Month: March 2019

How the new sales development tech stack is changing B2B sales

Sales development is one of the most important and under-appreciated functions in growth-oriented B2B companies. It’s also one of the most exciting when it comes to the evolution of technology and AI.

This has never been more apparent than in March 2019 when Outreach and SalesLoft, hosted their annual conferences Unleash and Rainmaker—bringing together more than 2,000 members of the sales development community to discuss the latest trends and innovations in this burgeoning market.

How the new sales development tech stack is changing B2B sales 1

These events made it clear that new technologies are transforming sales prospecting and what it means to be a sales development rep (SDR). These days, SDRs do a lot more than simply“smiling and dialing” (and emailing) 10 hours a day hoping to bring in a few more leads. In fact, the average SDR is responsible for 12.3 deals per quarter.

With the changing behaviours of today’s buyers and the availability of new technologies, sales development is becoming a sophisticated business function that takes a strategic approach to identifying and developing new sales opportunities based a wide range of buying signals and sales engagement techniques.  

On average, SDRs use six different tools. And the days of SDR teams inheriting tech from the broader sales and marketing teams—such as customer relationship management (CRM), email automation, and social listening—and adapting them to meet their unique requirements for scalable sales prospecting are quickly coming to an end.

Rise of the SDR tech stack

We’re now witnessing the rise of a sales development tech stack that is built from the ground up to help SDRs connect with more prospects, build more meaningful relationships, and book more meetings—and to do it all at scale.

The real power in this new tech stack is its focus on both automation and personalization, two forces that have traditionally been at odds with each other in the worlds of sales and marketing. Automation drives scale and efficiency while personalization creates relevance and urgency. This combo gives you more at bats and a higher batting average as a sales rep.

While technologies designed for SDRs aren’t new, we’re now seeing a tipping point where the market is moving from “lots of great tools” to an “integrated tech stack” where all of these tools can work together within a single user experience.

This is being fueled by sales engagement platforms like Outreach, SalesLoft, and others opening up integration points to allow other apps and tools to plug in.

SalesLoft now boasts a large app directory while Outreach introduced a Galaxy partner ecosystem to enable “any action” to be taken by an SDR from within one primary application. In essence, this means that an SDR can send an email, connect on social, make a phone call, send a personalized video, initiate a direct mailer, or even start up a chat conversation all from within a single application, thanks to various third party app integrations.

It’s all about helping sellers be more efficient, more effective, and more strategic in how they sell.

Implications for B2B sales teams

The rise of the SDR tech stack has many implications for today’s B2B sales teams, both in how we empower our reps and what we need to expect from our sales leaders. The top implications that I took away from interviews with sales experts at the events included:

  1. Impact on sales leadership and culture: Sales leaders need to understand that the world has moved beyond the cold call list. They have a greater responsibility to understand the technology, to identify and implement new processes supported by that tech, and to train their teams accordingly. This will also make for more motivated reps.
  2. Automation vs. personalization: Automation and personalization are both critical for today’s SDRs, and new technologies are helping on both sides of the equation. Every SDR team needs to be conscious of how they use technology to find that optimal balance of efficiency and effectiveness. The new stack is about quantity AND quality.
  3. Cool tools vs. integrated stack: It’s easy to adopt lots of cool sales tools and to see incremental gains in sales performance. But the promise of the new sales tech stack is to create a step-function change in performance across your team by bringing the top tools together in a way that is easy and efficient for any new rep to adopt. More data sources plugging in to the mothership will also enable more impactful AI.
  4. The “next action” has evolved to include video: Most sales teams are familiar with email, phone and social as the primary “next actions” for trying to engage a potential buyer. With diminishing returns happening on these channels, we’re now seeing one-to-one video, direct mail, and chat as the next wave of “next actions” for SDRs.

To stay on top of what’s happening in the world of sales development tech, follow these super smart people who are also very generous in the content and knowledge they share online:

And to learn more about adding video to your sales prospecting, check out The Definitive Guide to Video for Sales.

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Transforming the buyer’s journey with video: Is your organization ready?

The use of video is a now a major component of the buyer’s journey and one of the most important marketing tools in an organizations arsenal; 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name it as the medium with the best return on investment (ROI).

More companies are realizing the potential of video and adapting their marketing strategies and budget to incorporate video assets. The process of integration varies between companies but there are many common themes that arise when it’s time for an organization to bring its video strategy to scale.

In a recent session during Vidyard’s Fast Forward 2018 conference, Vidyard VP of Marketing Marcy Dobozy met with representatives from three different organizations to discuss their ventures into video for business.

Glenn Hughes, Video Producer at Gordian talks about why his company chose to use video in their marketing strategy.

“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million” (Glenn Hughes)


Video allows companies with complex and difficult to explain products to eloquently deliver their message to potential customers. Breaking down complex ideas in shorter explainer videos is a strategy that is implemented by organizations with an effective video strategy. Using a video platform that can supply advanced metrics goes a long way in proving ROI and getting the go-ahead from finance to implement video at scale. The ability to track things like engagement over time rather than simple views and impressions was of major importance to Gordian and one of the main reasons these companies are choosing to use the Vidyard platform.

Video At Scale: Getting The Tools Into The Hands Of In-House Employees

For most organizations bringing a video presence to scale is a matter of taking the video first approach. Creating longer form video content that can be repurposed into podcasts, blog posts, and short clips for social is a way to maximize your time and resources. Finding a balance between video assets that are created in-house versus outsourced is another aspect of bringing a video strategy to scale. There’s still a place for highly produced and more expensive videos but they live predominantly at the bottom of the funnel. It shouldn’t come as a shock that small businesses use the fewest external resources, with only 24% reporting that they relied exclusively on agencies, contract employees, or freelancers (per Video Benchmark Report).

Nathan Isaacs, Senior Content Strategist at Act-On explains how his company is taking the video first approach.

Whether your organization has an in-house studio with a dedicated team of video experts or you’re focused on getting the tools in the hands of current employees, the use of video at scale is a tool that all marketing teams should be leveraging. We know the importance of a video strategy but how do we go about getting started?

“How can I remove the barriers that have traditionally been in place?”  (Nathan Isaacs, Act-On)

Getting Started: Building a Video First Culture

Taking the first step into creating a culture of video can be vastly different across organizations but the common thread is getting people who aren’t comfortable on camera to overcome their fears. Starting off with something like a simple webinar or GoVideo where the subject is able to speak about a topic that they know inside out can be a good way to break the ice. Producing content around trade shows where staff were in their element and comfortable was a tactic that the team at Rockwell Automation employed, Shannon Vaughan, Marketing Technologist explains.

While leveraging in-house staff and getting video into their hands to create their own content is important that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t proceed without a strategy. The team at Gordian begins every video project big or small with a detailed creative brief and brainstorm session before they begin the film process. Whether you’re filming an iPhone video or a full production piece you should be able to answer these three important questions before filming.

  1. What is the purpose of the video?
  2. What do you want it to achieve?
  3. How will you measure success (beyond views)?

Whatever strategy you choose to employ it comes down to your employee’s willingness to take the leap into video. Getting the video equipment into their hands so that they are comfortable with the creative tools and having them record a short initial video are great first steps. Another strategy is to leverage the webinar content that you most likely have already produced to begin building your video presence to scale.

Embracing Video Across The Buyers Journey: The Right Video At The Right Time

Developing a video strategy that is well suited for implementation throughout the buyer’s journey can be tough as different types of videos excel in different stages of the funnel. Vidyard has identified the 12 Types Of Videos That Work Best For Each Stage Of The Customer Lifecycle. Let’s take a look at a few examples of the different types of videos that are used throughout the purchase funnel.

Brand awareness and promo videos are an important tool at the awareness stage of the funnel. The team at Act-On found great success with a high production video that used humour in hopes of getting their name out there and grabbing the attention of prospective customers.

Over at Rockwell Automation, the team launched their LinkedIn Storm campaign in support of a global product launch this past April. In a series of explainer videos of various production value levels, Rockwell product experts from around the world composed videos to contribute to the campaign.

Gordian has taken things a step further and developed a series of videos that aim to assist in a complete customer journey within a Vidyard playlist.

The Right Video Platform For Your Business

Finding the right video platform that will fit your needs is one of the most important steps in developing a video strategy. Relying solely on basic tools like YouTube or Vimeo just isn’t enough for businesses that are looking to take the next step with video. The platform’s ability to measure the success of a video with advanced analytics and the integration with marketing and sales tools goes a long way when proving the ROI of your video strategy. Nathan Isaacs explains why the team at Act-On chose to use the Vidyard platform.

Watch the full webinar here for a more in-depth look at how video is transforming the buyer’s journey.

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Vidyard and Outreach deliver effective sales videos where you work

Over the past couple of years, top performing sales and business development reps have leveraged the power of 1-to-1 video powered by Vidyard GoVideo to increase their production. Incorporating video messaging into their sequences and follow-up emails, not only helps to humanize their message, but also increases their connect rate by as much as 400%, while also increasing pipeline and closing more sales.

We are taking this to a new level with our Vidyard GoVideo application and our newest partner Outreach, who power one of the leading sales engagement platforms for teams.

With Outreach’s new Galaxy solution, users of their service can easily CREATE and SHARE video messages created with Vidyard GoVideo right from within the Outreach console using templates, sequences and personal messages. The integration of these events into Outreach means you can automatically have a follow up call task created, or send an email, or take any action you need t0o, seamlessly.

Robust yet seamless workflow is at the heart of any high performing sales team. This data integration between the powerful Vidyard GoVideo solution and Outreach’s sales engagement technology makes it a killer solution for any sales team

Click here to learn more about this integration!

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3 ways sales can be more successful with video

Sales has never been an easy job to automate. For every tool that pops up promising automatic follow-ups or additional data points for tracking engagement, there still needs to be a human element to the sales process. Remember, as Fast Company put it, “People don’t buy products – they buy better versions of themselves.” And for all the technology that’s available, the best way to help prospects connect the dots between your product and the person they want to be is a bona fide, living, breathing human being.

But sales teams aren’t working stacks of lead cards anymore either. The average marketing database is in the thousands, and grows by hundreds of leads every week, meaning that by the time the MQL become SQL, there is no shortage of prospects for salespeople to… well… prospect.

And if each salesperson is trying to juggle dozens of possibly-engaged leads, how can they best prioritize their time? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to do this with video!

Engage at the right time

Knowing a prospect has downloaded a whitepaper is useful information, but you may never know if they actually read it. That’s where video is a game changer from an engagement perspective – not only will your salespeople know that a prospect has clicked play, but they can see exactly how long that prospect viewed the video. Powerful tools for separating the wheat from the chaff.

Once your sales team decides to engage with a prospect, it’s still not easy to know whether or not the prospect really cares about what you’re saying. In other words: email open rates are great for knowing when a prospect has clicked on an email, but really don’t tell your salespeople anything about how engaged they are. Maybe they just deleted it right after!

And voicemails are even worse – you may never know if your prospect even listened to your voicemail, let alone whether they were excitedly jotting down a follow-up number to call you back.

That’s why high performing sales teams have been moving video into the prospecting process and using it not only to drive more engagement but to help prioritize the leads worth pursuing versus the tire kickers that aren’t really interested.

Automate to reduce workloads

Look for sales and video tools that can become part of your reps’ workflows to save time and improve efficiency

Focus on tools that reduce rather than add steps in the workflow. The key here is finding tools that are simple, seamless and integrated.  For example, if your team uses Vidyard and Outreach, you can now record and send videos in your email right from within Outreach. And when your prospect views the video, that activity triggers your next task so you can immediately take action to convert at the highest level.

Your team doesn’t have to worry about creating 1:1 videos for every prospect (because time is money) they are able to use pre-recorded videos within their sequences, templates, and snippets.

Vidyard is excited to be included in Outreach’s new app marketplace The Outreach Galaxy.
The Outreach Galaxy is a commitment to bring all your sales actions into a single workflow
within Outreach. Click here to learn more

Tools that live in workflows reduce the amount of the non-selling work reps must focus on, while also increasing their chances of actually adopting the tools and seeing success.

Bring Marketing into the mix

Ensuring reps have the tools and collateral they need to be successful is hard — especially for leaders in high-growth companies, where scaling creates a constantly evolving environment. Creating a strategic sales enablement plan will make your team more productive and help you reach your goals each quarter.

When it comes to content, video is an innovative sales enablement piece that, when used in tandem with other digital and traditional marketing content, can reach prospects most effectively.

Sales and marketing should work closely together to develop and leverage video content to craft demos that focus on the benefits of their product, making it more clear and easy to digest for the prospect in a few quick bites. If reps are using video in their prospecting emails, they can use a CTA button with a Calendly link embedded at the end of the video to capture new leads and quickly convert them.

The most successful sales teams collaborate with their marketing team on an ongoing basis to provide the insights they need to develop meaningful, innovative video content to engage, and ultimately convert, the right leads.


Sales enablement isn’t easy, but by choosing tools (like Vidyard GoVideo) that complement your reps’ workflows, including your marketing team, and adopting a video first mentality, will allow you to close more deals than competitors who still rely on email threads and clunky spreadsheets.

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How IMPACT is using video to connect personally with prospects

It’s no longer a secret that the use of video is transforming the world of business. While technological advances have helped with productivity and accessibility it’s cultivated an environment where we have fewer personal connections than ever.

Right now, less than 10% of sales teams are using video as a part of their sales strategy and connecting to prospects by spamming impersonal and irrelevant spray-and-pray messages just isn’t working anymore.

For the most successful sales teams video has become a vital tool to not only make that initial contact with a prospect but to create a personal connection and build a foundation of trust.

In a recent session during Vidyard’s Fast Forward 2018 Conference IMPACT’s Zach Basner and Myriah Anderson reveal some of the best practices and strategies you need to know to leverage video in your sales efforts. For IMPACT the real conversation isn’t about video but in fact trust

Prospecting With Video Is Changing The Landscape Of Sales

Sales teams who are incorporating video into their prospecting routine are seeing some fantastic results like 5x higher click-through rates and 8x higher open-to-response rates. It’s staggering numbers like these that are leading to the evolution of the sales landscape and leaving late adopters out in the cold.

Organizations who are ahead of the curve have quickly realized that simply using video as part of their outreach is not enough. The team at IMPACT is incorporating video into their sales cadence with the goal of adding value to the customer rather than jumping directly into a sales pitch.

IMPACT Live Outreach Results

  • Top 3 performing emails of 2018
  • 40% of people who clicked into the email watched the video
  • 91% that watched the video clicked through to a meeting link
  • 20 meetings booked in less than 24hrs

How To Be Successful With Video Prospecting

Never prospect without video: Video is a great way to stand out and cut through the noise, be on the forefront and don’t be left behind.

Offer value and advice: Don’t make it about you, in order to build a relationship you need to offer something of value in exchange for the prospect’s time.

Have a good understanding of your buyers: Your marketing team has most likely done plenty of research around your buyer personas, leverage that knowledge and mold your video prospecting strategy around that data.

Give one clear call to action: Have a clear path of where you want to guide the prospect, don’t overwhelm them with resources.

If you aren’t seeing results right away, don’t give up: Embrace the failure and learn from it, we don’t all become video rockstars overnight.

The First Impression Is The New Close

We all know that making a good first impression is important for any social interaction but how fast is that judgment made? It takes just 7 seconds to make that initial impression and the ultimate judgment comes from the human to human contact.

Putting a face to the name and adding a personal touch helps to break down the digital barrier. Including video in your outreach will maximize that short window opportunity and set yourself up as a top contender.

64-85% Increase in a viewers’ decision to buy after watching a video 

How To Be Successful With Your First Impression

1:1 Video: Whenever possible use a personalized video, leverage the prospects supplied information and use it to make a human connection.

Personalized Automation: When a 1:1 video isn’t feasible, use a pre-recorded automated response that is a more general response but still adds a personal touch.

Make it about them, not you: Reach out with the goal being to help the prospect overcome challenges and reach their goals.

Set clear expectations: A personalized video gives the prospect a good idea of what to expect during the call and allows them to be better prepared.

“You don’t have to be great on camera, you just have to be helpful.”

Spend Less Time Educating, and More Time Selling

Facing a constant stream of repeat questions is a challenge that all sales teams have to overcome. IMPACT has estimated that 70-90% of questions that come up in the initial appointment are the same questions every time. IMPACT uses a pre-recorded video solution that they call the “80% Video” that answers the most common questions before the initial call even takes place.

The 80% video effectively shortens the sales cycle by providing clear and concise answers to the most pressing questions and cutting down follow-up time dramatically. Video is also a vital tool for getting the information into the hands of decision makers.

Often, sales pitches are given to employees that aren’t even in a position to make the decision to move forward on the deal. The 80% video ensures that the information isn’t lost in translation when passed on to those who make the final decision. It also ensures that they are now familiar with your face, making that oh so important human connection.

In fact, a lot of these common questions are consistent across many different industries.

Video has become one of the most important tools in a sales teams arsenal. Cutting down the digital barrier by making a personal connection on which a foundation of trust can be built is of paramount concern.

Connecting with a prospect through the use of personalized video and adding pre-recorded video assets to the sales cadence are two tactics that are being used effectively at IMPACT.

Check out the full webinar here for a more in-depth look at what works for IMPACT.

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