You worked so hard to get in front of your prospect, but after they walk you to the elevator bank, you’re probably not going to see them again for weeks or even months. Sure, you’ll communicate—there’ll be calls and emails and more emails, some of which may even get read. But seeing your prospect—and them seeing you—can play a pivotal role in closing a deal.

So why aren’t you using your webcam?

You’ve almost certainly got one, and it can almost certainly improve your close rate. In fact, the team at Gong.io found that webcam use during the sales cycle can lead to 41 percent more closed-wons. This is some seriously low-hanging fruit, folks.

Here’s why digital video and webcam use should be a key piece of your communication strategy with top accounts.

Behavioral Science Strikes Again

To understand why webcam use can improve your close rate, we first need to understand some interesting aspects of how our brains process information and why we tend to default to the traditional methods of communicating with prospects.

Let’s start off with the McGurk effect. While it sounds like something that might happen after eating questionable nachos, the McGurk effect refers to the phenomenon in which what you see influences what you hear. This video is a great example of the effect in action. Interestingly, this happens because speech perception isn’t based on what you hear. In the book
“See What I’m Saying”
, psychology professor L.D. Rosenblum points out that since our brains use all five senses to process speech, we actually can’t determine if we’re hearing or seeing speech as we process it.

Heady stuff, right?

In short, it means your prospects may not fully grasp what you’re saying if they’re not also seeing your smiling face. They may misunderstand or misinterpret a key point in your pitch, and that can derail a deal fast. And with so much riding on conveying accurate info, you can’t afford to take that risk.

So why haven’t you made use of your webcam already? Probably because you’ve fallen victim to a cognitive bias called “the law of the instrument.” It’s the challenge of being the proverbial man with the hammer who sees every problem as a nail. Simply put, you’ve always called prospects on the phone. You’ve always emailed. It’s worked in the past, so why shake it up?

Because changing your approach can pay dividends. Here’s why.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Video may be everywhere these days, but it’s noticeably absent in enterprise sales cycles. While sellers rely on the same old boring email outreach, including video in your emails can increase open rates by up to 300 percent and increase meetings booked by up to 500 percent. What’s more, 75 percent of late-stage prospects decided to buy after receiving a personalized video via email.

Make an Authentic Connection

A staggering 85 percent of professionals say in-person meetings help build stronger, more meaningful relationships. And while a webcam chat isn’t technically the same thing, it’s far more “in person” than a typical call. Unlike sales calls in which a faceless seller is phoning in to a scratchy conference line, a face-to-face video chat humanizes you and your offering, making your meeting more memorable and enabling you form authentic human relationships with your prospects.

And while psychologists haven’t reached a consensus on its persuasive effects, throwing in a Duchenne smile or two during the chat may help seal the deal.

Learn More About Your Prospects (Without Asking More Questions)

There’s a lot to be learned from your prospects by using a video chat for your follow-up call—or even for the initial conversation. How they dress can inform your wardrobe choices for your first onsite visit. Plus, how they physically react to things you say should give you valuable clues on pain points, priorities, and communication styles. And who they look to at key points—as well as how they look at them—can also provide insight into unseen decision-makers and influencers. All of these factors can help you customize your messaging, but you would’ve missed out on all of them via a traditional conference call.

Collaborate Effectively

During your next sales meeting, instead of steamrolling through a deck, try a collaboration exercise via video. An exercise like a problem solution map  can help uncover hidden obstacles, align on goals, and solidify next steps. Your prospects will likely find it a refreshing change from yet another pitch, and by helping them document major obstacles (potentially for the first time), you’ll actually deliver value for them within the sales meeting.

An exercise like this can also help your prospects connect the solution you’re selling with their key challenges—something you’d likely spend hours trying to do via an old-fashioned pitch.

Strategic Use Throughout the Sales Cycle

While using your webcam may be one of the simplest and most effective tools in your sales arsenal, video shouldn’t be limited to just sales meetings. In fact, it has proven viability at every stage of the sales funnel. From animated explainers to detailed how-tos, using short, compelling video throughout your customer journey can increase brand affinity, educate prospects on your solution, and even shorten sales cycles.

Why? Consider the fact that viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to just 10 percent when reading. Meanwhile, adding a video to a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 80 percent. In simplest terms, it’s an easy way to connect with and convey your message to customers via a medium they love.

Here are some simple but effective use cases for video throughout the sales cycle:

Awareness

Short, animated explainers about your product and service play well at the top of the funnel. Keep them under 90 seconds, and make sure you have motion graphics and text, not just narration. This makes them accessible to people who might not have headphones or those with hearing impairment. It’s also is an especially important play when sharing on social, as 85 percent of videos watched on Facebook are consumed without sound.

Vlogs are also useful at this stage. Having a member of your team provide quick video updates on new features or changes in pricing can be an effective, low-cost ToFU win for driving leads and increasing awareness.

Consideration

As prospects move down the funnel, you can begin offering longer, more in-depth videos. Webinars are a great tool here. A 30-minute session that brings together experts to address prospects’ common challenges or provides insight on industry trends is likely to draw a crowd, generate engagement, and get conversations started. Be sure to leave 5-10 minutes at the end for audience questions, as this can be fertile ground for learning more about what your prospects are struggling with or worried about.

Pre-recorded product demos can be another valuable lever at this stage. These allow prospects to learn more about your solutions on their own time without the need to set up a meeting. Considering that more and more B2B buyers want to do their own research without the aid of a salesperson, these helpful videos can deliver a lot of lead gen value with relatively modest investment.

Decision

Once customers are ready to make a purchasing decision, deploy customer stories and case studies to seal the deal. These are powerful BoFU tools that allow potential customers to see how your solution has impacted real-world customers, and how it might likewise deliver ROI to your interested prospect.

To make these as effective as possible, try to create videos that showcase customer results across each of the industries you serve. This helps your prospects identify with your customers more closely, and it’s powerful social proof that others in their industry trust and use your solution.

Retention

Video doesn’t stop being useful once the ink dries on the SOW. At that stage, in fact, it can more impactful than ever. By using short videos to showcase product updates, how-tos, and FAQs, you can increase customer satisfaction and retention. FAQs should have their own, easy-to-navigate section of your website and provide clear instructions on how to use your product or overcome common challenges or misconceptions around things like integrations and data. These can help your customers be successful without the trouble of contacting customer support.

Product update videos, on the other hand, are perfect for sharing on social and via email newsletters. These keep your customers abreast of recent changes and new features—and they create yet another touch point for account managers.

At the end of the day, video has so many opportunities to drive leads and improve sales performance that it doesn’t make sense not to use it. And since every member of your sales team has a high-quality camera in their pocket and on their laptop, there’s no material reason not to make the investment.

And if all of the evidence above hasn’t convinced you,  you’re probably experiencing the Semmelweis reflex. Just FYI.

Executive Insights

From lead gen to close rates, strategic use of video is one of your best assets for humanizing your offering and driving revenue. That’s why smart sales leaders are investing in video throughout the sales cycle. And those who aren’t are at risk of increasingly sluggish sales performance. But it’s not too late to get started—and here’s why doing so should be a strategic priority at your enterprise today.