Discover why HubSpot decided to try video in their sales process, how they rolled it out to their global sales team, and how they use it today to drive business success.
As fellow graduate students at MIT in 2004, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah noticed a shift in the way people shop and buy. Consumers were no longer tolerating interruptive bids for their attention—in fact, they’d gotten really good at ignoring them.
From this shift, a company was born: HubSpot. It was founded on the principle of “inbound,” the notion that people don’t want to be interrupted by marketers or harassed by salespeople—they want to be helped.
Today, the inbound movement continues to empower businesses around the world to stop interrupting, start helping, and return their focus to the customer.
The HubSpot Growth Platform gives companies the tools they need to manage the customer experience from awareness to advocacy and allows an entire company to work together—from marketing to sales to customer service. The platform today powers collaboration for more than 73,400 customers in more than 120 countries around the world.
HubSpot’s support for video doesn’t stop with its platform. Across HubSpot’s business, the use of video has spread like wildfire. Within the HubSpot sales organization, BDRs, sales reps, and managers have embraced the medium as a fresh and effective way to boost efficiency, catch the attention of prospects, and engage customers, partners, and coworkers.
Using video, I was able to answer questions so much more efficiently. I was working less, making more money, and my customers felt cared for.Adam Rataj
Sales Manager Mid-Market
HubSpot sales rep Adam Rataj was the first person in the organization to discover the power of video for sales back in 2017.
At the time, he was charged with reaching out to users who’d signed up for HubSpot’s free product to educate them about how to use it with the goal of getting them to engage with the product and—ideally—upgrade.
He spent a lot of his time reaching out to new users with long, text-heavy emails and trying to schedule a meeting to educate them on how to get up and running with the product. The process was tedious, time-consuming, and repetitive as most new users would ask the same questions about getting started. Adam needed a more efficient way to help free users get the resources they needed so he could start having more meaningful conversations with potential customers.
After being prospected by a Vidyard sales rep, he decided to give Vidyard’s video platform a try. Instead of jumping on a call with a customer to ask a question or spinning up a virtual meeting to do a quick demo, Adam began recording short videos to illustrate a HubSpot platform feature or demonstrate a task.
He quickly built up a library of videos in Vidyard to handle frequently asked questions. Almost immediately, Adam began seeing results. He was using his time wisely. His customers were happier with his support and they loved that he was efficient with their time.
“The last thing you want to do is waste people’s time,” says Adam. “Using video, I was able to answer questions so much more efficiently. Using plugins to Gmail and HubSpot, I know when a customer has clicked on the video, when they open it, and how much they watched. The video is fully HubSpot branded—there’s a big orange sprocket in the background—and they can see it was from me and they can book time in my calendar. For all these reasons, I found I was working less, making more money, and my customers felt cared for. I have a 94% customer retention rate and a strong flow of referrals because customers are well trained and onboarded.”
Others within HubSpot quickly took notice of Adam’s success. After hitting his sales goals for three consecutive months, heads began to turn. Adam was invited to present his use of video to company executives and over 1,000 of his colleagues at HubSpot’s Science Fair, a company-wide event where employees demo products and deliver presentations about new tactics and best practices.
Within six months, the Vidyard platform was widely adopted across HubSpot, and Adam was promoted to sales manager.
Now he uses Vidyard to efficiently onboard and train new team members. And, since 75% of his team is geographically remote, video has also become a useful internal communication tool, fueling collaboration and boosting productivity.
“I can’t even tell you how much time I’ve saved now that I’m not typing repetitive emails,” says Adam. “With new reps joining our team every month, I was probably spending five hours a week onboarding new hires. I’d have to sit down with the rep, give them a demo, and answer each of their questions. Now I send them to my Vidyard video library and they train themselves.”
Find out how the HubSpot sales team uses video internally to onboard new team members and keep existing employees updated, informed, and—most importantly—engaged.
No other video vendor is doing what Vidyard does. The platform is built for sales.Morgan Jacobson
Principal Manager of Sales Strategy and Systems
As the Principal Manager of Sales Strategy and Systems, Morgan Jacobson helps HubSpot’s sales organization run like a well-oiled machine.
From what sales reps say to a prospect on the phone to the steps involved in a product evaluation, Morgan’s job is to figure out the best process flow and roll it out to the global sales organization.
Video has become an important part of the company’s prospecting efforts.
“We want to be the system of record for any business looking to grow better,” says Morgan. “But these days, it’s getting harder to get people to pick up the phone. Even if people have found you through inbound marketing, they don’t want to talk to a salesperson. Video gives our salespeople the ability to personalize the connection and get people to talk to us for the first time.”
Typically, HubSpot sales reps prospect using email or the phone, which results in a 1.5% conversion. In other words, for every 100 emails, voicemails, or calls that they made, they book about one meeting.
By contrast, when HubSpot reps incorporated personal video into the mix, the ratio of videos sent to meetings booked was 6%. That’s 4x higher than all other activities combined.
HubSpot’s sales reps now add a ‘book a meeting’ link at the end of a video as a call to action (CTA), removing yet another barrier to connection. Rather than a constant game of trying to find a good time that fits in everybody’s calendar, a prospect can click that link after viewing the video and book time with a sales rep.
“Having these tools built in right into Vidyard takes a standard video and makes it into something that fits directly into the workflow of the sales rep,” says Morgan.
Adam Rataj’s early success using Vidyard to efficiently prospect and onboard his customers inspired Morgan to take a closer look at the tool. He wanted to see if there was a way to use video across the whole sales team to improve connect and close rates.
“HubSpot has always tried to be an early adopter of tech,” explains Morgan. “Using video for sales was a hot topic and what Adam was doing with Vidyard was getting a lot of buzz. Adam began making President’s Club every year and he was regularly using personal video as part of his sales process, so naturally people were sitting up and paying attention.”
Today, video is used broadly by HubSpot’s sales reps.
“Everyone has used Vidyard at least once and most of the sales team is addicted to using video regularly,” says Morgan. “No other video vendor is doing what Vidyard does. The platform is built for sales. It integrates with Gmail and HubSpot and it provides our team with critical video analytics.”
Software vendors often find it tough to articulate their vision to prospects. Using video, HubSpot reps find they can condense and convey the HubSpot value proposition. This helps their customer champions strengthen an internal business case and get a CEO on a call with a HubSpot rep.
Vidyard’s analytics and real-time notifications also help HubSpot sales reps understand their prospects’ degree of engagement with video content and navigate deals through to closure.
With Morgan’s guidance, HubSpot has created a Vidyard playlist that highlights features of the HubSpot platform. This playlist automates customer onboarding, qualifies a prospect who has signed up for the platform’s free plan, and guides a prospect to upgrade to HubSpot’s paid version.
“That effort used to be manual,” explains Morgan. “We used to write up a long list and use screenshots and it took up a lot of our sales people’s time. Now we just spin up a Vidyard.”
Morgan also uses video to communicate with HubSpot’s global sales organization spread across five continents.
“When you have hundreds of sales people—all speaking different languages and at different stages of their careers—and 20 to 30 new reps starting each month, communicating change can be a real challenge,” he confesses.
“We used to have to write out a long email and it was impossible to convey emotion or inflection through words alone. Now, I use Vidyard’s Chrome extension to shoot a quick video. It shows my personality and gives our people the opportunity to learn in a medium that is most comfortable to them.”
We love that we have the ability to create and send video directly from within HubSpot. It’s easy to set up and run and super simple to use.Channing Ferrer
VP of Sales Operation and Strategy
Channing Ferrer, HubSpot’s VP of Sales Operations and Strategy, saw Adam Rataj’s presentation on his successful use of video at the HubSpot Science Fair. Adam’s results were enough to convince Channing to run a broader pilot project to see how video for sales would perform at scale.
“HubSpot’s premise is to add value before we subtract value,” he says. “Inbound marketing is essentially the same. It’s about giving a prospect some content—something good—that draws them in so they see your value. Video is nicely aligned with that.”
Channing’s sales team uses video to extend value in their outreach. They’ll offer up a video with some pointed advice, or to point out gaps, which often helps to get the prospect on the phone for a call.
“We wanted to see how many people would try video then continue using it,” says Channing. “In short order, we had a lot of great use cases. People were reporting back, ‘Here’s how I used video to close this deal,’ and ‘Here’s how I used video and got this meeting.’”
Vidyard quickly went viral within the HubSpot sales organization.
“All our reps use it to some degree in their sales process,” says Channing. “Based on the feedback and usage I see, I’m convinced video is having a positive impact on our pipeline generation.”
With Morgan Jacobson’s help, HubSpot is institutionalizing best practices for using video and rolling out training based on those best practices. Champions like Adam Rataj are helping to drive adoption.
“We love that we have the ability to create and send video directly from within HubSpot,” says Channing. “It’s easy to set up and run and super simple to use. Videos are easy to record and redo and very easy to share. Simplicity for us is critical.”
He recounts a story of a HubSpot rep working what he believed to be a medium quality lead. The rep used Vidyard to send the prospect a very tailored video.
“The prospect wanted a call that day, a follow-up demo the next day, and pricing the day after that. The deal closed two days later. As we like to say around here, ‘Vidyard for the win.’”
We’re now the highest attaining team in HubSpot. I totally attribute that achievement to our use of video.Stephen Higgins
Senior EMEA Sales Manager
Finding the perfect HubSpot channel partner is like hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack, especially when your sales territory spans 54 countries and nearly as many languages, stretching from Eastern Europe to Africa.
That’s the challenge Stephen Higgins, HubSpot’s Senior EMEA Sales Manager faces every day.
Stephen first heard about video from one of his BDRs, who brought the idea of using video forward.
It’s every BDR’s mission to turn prospects into warm leads for sales, but when they’re reaching out to people who receive anywhere from 50 to 150 prospecting emails every day, finding a way to stand out makes all the difference.
In a personal four-month pilot, one of Stephen’s BDRs sent out hundreds of Vidyard videos and saw a 77% click-through rate.
Those numbers were enough to convince Stephen to pilot video with the larger team. Together they created a script and a workflow for the team to use.
Using Vidyard’s in-video CTAs, Stephen’s team includes a link to their HubSpot meeting calendar at the end of each video, providing prospects with a clear next step.
“The ability to book meetings directly from the video is key,” he says. “Prospects are engaged with your message, and adding the interactive CTA provides them with a path forward. ”
The EMEA sales team has continually improved their use of video—using it for deal management, follow-up on discovery calls, to provide technical answers to partner questions, and more.
Stephen finds that video allows HubSpot reps to precisely target prospects, which in turn drives more reliable results.
“We can target a list of prospects in a specific vertical with a specific video message and, based on past performance, know we’ll have a very high success rate,” he explains. “I can accurately predict how many opportunities we’ll land, how many we can qualify, and how much revenue we’ll bring in. It’s nice when my director comes to me and says, ‘We need your team to dial it up a bit this month,’ and we know just by putting in the extra hours, we can deliver. It earns us a lot of credibility.”
The enterprising BDR who first brought video to the team also continued to use it as a warm way to connect with potential HubSpot channel partners. In 2018, video helped him win 35 out of 48 deals—a 73% video win rate—driving $315,000 in annual recurring revenue. He also trained his partners to use video for prospecting.
Video goes beyond selling for Stephen’s team. It’s become a powerful way for him to manage and communicate with his reps.
“I now use Vidyard daily,” says Stephen. “First thing in the morning, I pop the team a Vidyard to reinforce our daily goals. It’s like our rallying cry.”
Stephen also sends out monthly videos to recognize team accomplishments and heroic efforts.
“There’s nothing people love more than to hear the sound of their name,” he says. “They literally can’t wait for those recognition videos to come out each month. If I’m a day late getting to it, they come chasing after me. It’s become a huge part of making my team successful and hungry to stand out.”
Recently Stephen’s team began using whiteboards and alphabet magnets to further personalize every video with the phrase ‘Hi [Name] can we talk?’ The tactic has taken the EMEA sales team’s performance to a whole other level.
“The whiteboard has massively increased prospect engagement,” says Stephen. “It gets people out of the ‘Is this spam?’ mindset and increases click-throughs. In just one morning, the team sent out 40 videos to cold prospects and landed 31 meetings.”
For the type of prospecting Stephen and his team are doing, personalization is key.
“It’s what keeps our response rates really high,” he explains. “The moment we go generic, our numbers fall through the floor.”
The EMEA team’s sales results speak volumes. The average sales rep is measured on 10 outreaches a day and the entire team devotes an hour each morning to prospecting with a goal of landing 15 meetings a week.
The team never misses its goals.
“We’re now the highest attaining team in HubSpot,” says Stephen. “I totally attribute that achievement to our use of video.”
HubSpot has built its brand and its success on inbound—the promise of delivering value through every customer engagement.
Across the entire HubSpot sales organization, sales reps and their leaders are now turning to video as a warm and personal way to effectively get a prospect’s attention, stay engaged, and close more deals.
“That’s the fun thing with video,” says Channing Ferrer. “It presents HubSpot—inbound marketing’s world leader—with a whole new opportunity for personalization. We’re having fun getting creative and trying a whole bunch of ways. Then we’ll see what sticks and institutionalize those methods.”