same video to be sent to multiple prospects in the same account.
- Industry or use-case-based personalization: several people in the same industry might face the same challenge. In that case, you can re-use the same video that you can duplicate to personalize the title with the prospect’s name. You can also send the same video but duplicating and changing the title will make your video look more personalized and you will also be able to easily track view rate for each one of them.
4. Share best practices
Video prospecting is about creativity. Create a shared video channel with all your top performing videos to inspire new ideas for your teammates. You can even include some in your onboarding programs.
Video prospecting with Claap x Surfe
Discover how Surfe, a sales engagement platform designed for Linkedin outreach, is using Claap to boost their video prospecting
In the ever-evolving world of B2B sales, standing out is key. Video prospecting is not just a novel approach; it’s a necessity in an era where traditional emails often fall on deaf ears. The journey from a meager 4% response rate to a robust 20% is a testament to the power of video in engaging prospects. As you venture into this dynamic method of prospecting, remember the core principles we’ve shared: personalization, engagement, and consistency. Embrace the power of video to make that first impression, rekindle interest in follow-ups, and maintain a connection in your lead nurturing efforts. With tools like Claap, video prospecting becomes an achievable and impactful part of your sales strategy. Dive in, and watch your conversations, and more importantly, your conversions, come to life.