Video: The New Game Changer For B2B Startup Sales Development

Sales development reps (SDRs) are the lifeblood of any successful sales organization. In much the same way that a quarterback passes the football to a receiver and primes said for a successful touchdown, an SDR punts sales leads to business development reps (BDRs) and account executives (AEs), positioning them for lucrative deal closures.

A football player’s success is contingent on his equipment (for example, the gloves that allow him to grip the football). The same is true of SDRs. An SDR’s success depends on the tools he/she leverages throughout the sales cycle. When it comes to tomorrow’s winning SDRs, no tool is more impactful and vital than video. Video empowers startup SDRs to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their day-to-day responsibilities.

Lead Generation

SDRs have traditionally been tasked with the rather thankless and painstaking job of reaching out to prospects via phone and email. In today’s increasingly competitive landscape where billions of emails are sent every day, it’s easy for messages to get lost in the noise (especially when messages are sent by startups with low market traction and recognition compared to enterprise giants).

Enter video. Video serves as a powerful source of differentiation and enables SDRs to stand out from the masses. Simply including the word “video” in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19%, according to research by Syndacast. What’s more, incorporating a marketing or explainer video in an email can boost click-through rates by 200-300%, according to Forrester research.

Lead Follow Up 

We’ve all heard that the third time’s the charm. In the SDR world, the 16th time’s the charm. Today, the average SDR executes 16 touches per prospect, according to research by TOPO.  Sales and marketing content in video form goes a long way in terms of reducing the number of touches needed to convert a lead. According to research by Animoto, 4 out of 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful. What’s more, 80% of prospects prefer to watch a video about a product as compared to reading data and information pertaining to it. In this era of information overload, it’s no surprise that 59% of decision-makers prefer to learn via video.

Sales Interactions

After qualifying leads, SDRs are tasked with booking sales meetings (and, ultimately, passing the baton to BDRs and AEs). Not only does the use of video content increase the number of meetings booked (by 500%, according to research by Vidyard), it shortens the remainder of the sales cycle, ultimately increasing overall profitability. The more information an SDR has about a prospect, the better equipped that SDR is at priming BDRs and AEs for successful deal closes. Data pertaining to video analytics can offer a goldmine of information pertaining to prospects. Knowing which leads watched certain videos, whether they replayed them, and if/when they’ve lost focus and stopped or paused the video are all transformative data points that cannot be uncovered through traditional mediums. It’s these critical insights that allow sales reps to personalize interactions and distinguish themselves from competitors.

What makes video so impactful and more valuable than other forms of communication?


In the days of yore, startups tended to rely on a single one-size-fits-all video to promote their brand, products, and services. It was too expensive and taxing to create a comprehensive portfolio of videos.  Times have changed. Today, thanks to inexpensive services such as FirstCut, startup SDRs are in a position to create a library of multiple videos that address different stages of the sales cycle, speak to diverse pain points, highlight different use cases, address different objections, or emphasize specific value propositions, depending on what is most relevant to prospects. Armed with an arsenal of different videos, SDRs are more effectively able to personalize interactions and, ultimately, garner heightened levels of engagement and buying propensities. Research by OneSpot and Marketing Insider Group revealed that 78% of consumers report that personally relevant branded content increases their purchase intent.

Heightened Emotional Connections

An estimated 55% of our communication transpires via nonverbal communication. Subtle cues such as eye contact, gestures, voice tone, and voice inflection are essential in terms of fully communicating the underlying meaning of a message. Body language and other nonverbal forms of communication cannot be fully conveyed via email or via a phone conversation.

As long as SDRs work within the confines of text and voice-based communication, they will fall short in reaching their potential. Sales and marketing content will be at risk of being misinterpreted or, worst still, ignored or dismissed. By leveraging the power of nonverbal communication via video, SDRs are poised to build stronger relationships with leads and prospects.  As consumers, we all know verbal cues and body language are critical means of establishing trust.


A study by Microsoft found that the average human attention span has shrivelled to a mere eight seconds–now shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. The format of sales and marketing content has never been more important. Video enables SDRs to pack a lot of punch into a short time period. Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. In fact, one minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words!

When prospects are exposed to video content, whether explainer videos, product feature videos, how-to or educational videos, or customer testimonial videos (which comprise the top four most common types of videos leveraged by businesses, according to Vidyard), they’re better able to digest the information and process it. Ultimately, the cognitive load associated with the purchase decision is drastically reduced, thereby inciting buying propensity.

Video is the medium of the future. It’s inevitable that video will replace the written word in the context of companies’ communications with potential customers. Forward-thinking SDRs recognize the potential of video and are quickly leveraging it as a powerful and affordable point of differentiation.

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