Smart cities start with Miovision. The company, founded in a basement twelve years ago by three University of Waterloo friends, has evolved into the leading authority on traffic data. While it began as a traffic solution company, Miovision has continued to innovate and evolve. Today its dedication to solving real-world problems has led the company to its current positioning: helping cities achieve their smart city visions.
Getting a customer on the phone for an initial call is not the biggest challenge for Miovision’s sales team. The company’s target customer, municipalities across North America, are highly receptive to hearing about technology advancements in their industry. It’s keeping that prospect engaged and informed that is the challenge—especially over the length of what can be a very long sales cycle.
“Our sales cycles are long. We can be engaged with a prospect for anywhere from a year to 24 months,” says Miovision Account Executive Scott Dolson. “Government staff really value face time throughout that process so we have to work hard to maintain that personal touch.”
Miovision’s sales team members are located in Canada with four sales teams (or sales scrums in Miovision’s language) assigned to different North American territories. “There’s a lot of travel time in our job,” says Scott. “We can spend up to half a month on the road visiting clients.”
But travel multiplied across sales reps, territories and clients can get expensive for a young and growing company. Given the distances involved, it’s also a reality that a sales rep can’t always be present when a client need or question about the product arises. “We can find ourselves writing a long email of explanation. Or we’ll have a discussion with a prospect explaining the product, and we think they understood, only to find out later that wasn’t the case. This means we’re back on a webinar or on the phone to make sure the information is clear.”
Scott began playing around with video as a prospecting and sales nurturing tool about nine months ago along with his Miovision marketing and customer support colleagues. Initially, they tried Wistia Soapbox to record and share, but soon determined they needed a solution that could scale. For that, they chose Vidyard. “We’ve known about Vidyard for many years,” explains Scott. Both our companies are located in Waterloo Region (Canada’s Silicon Valley). So we were very aware of the company and its technology. I’m not shy about trying new things and I’m open to trying anything that can help to accelerate a sales cycle.”
Vidyard is super easy to use and integrates right into Scott’s Chrome browser, making the technology very accessible—even for the most non-technical salesperson. “I just click a button up in the right-hand corner, go into full screen mode and record. If I’m explaining something in the product, I’ll share my screen and record that, and send the video to them directly from my computer. Or If I’m prospecting, I’ll record a ‘hello’ video, then built them a custom playlist from some pre-recorded content I’ve saved in my video library. I find using video really simplifies the conversation.”
Scott counsels other sales professionals not to overthink using video as part of their sales process. “When I first started out, I probably shot my first video five times. I was all worked up about how I looked and sounded and I would record over if I made a mistake. But over time I realized, the more natural I came across the better. If I stumble over a word from time to time, my customers find that relatable. Now, you want to maintain a minimal viable level of production quality, but today, I tell my colleagues, don’t stress over it, the bar is lower than you think. Just do it.” Scott notes that he shoots most of his video right at his desk.
Scott finds video works best with an engaged prospect who simply needs to be moved along through the sales pipeline. “Typically we’ve had a couple of conversations because of the complexity of the offering. I use video to summarize a call, outline action steps, or describe how a feature works. It eliminates the confusion and helps customers see the value.” Scott also finds it gives his customers an asset they can pull up at any time to refresh their memory, or share internally with colleagues. “This way we can quickly overcome any hurdles or objections that might arise and move forward.”
As it often does, Scott’s personal success with Vidyard has attracted the attention of his colleagues. It’s still early days and there’s certainly room to grow, but about 50% of Miovision’s sales force is experimenting with video in their sales process. Scott now finds himself sharing his best practices with others, guiding them to use video in the most effective way.
Says Scott, “when I see that a prospect has watched a video, or I get a response from a customer that says ‘Hey that video was great, I loved the information conveyed,’ well that’s the very best feedback I could get.”