Using video as part of your sales outreach is a great way to stand out.
Why? Because so few people are doing it.
You can easily break through an inbox full of pitches and get your buyer’s attention.
In this episode of the B2B Rebellion, Karthi Mariappan shares how to get the most out of sales outreach with video. Learn:
Andy Culligan: Hi guys and welcome back to an Early Feeder video. Really happy to have Karthi here today. So, Karthi Mariappan is the CEO and Co-founder of Hippo Video. And Karthi's gonna be bringing us through how to re-imagine your sales strategy with video.
So, especially given the current situation when a lot of people have been... Most people in sales having to do things digitally, a video has been playing a big role. It's sort of been a bit crowded, if you're asking me as a prospect. A lot of people are pushing at video. A lot of people are doing it very badly. Very, very, badly. I've seen some absolute shockers, but I've also seen some good ones as well.
But Karthi, really happy to have you here and could you give a quick intro of those Hippo Video and what you guys do before you get into what and how you can help accelerate sales strategies.
Karthi Mariappan: Hi! Hi, everyone. Thanks, Andy, for having me here. I'm the CEO and co-founder of Hippo Video. Hippo Video is a video engagement platform specifically designed for sales persons to connect with their prospects or even their existing contacts with personalized videos.
And you can send out personalized sales pages to the end user so that you can add one short talk about what you're delivering as a product or a service, as well as have some attachments about your service or product into that same page along with video. So, that is what we do at a very high level I should say.
Andy: Okay, and how long have you guys been around for?
KM: Four years now.
Andy: Four years. Okay, so those four years, I guess for a Co-founder, it felt like 20. It's been interesting 'cause I've seen you guys pop up quite a bit actually, in more recent ones. You guys are doing quite a lot from a marketing perspective.
KM: Yes, yes. Partly because of the... Video has now started being more as an essential medium than in trend earlier. So that is also part of that people are coming in to understand how they can leverage video in their day-to-day prospecting.
Andy: For sure, for sure. Okay, that gives us a nice leeway down into why we have you on today and why you'd be best to teach our audience on. So how could people actually use video to reimagine their sales strategies?
KM: Yes. So before we go into to reimagining, let's understand how things have changed. This unprecedented scenario, which should not have happened, has happened, and no one has any play book to actually understand how to navigate through this. Even governments are facing difficulties to understand. So it's best put to our innovative best as a human resource, understand how we can communicate better.
And as far as sales is concerned, relationships is the key to build something, right. And for building relationship, you have to be real, you are to be authentic. And that's what videos are best at delivering. So if you could adopt video as one of the important medium to communicate and collaborate with your prospect or with your contacts, whoever it is, then that becomes an important medium for them to actually build that relationship because you are gonna be real, authentic, you can even communicate with non-verbal signatures.
So that's all... Is going to reaffirm things better for them. So that's what is happening now. So with that said, so how you actually been doing your prospecting earlier, most of them were text-oriented and people were in the process of adopting videos. It was more of a trend earlier but now because of this remote working where your prospects are at home and you want to communicate with them and stand out from your other competition as well.
And videos help you do that better. You can even capture a small screen capture of explaining what is your service or product and put across your value proposition as a video. Small one-minute video and send it across, and we have seen 3X response rates for many of our customers. So, that's the kind of...
Andy: Okay. Those 3X conversion rates are... So is there any specific trend that your customers are doing to get those? Are they doing shorter videos? Are they doing a specific content? Are they doing something particular to get those type of conversion rates?
KM: Yes. So there are three aspects in which the customers are doing it very differently. One, the length of the video, as you rightly said, less than one minute or 90 seconds is good enough, where you cut short and directly go to the point.
The second one, giving versus selling. Understand and empathize with them instead of directly going into the selling. So that is the second important point. And leave an option for them to connect back. You can put a "Call to Action" button, it could be, "Call me back," or, "Send a video reply." All of those have smaller, smaller tips, hence you get more response rates, subject lines, having video inside as a word there, also improves your open rates. So that was what some smaller, smaller things is good enough to get you there.
Andy: Okay, interesting, you just mentioned something about CTAs. Is CTA within the video themselves or CTA is in the email body.
KM: Okay, CTA within the video or in the landing page? So what happens is when you send a video with Hippo Video a GIF will be embedded into the email and the GIF will be playing within the email. When they click on the email, it opens up a personalized landing page for that particular contact with all the details you can personalize for them. And you can have CTAs over the video or on the page itself?
Andy: Nice. Nice. That's great. It's a really nice conversion tool.
KM: Yeah, so with that said, what are... The other important thing I was thinking about is giving versus selling, so we have seen now with this unprecedented scenario, people are tucked away from your, their regular office, they are been to a new schedule, etcetera, so empathy is the key here. So how do you empathize is giving the value, understanding how they can be better rather than selling directly.
Provide the value first and that is what our customers have been doing best with videos, they are immediately able to connect with them personally and get it through to that next step. The second key thing is not being tone deaf, okay? Straightaway going for the pitch is not appreciated at all at this moment. If you could take some time, understand their background, what is that happening in their surrounding, give them that upfront understanding like you are being able to connect with them, actually helps them move the needle faster for you.
Andy: For sure. I think at the moment that the empathy piece is really important and this has come up time and time again, and any talks that I've had with anybody or videos that we've recorded or webinars that we've done, podcasts, etcetera, this word "empathy" keeps on appearing.
Andy: And I think from a sales perspective, like I heard it from one side, I think it was yesterday or the day before, and in that, yes, empathy needs to be there, but we still need to sell. Okay? So the way that you put it is that the giving part is interesting because you're giving something and that's the empathetic approach, but you're still going in in a sales approach, correct?
KM: Yes, yes, that's a key, that's a key. So we have one SaaS customer, Unicorn customer, where they have implemented a 14 series cadences with multiple videos into that cadence and their response rates has been 3X, they're able to increase their leads funnel, qualified leads funnel with 66%, and their velocity have been able to increase it by 180%. So that's how videos have been helping them get through this commotion, what is really happening here.
Andy: And is that client, so that client... Just so that the audience knows, are they selling in enterprise sales or are they... What's their deal size, what their ARPA is looking like?
KM: Oh, so they're into SMB and mid-market primarily.
Andy: Okay, okay, but in terms of velocity and the funnel and different things, you just mentioned there an increase of velocity of 180% from what a 14-step cadence you said?
KM: Yes, yes.
Andy: That's insane. And so what type of cadences were they running before? Were they... Were running very short cadences, were they using any video, like what's the benchmark?
KM: No, okay, the number of cadences were almost similar, but they did not have videos. So today, they have different set of videos, the first one, we always suggest the first one to be a video, the cold touch or the first prospect touch, when you do, it should be a shorter video introducing you, giving them actually small tip on what you are doing.
And the second cadence or the third cadence, you should have your explainer video going in, then you have some culture videos or whatever it is, that explains why they should be engaging with you. These kind of things actually help them understand and connect better with their prospects. They also included, one of the cadence was LinkedIn videos, so with our tool, they can create shorter videos within LinkedIn, they don't have to leave LinkedIn, they can create videos within LinkedIn or within Gmail and send it right away, so that was also one part of the cadence, they included after they included Hippo Video into their cadence system.
Andy: That's awesome because that brings the omni-channel touch, which is fantastic. And especially here, so you guys have obviously integrated with LinkedIn then? This is a new feature from LinkedIn and you guys have just integrated with it?
KM: Yes, yes.
Andy: That's great, that's really great, because it's funny, again, yesterday I was talking with a couple of sales leaders about LinkedIn and everybody got really excited a couple of weeks ago, because you're able to do voice mail and you're able to do... You are able to do videos and mail via LinkedIn. It's great that you guys are jumping on board there and getting integrated, that's really cool.
KM: Yes, yes. So that's one thing, and of course, Outlook, Gmail, wherever it is, the key here is we understood video should be easily accessible and center cross. One myth is always there with respect to videos for people is it's really tough. I'm not fit for it.
That kind of attitude is always there, but I would say, yes, the first five or six videos you are going to do it not the right way, but take your time, patience, get accustomed to your face on the monitor, that's what it always counts, right? So once you're accustomed to how you deliver, then it all becomes very easy.
Punching out a lot of videos, sending it across in the cadences, it's all so easy, we have seen our own sales guys doing that from where they were totally shy, now they are doing like 20, 30 videos on a day, connecting them personally, because this is one best approach next to face-to-face, right?
Andy: For sure.
KM: And not even disturbing them. It's gonna be asynchronous, so that's the key here.
Andy: How do you teach the guys when they first start, to not have the shyness? Is it just about getting the hard yards, getting someone to your belt and then you just get used to it or how do you do... Is there a quicker way to get people ready, to get people ranked?
KM: Yeah, so the top three things we do is, one, we have Jeffrey Gitomer, the king of sales, provide a lot of videos for them to understand how to actually deliver a speech on a video, how do you stand up, how do you deliver, what kind of pitch they should go in, kind of series of videos also we have got. The second one, we have given an option for teleprompter where you initially get started, write down all the sentences that you want to speak, maybe it's going to be a little robotic, but don't worry about it.
As you get progressing, it'll be very natural. So that is the second kind of... In help we give for the freshers who come onboard for videos. The third key thing is we provide a lot of templates, templates wherein you can get accustomed to how you deliver the things. So these are the three important things that we have done in Hippo Video for you to enable on videos immediately.
Andy: Okay, so you guys actually have existing templates within the product which customers can use, so they can get ramped up quicker?
Andy: Okay, that's very good, that's very cool. I mean it says that though you guys are growing rapidly at the moment as well due to the COVID situation and people being stuck at home and having to do prospecting via video, right?
KM: Yes, yes. So the key here is, as I was telling you earlier, it was a trend earlier, now people have the thought video as an essential medium and quite interestingly, a lot of customers have come up with new new use cases. So we had one customer, bigger customer, they came for contract explaining as a video, when you actually send out the contract, they do a screen capture with their face on it, they explain the important part of the contract and send it across.
Then we had one more customer, when they do the prospecting, when there is some engagement, we understand the engagement through the open of the video, play of the video, and we push those signals back into your CRM, be it HubSpot, be it your CRMs, Salesforce, whatever it is, we push them back. Now they send out one more video to set up a meeting, Zoom meeting itself. So it's a pre-agenda video also they send, that way they are able to ensure no show's very less. Most of the people join the Zoom.
Andy: That's fantastic.
KM: Yes, so so many interesting use cases people have started adopting videos, that's the innovating part of human race, that's what I would say.
Andy: That's great to hear, because typically, in the past year, I would have thought of a video being very top of funnel, something to help SDRs break down a door, try to stick out a little bit, but it's really cool to hear the other use cases further down the funnel.
Andy: Look Karthi, thank you for your time today. I don't know if you have any more points that you wanna get across for the audience today.
KM: Okay, one part I would want to leave out when I move out of this is basically understand video as a very natural thing, and take your time, it's going to take five or six shots, but once you're getting there, you have a lot of tools on the systems. Especially with Hippo Video we'll give you some quick edits, all those features, putting the CDAs are all going to be easy.
The key here is, do it often, because that is what is going to take you further down the funnel, so that is what I would like to leave with.
Andy: Thank you for that Karthi, and where can people find you and sign up for a free trial? Where can people do that?
KM: Yeah, hippovideo.io.
Andy: Perfect, perfect. Okay, you guys, you heard it first here, go get it at hippovideo.io. Karthi, thank you so much for your time today. It's been a pleasure, and I wish you and your 750,000 customers all the best. As I said, I will be stealing some of your ideas and yeah, much appreciate it again. Thank you.
KM: Yeah, thank you, Andy.
Install today to start identifying new business opportunities.