Standing out from the competition is key when reaching out to new prospects. At Pavilion, Sam Jacobson’s sales development team has successfully incorporated video into every sales sequence, dramatically improving prospect engagement with their message. And their video-based messages perform 2x better than traditional text-based emails. With a positive impact on both qualified pipeline and net new revenue, the team at Pavilion has seen an 8x return on its investment in Vidyard.
With over 10,000 members in 100 cities across the globe, Pavilion has established itself as a pioneer in community-powered learning. The company’s Pavilion University is a modern-style learning concept. It enables go-to-market sales, marketing, and customer experience professionals and teams working in mid-sized SaaS companies to take their careers to the next level of performance.
For the first ten years, Pavilion’s growth was driven by outbound sales, staffed by a team of five sales development representatives (SDRs) and six account executives (AEs), with about 40-50% of the company’s sales leads and pipeline coming from these outbound efforts.
Things began to change with the onset of the pandemic. With growth teams across the technology world shifting to remote or hybrid work arrangements, Pavilion’s SDR team recognized they needed to get more creative in making first contact with prospects.
Vidyard and personalized video messages were the perfect recipe ingredients for success.
Sam Jacobson is the Growth Manager for the Pavilion SDR team and inherited the team’s use of Vidyard, which began under his predecessor, Brian Lee.
“My team uses Vidyard in a few different ways. The primary purpose is for prospecting.”
Sam explains the Pavilion SDRs’ outbound sequence:
“First, we attempt to connect with a prospect on LinkedIn. If they accept our request, we send a very personalized message in text format. We then send a second message, basically a bump saying, ‘Hey, any thoughts?’ And the third email we send in every single sequence includes a personal video, prefaced with two bullet points, indicating how long the video is and what we’d like to talk about.”
Sam shares that even if people aren’t ready to book time, they’ll often still respond to the video saying the message caught their eye.
He adds, “Many will say the fact they see us using such modern sales tactics encouraged them to take the next meeting. It’s really important for us to walk the talk. If our entire company mandate is to show individuals in SaaS companies how to be better salespeople, then we better use the latest techniques and technology ourselves.”
Sam relates a story of one of his SDRs who got very creative with her video sales message.
“It was during the week of Halloween, and she was conveying a message about diagnosing the skill gaps on a team and remedying the situation to increase performance. To drive home her point, she dressed up as a nurse! She received a bunch of replies that said it was an awesome message and one of the most creative outreaches they had ever experienced.”
Sam’s team also uses personal video to help overcome sales objections.
“Ideally, the objective is to get people on the phone. So if we do get an objection to a message, for instance, ‘It’s not in our budget for next year,’ our SDRs are guided to pick up the phone and call the prospect immediately. That said, I can probably count on one hand the times we’ve successfully gotten someone on the phone. So now we use a personal video instead, which can be even more successful than a phone call. They can see your face, experience your emotion, and understand why they may be thinking about this investment incorrectly. It may not always go our way, but since we began using video messaging, we’ve gotten a fair amount of people back into a sales conversation with that tactic.”
In watching their SDR counterparts’ success with video, Pavilion’s AEs and customer success managers are now looking to incorporate this tactic into their communications. AEs are currently dabbling with video to explain more complex concepts to their sales prospects—for instance, how Pavilion’s content is accessed via the Docebo learning management system.
Sam is also considering using Vidyard to record personalized “how-to” videos that will be incorporated into the company’s sales playbook, adding a more personal approach toward sales coaching that will fit well with Pavilion’s fully remote work environment.
Brian Lee, Director of Member Experience, initially brought Vidyard’s free tool into the company. He and Sam drove Pavilion’s recent decision to upgrade to Vidyard’s paid platform.
“The free version of Vidyard is very robust and gave us a great sense of the value of video in our sales sequences,” says Brian. “But the paid version allows us to integrate Vidyard into HubSpot, making it easier to incorporate video into our outbound sequences and to bring video analytics into HubSpot’s lead scoring. The back-end analytics offered by the paid Vidyard platform is also very robust. We have better insight into which of our team members are using video, who’s getting clicks, and whose videos are getting watched. These critical insights allow us to inspect what we expect, share best practices amongst the team members, and make real-time, strategic decisions based on what is and isn’t working.”
Brian also notes that the paid version of Vidyard gives team Pavillion customized branding on its video landing pages, which presents a more professional and polished first impression for prospects.
Brian has since moved over to spearhead Pavilion’s member success program and hopes to incorporate video into that team’s communication repertoire.
He explains, “Just like many of the revenue leaders within Pavilion are shifting strategies, the Pavilion member success team is also hyper-focused on finding new ways to connect with existing customers. Our portfolio of offerings is dynamic. We’re always fighting for mindshare. Delivering and delighting our members through meaningful and innovative mediums such as video helps us continue to make Pavilion a ‘need to have’ and not a ‘nice to have.’ Similar to how it’s used to grab the attention of a sales prospect, video allows us to stand out from the pack and connect with a customer differently.”
Pavilion’s use of video speaks for itself in terms of engagement results. In conducting an ROI analysis, the costs/benefit of upgrading to the paid version of Vidyard is also evident as the team has realized an 8x return on their investment in the platform.
Sam breaks it down, “On average, we’re getting 81 unique viewers of videos per month per SDR, with an average percentage watched: ~90%. This results in 46 actions per month driven by video and 90 email responses per month across our SDRs. From this data and anecdotal evidence from the SDR team, we can assume 10-20% of viewers actually respond, and of those, 10-20% take a meeting. This represents an additional ~$20k/month in qualified generated pipeline. By applying a 30% close rate, we calculate we are bringing in $6k/month ($72K/year) by using Vidyard.” He adds, “In a tough economy when sales are harder to come by, having a tool that is easy to use and drives impressive sales returns is a no-brainer decision.”
Says Sam, “I always tell my team, we’re not just competing for the prospect’s time. You are competing for their attention and against all the other SDRs from other tech companies who are also reaching out to that person. So standing out amongst the noise is essential.”
Pavilion is powered by an international community of sales, marketing, RevOps, and success leaders from the world’s fastest-growing companies. Using the power of community-powered learning, Pavilion’s members come together to teach new skills, forge meaningful connections, and help their companies grow.
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