One of the most difficult parts of prospecting in B2B sales is standing out from the crowd. With so many sales development reps using the same tactics, you need a way to break through the noise.
Video is a powerful and underutilized tool. Our recent podcast guest shares his best tips for using video in the outbound sales process and how to use it on the most crowded B2B sales platform of all: LinkedIn.
Donald Kelly is the founder of The Sales Evangelist, where he evangelizes effective ways salespeople and entrepreneurs can find more qualified prospects, close more deals, and make more money. He joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss making LinkedIn and video work for you in B2B sales.
What’s working on LinkedIn for B2B sales
LinkedIn is a long-term strategy. Building solid connections, engaging with prospects, and creating quality content takes time. But if you can master those foundations, the payoff is enormous.
Most sales development reps spend their time on LinkedIn sending spammy messages and cold pitches. Few salespeople are taking the time to send thoughtful messages–and even fewer are using video. If you’re one of the few who do, you’ll automatically stand out from the crowd.
Donald recommends a three-part strategy for outbound sales on LinkedIn:
1. Connect with the right people
Salespeople often operate without a strategy on LinkedIn, sending as many random connection requests as possible to boost their follower count.
Instead, you should search for prospects who meet your ICP and send no more than 5-10 connection requests per day. If you’re using any type of account-based marketing strategy, that should be more than enough.
Send each connection request a personalized message and end it with a question that has nothing to do with what you’re selling. For example, “Hey Sarah, I see that you’re in Vancouver. Out of curiosity, is [XYZ restaurant] up to the hype?”
This kicks off the conversation, and after a few more touches, you can send a quick video or audio note to introduce yourself.
2. Share relevant content
Of the 830 million people on LinkedIn, only 2% of them post content regularly. This is a huge opportunity for salespeople to stand out. If you post relevant, highly engaging content, you can start to build genuine relationships with your prospects.
How do you ensure the content is relevant? Speak to your ICP’s pain points, then look for ways to solve those problems. Use polls to boost engagement and send a follow-up message to anyone who votes.
If you’re stuck for ideas, try making a list of the five most common questions you get from prospects about your product or service, then answer those in your content. Alternatively, look back through past case studies to see what problems your product solved.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to post personal content or share your opinion. Showing your face every so often reminds your audience that there’s a human being behind the screen.
3. Engage with your ICP
The third part of an effective LinkedIn B2B sales strategy is engagement.
Start by going to a company’s or individual’s page and finding a post with few comments, that way when you leave one it will stand out. Take the time to read through their entire post before leaving a thoughtful, insightful comment–generic comments like “nice post” aren’t going to cut it.
Another great way to get a prospect’s attention is to share their content. Look for ways to help people in your network by celebrating an achievement, giving them a shoutout, or spreading company news.
If there’s someone in your network you haven’t engaged with in a while, but you think could be an ideal client, send them a quick note that says, “Permission to ask a question?”. Then follow up with a quick video pitch.
Using video in sales development
Video is a great tool to capture a prospect’s attention, but if it’s used too soon in the process, it can come off as inauthentic. Instead, wait until your second or third outreach to include a short video message.
One technique Donald recommends is to leave a voicemail on the prospect’s phone, then follow up with an audio or video note to explain why you called. Video can also be used to reengage no-shows after their missed appointment. It’s hard to convey the proper tone over email, and you don’t want to come across as pushy.
Instead, send a friendly video to show you understand that sometimes life happens and things come up. Invite the prospect to book a new appointment and reassure them that it’s okay if now isn’t the right time.
Beyond the initial prospecting, you can experiment with video in other parts of the sales process as well. After an appointment, try sending a quick video to recap what you discussed and outline the next steps. You can also include videos with your proposals, as a type of mini demo, and even in your onboarding for sales development reps.
Tips for using video in your outbound sales process
Some sales development reps may shy away from using video because of the time it requires. This is why Donald recommends using video only on the third contact or later, so you can focus on more qualified prospects.
Templates and pre-recorded snippets can also help you save time. For example, you may need to personalize each video, but some parts (like your introduction and call to action) will remain the same for each prospect. Reuse these short clips whenever possible.
Some more introverted reps may hesitate to get on camera, but the best way to grow your confidence is to practice. Start sending videos to your friends, family, or even the rest of your sales development team. The more videos you make, the more confident and better spoken you’ll become.
Lastly, remember that the goal isn’t perfection. Small mistakes and a bit of background noise won’t ruin your video–they remind the prospect of your humanity, which can only help the sales process.
Video is the future of B2B sales
With so few sales development reps taking advantage of video, it’s become a powerful tool to stand out from the crowd.
A short video clip can boost your response rate, help the prospect put a face to a name, and win more deals. Even if a prospect isn’t interested at the moment, they’ll likely appreciate the effort and be more open to you following up in the future, adding more warm leads to your pipeline.
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