It’s not often that the worlds of sales prospecting and music video production overlap, but A Sales Guy Account Executive Ryan Scalera found a way to combine the two — and somehow, it worked.
Scalera came up with a video idea in August to capture the attention of Gong’s VP of sales. The clip he created starts with the beat of the ’90s hit “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta” and a congratulatory message to Gong for raising a $200 million Series D. Then, with a unicorn balloon in the background, Scalera appears and the song takes off.
Damn it feels good to be a Gongster Fan / Bringing revenue intel, now that’s a Gongster plan
Throughout the 80-second reimagining of the Geto Boys track, Scalera lip-syncs with a pair of stuffed unicorns, tosses two boxes of pound cake over his shoulder and makes his pitch for Gong to try out A Sales Guy’s sales training program.
What’s the future, only Gong can tell / Now imagine if your team was trained to Gap Sell
“By the time I called the person that I needed to book the meeting with, he said, ‘I haven’t seen the video, but everybody on my team is telling me that I have to take a meeting with you.’”
The video probably won’t win Scalera a Grammy, but his creative efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Within an hour, Gong employees had liked and shared the video enough that it was brought to the attention of his target prospect.
“By the time I called the person that I needed to book the meeting with, he said, ‘I haven’t seen the video, but everybody on my team is telling me that I have to take a meeting with you,’” Scalera said. “That’s the dream.”
The video has since been viewed more than 9,500 times, received 85 comments and netted Scalera several meetings with other companies. While Scalera had created sales prospecting videos before, this was the first one he shared publicly. The experience opened his eyes to just how powerful video can be in sales — especially now, when every sales rep is fighting to stand out in a crowded inbox.
5 Video prospecting Tips
- Make the video personalized to the prospect. Including the prospect’s name and addressing their challenges increases the chances for engagement.
- Keep your message short and concise. Reading from a script can help prevent rambling.
- Limit the videos to no more than 90 seconds. Don’t talk too much about your product, and edit out any major gaps in speech.
- Match the tone and style of the video to the buyer. Take the time to understand your ICP and research the company’s content to determine what tone to strike in your videos.
- Interview previous prospects about their challenges and how they solve them. That information can help you to provide insights that your customers will find valuable.
Personalize the Content
While video isn’t new to sales, creating a clip that’s effective and engaging can be tricky. Ramble a little too long or fail to make it relevant, and your video will be tossed into the virtual trash bin — and possibly leave a bad impression.
That said, video prospecting has never been easier, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and tools like Vidyard and Loom. And when it’s done well, it can give your outreach an unparalleled human touch.
The first step toward conquering the challenging medium is to tailor the video to the prospect, Scalera said.
“They should see this video and think that you sent it to them and not to 10 other people,” Scalera said.
Setting aside the music and unicorns, Scalera signals right away that this video is relevant to Gong. He mentions the company, its funding round and calls out both the sales leaders he’s trying to reach and the reps he’s connected with on LinkedIn. He also drops nuggets of how he’s used Gong’s product and how he thinks gap selling can help its sales team.
“They should see this video and think that you sent it to them and not to 10 other people.”
Much like any other form of outreach, taking the time to address a challenge a team might be experiencing and explaining how that relates to your product can help your video resonate even more with a prospect, Scalera said.
At Upwork, Senior BDR Tasha Copeland takes a more straightforward approach. Within six sentences, she introduces herself and her company, mentions the prospect by name and then explains how Upwork can help them in their specific role. She also creates a placeholder image for the video of her holding paper with the prospect’s name on it so they know the video was created for them.
Those personal touches aren’t that different from the kind of customization you should do in an email, but the video format makes them stand out even more. It allows her to establish a human connection with the buyer before they even have their first call.
“With the videos, you’re letting them see that you’re a person and what kind of personality you have,” Copeland said. “When it comes time to do the video call, it’s definitely a warmer conversation.”
Just make sure to keep those personal touches professional. Otherwise, it can come off as invasive or creepy, Copeland said.
Keep It Short
When Copeland started making videos in March, she thought she could do it without a script. It seemed only natural. After all, she speaks with prospects about her product every day.
However, what may sound coherent on a phone call can come off as rambling on video. Copeland learned that lesson the hard way. Her first videos were more than two minutes long and failed to resonate with her prospects. The reason, a friendly colleague pointed out, was that she was doing too much talking.
“Once you learn the script, you can change it from there and it’ll flow more naturally.”
It’s a common issue reps will encounter when they first start making videos. With so much prospect and product knowledge, it’s easy for clips to become lengthy and unfocused. Copeland encourages reps to work from a script to start. Doing so helped her cut out the unnecessary fluff, and it gave her a foundation to work from and eventually make her own.
“It’s pretty similar to the sales process,” Copeland said. “Once you learn the script, you can change it from there and it’ll flow more naturally.”
Ultimately, a clip should be no more than 90 seconds long. Any longer and the prospect loses interest — no matter how creative the premise, Scalera added. Even his music video is just 80 seconds long.
Make sure to edit out any major gaps in speech and keep product talk to a minimum, Scalera said. The more focused and relevant the content is, the more likely the prospect is to watch until the end.
Match the Style and Tone With Your Prospect
It’s also important to match the style and tone of the video to the prospect. There was a reason Scalera chose to do a music video for Gong and base it on “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster” — and it’s not just because it’s a great song.
For starters, Gong is known for its irreverent and creative style, so he knew they’d be receptive to humor. Its employees also liked to call each other “Gongsters,” which gave him the perfect creative fodder to work with.
Finally, he decided to go with “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster” because it is featured in a montage in the movie Office Space, and his target buyers (who are in their 30s and 40s) would most likely get the reference.
“It was actually very methodical and strategized,” Scalera said.
Understanding who the prospect is, how they communicate and where they like to be communicated with is crucial for any video clip, Scalera said. A more formal company won’t appreciate a music video, and it may set a bad tone for any future interactions.
Those insights can be picked up through knowing your ideal customer profile, reading the prospect’s marketing content and researching your target buyers.
Include Content That Your Prospect Will Find Valuable
In addition, the video should include information that the customer will find valuable. Scalera encourages reps to schedule interviews with past prospects and ask them about the challenges they experience in their industry and how they approach them.
Those conversations can help make the content more relevant to buyers, and it can be used to create value-based videos. Instead of attempting to schedule a meeting with a customer, these videos are designed to help your prospects solve a problem.
“That’s one of the quickest ways to turn one piece of content or one video into something that could be valuable to a lot more than one person.”
For example, Scalera created a video called “So Flippin’ What?” that includes an exercise to help sales reps drill down to the real value their products provide. Since the video is relevant to all of his prospects, he’s able to get more exposure with just one clip.
“That’s one of the quickest ways to turn one piece of content or one video into something that could be valuable to a lot more than one person,” Scalera said.
Use Video to Spice Up Your Prospecting
For many reps, one of the biggest challenges to video prospecting is finding the time to do it. It can be difficult to carve out a window when there are cold calls to make and emails to send.
But it’s worth it. Incorporating a video message into an email has proven to increase open rates fivefold, according to HubSpot.
Copeland treats it as a break from her more routine outreach tasks. She records about five videos a day from her desk and sends them as part of her outreach after she connects with a prospect on LinkedIn. For her, success is all about consistency, timing and presenting a friendly face.
She tries to send them mid-day when her prospects are most likely on LinkedIn, and includes a call to action to arrange a meeting at the end. She estimates that one out of every four videos she sends ends with a meeting.
“Videos switch up prospecting in a very fun way,” Copeland said. “With cold calling, it’s ‘Smile and dial,’ but video prospecting, you’re more creative with what you’re doing. You get to have more fun when you reach out to your prospect.”
Scalera often mixes in a few different types of videos, all of which he’s able to record at his desk with an iPhone. For some, he’ll just record a couple sentences of him speaking and send it to the customer in lieu of an email. In others, the video serves as a larger piece of sales content. And while those take about 90 minutes to make, they can often be reused.
“If a video is not out of the box and it’s customized to them, it shows that you really put some sort of effort into your outreach.”
Of course, he’s already plotting his next music video — a cover of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” related to gap selling.
It’s important to connect with the prospect first before sending a video, though, because it helps to put a face to the name. For Gong’s video, Scalera connected with members on the sales team on LinkedIn and sent them copies of his book. That way, when he released his video, they would be more likely to engage with it.
Scalera estimates that videos now lead to about half of his meetings. It’s become an integral part of his prospecting cycle, and he doesn’t see that changing any time soon.
“It’s more human. People see you,” Scalera said. “If a video is not out of the box and it’s customized to them, it shows that you really put some sort of effort into your outreach.”