Sell more without increasing your salesforce. Implement Virtual Selling System. TOOLS, TIPS and HACKS.
Using a combination of video, e-mail and simple lead automaton system, SMBs and start-ups in B2B and B2C space can scale their sales without adding more SDRs (sales development representatives). They can even overcome the most common problem of ‘quality of sales call’ at the SDR level. All this without breaking the bank
This article is a sort of Part — II of my earlier article, ‘How to attract customers who are ready to buy (on a tiny budget, in autopilot mode)’. I will summarise my earlier article plus demonstrate how with some tweaks, the same model can work for more complex B2B and SaaS sales.
This article is divided into two parts:
1) Understanding the B2B or SaaS sales process, tips for better connect and conversion
2) Virtual selling tools, limitations, cost, and hacks to get high-end benefits without paying full price.
Summarising ‘How to attract customers who are ready to buy.’
The premise of this article was how SMBs and Startups could attract hot ready to buy customer based on the way they search for information just before a purchase. Closer to purchase customers search for information such best in____, problems of____, how to choose, reviews, price, etc. Businesses can attract these hot customers by putting out video content that answers these questions. These table stake content (‘Selling 6’) should be deployed in YT and your website depending on where the content fits in the buying journey. Beyond this, there should be an automation system that runs the process on autopilot mode. My article details the rationale behind the ‘Selling 6’ videos, the stages where the videos come in, the automation tool options and the cost. It also has a video presentation with examples of how other companies are doing it.
Challenges of complex B2B or SaaS sales
In B2B or SaaS sales, SDRs’ role is crucial for demand generation because the selling becomes personalized to the customer (Check out- ‘5 Sales Ops choke points that could derail your scaling and growth efforts’). This opens up many problems around recruitment, training, the productivity of SDRs in generating leads, qualifying them, setting up demos, follow-ups, serving proposals etc. This is where a sound sales system comes into play and covers up for a small sales team and their quality.
Breaking down Typical B2B and SaaS product sale (The 10–20–45 rule)
Assuming you have identified the ideal customers, which is discussed in my earlier article, this is how you move on from there:
1) Preparing for outreach — You start with identifying pain points, business issues that can be solved /opportunities that you can help the client tap. At this stage, you also need to plan for the type of outreach.
2) Prospecting & Diagnosis — In this phase, you assess the client’s situation and understand the problem/pain points they face at an individual level. Based on the pain points you ask for a demo, showcase case studies and move on to the proposal stage.
3) The proposal, closure, and follow up — After the demo and convincing, you serve the proposal, trade value (not negotiating), close and hand it over to the client success team.
Ideally, for scaling the above, you follow the 10–20–45 mins rule:
- 10 mins to assess fitment
- 20 mins for a discovery call
- 45 mins for a detailed demo
Scaling the sales process without adding salespeople
With a basic understanding of the sales process, let’s look at what in these steps can be moved on to video, the SDR for personalization and the automation system
Preparing for outreach
Every business should have short videos, ideally 5 mins to 10 mins video, which talk about their customers’ challenges or the opportunities they can help clients pursue. Remember, these videos should be pre-produced and short because the only task of these videos is to pull in the client’s interest to connect. These videos are part of the ‘selling 6’ videos. Remember, at this stage, the customer is not looking for a product. He is looking to solve his problems.
Imaging an SDR reaching out to a client on e-mail, mobile or LinkedIn with a brief personal video and a link to a pre-recorded video saying that “our research tells us that most people in the ‘x’ Industry’ face these four problems, are you facing these problems or are you facing a different problem? We want to connect with you and hear you because we have helped clients like X, Y, Z”.
There are three parts: the SDRs personalized part + the standard customer challenge video, + the call to action (CTA). I will talk about personalization and CTA in the second part of the article, where I will be discussing tools. This is how the personalized part could look like and also watch a very interesting video pitch (this was the winning pitch video by a packaging supplier from Vidyard’s B2B selling awards)
Top Tip: You can use different attention grabber like your photo + target’s LinkedIn page, website, social media comment, annual reports, press release statements, investor call reports, competitor activity etc. These can be thumbnails video and images which pulls attention. These can be made quickly and embedded into an e-mail, video links etc.
Prospecting & Diagnostics
Pre — Discovery video
Once you have got a response, you need to prepare for a discovery call. This should be an automated response with some delay. Imagine a pre-produced video mail or WhatsApp video which sets the expectations for a discovery call, which could be something like ‘thanks for taking the time out for a discovery call. In our discovery call, I would like to know about X, Y, Z areas of your business or any specific challenge you face. This is because post our discovery call, based on your unique needs and challenges, we will be customizing a 45 mins demo specifically for you. I am looking forward to the call”.
The discovery call and assessment — This will be a live video call. These are some areas to assess — current systems, challenges, key decision-makers, if anyone else needs to be invited for the demo, setting a date for the demo.
Top Tip: Important point here is to have empathy for the client’s problem, subtly talk about the impact of the problem on the business and comfort the client that many clients face similar issues.
Demo Call — After the discovery call, the SDR briefs the product team for the demo. The demo is also standardized. In the demo, you usually start by outlining the deck, areas covered, and the product feature demonstration. But based on the discovery call challenges identified, certain areas are emphasized, which will appeal more to the client.
Top 3 Tips: Always start with a re-cap of the discovery call, the client’s business problem and how product features help solve the problem. Help the client visualize the impact your solution can have on cost reduction, increasing revenue and improving customer experience, show short case studies. When closing the call ensure that the client challenges are addressed, re-cap the problem as ‘you said’ and we demonstrated how the product solves the problems.
Post demo — personalized video, micro demos, case studies — Post the demo call; there should be a summary video of the demo and some pre-recorded micro demo of features that were not covered in the demo and customer journey videos before the proposal is served. Except for the summary video all the other videos are pre-produced.
The proposal, closure, and follow up — Along with the proposal, there should be a video explaining the proposal and the various elements. Follows up can be done on video to give a personal touch, and it should be linked to critical events and business outcomes.
Tip: Always explain to the client how your solution can pay back the investment.
Tools for virtual selling and hosting videos
Even though virtual selling platforms have been in the market for some time, the pandemic has given them a massive adoption boost. Today clients are comfortable and sometimes even insist on virtual meetings. From a business perspective, it enables enormous cost savings, but salespeople need to be coached on how to use it, and it should be designed in such a way so that adoption happens. These platforms enable you to record presentations, share screen demos, add CTAs at the end, create landing pages with your presentation, integrate with e-mail & CRM, personalize, do mass mailing, get video response, get analytics around response and a lot more.
Let’s look at some options, their pluses and minuses and how to hack your way around the system if you are on a budget. Most of these platforms enable personalization at scale, and you have to navigate your way around the pricing structures, features, and requirements of your business.
Vidyard — They have free unlimited recording, share by e-mail and social but all come with their branding. CTA adding comes with the paid version, which starts at $15 per month. If you need to do custom branding, it goes to $300 per month. The advantage is that you have native integration with Salesforce, Hub Spot, Marketo, Zendesk and Mail chimp
Wistia — These guys started as a video hosting platform and morphed into other services such as virtual selling and customer support. You get rich analytics, and they have one of the best user experiences. Features like in-video e-mail collection, CTAs, Chapter (timestamps) make it very attractive. You can load up to 3 videos for free and collect up to 250 e-mails. Their paid pack starts at $99 per month, enabling you to add up to 10 videos to do your own branding.
Both Vidyard & Wista are major video hosting platforms because the audience can see videos without any ads in between or competition videos jostling for attention like in a free hosting platform, e.g YouTube.
Soap Box — This an offering from Wista and meant more for sales outreach. One of the specialities is user-friendly video editing which enables you to toggle between the webcam, screencast and split-screen. Here also you can add CTAs, customize with your branding and add your desired thumbnails. You can start with their free unlimited soapbox videos for free, but if you need to download the recording, track engagement, customize with logo, book meetings directly, you will have to start with a $300 per year pack.
Loom — is another player who got active during the early pandemic and is one of the lowest in terms of cost. Loom’s free offering is not very attractive, but their paid slab starts at $8 with CTA, custom branding, and engagement insights.
For all the above products, if you plan to scale your sales, you need to have some level of CRM and automation running for you. This brings us to a new player who has combined e-mail, CRM and automation into their video sales platform.
Dubb- is a relatively new player, but they have combined e-mail, CRM, automation and video into a single platform. They have some fantastic features like the earlier Soapbox video toggling between screens, integration with e-mail and customization at scale, creation of multiple CTAs in the landing page, automation sequences, good analytics, themes, effortless video editing etc. They have a free forever pack that does not support CTA and has DUBB branding. Their paid services start at $384 per year and support up to 10K contact. The automation pack starts at $960 per year.
How SMBs can stitch together an automated video selling system at a low cost
What an SMB needs is:
1) A sound lead capture system from their website/landing page, social media, this usually comes with most automation enabled e-mail marketing software
2) A personalized video outreach platform that SDRs can use for free or paid depending on the budget
3) The ‘Selling six videos’ + some additional videos based on the uniqueness of the sales process.
The way to hack the cost is to use a combination of low-cost e-mail marketing system like Convert kit, which has good automated e-mail sequencing and combine it with the video sales outreach platforms that the SDRs will use.
Once the lead is captured, the e-mail with subdomain level landing pages, desired call-to-action and videos sequence can be automated. With this, you get the high-end automation offering of DUBB at nearly 30% of their annual cost.
Remember, a virtual selling system can be cobbled up at the cost of a single SDRs annual salary, and it will be able to do the job of 100 SDRs. Importantly it is like the founder or the best salesperson doing a sales call every time without any sacrifice in quality.
Tools are important but more important is the curation of them, orchestrating the sales process, developing templates, SOPs and the right incentivization which make it easy and compelling for the SDRs to adopt it. Why I say this is because I have seen a lot of companies investing in expensive CRM tools with little adoption from the SDRs.
Want to implement a virtual selling system in your organization?
You can watch this short 6-mins video presentation by me which has some micro details and cost or read through the process below the video.
Step — I: As-is-audit
We start with an ‘as-is-audit’ to understand gaps, missed opportunities, and your organization’s selling process. We also audit how customers are buying, the demand pools, switch nodes and where the opportunity or leakage is in the funnel.
Step — II: Developing selling cadence
In this phase, post identifying the gaps in content and leakage in the sales process, in consultation with your sales team and management, we draw up the sales cadence, arrive at what parts need to personalised by SDRs, what will be pre-produced, decide which content should be out in the public domain to draw traffic to the firewalled lead generating gated content.
The 2nd part is the development of actual content and sales templates which the SDRs can use.
Step — III: Automating sequences and monitoring for optimization
With all the content in place, the automation sequence will be customised in the CRM or E-mail market platform of choice, post this testing and optimisation starts. We also do a monthly and quarterly audit and tweak the system for max efficiency.
If you would like to implement a virtual selling system for your organization, pls pick up a convenient date and time from the below Calendly link or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
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