October 27, 2021

Modern Selling Needs Personality and Connection. For That, It Needs Video.

To quote Bob Dylan: The times they are a-changin’, and everybody’s on Zoom. 

(OK, he didn’t say that last part.)

But B2B buyers aren’t just changing—they’re taking on new habits and expectations at lightning speed.

Gone are the days of the simple gatekeeper-sales rep relationship. Today’s buyers are self-directed and self-educated, spending just 17% of their time with vendors, according to research from Garnter.

Their requirements and demands are more complex than ever, too. The same research found that three-quarters of buyers admit their latest purchase was “very complex.”

And they’ve taken a sledgehammer to old, linear buying journeys. Today’s buyers leap forward and loop back in the process. 

But change doesn’t end there.

Once upon a time, buyers wanted calls, emails, and perhaps a little facetime in the enterprise space. Video was a channel, but never the channel. It was a “nice to have” or a niche add-on.

Now? Not so much.

COVID-19 changed everything. We hunkered down in our apartments and houses. We cut off in-person meetups and relied on video for everything. The channel exploded. Zoom and Microsoft Teams for workplace collaboration. Facebook Portal and Amazon Echo Show for big family gatherings. WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Houseparty for daily chats with friends.

It was a societal change. 

B2B buyers took to video communication like a duck to water. Video has dethroned the phone as the communication channel of choice in most B2B sales situations—including internal collaboration, existing customer communication, prospect meetings, and vendor syncs.

This isn’t a blip, either. 

The overwhelming majority of buyers say they expect hybrid sellers to be the most common sales role in the future. (Combining a mix of video, phone, and occasional in-person visits.) 

With such a dramatic shift in buyer expectations, sellers don’t have a choice. If they neglect video, they will alienate buyers and lose deals.

The reality is, Modern Selling without video isn’t really Modern Selling at all.

4 ways video supports Modern Selling

From the outside, it’s a little unclear why buyers’ preferences shifted so much. Why do they prefer video over other channels? What can video offer that an email or phone call can’t?

To understand the shift, we spoke to buyers and sellers about their experiences. Suddenly, everything became clear. They told us that:

1. Video bridges the gap between in-person and online interactions. 

It’s nearly impossible to build strong interpersonal relationships via email. Phone is a little better, but not much. Video is a whole other ball game.

You can see the person you’re talking to. Sellers can read their buyer’s body language—and vice versa. It’s a genuine conversation, not an approximation of one. That’s huge for sales reps, especially enterprise sellers. These folks used to fly out to see clients every few months. Now, they can walk back their site visits to once or twice a year, replacing the other visits with face-to-face video calls. Much less tiring, and much less disruptive. 

2. Video accelerates sales cycles.

Video doesn’t just replace what sellers had before, though; it accelerates sales cycles. 

It does this in part by humanizing the sales process. Buyers no longer speak to generic emails or disembodied voices on phone calls. They see their seller. 

It accelerates sales cycles by capturing attention, too. Four in every five buyers will open video content, while ignoring other formats. Video is like a direct line to their attention.

3. Video provides context.

Sellers send their buyers a lot of information. Like, a lot of information: case studies and pricing tables, implementation guides, technical docs, security checks, legal reviews, and insurance policies. The list goes on and on.

There’s a lot to unpack and understand. Often, buyers are on their own. The seller attaches a doc to an email, writes a quick overview in the body, and fires it off. In contrast, video can fill in the gaps.

Sellers are recording themselves recapping the context and then talking through the content of each doc:

In our discovery call, I remember you said security was important. I’ve collected our security documentation along with some comments from our CSO. Now, let me walk you through the most important parts.

4. Video promotes learning.

Across the board sellers told us that video promotes learning.

When they record a video, it’s available for the entire buying team to watch on-demand. No more repeated information-sharing calls. No more Telephone Game among buying group members. The seller’s message stays crystal clear—forever.

With stronger relationships, enhanced context, and supercharged learning, we’re seeing better alignment between buyers and sellers. There’s less guesswork and fewer assumptions. Asynchronous communication is becoming the norm, cutting the need for meetings. And who doesn’t love one less meeting?

The shift from traditional channels like phone and email to virtual options like video is a big one. Some sellers may see it as a disruption to a sales motion that was already working. In our experience however, high-performing sellers view things differently.

They recognize all the benefits that video brings and they’re excited. 

But there’s one lingering question: How do you actually harness video in your sales process?

An inescapable video revolution

Revenue teams require a frictionless and impactful video platform. They need something that elevates the buyer experience.

That’s where Showpad Video comes in.

Our new Video Product is embedded into our revenue enablement platform. It seamlessly integrates into your content creation and management workflow.

So what are you waiting for?

Explore the future of Modern Selling today.