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SDR Ellie Twigger Headshot

By Ellie Twigger

Sales Development Representative, SalesLoft

As a sales professional, I’m always on the hunt for new ways to sell more effectively. Using video as part of my overall sales process is one way I’ve found that’s helped me connect with prospects, accelerate deals, and become a top performer at my company, SalesLoft.

When I first began my career as a sales development representative (SDR) a couple of years ago, the role was a brand new thing. No one knew what I did. Was I part of marketing? Did I report into sales?

But in a really short time, companies worldwide have awakened to the power and benefits of the SDR function. More and more businesses today are investing in SDR teams to improve their efficiency in identifying, connecting with, and qualifying leads.

I’m part of the UK-based SDR team at SalesLoft. We have about 40 SDRs globally, split between the US and EMEA.

Here, in EMEA, that team is split between commercial and enterprise. We’re assigned accounts. I’m personally responsible for about 2,000 companies. Our job is to go out, prospect, start conversations and introduce SalesLoft. Once we know there’s interest and we’ve qualified the account, we make an introduction to the Account Executive who delivers a demonstration of the product.

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How Video Has Boosted My Outreach Effectiveness

Video plays a huge role in my outreach success.

I first began using Vidyard three years ago at my last company. I had such success, I was named a runner-up for a Vidyard Video in Business Award. When I joined SalesLoft a few months ago, I was over the moon excited to hear that Vidyard would be part of my standard sales toolkit.

I use a personal sales methodology that I call, ‘Ellie’s hexagon theory.’ I believe that to be a successful SDR, you need to connect with your prospect in six different ways. This means using every tool in one’s sales arsenal from email, to a phone call, to a LinkedIn outreach, to direct mail, to social outreach and video. Each connection method offers up a unique and differentiated experience. In combination, you hit every side of the hexagon, so you catch your prospect where they want to be.

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Maintaining the Human Touch with Every Interaction

In every connection I make, I make a point of using my name and company by saying, ‘I’m Ellie Twigger from SalesLoft.’ At every step of the cadence, whether I’m sending a video or leaving a voicemail, I’m building consistency and name recognition.

I can’t personalize my outreach to all 2,000 accounts. So, I use segmentation to help me manage my workload. I have 50 accounts that I have prioritized as Tier 1. They are the prospects I’m always looking at and work on daily. For these companies, I use hyper-personalized videos to make my connection. I also use video when reaching out to my Tier 2 and Tier 3 prospects, but it’s a completely separate cadence using non-personalized video of me talking about SalesLoft and the challenges we can help companies overcome.

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Let’s have a closer look at my typical sales cadence for a Tier 1 prospect:

  1. Once I’ve found my prospect on LinkedIn, I’ll send them a connection request. In that message, I’ll mention that I’m going to send them a video.
  2. I then email them a hyper-personalized video that starts with, “Hi there, I’m Ellie Twigger from SalesLoft, and here’s the reason I’m reaching out…
  3. Before sending that video, I’ve done a ton of research on the company. I’ve read their annual report. I’ve read an interview quoting the person I am trying to reach. I always try to include something very different in that video that highlights what it was that caught my attention about them and their company. And I always close with, “And we can help you with your problem by…
  4. To follow up, I’ll send them a note via LinkedIn Messenger or call them and say, “Hey, there’s a video from me in your email inbox. Go check it out, I made it especially for you. It has a picture of me holding your name on a sign.

What I love about personalized video is that it humanizes the whole prospecting effort. Humans buy from humans. So I’ve never been able to figure out why is it that in our first step in a sales cadence we hide behind a screen and a typed email? With video, you put yourself out there. I’ll sometimes joke in my follow-up saying, “I know this video isn’t going to get me an Oscar, but I’d love your feedback.” I’ll get emails back from prospects who will say, “You’ve completely got my attention. I wish my reps would do stuff like this. Let’s have a conversation.”

Here’s one recent example. We’re all in lockdown in the UK right now. I happened to notice one of my prospects is a massive football (Soccer to our North American friends) fan. She’s been posting during the lockdown and she and her colleagues have been doing quizzes wearing their football jerseys. So, I knew she was a Newcastle fan. In my video to her, I wore my Brighton jersey and said, “Hey, saw Brighton wasn’t represented in your last quiz.”

That personal attention gave her a laugh and I got the meeting.

Video Is a Sure-Fire Way to Stand Out and Win

Like with any sales tool or tactic in your kit, video isn’t going to resonate with every single prospect. But in my experience, the majority of the time, people love it.

I think we’re just at a tipping point for using video for prospecting. The sales world is just too crowded. We can’t rely on our Filofax or on burning the phones anymore. We need to stand out. And at the end of the day, it’s all about hitting your goals. I’m pleased to say that I was 120% over target last month and much of that success I attribute to using personal video.

I’ll leave you with a few bits of advice to get you started on using video in your sales cadence:

  1. People will say to me, “Ellie, you have it all together. I wish I was like you.” When I hear that, I’ll send them my bloopers reel (which you can check out below). Using video effectively is hard to do, but if you keep at it, you’ll soon discover how effective it can be for yourself. So keep trying!
  2. Smile and look engaging.
  3. Use a whiteboard with your prospect’s name on it. It looks less spammy and it’s intriguing.
  4. Keep your videos short. I usually aim for 40 or 50 seconds. You’re just hopping into their day to tease them with a bit of information. I like to call it sprinkling the fairy dust.
  5. Use video analytics. I used to do longer 90-second videos but saw that people were dropping off after 45 seconds. Understanding that data allowed me to get my message shorter and more concise.
  6. Research your accounts. If you are just randomly calling people how do you expect them to take time out of their day to talk to you?
  7. Partner up with your marketing team to leverage marketing content in your sales messages and on your personal LinkedIn page.
  8. Apply the hexagon theory to your practice! Use all the connection points to your advantage.
Just for Fun Have a laugh and check out my blooper reel. You’ll see I don’t get it perfect every time. Just keep at it and you’ll get there too.

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