SDRealness Podcast Episode 13 Graphic Horizontal - Video Prospecting & Sales Development with Tara Horstmeyer & Keith Zadig from Gravy

Episode 13 Transcript

Alex: Hello and welcome to The SDRealness Podcast brought to you by Sales Development Revolution. We’re here to talk with sales development practitioners about their take on really important topics in the space. As always, I’m your host Alex here with me is my co-host, Greyson.

Greyson: Hey, hey, everyone.

Alex: So now we’re into season two of this podcast. We’re starting to get our feet underneath us here and we wanted to line up sort of a theme for this season. 

Greyson and I went with “see action take action”, where we’re really focused on diving into specific topics in sales development to learn these the tactics and you know, day-to-day things that experts do and really use to be successful.

So, today’s tactical topic we’re gonna be talking about is video prospecting. As an SDR this is, you know, a newer thing relatively speaking, so I’m really excited to jump into it. 

Joining us for the conversation we have Tara Horstmeyer and Keith Zadig (AKA KZ) from Gravy. Tara, you were a former SDR manager at Gravy who’s recently transitioned to the partner success team and Keith you’re the current SDR manager there.

So, thank you guys so much for hopping on with us. 

Tara: Yeah, thanks for having us.

Greyson: Yeah, I’m really excited about this topic. And you know, like Alex mentioned, it is relatively new compared to some of the more traditional kind of prospecting channels like calls or emails.

So to kick things off, I actually wanted to kind of address that, you know? I want to get your take on why video specifically is such a good prospecting tool and is so important in today’s SDRs toolbox.

You know, why spend time on videos instead of just more calls or just more emails?

Tara: Yeah, so I’m super excited to talk about this. So, this is something that I feel transcends just everything that SDRs are already doing.

So, the purpose of video and the purpose of using that… it’s a strategy like absolutely everything else. It’s not meant necessarily to replace anything, but it’s really meant to be something that you can use in addition to all of your other great tools in your toolbox. 

And as you go, and depending on your ICP, it really can take the prime position in a lot of ways. And so that’s… I mean, that’s our approach to it is it’s strategic. I’s not just, “Hey we’re adding video to add video and to be like the cool kids,” or, “This is something that we just want to do because everybody else tells us we should do it.”

It really was birthed out of a strategy that worked. So, you know we always say like, “Hey we’re married to nothing but results,” but the crazy thing is video works. And it works… It’s working so well for us. It’s working so well for our team. But, also it’s working well for our teams beyond even our SDR teams as we really implement a video strategy across Gravy.

But, specifically as we talk about SDRs and their ability to reach out and connect, having video as a part of your strategy… No matter where you use it, no matter what your ICP is, as long as you’re doing it with the forethought of hey I want to do something that is not only different, but that actually works to almost shorten, it really shortens that warm up period from cold to warm. And it just makes connection so much easier.

And it still is rare. Like that’s the really cool thing about video overall is we hear about it a lot, but when I look at my inbox and when I look at my DMs and my emails, I can count on one hand how many I’ve probably received in the last month, which is wild to me. But it also shows, “Hey this isn’t something that’s just becoming another white noise, but it really is an opportunity to take advantage of that.”

I’m super pumped about as I think about just a strategy beyond SDRs but it also worked very well in our SDR strategy as we started it a year and a half ago at Gravy. So, it’s something we’ve done from the beginning and something that I’m super passionate about myself because, again, it’s all about results and they work! So, that’s my thoughts. 

Alex: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point you bring up. Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually received a video prospecting message.

Like, I don’t… Thinking back to my inbox, emails, you know, I’ll get the phone calls, the voicemails, the LinkedIn messages, but I don’t think anyone… If anyone’s trying to prospect me, I guess I’m just putting it out there right now: Send me a video! I’ll open it. I’ll take a look. You’ll be the first. Yeah, that’s a really good point you bring up there.

I want to dive in a little bit – maybe KZ if you want to take this one – but get some perspective on the process that your SDR team uses for video prospecting, both to generate those positive outcomes and while, you know, maintaining efficient time management.

Because I think that’s one of the things a lot of reps sort of get caught up on is it does take longer right to produce a video message than it does to just pick up a phone and make a call or send a, you know, a templated email, give or take.

So, could you walk through maybe just sort of an overview of that process that you guys are using over there? 

Keith: Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, kind of just diving into what Tara spoke about, about the ROI on video and how we’re able to use it is absolutely massive.

You just mentioned that you actually haven’t gotten a video in your inbox before and so hopefully someone watching this, they’ll be able to send you a quick video.

And so how that process operates is essentially just broken down by those daily steps and those daily touch points. There’s so much noise out there within the world, specifically around email and LinkedIn and all of the above, but how can you really create something that is gonna essentially create an opportunity out of thin air, you know? You want to be able to break that noise. You want to be able to stand out.

And so a lot of our team and what we’re currently doing with our processes is essentially really just going to that company website or really diving into who that prospect is as a person and what matters to them most.

I’m sure all of us here know that whenever somebody asks us a question about what we do or why we do the things that we do, we’re able to speak so highly and we get excited about speaking about ourselves. That’s just like human nature, we like to talk about ourselves.

And so with video, this provides the prospect that ability to really hear what you’re trying to say and what you’re trying to tell with that story. And you always want to be really just yourself when it comes to making videos. I know that might sound cliche, but a lot of people might overanalyze how they should be creating that video. But that transparency of who you are and really just connecting with that prospect through video is something that you really just can’t do through an email.

And it’s so awesome to see the success because, with video specifically, there are a lot of tools out there. We use Vidyard currently as our main source to implement directly into our emails. And the beauty of Vidyard in itself – even with the free version – is you can track specifically when somebody is watching your video.

And so from the SDR perspective of how you’re going to follow-up or how you’re going to reply to somebody if they’re ghosting you, you can then see through the analytics this person watched this percentage of this video.

So, then you then know when you’re doing your follow up, or you’re doing your messaging, “Hey I know that this person watched my video, so, it’s time for me to interrupt their day,” kindly, you know, relationally, to really, essentially get that meeting set.

So, I think video we have such an advantage here and really just working with a team to coach one another to get comfortable. Because as we all are in this digital age right now with the way the world is, video is just a huge asset and I believe that every single team should be implementing it.

Greyson: Yeah, I think the competitive advantage of video is the ability to humanize and to kind of make a first impression that other people out there in the space aren’t making.

I think Alex made a great point about him, you know, not receiving videos like that, which means – relevant or not, whether your messaging is great or not – it’s going to stick out. It’s gonna rise above the crowd much better than just another email in the inbox.

And so, KZ, I wanted to dive a little bit further into the process and get an understanding for kind of two pieces. You know, one, what should an SDR put into the video in terms of how they should speak about themselves? Or what they should focus on in the video? And what are the next steps that they should outline? And then the second question and the second part of that is, what happens after the video? How do you and your reps use that video in follow up and in additional sales touches? 

Keith: Yeah, great question. And this is something that’s really important for everyone listening right now is how you can communicate that message with your prospects.

So, essentially, you know, for me as the way that I talk and who I am as an individual, I let that shine through video.

So, essentially, if I were making you a video Greyson, I’d be like, “Hey Greyson, it’s KZ here from team Gravy and I just wanted to say some good vibes today,: and then from that point on I will then continue through of essentially what Gravy is doing, who we are, not too much about our process, but moreso championing that prospect about, “We think it’s incredible what you’re doing with your business, specifically by XYZ,” really just going into that… They’re doing incredible things, we think that they could potentially be a great conversation to have.

And then the best part and most important part is that call-to-action. So when you are creating these videos, you don’t just want to be like, “Okay like this is what I’m saying. You’re awesome, you’re awesome.” You need to always follow up every single video.

And, you know, working with Tara on the team as an RDR myself, she would always tell us like, “Hey make sure you have that call-to-action,” because as SDRs we are at the end of the day results focused and how can we help book that meeting like quicker, but also qualify them faster?

And so that call to action you really with a video, you have such a remarkable opportunity to create one of my favorite things, which is called urgency, okay? You know it shouldn’t… Urgency shouldn’t be one of these things that is always just happening at the end of the month. Like you want to hit your team goals, you want to hit your numbers.

You can create urgency on literally the first day of the month. And how do you do that? You know, you essentially could take your service – regardless of what you’re doing – and create some sort of promo or create… Like if you’re able to book a call today or by this Friday, we will give you full access to XYZ, right? Creating something within your means of your service that you’re providing, will allow that prospect to feel like, “Hey I really want to talk to this person.”

And one thing I’m telling the team right now is when you create video that is really speaking personally to that prospect, they can’t say no to you. And let’s say that they do say no to you, well they’re going to be more likely to give you a warm referral. And then that warm referral could then lead to something amazing down the road and some new customers or new opportunities or connections. So, what was your other question follow up to that? 

Greyson: So my other question was about the after. So, you know, an SDR gets the process down and sends the video. Maybe send, you know, 10-15 videos a day, I’m not sure what your volume is for reps sending videos, but what do they do after that in the cadence? How do they actually use the context of, “Hey I sent you a video,” or the content in that video to help improve conversions later down in the journey? 

Keith: Yeah, absolutely! And this is something I really just learned from Tara and working with the team as well as a rep myself. And just going back to that conversational piece about making the the prospect feel awesome. And when it comes to that video, it’s like, “Hi so and so, you’re awesome. Here’s why,” right?

And then there’s the Vidyard video where it’s like the GIF where you’re like waving, I always encourage everyone who’s listening to this right now that you want to be happy, you want to kind of maybe drink some coffee, maybe get a little hype, put some good music on and when you’re making these videos for your prospects, you want to be on top of your game.

So, letting the prospect know, “Hi you’re awesome, here’s why,” and then having the video right there, you’re like waving, and then below that, “let me know how that sounds to you,” right? Or some sort of offer where they feel enticed to open.

And a lot of times you can get really creative as a team, what those subject headlines look like. I really love to ask kind of questions where it’s just like, you could be targeting their business in a specific way, like, “Hey, you’re doing this,” or just really asking those questions is great for those open rates.

Because once they open the video and then they see you looking happy or they see that you’re inviting, that warm feeling is gonna make the prospect 100% watch that video.

And so in terms of like daily cadences and where this step really lays within the daily process, currently with our team what I encourage is, anytime somebody has been opening your emails… Like, let’s say you send a written message to a prospect and they continue to open it or you can check the analytics, like they’ve clicked and they haven’t even responded, that’s a great opportunity to make a video for them.

I always encourage people, you have a cadence, you have templates, but video is the way to feel that self motivation were like, “Hey, I really want to connect with this prospect.” So, instead of waiting for them or like just going through your normal steps, like take it a further step from yourself motivation, like “Hey let me make them a LinkedIn video. Let me let me just make them a video in their email.”

And so that’s where I encourage the team. And a lot of what we do here at Gravy is test things, right? You know, go outside of the box, don’t always think that because it’s this way, it has to be this way. We’re all unique. We all have an ability to be leaders. And so yeah, it’s an amazing opportunity to use video and just truly just be yourself. 

Alex: Yeah, and I think one of the important things that you touched on and I just want to highlight there is you said they see you, right?

And it’s obviously video, they see you, but looking at it from you know the different channels of outreach that SDRs have to use, you go from email, which is just like text, they know that you exist and that you have this thing, to a voicemail or a phone conversation where they can hear you.

But this really makes sense as like a logical next step to help further sort of build that rapport and introduce yourself in a way that it’s… You’re basically as close to walking up to them and shaking your hand as you can get, right? And I think that’s one of the really important aspects of video and why it’s worked so well.

Because if I see you smiling there waving, I know that, A, you’re a real person, right? Something you don’t always get from email or even from phone calls and voicemails at this point anymore, and B, I like know that you’re a real person that, “Oh look, you’re having a good time.” Now I want to interact with you.

So, I think you did a great job of explaining sort of how you get that to happen on your calls. And I think that’s just a really important thing I wanted to highlight there from your answer. 

Keith: Yeah. And one other thing to add too with like video and how that process works, where like specifically for SDRs, you’re going to get “no” or “not interested” so many times throughout your process.

But instead of just taking that “no,” open up a video and just being like, “Hey what did you think about this approach? I would love your feedback,” and then, “Even if you are just a teeny bit curious about what we do, would love to set up some time,” and that has helped me be successful as an SDR.

And like, really just showing your face because there’s a lot of people out there who don’t want to take that extra step to ask for that feedback and asking for that feedback, showing your face, showing that you’re a real human will essentially help you cross that finish line or even create a new opportunity that you didn’t know could exist. 

Greyson: I completely agree. I think the beautiful thing about video prospecting is that it’s pretty much as easy as cold calling to where it’s like all you need is a camera and the ability to record and send that video.

There are free video softwares out there like Loom that you can use to record if you don’t have something like Vidyard and I would encourage anybody who’s wanting to get started in video prospecting to check out some softwares and check out some of the different tools that you can use. And there are free ones if, you know, your company is unable to help you out there.

And I think that kind of gets into my last question that I wanted to top off with because I know that video prospecting is pretty easy to execute in terms of kind of like doing the video, but I know that there’s a lot involved in actually being great at it, you know? From the details of lighting and production quality to, you know, how you actually handle yourself and conduct yourself on video, all the way to body language.

So, I wanted to back up as we wrap up this episode and ask is there any actionable advice or some best practices that you would give to an SDR team that’s like just getting started with video prospecting? 

Tara: Yeah, so I’ll take that because, again, this is something that I think is… It can be… A lot of times people I think they overthink it, you know?

So you think like, “Oh my gosh I’ve got to have all this equipment,” like you were saying, “and all this and it’s got to be perfect.” The beauty of video is actually the imperfection of it. And that is just being a real person.

Because if you just take a step back, and that’s what I always like to say is, “Hey, remember your why. Remember who you’re reaching out to.” They are, guess what? A human. Yes, it may be C-suite. It may be VP, but they are human.

And so I think just kind of taking a breath and being like, “Hey I’m looking to connect with this person as a person.” So, I always think through, okay what’s the script? I’m like a copywriter at heart. So I try to write down, okay, what’s my why? Why am I writing this? Just to take a step back and be like, okay, let’s not overthink this.

Yes, there are best practices, but the best practice that you can do first is just start with like… Okay, if I was to script this out not to sound like a robot, but what’s my why? What am I getting toward? And then just putting that inside of you being like, all right so I’m gonna come to this remembering that I’m trying to connect with this human.

And KZ nailed it. We start, guess what? Not talking about us. I never start a video saying , “Hi my name is Tara and blah, blah, blah,” you know? Cause yes, they can probably see that anyway. But it’s also like, who cares? They don’t care. Like they want to hear about them, you know?

So rub them in like, “Hey Greyson, you are incredible,” but like be relevant because nobody also likes to be flattered. That’s dumb. But it’s like, I’ve done my research. And if anybody has taken the effort to send me a video, I am going to watch it. I’m going to listen to it. I’m going to watch it.

But if I click and they’re automatically like, “Hey my name is Tara and Gravy’s the best and you need to use us and blah blah,” I’m like ugh! you probably just lost me like you lose any prospect because you’re not talking about me, you know?

And let’s be honest, at the end of the day, people want to hear about themselves. They want to hear who they are, their relevance to your situation. They want to know, “Hey I took the time not just to glance at your page, but to get to know you.”

So I’d rather, you know… When we were doing this, when I was doing this in this position, you send highly targeted, highly quality emails, like KZ was saying, you’re gonna get a win no matter what, or videos, rather than just like spraying out a bunch of stuff.

So, that’s kind of my pre-work to before you even pick up that video camera. But, once you do, once you’ve established your why, once you’ve established your CTA, and you’re trying to be concise and to the point, I would say number one, like KZ said, be happy. Bring your energy. Bring excitement. Because you want to transfer your confidence and your joy to the other person. Because at the end of the day guys this is psychology. Like this is just human nature. And people are drawn to people who are upbeat.

And again, this does not mean you have to be someone different. If you are a pretty chill, like… Okay, I’m more in like the expert category in the education category, and that’s who my ICP is, then still bring that, bring your warmth, bring your experience, but bring yourself.

Lighting is key. Like nobody wants to look like a lurker and like the dark back corners, so make sure you’re like looking at natural light or at least, you know, have a lamp or something in front of you to where they can see you and they can see your face.

But, everybody’s at home, so think about like, okay, do I have trash around me? Do I have piles of laundry on the floor? It’s little things like that, that like, oh yeah, let me just check around, move, remove coffee cups, things like that. So, just make sure, again, you’re just trying to make sure that the prospect is focusing on what you’re saying, not the distraction of your physical environment.

But you can use not really a distraction, but you can use movement to your favor. So sometimes I’ll take a walk outside or I’ll just kind of walk around and just bring some movement and action into it because that’s visually interesting.

But overall, don’t overthink it, don’t try to sound like a robot, don’t try to memorize a script. Just remember your point is to connect and move them to an action because guess what? They’re going to take an action anyway. It’s going to be to delete, it’s going to be to reply. But the more warmly you are connecting, the more likely that they are at least going to respond to you.

And then you’ve started a conversation. Even if that conversation starts with an objection, most likely, it’s going to be a super warm objection. So even if it’s like, “Hey I’m not interested now,” then at least you can get them talking.

So, those are some best practices. But to kind of wrap up just my thoughts, I know KZs got some really good ones too, practice with your team. Practice with your manager. Practice with a friend. I mean if you’re like solo, which was me – I was a one person shop for a long time – I would say like… videos done to people like, “Hey how’s the sound? How does it look? Would you open it? Would you listen to it?” And get like honest feedback, and just keep practicing.

And then also just like, I think you time block calls, you time block anything else. Time block your videos. Because once like you’ve hit like your third or fourth one, you have nailed your pitch. Yes, it’s going to be individual and unique. But once you’re in the groove of it, it’s easier for me to kind of time block those and just like knock them out. You can save them to send or however works best in your practice. So, hopefully that helps. 

Alex: Yeah, that was all awesome advice. I feel like when I was an SDR just a couple years ago, video prospecting just wasn’t a thing at all. So I’ve been learning a lot. But yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Obviously, you do need to personalize them, but I imagine when you’re in that groove, it gets pretty easy to be like, “Alright. Sent this one, sent this one,” similar to how it can be with voicemail sometimes, but it’s a little more active, I guess.

KZ, I wanted to end this same question to you. I’m sure you have some great best practices, top tips, actionable advice. You want to share anything you got?

Keith: Yeah, absolutely. Everything that Tara said is awesome and it’s so true. And one thing like for anyone listening right now, if you’re looking at your current SDR day and you’re feeling not as motivated or you feel just like things are getting hard, I promise you that creating videos for your prospects will not only get incredible ROI, but it will add some like flavor to your day.

It’ll bring you more energy, it’ll feel like you’re able to do more tasks because you’ve got this energy from creating videos. It’s a great way to essentially break up your day and really just try some new things.

And that was always my favorite part of my day as an SDR, just like… Okay well, 1:00 to 2:00pm I’m about to crank out like 30 personalized videos. And literally those 30 videos were like, definitely, the highest response rates that I was getting all day. And so I realized that this is something that is super special to continue to do and continue to do as we grow a team.

And one other part of this, which I really want to harp on is how utilizing video for referrals is massive. So let’s say you’re reaching out to a prospect and they don’t happen to be the right person.

Okay, so go and do your research at that organization, figure out those decision makers that you would like to reach out to and instead of asking for like a warm intro, you just say their names, “Hey, is Joe or Vanessa the right person to reach out to?”

And let’s say they’re like, “Yeah, Vanessa is the right person.” So instead of just like sending them a normal message, you can literally send them a quick one-off video email referred by so and so – obviously, if they said it’s okay for referral – and then create them that video, and then you get that meeting set.

So, video is a great way to really just communicate and honestly make the sales cycle happen faster because you get a direct referral and then you communicate within your video, “Hey I was reaching out to so and so they said that you were the best person. Look forward to us connecting.”

And one last thing that I think is so important that might be slightly overlooked is eye contact with your, whether you’re on a laptop or whether you’re on your phone. Because think of it as, you know, you are reaching out to a prospect. They might be super busy throughout their entire day.

And that 30-second video, you’re not looking into the camera, you’re looking around with your eyes, or you’re distracted, that will be more difficult to feel that communication. So I encourage everyone to really just think… Really don’t overlook the basics where, you know, Tara harped on the lighting or things in your background, like… I’m getting ready to move and I’m like, I can’t film a video in here because there’s socks over here, you know, there’s moving boxes.

So just be very mindful of the basics in that lighting aspect, like Tara mentioned, and just have fun with it. I’m telling you if you’re true to yourself and you’re not overthinking it… Here at gravy we talked about “Just ship it,” you know?

If you’re starting out doing video and you don’t think you’re the best at making video, that’s fine. We all started at the bottom, we all started not really knowing how it’s gonna work. But doing it every single day, believing in yourself, and just shipping it, you will have success. 

Alex: That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s a really good point, right? If you just like, make sure you looking at a camera, it can make a huge difference even though like you don’t have to do anything different on your end. You can use the same script as long as you’re like making that eye contact.

And yeah I think those are really good advice. Really, really livens up your day as well. Tara, KZ, thank you so much for joining us today to really dive into the what’s and how’s of video prospecting. If people want to find out more about either you guys individually or about Gravy, how can they get in touch? 

Tara: Yeah, so you can find me on LinkedIn. It’s just LinkedIn, you know, with my with my name Tara Horstmeyer. And as well as of course online, we’re gravysolutions.io and we are on a mission to humanize and revolutionize the failed payment recovery industry through our personal approach, much like we do for video. That’s exactly why we love personalizing and humanizing the approach to something that subscription-based businesses do as well. So, you can find us online and me on LinkedIn and KZ as well.

Alex: Awesome. Love it when you practice what you preach. You love to hear that. This has been Alex and Greyson for The SDRealness Podcast. Until next time, SDRs, keep it real.


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