Episode 124: Using Video in your Sales Funnel – Daniel Crouch

Predictable Prospecting
Episode 124 Using Video in your Sales Funnel - Daniel Crouch
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Content creators know that video is a powerful tool for delivering a message, and that means that it can also be a powerful tool in the world of sales. Learning how to use video effectively can be a helpful skill in all parts of the funnel.

Today’s guest is Daniel Crouch, Enterprise Account Executive at Videolicious. In today’s episode, Daniel will talk about using video, not just at the top of the funnel, but also after you get your foot in the door. Listen to the episode to hear what Daniel has to say about how and why he started using video, how to use videos for pre- and post-meeting contacts, and how to get started learning to use video effectively in your own sales process.

Episode Highlights:

  • Daniel’s background in sales
  • How Daniel got started using video in prospecting
  • How Daniel uses pre-meeting videos
  • How Daniel’s videos are structured
  • Avoiding excess words and keeping videos short
  • Using a script or teleprompter to stay on point
  • How to write copy to use as a video script
  • Post-meeting videos
  • The main purpose of using video for closing
  • Getting started learning how to use video


Daniel Crouch



Marylou: Hi, everyone, it’s Marylou Tyler. We’re going to pivot for this call. Everyone knows me as the person who is responsible for helping you guys get in the door. Start conversations with people we don’t know and take them to a qualified opportunity.

Today’s guest, we are going to do exactly the opposite. I have today, Daniel Crouch. He’s an account executive Videolicious. I met him through, I guess, LinkedIn. But he was at an event that I was at, University of Texas, in Dallas. Is that where we met Daniel?

Daniel: Yes.

Marylou: Yes. And I was so intrigued by his use of video that I’ve asked him to come on the podcast. As we started talking, though, we just cited, this is not the topic for prospecting. What we’re going to talk about today with Daniel is what happens after we get in the door. Now, I’ve had a lot of people write to me, and asked me to put together interviews with people for cross-sell/upsell. Now, this may be an offshoot of that. But this is going to be all about today, what do you do after you get in the door, and how video makes an impact to increase loyalty, lifetime value, all those really important parameters and checkboxes, we want to make sure that we get to with clients that our revenue our market share, our product share growth is off the charts.

Well, we have the expert in video today to talk to us about what we can do to get started after we’ve gotten in the door. Daniel, welcome to the podcast.

Daniel: Hey, thank you very much for having me. And by the way, I know we can absolutely talk about what happens after you get in the door. But I’m more than happy to share how people prospect with this thing, too. So, we can absolutely do both, I’ll leave where you take me.

Marylou: Yes, Daniel is an expert in the entire funnel. But I thought today, since this is an area where I kind of go, you know, a little gray is after we get in the door, I love this idea of pre-meetings, post-meetings, closing, all these places, Daniel, you are selling us that we can use video in all these places, correct?

Daniel: Yes. Just a little bit of background on me, I’ve been in sales for about a decade. I have always been in SAS sales, worked it all-size companies and I have sold to all size-companies. I kind of feel like I’ve seen, probably not everything, but I’ve seen a lot of it in those areas.

Marylou: The good, the bad, the ugly, right?

Daniel: Yeah, so my previous company before I came to work for this video company that I work for now, Videolicious was SAP. It was a tool that we started using there. Initially, the way that we all thought, you know, when they said, “Hey, guys, when they got a lot of tools, but here’s another one, here’s, here’s this video tool.” The world is extremely noisy, that’s going to help us stand out in inboxes, right? We’ll send videos to people instead of just text that’s way more exciting. We thought, that will help us get into doors that we’ve been not able to get into. And it did, doors that I had been knocking on for years, finally started opening to me.

So we absolutely started using it for prospecting. I guess, it just kind of gradually occurred to me and my team, and I guess the rest of the company, “Oh, wow, wait a minute, like after you’re in the door, that’s when the real magic starts to happen.” That’s when you can really start to leverage video. Because when you’re prospecting, a lot of times, it’s you know, yeah, I think SalesLoft just came out with some stats of, it’s actually just a couple of weeks ago, if it was even that long, you know, videos or emails that have videos in them, increase your replies by 26%, and it does that. But once you do get in the door, and you are connecting with the people who said, “Yes, I will meet with you,” your videos always get watched at that point.

You know, it’s not a it’s not an “if” it’s just a matter of “when.” And so, we found very common ways to use it all throughout the cycle. There were really, four core ways that I use it, one was prospecting, that’s obvious. Obviously, we want to talk about this after that. The second is pre-meeting videos. The third is post-meeting videos and the fourth is closing.

Now, I send all types of videos all the time. It’s like my Swiss Army knife for selling. It’s the most impactful tool that I have ever used in my 10 years. So I wanted to come work for a video company. But that’s kind of where – those are the broad categories where all the types of videos fit in: prospecting, pre-meeting, post-meeting, and closing. So I don’t know if you want to just take those one by one, Marylou, or…

Marylou: You’re driving the train here, Daniel.

Daniel: Okay. That’s dangerous.

Marylou: I promise to keep us on the rails, how’s that.

Daniel: Yes, please stop me when you need to. I’ll just start with pre-meeting video. So one of the things I in my most recent position at SAP is I was in AE, and we had a team of SDRs that were calling for us and we have since changed this strategy. But we had this strategy where we were essentially, I mean we were just, our SDR team is just the way that they set it up, and the tools that they were using, but they were just bludgeoning our prospects to death.

I had this little territory and we were always calling into it. We kind of got to a point where, people were accepting meetings, because it will – yes, we’ll take this meeting with you, if you will leave us the hell alone. It was kind of the sense that we got on a lot of our calls. We would see meetings, I mean, that team kept meetings on my calendar. But for the most part, you know, they’d show up, I would show up to the meeting, and a lot of times, there were no shows, a lot of times when you did get on the phone, they were like, “What do you want?”

Not a really good way to start a relationship. And anyway, so they were a little antagonistic. And a lot of times, I can’t tell you how many calls we had to reschedule if they got rescheduled. And so we thought—okay, well, we have this video tool, why don’t we try sending a video. A meeting shows up on the calendar and I’m going to record a video of myself saying, “Hey, I’m Daniel, I’m the guy who wants to talk to you, I’m the guy you’re going to be talking to, I’m really excited to talk to you, here are all the things that we’re going to talk about. I can’t wait to talk to you tomorrow.”

The first thing that that did was, it didn’t completely eliminate no shows. But it really reduced and I don’t know the exact percentage, but it really reduced the number know shows that we started to have. Not only that, when people did show up to the calls, they were way more focused, because you’d given an agenda, they were also way friendlier, because, when you’re sending that pre-meeting video, you’re happy. They look at it, and they’re like, “Oh, that’s a person, not an email.” The tone of them was completely different. And like I said, it reduced the no show.

That was one way that we used it to help convert more of our leads, and actually get more leads into, a working opportunity status. It just set where we could have been setting, getting off on the wrong foot, it helped to get us set on the right foot.

Marylou: How long was this pre-meeting video on average, did you end up honing it to?

Daniel: Well, in general, if you’re doing video, just a general tip, 30 to 90 seconds is about all you’ve got. If you’re a movie producer, with all the things that they have to keep people’s attention, you got longer than that. But when you’re a sales guy, and you’re just talking to a camera on your phone, or your computer, you’ve got 30 seconds to 90 seconds. I will answer your question.

What I have found is that, a prospecting video, you know, the 30 to 60 seconds is kind of the sweet spot there. There are other types of videos that you can go a little longer and people kind of give you a little more time just based on the type of video it is. But for those, they were super short, they were max 30 seconds.

Hey, I’m Daniel – I can’t wait to talk to you, is the general rule or the general flow. So yeah, that about 30 seconds.

Marylou: Okay, giving them the gist of – it’s almost, in the olden days, when I was selling into large companies, we would actually physically send an agenda, here’s what we’d like to talk about. And we agreed on our last call that this is a topic that was of interest to you, and here are the bullet items of what we want to cover, looking forward to seeing you.

So essentially, you put this into a person, a face, and your emotion, your excitement, and also giving them a heads up. It is like, “Hey, this is what we’re going to try to cover tomorrow.” I think that’s great.

Daniel: Yeah, it’s exactly the same thing and a lot of the things that I’ll talk about, people probably do a version of this already, either with email or something like that. But what we found with video is, they get more attention, they connect with people a lot more, you get to your intention behind it, your emotion behind it that would really resonate with people. They also get shared, and we can talk about that now or later. But that’s a huge, that’s a huge component of how to use video strategically, is to know that people kind of default to sharing these things. So yeah, I sent this to, George, who’s going to be in this meeting. But then he forwards that, to Jane, and, you know, all of a sudden, you’re pitching to Jane as well. With a lot of those other types of, I guess other ways, to introduce people to meetings, or get them ready for meetings, they just get ignored a lot of the times.

Like, great, there’s an agenda – you know, I’ve actually got an email that I’ve saved of a CMO that I met with recently. Her exact quote was, “Wow, that was super cool.” A video overview and agenda. That’s the first for me. Nice, (smiley).”Some I didn’t know, but they were like, “Wow, that was really neat.”

Marylou: Yeah, wonderful. I like that idea and I think that since you’re not having, you know, everyone’s like – Oh, yeah, I got a recorded videos but what you’re saying here is it’s strategically used for meaningful events or meaningful conversations, and you ask them within the video to share it with the other people of the that are attending the meeting, or do they naturally want to do that?

Daniel: It happens naturally, a lot. If you really want your champion to help, like there a certain type of video that I sent for closing or to help me close deals, it’s just a summary of everything that we talked about, you know, and the value that we’re going to have very specifically for that company. A lot of times my champion at that point, I kind of coach them, like, you might want to share this with the decision team, right? Because you’re going to put into words in the most compelling way possible. Well, you’re going to record the right message, the words that you want them to say, as they continue this journey, internally, you have an opportunity to say it exactly how it should be said exactly what should be said. A lot of times, your champions, get really excited when you send them videos that help them get deals done internally, because that’s usually a big challenge. They’re excited, but they’re not that great at selling.

Marylou: Right. Well, let me share at this point with the audience that the first time I tried to do a video like this, it was for a pre-meeting video, I think I must have recorded it 45 times before I liked what I was saying. The benefit and the beauty of going through that angst was my conversations on the phone improved, because I practiced so hard and so long on what to say. And I did it in 15 seconds, 15 to 30 somewhere in that range. But are you finding that when you get started that you want to put your best face forward in this case. And so, you practice a lot more, which ultimately benefits you in your sales conversation, because you practiced the conversation a lot more?

Daniel: Oh, yeah. I actually didn’t realize how powerful that was until my very first sale cycle at Videolicious. When I was talking to a VP of sales. And it really occurred to me like, when I have to sit down and record a video, knowing the types of attention spans that people have, like, you don’t have time to beat around the bush, you don’t have time to use excess words, you have to get to the point.

Like the bell rung in her head, “Oh, this is going to make my reps better.” I mean, it really does, it forces you to know what the heck you’re saying, and to get to the point and to put value first because if you don’t, you’ve lost people. And yeah, I really started to learn our stuff better. My point is better, my talk tracks better when I was developing videos. And to your point of view, taking 45 takes – everybody is like that at first.

What I found – two things happen when you start using video – number one, even for people who are super like reticent to do it and I’m into it now. But at first, I mean, everybody’s a little self conscious. But in every video you record after that first one, you get a little more comfortable and your video gets a little bit better you learn a little something after that video, after that first video in every video that makes you more comfortable or makes your videos better– you just have to do it.

One thing I don’t think a lot of people think about a lot is, this isn’t just a new tool, it’s really a new skill you’re learning and it takes practice just have to practice it but it is worth it. It’s definitely worth it.

Marylou: Definitely. I had a class certification class just this past fall and we had one of the students who decided, she was going to use video and went off and recorded, I think, 30 unique videos to invite people to a workshop. She said her first one, it was horrific. She thought she was great in person because that’s how she usually sells and she was but what was happening was she was saying, “uh, uh-mm, and so,” there was a lot of inflection of words as she was thinking about her thoughts and that was coming across in the video. She told me that after she got through that first maybe four or five, the rest went really well and to your point, she had tremendous attendance at her conference that she invited these people to. So, I’ve seen – the more you put into it, the more you can get out of it, but it’s also – maybe there’s a honeymoon period, I don’t know, but the response rates are incredible for video.

Daniel: Yeah, I mean, they really are and until a couple of weeks ago, it was a kind of a fluffy number but SalesLoft did analysis of thousands and thousands of emails and said, hey the ones that have video in it they get 26% more replies. Maybe they’re all “No’s” but probably not, but a “No” is valuable sometimes.

Marylou: A “No” is very valuable in our world because it does the math for the funnel, a top of funnel includes “No’s.”

Daniel: Yup, it does. I’ll go chase somebody else if you’re not the one.

Marylou: Yeah, exactly.

Daniel: One of the things that helps a lot and I did not believe in this at first but, one of the things that helps a lot with the “uh-mms,” and being on point and taking or doing 40 however many it takes, is learning to use a script or some kind of teleprompter. You can get these on your phone where you can reveal, it comes baked in with Videolicious This isn’t a Videolicious thing though. But you can find you can find stuff on apps that have teleprompters there are – I’m sure other solutions have a teleprompter type features but I wasn’t a big believer in that at first until I realized how much time it was taking me when I was trying to go off the cuff – what I’ve learned about scripts and teleprompters and things like that is that’s another thing that you get more much better at, the more you do it.

I didn’t like them before because I was really bad. It sounded like I was reading and it wasn’t good. But as you keep doing it, you realize that’s the way to eliminate all that time that you’re wasting and produce a really good video. You just have to get good at figuring out how to emote as you read.

Marylou: Do you have on your website for Videolicious, some of these tips of how to write a persuasive argument that is eventually going to be a video conversation or are we going back to basics with persuasive type copywriting and all the books that are out there about how to write a persuasive piece of copy that entices your person to want to lean in and say, Oh, my gosh, I’m so glad I’m reading this. I’m so glad I’m listening to this video.

Daniel: Yeah, well, as far as what’s on our website, honestly, I’m not sure. I mean, that’s one of the things that that we take extremely seriously—is training people how to, again, it’s not just a tool, it’s skill, like, you can probably figure out how to use the tool. What we do is we have media experts, we have people who have taught, people who are in media now, how to be in media as people on our staff.

So anyway, that’s one of the things that we do a lot of training on, is how do you –everything from what should be behind you, right? How should you talk to, how should you sell? How do you how do you persuasively talk about this.

Marylou: That’s wonderful. Yeah, I know, with the phone usage that we teach, we write scripts out because if you think of an actor, they’re reading from a script, but when the movie finally comes out, they’ve memorized it to the point where they’ve had their own inflection, they’ve had their own joy, or emotion to it. The same thing happens with the telephone usage. If we start with the script, we have all of our talking points that are in there, eventually, it’s going to become more natural to us. But it’s good to start with something solid, so you’re not bungling your way through a conversation.

Daniel: Yeah, with video, I found two things that help. One is, when you’re thinking of persuasively like, how am I going to put this video together, because reality is, you do have just this, this tool, and there are a million ways to use it. So just general principles are more helpful. You know, anytime you can tell a story, whether that’s customer story, or telling your story about your company, putting what you’re saying into a story form is so much more powerful than just a list of facts. So that’s one that’s persuasive way to go about it. One way that keeps people interested is to have a story for them to follow along to.

Another is, I don’t know another way to say it, other than to just speak in bullet points. So a lot of times my videos are – Hey, George, this is Daniel, I’m going to talk about three things. Number one, what’s the main point, number two, number three, something about that helps people go along with you. It especially helps when you’re trying to break up a big message. So I almost never write long emails anymore. If an email gets to a third paragraph or even a second paragraph. A lot of times now, I’ll turn that into a video. But usually, throughout that process, I figured out a way to bucket it in such a way that I can say, number one, number two, number three, that that’s something that’s been really helpful as well

Marylou: Wonderful. Let’s talk about post-meetings. You mentioned pre-meetings, we have now a good understanding of where to use video there. What is the purpose of a post-meeting video?

Daniel: Yeah, well, again, you may have some version of this that you do with email or something now, where you’re – hey, it was great to talk to you, here’s what we talked about, here are the next steps, it is essentially putting that type of thing into a video form. And again, the reason I started doing video instead of that is because, again, those things by and large, get kind of ignored – They’re like, great, yeah, I know what we talked about.

When you can put a video together, and this is again, where you get kind of strategic about it, where you’re saying – Yeah, here’s what we talked about, but you’re peppering things in there that are really designed to help move this thing forward faster. And something that I’m always trying to do is either get more decision makers involved like the other people. Yes, I had this call with this guy who said, he’d take a call with us, that was great. He’s excited but how do I get that guy to get all the other people I need on the phone. And ultimately, the decision maker, right, the guy who’s going to sign the paper that’s where I realized that these post-meeting videos could be powerful. Because again, the simple idea of putting the words together so they don’t have to, the fact these kind of inherently get shared, you get decision makers involved faster.

One of the first times I ever did this led to the largest opportunity that I ever worked while I was at SAP and it got—I in the video I kept alluding to, I knew key to getting that deal done was getting the certain people involved as early as possible. So in the video, I kept referring to the President, the President, the President, the President, and then I kind of coached my champion to shell that issue, to share this video with other people before I sent it to him. And lo and behold, second meeting, the President was in the room of the entire company. Like I said, it led to the biggest opportunity we ever worked there. That’s a simple concept but that’s pretty much the gist of the post-meeting video. And there are other types of post-meeting videos that you can send, but in general, just recapping a conversation is one. The others kind of get into that category of, or at least the category I put them into of closing videos. The post-meeting is pretty simple, just kind of recapping things, helping move things along, get decision makers involved.

Marylou: What about setting the next event the next meeting the next calendar date? Is that done in those videos? Or do you still go back to the old fashioned way of – once you’re in a meeting getting that next meeting setup and on the calendar? Or do you actually use a video for that as well?

Daniel: Well, I guess it depends. I mean, I guess there every now and then you get off the calls where you couldn’t get that meeting scheduled, and then you can allude to, okay, now we need to, you know, when you’re recording a video, it’s important to not go overboard with the information. So if the most important thing is for you to get across, we need to put this on the calendar meeting, then that needs to be part of that needs to be most of your message. But in general, no, I’m closing for a meeting on the meeting.

Marylou: On the meeting, that’s good. I was just curious to see if that also prompts people like, as a reminder – Hey, remember, we’re supposed to meet up to the first of the year, I wanted to get some dates on the calendar. If there are people that you want me to include in the meeting, this would be a great time to get back to me so we can get this organized. I would use a video for that just kind of regroup people, especially if it’s somehow got into this sort of, maybe land of indecision, or if they went away and did something, or something happened that they had to cancel, I try to bring them all back into the fold by using a video for that.

Daniel: Yeah, that’s super smart.

Marylou: So let’s go on to closing and then I want to make sure that we’re respectful of the time because a lot of times people are driving around listening to this. But closing, I’m really curious when you would use it there. Is it the same thing to remind people of the importance of getting this done? Is it to continue to sell? What is the main purpose of the video for closing?

Daniel: Yeah, so there comes a point in most sales cycles, where you’ve kind of done all the steps, right. They’ve seen the demo, they’ve had their conversations, you’re kind of at that decision point. And so a lot of times, that’s where deals stall or they slow down, and they’ll close when you want to. One of the ways, I have three, and I guess this is especially relevant for this time of year. So I’ll mentioned three that I use pretty consistently. But one I use in every single deal, when you get to that point where you as a rep fully understand the value that your thing is going to bring to this company. Summarizing, it is essentially sending a video that says – Hey, everybody, its Daniel. Here’s a summary of what we talked about. These are your goals, these are your challenges, here’s how we’re going to impact those things.

The way I kind of think about putting this video together is if this got shared with the CEO of the company, and this was the only thing he ever saw, this minute and a half video to the end of that and say, why aren’t we already doing this, right? That’s kind of – you’ve taken everything you’ve learned about that company and the impact that you can have, and you put that together for your champions. That’s the one they typically get really excited about and they share.

I know the first one I put together. When I was at Videolicious, the guy said, I just forwarded this to my VP. That that video is powerful. I think it’s the most powerful way you can use video because you at the end…

Marylou: I got that, yeah.

Daniel: You’re putting into words and emotions, and intention—you’re essentially giving the words that you hope your champion will say, and you get to deliver that message, right? And it gets delivered to everybody. And it’s the right message every single time. You only have to do it once. So anyway, yeah, that’s when I use all the time.

Marylou: I think what I love—what you said about that is you’re thinking about the call to action should be in this case, why are we not doing this? I love that working backwards from the desired result of your video, to preparing whatever it is whatever sales argument or persuasive argument you want to put together to get them to say that. I mean, we do that at top of funnel all the time. We start with, is this a waste of our time? You know, internally, we’re asking ourselves that, and then we ask, Is this a good team to work with? Should we continue to move and advance it together through this process to see if we’re a good fit or not? And then finally, we ask ourselves, should we work together? Is this compelling enough solution that you’re ready to put resources against it?

So each stage in our top of funnel ask that kind of question so we can design videos to prompt them to naturally ask those questions. I love that. That’s wonderful.

Daniel: I mean, I found your kind of answering three questions. Why change? Why now? and Why us? If you can put that in one video, that’s gold.

I will say one, prospecting tidbit, in as much as you can research a company and put this together on your own beforehand and put that in front of the people that you’re chasing, that you will see a huge uptick in, you know, people getting back to you and setting meetings. Instead of putting that together at the end of the deal, you put it together and as much as possible, saying, hey, George, this is Daniel, I have researched your company to death. Here’s what I know about what’s going on. We probably think we can help you, let’s talk.

Marylou: Yeah, I love that. I love that. So we’ve learned a lot about ways to use video. What do you suggest we do now that we’ve peaks of interest of some of the audience wanting to work on doing this? It’s the perfect time of year, we’re talking together now, in 2018 nearing the holiday season, time that we reflect, we try to close our last deals, but we’re also reflecting on what we’re going to change for next year. How do you suggest we go about learning the ways we can utilize video to help us with our selling?

Daniel: Call me. I think that you just have to start doing it. Actually, before we started using video with SAP, I actually had started doing some stuff on my own with video. You don’t have to, I mean, yes, absolutely. We’d love to talk to anybody who wants to talk about video. But you know, if you’re a rep and you’re at your company, and you guys haven’t invested in a tool like that yet, pick up your phone, record a video put it on YouTube, share that link with people, share your private URL with people and just get started.

Again, it’s a skill, it’s not going away. That’s one of the reasons I was super interested in this I can’t imagine a future where this isn’t the norm of how we communicate in the next couple years. You need to get good at it now. So start practicing.

Marylou: It is, it’s a skill, it’s worth practicing and it helps the other skills in your toolbox for selling. It helps you be better on the phone. It helps you write emails that are short and sweet more persuasive in nature, billboard signs, like to call them, getting to the point and respecting that people are busy. It can’t help not help everywhere that you are in that sales process when you’re speaking the sales conversation.

Daniel: Yeah, I think ultimately, right now, video stands out a little more than it will in the future. At some point, we’re all going to be doing it and you know, the skill is going to matter a lot more at that point.

Marylou: I was going to say we’re all going to be doing it. But how many already blocked those LinkedIn videos that are out there. It’s like another, oh another video.

Yes, doing it well, is very important. So where do we find you, Daniel? In order to have conversations after this – after our conversation today on this podcast? Where else can we meet you and get to know you better?

Daniel: I’m on LinkedIn. If I have to put you on one place, that would be it. I think my LinkedIn is \DanielW.Crouch. Just find me on LinkedIn search for Daniel Crouch, Videolicious, that should find me.

Marylou: Okay, and then the site is Videolicious.com, correct?

Daniel: Yes.

Marylou: If you want to learn more about the offerings for this company. And again, video is here to stay, video is going to be very useful for us as we go forward. And as Daniel points out, it’s really focusing on your skill. It’s not the medium per se, it’s going to be helpful, and right now it’s in this luxury stage where the response rates are off the charts, but it will help you going forward to hone your craft, fine tune your sales conversation, talk in a way that’s persuasive yet compelling, as Daniel mentioned before, and bubble up that sense of urgency so that your pipelines are full with good leads and good quality clients that you can close at a higher conversion rate, which is what it’s all about, right?

Daniel: I believe so.

Marylou: Very good. Well, thank you so much, Daniel, for being a guest today. And I will put all this information on how they can reach you on your page. And we wish you the very best success in 2019 and beyond with video, and I’ll have you back probably the end of the year, next year to talk about what’s new in the video side of the world.

Daniel: Awesome. Sounds fun. Thank you for having me.