New Video-Making Tool Targets B2B Sales Pros

Consensus, which offers a Software as a Service platform for intelligent video demo automation, this week released Consensus Snap, a Chrome plug-in for business-to-business sales teams.

Snap enables sales reps to record, send and track personalized screenshot video demos on the fly.

Users can activate the screen recording or webcam features of Consensus Snap to record anything on their screens — PowerPoint slides, proposals, spreadsheets or software demos, for instance — and send off a personalized video to prospects. Possible uses include walking a prospect through a product feature, ROI analysis, or proposal agreement.

Users record the video, copy a custom link into an email — or a message via an online site such as LinkedIn — and send it off.

Consensus Snap tracks when and how recipients engage, and with whom they share the content.

“Bringing video to the sales playbook, and the ability to track consumption, reminds me more of LinkedIn PointDrive for video,” said Cindy Zhou, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Sales professionals have found that conversion rates are two to three times higher when engagements include video rather than regular email messages alone, “particularly if the content is helpful information, such as highlights from a demo, or reinforcing key challenges the customer mentioned in meetings,” she told the E-Commerce Times.

Consensus Snap’s interactive video demo automation cuts sales cycles by 68 percent and increases close rates by 44 percent, according to the company.

Video Comes to Sales

Sales and marketing departments have been using video for the past few years, and “we’ll see an increasing use of tactical video — in sales situations and others — as a way to get above the noise of ordinary marketing emails and make a more personalized message,” predicted Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

“Key for all competitors in this space is usability — making it as easy as sending an email,” she told the E-Commerce Times. Providing features like filters and easy editing tools “will be key to broad adoption.”

Personalized video “is definitely becoming more common” in B2B sales, noted Tara McWhite, director of campaigns at Cliently.

People “love video,” she told the E-Commerce Times, pointing out that upwards of 75 percent of people who open an email that includes a video play the video at least once.

“Imagine getting a 75 percent click-through rate on a landing page link,” McWhite said.

The engagement rate for video messaging in sales is at least three to four times higher than traditional outreach methods, she said, and “I believe the effectiveness of video messaging will remain high.”

Putting a face to a name “automatically creates a familiarity that makes it harder for the lead to say no,” McWhite remarked, and then “it’s just a matter of getting them on the line to get that yes.”

All About Engagement

Consensus Snap “can be used to augment synchronous communication delivered by phone, webcam or face to face,” noted Julie Thomas, CEO of ValueSelling Associates.

However, with some applications, such as walking a person through a proposal, video can be problematic. The sales rep has no opportunity to answer any questions or address any concerns, she told the E-Commerce Times.

“Sales is really about two-way communication to maximize your effectiveness,” Thomas said. “It’s not about how good your pitch is — it’s about how well you engage.”

From the buyer’s perspective, ValueSelling researchers recently examined B2B sales transactions that involved 206 managers and executives in a variety of U.S. industries. B2B buyers prefer that initial contacts be made via technology than by sales people.

The study “didn’t include video because its use is not yet widespread,” Thomas said, and sending out a video to solidify an initial contact or meeting “would be a waste of time and energy.”

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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