October 20, 2021

6 Video-powered Sales Tactics for SDRs, AEs, and Managers

Video isn’t exactly new.

We’ve had teleconferencing tech for decades.

But even though it’s been available, video has never been the default channel for interpersonal communication.

Now that’s changed.

It’s an old story now, one you will have heard a million times before: Our lives and workplaces went virtual. The video adoption pendulum swung to the extreme. Every interaction we had—personal and professional—took place on Zoom or Teams.

People burned out, fast.

They called it Zoom Fatigue: the inevitable weariness from spending all day on video calls.

When we began to develop Showpad’s new video tool, we didn’t want to add fuel to the fire. The world didn’t need yet another video product that left buyers and sellers exhausted.

Instead, we designed an environment where buying and selling teams can interact on their terms—synchronous or asynchronous. We aimed for something enjoyable that aligned with how people want to buy.Showpad Video has dozens of use cases. Here are six video-powered sales tactics (two for sales development reps, two for account executives, and two for sales managers). Each one reflects a unique Modern Selling tactic.

Sales Development Reps

During the pandemic, Sales Development Reps (SDRs) had a tougher time than most on the revenue team. Prospects’ budgets disappeared. Warm leads turned frosty. Their go-to mode of communication—email—grew cluttered with internal comms. Calling prospects at the office went out the window.

In this environment, prospecting seemed like an unwinnable task. The 2021 Modern Selling Report found that 46% of buying decisions were on hold. But SDRs deployed innovative strategies and turned to new channels—like video—to win.

1. Maintain Outstanding Delivery

After talking to dozens of SDRs, we learned that one of their greatest challenges was maintaining their energy, motivation, and delivery. Reps commonly have to contact 100, 200, 300 prospects a week—people that they’ve never met before. Even for the most outgoing and resilient people, it’s exhausting.

Giving SDRs the ability to pre-record videos, personalize outreach, and reuse assets doesn’t just represent operational efficiency. It’s a huge emotional boon, too.

Sales reps can record videos when they feel at their best, not when their calendar says it’s time to talk. They can redo takes, cut out their mistakes, and learn from their best performances.

In short: It allows them to be the best version of themselves.

And we didn’t just focus on big picture functionality—the video recording, storage, and sharing. We worked with SDRs to perfect the small stuff, like choosing custom thumbnails, to give reps exactly what they need to succeed. From the outside, it’s almost unnoticeable—but it delivers outsized impact.

Tactic in action: A sales rep is reaching out to 50 new prospects in the hospitality industry. In each email, they include a short intro video. “Good morning,” they say with a smile. “I work with hospitality managers looking after five to ten sites. They often tell me they struggle to train staff at scale. Does that sound like you?” The video is crisp, clean, and energetic. Every. Single. Time.

2. Stand Out From the Crowd

Buyers receive 30,000 messages every year—that’s 2.5 for every 5 minutes of work. (And that was pre-pandemic.) 

Prospects’ inboxes are filled to the brim. An SDR’s cold email is just another voice in the cacophony. They need to do something to stand out.

It’s easy to delete a text-based email on autopilot. It’s harder to scroll past a message with a customized video embedded in it. Video makes it clear that the SDR has gone the extra mile. That sort of extra effort helps sales reps stand out and earn replies.

Tactic in action: A prospect is scrolling through their emails first thing in the morning, reviewing important messages and deleting junk mail. On one cold email, they pause. The sales rep has included a GIF thumbnail for a video. They’re pointing at a whiteboard with the prospect’s name on it. The prospect clicks the thumbnail, taking them to a personalized intro video.

Account Executives

Individual buyers have morphed into cross-functional buying groups. Straightforward sales processes have turned into complex, non-linear buying journeys that look “more like a big bowl of spaghetti,” according to Gartner’s B2B Buying Journey Report. The same report found buyers run their own research and spend just 17% of their time talking to potential vendors.

Account executives (AEs) are stuck in the middle, trying to drive deals forward without letting a dozen spinning plates fall. Video can help AEs cut through the complexity.

3. Simplify Complexity

The buying process is getting more complicated, yes—but what are AEs doing to simplify things? Often, not a lot. They’ll email over intricate proposals, detailed pricing docs, and in-depth technical information, leaving their buyer to work through things themselves.

This isn’t a dig at AEs. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. No one wants yet another video call but buyers do need more context.

So what do they do?

Enter asynchronous video.

We’ve seen AEs use pre-recorded video to walk buyers through complex documents, building the context necessary for them to understand what’s going on.

It means their buyers aren’t opening a proposal, seeing a huge price tag, and freaking out. Instead, the AE is describing the calculation, explaining precisely what’s included and why it costs what it does. Or they’re unpacking a complex technical schematic, clarifying how blueprints and designs translate into reality.

Augmenting your sales process with video creates the value of a face-to-face meeting without the burden of yet another meeting.

Tactic in action: A deal has reached contract negotiations. The buying team has requested a number of contract redlines. Their AE updates the contract with their changes. Instead of sending over the revised PDF on its own, they record a video scrolling through the document, highlighting the changes so it’s easy for buyers to see that the edits have been made.

4. Maintain Messaging Consistency

Buying committees bring more perspectives into the purchase, but they also create an information-sharing challenge. Committees are typically between six and 10 people. Realistically, AEs can’t have personal relationships with every person. Often, they’ll have a champion who will collect information and share it internally.

That creates a problem: The AE tells their champion something, and the champion tells a version of it to another stakeholder. The stakeholder passes their interpretation on. And so on. By the time the message reaches the decision-maker, it’s diluted, distorted, and disorganized.

What if AEs could ensure a pitch-perfect delivery of that message every time?

With Showpad Video, AEs can record asynchronous meetings and messages and share them with an entire buying group. Suddenly, everyone has access to everything. Instead of confused retellings, every conversation is crisp and clean. There’s nothing (or very little) lost in translation. AEs record the video once and reap the benefits time and time again.

Tactic in action: An AE is dealing with a large 10-person buying committee. With competing schedules, only eight buyers can make the product demo. Instead of booking a second demo, the AE records the meeting and uploads it to the sales platform. Now, every member of the committee can view or rewatch the demo on their own schedule.

Sales Managers

Picture your average sales manager. They manage between five and 10 sales reps, and they’re responsible for ongoing training, coaching, and performance management. It’s a tough gig, especially if they resort to brute force manual tactics. 

Usually, sales managers sit down with each rep and ask, “How are your deals going?” Together, they walk through the rep’s book, discussing progress, challenges, and potential solutions. It feels sensible—but the discussions are inevitably piecemeal and biased. Most reps—most human—will skew positive, skipping over the real problem areas to focus on the good stuff.

What managers need to do is review reality. That’s where Showpad Video comes in.

5. Review Call Recordings

Sales managers can access all recorded conversations—synchronous or pre-recorded—and review them with their direct reports. They can unpack how the rep presented or managed objections. They can surface mistakes, highlight opportunities, and give feedback.

There’s a reason sports teams review game tape—it doesn’t lie. In sales, it’s the same. When sales conversations are recorded on video, there’s no hiding from the good, bad, and ugly. Although it’s uncomfortable for reps at first, it’s the only way to improve.

Tactic in action: A sales manager is reviewing a rep’s calls when they notice a trend: Every time a buyer says they don’t have the budget, the rep takes it as a firm no. The manager books time with the rep to repeat objection handling training.

6. Multiply Excellence

The best managers look at more than the day-to-day. They’ll step back and review their reps’ performance at a higher level. On Showpad Video, that means zooming out to the pipeline view. From there, managers can see how each deal is progressing and how reps have used video in their conversations.

If a deal derails because of an experimental approach, they can catch it early and course correct. Likewise, if a rep strikes gold with an experiment or variation, managers can see what they’re doing and share the recording with their team—so success is replicable

Tactic in action: Reading through a quarterly performance report, a sales manager realizes one AE is performing significantly better than her peers. The manager clicks into a few of their calls and discovers they’re using a slightly different positioning statement. They copy the language from the transcript and share the messaging to the whole team.

Trusted Technology in New Use Cases

We always imagine technological progress as linear. The car replaced the horse, the computer killed the typewriter, and so on. But in reality, it’s not so clear. Consider the wristwatch. It almost disappeared before re-emerging as the smartwatch, reinventing how we track our health, and communicate with friends.

Video, for decades a trusted technology, is following a similar path. Fuelled by the pandemic, it has ballooned in importance and usage. It already reinvented what it means to socialize. Now, video is revolutionizing the B2B sales process.

But Modern Sellers require help. You can’t succeed in the New Normal without the tech to back you up.

We’re building the next generation of video-powered enablement platforms.

Are you ready for it?