Patrick Edmonds is the Chief Marketing Officer at Proposify, a proposal software that helps modern sales teams create, send, track, and e-sign winning proposals, contracts, and agreements.
In episode 17 of the MOV Podcast, Patrick talks about Asynchronous selling and how every organization can support their sales team better with videos and the tips and techniques to do so successfully.
Furthermore, Patrick also shared some effective video marketing techniques that Proposify has developed and how any B2B SaaS companies can leverage the power of videos by creating support content around their domain and product.
Here’s Pranav, Co-founder at guch speaking to Patrick.
Pranav Chimulkar: Hey, guys, I’m Pranav and welcome to the Mad Over Videos podcast by guch. The first thing that came to my mind before this episode is, I was just looking into our previous journey where, before we called ourselves guch, we were known as denture capital, where we were a creative agency creating videos. And then we realized that, okay, we’ll have to do something bigger and create a larger impact. So, what we’re building right now is a market network to deliver high quality produce to large enterprises across the globe. So, it took me back to the time where we were working with a lot of brands, and you had to also send out a lot of proposals. And the toughest part of that is, every time you have to create a proposal and share it with your client, it’s a really tough job, because you don’t know what to quote, you don’t know whether you’re going to get a deal based on the proposal you’re sending out. And often times, you’ve worked so hard behind a brief and when it comes to closing it, you end up messing it up. So, while browsing through LinkedIn, I came across this interesting company called Proposify, which solves this particular problem. And the first LinkedIn profile that I found from the company, I happened to send a LinkedIn request. And the thing that struck me a lot about this profile was how it was positioned. The headline of the profile was something very interesting. And, again, when I went to the profile, I felt it was a great fit for the metal videos podcast. So, I did not think twice, I shot him a message. And he agreed, I think that’s the best part. I don’t know what is that, that convinced him to come on board. But we’ll ask him that when he comes on the screen. So, without much ado, I’d like to add to the podcast, the stay-at-home CMO of Proposify, Patrick Edmonds.
Patrick Edmonds: Hey, thanks for having me.
Patrick Edmonds: So, Patrick, thank you so much for taking time out. And joining us on this podcast episode. Like I said, the first thing that struck me about your profile was the very cool title of stay-at-home CMO. How do you come up with that? What was the reason behind that?
Patrick Edmonds: Well, the global thing, where I think it resonates with a lot of people right now is that a lot of us are staying home right now, whether we wanted to or not with what’s going on globally. I can’t take credit for the language I did. There was an agency actually, or an organization that sends a lot of proposals locally that put a video together around this concept of everyone being stay-at-home and not just to stay-at-home parents, there are lots of stay at home parents, but we’re all kind of working at home, staying from home and this remote working culture that a lot of people are either forced into some people were doing before, but it’s becoming more natural to a lot of people as I call in from my dining room right now, for this podcast. It’s a lot of shift in how we do business, and how we work together, how we collaborate all because of the nature of the world right now, that will shift and there are things that will get better absolutely, as we progress through everything. But, I think there are things that have naturally changed in the way that we do business. And a lot of people have gotten a good taste in their mouth around working from home. And there are benefits of not traveling in or taking transit into work every day, saved hours of maybe working from your pajamas, if that’s what you like to do. So, there’s that natural shift, I think is happening in the economy right now. And I like to take the positive sides of some of those implications.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I think we all agree I’m doing this podcast from my bedroom here. That’s my wardrobe behind. So, I mean, I we all relate to that. But let’s talk about you a little bit before we jump into the economy. You happen to join Proposify about four years back when it was a 10-member team. You saw the growth of the team to about 100 members right now. It’s the that growth has been phenomenal. You scaled from a million in annual recurring revenue to about 100 million, and 2000 customers have grown to a base of 10,000 customers. That’s some scale, right?
Patrick Edmonds: It all correct. But there’s not 100 million, I wish we were at 100 million. We’re approaching 10. So, we’ve brought it from one to 10 million. But yes, absolutely. It’s an amazing amount of growth though I’ve been very fortunate to be part of be part of this team. That’s it’s been able to do some amazing things and, ideally, adding value to people. And like you said, sending out all of those proposals like you used to do. Not a lot of people love doing that aspect of their job, and anything that we can do to make that easier on people and make them more successful. That’s, that’s why we do what we do.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. Like you said, I stand corrected with the hundred million figures but 10 million!
Patrick Edmonds: Someday we’ll get there. Well, I’ll come back on the podcast, when we hit 100.
Pranav Chimulkar: I’m sure I’m going to be waiting with bated breath till you get there. And I hope you get the basement so that we get to work together on some of your videos. That said, I like to talk about how you made this journey happen. Your focus has always been growth, you’re a data guy yourself. The main key that I feel is to understand customer behavior, right? Whenever you want to market to humans, you need to understand the person on the other side, how he or she is going to react to a message that you put out or any piece of communication that you put out. What’s your approach? Or what’s your process for this?
Patrick Edmonds: Absolutely, I’ve been at the company for four years now. And I’ll be honest, it was a lot easier at the beginning than it is now. Because the markets that we were going after, at that time, both myself joining the company, our co-founders, some other members of our marketing team, we all came from a service-based kind of agency world ourselves. And we’re very used to sending out proposals and what that meant, in terms of crafting it together, putting it together, putting all of your love, thoughts and creativity into winning this contract. And for a lot of businesses, it can be a make or break deal for them. They need to get that revenue and when that proposal to keep their lights on to keep their teams employed. And that can be very, very stressful. So, all members of our team deeply understood what that meant to be on the other side, to be the person sending that proposal, really hoping and crossing your fingers that it will close. And our co-founders Kyle and Kevin said there’s got to be a better way to do this. And that’s how the software was found. So, when we say that is the still the core problem that a lot of people have. And as we’ve evolved started targeting new markets and understanding different business models, other people that send out contracts, agreements and proposals within their industries. There are subtleties, differences in different scales and sizes of companies. There’s a difference between a freelancer solo entrepreneur that’s sending out a proposal that’s their core income. And there’s a difference between somebody who’s running 100-person sales team and having 100 people on their team send out those proposals. So, we’ve had to learn and listen to the customers. Actually listened back to calls that our sales reps have had and understand the language that they’re using and use that in our marketing materials as well as digging into the data and understanding their behavior. What do they do different and are their proposals longer? Or are they shorter? How long do they take to close? We have access to this information and data that can tell us the difference between what it looks like for different individuals and different organizations. And we just adjust what that means to us in terms of how we market to them, but also how our product evolves to serve those needs.
Pranav Chimulkar: When it comes to understanding the customer, I think you’ve mentioned that, but when it comes to creating the message, communicating most often and when it comes to videos, especially most people think of videos in one particular category that are like large budget. You generally associate a large cost with videos as big scale, big production, maybe Hollywood level cameras and things coming in. But then I think not many people know that you can actually do videos in different buckets, different kinds of videos, that serve different needs and purpose. I think that is solved with a strategy that I like to bring and show. I think most people would know this because this was made popular by YouTube. And I think a lot of people do know about it. For the uninitiated, I’d like to play a video, which tells you how you can actually create videos in different buckets. And what are the different kinds of videos. Then maybe we can talk about this a little bit before we dig into the condemnation.
Patrick Edmonds: Would love to. Let’s hear it.
Patrick Edmonds: Great.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yes, so we decided to put this video out I mean, the message is, pretty plain, we thought we’d make it a little interesting for people to watch and understand. So, we had a guitar in office and a guy who could play it. So, we thought we’d make that into a video. So that’s basically how that video was born. But that brings me to the point that I want to drive this conversation to that is, videos can be done in three different categories. And they solve different purposes. They also, like cost differently, right? They don’t cost the same to make. And today, I want to focus on talking about health videos, which is possibly towards the bottom of the funnel, that these videos that help you convert and retain more customers then rather attract people at the top of the funnel. I think a lot of the videos that I’ve seen that have come out of Proposify on your YouTube channel are focused towards creating helpful content, like for your customers. As a CMO, how do you bring more focused creating content in this particular category?
Patrick Edmonds: Absolutely. And I love those three categories. And I think we’ve had proposals I have touched each of those three categories. I’m lucky that we’ve actually done the hero category, which is the big budget one, we’ve done two explainer videos that had a little bit more of a higher production scale. But those comes with problems like budget, from one perspective, but then we’ve only done two over the four and a half years that have been there. So, in terms of iterating, creating new content and keeping that up to date, that’s that can be a problem in itself with a technology that changes all the time, feature development and new releases, then your video is out of date, by the time you click go or click publish on it. So, the smaller videos, especially when it comes to help documentation and support, knowledge articles and those bite sized pieces of information, they need to be more frequent. And because of that, they can’t be as high as budget and they need to be iterated on more quickly and more frequently. And I’ll be perfectly honest, our team in the past and still today struggles with that idea of how can we do this effectively within a certain time period that it’s still valuable for the organization. Lucky to work with a group of people that see that value, and we all understand that we’ve got to be doing more video. I think we do quarterly planning sessions when we talk about what we need to do this quarter. I think it’s come up almost every quarter. It’s like how can we get better at video? How can we do a better job in videos and that’s across the board. That is the three definitions of video that you were defining there and one that we’re working through right now is that idea of the help documentation. And I really believe that the more technical that your product, the more you should even rely on videos because who wants to read a long technical sheet document of ‘Click here to install the whatever and get your copy your code and paste it there’. If you’re reading that knowledge article and there’s a video at the top of that article, most people are just going to go be like, ‘Okay, let’s watch the video’ and then rewind and watch again, watch the mouse move and the screen capture of what’s going on there. That’s just so much more effective in terms of getting to what they want to do. Because the purpose isn’t, ‘I don’t want to read your article’, it’s like I want to get to an outcome. And so how do you help your customer get to that outcome as fast as you possibly can. And it’s probably hard to argue that video is not one of the fastest ways to get there, especially if you can listen to it on 2x speed. And just let’s just get to the information that I really want to and, and that sort of idea. So, I’ve been challenging our team to do a better job at that, but also just put a focus on how we can use video to better support our customers with that idea that, how do we get to that outcome for them as easy as possible? Because we know that people are going to navigate towards the video more likely than not.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, I think post the pandemic, again, we’ve seen the adoption numbers go really towards the positive side. A lot many companies have shown interest in investing budgets into creating videos and also building teams around it, right? You see, creative director roles being found that companies. There are different modes of working and making videos. You could employ an agency, you could have an in-house team, you could work with freelancers, and each of them has its pros and cons. But I think, in general, the appetite of creating more video content is something which is very encouraging. Because, as you said, it’s easier to consume, and it’s easier to decipher. And also get what you need quickly, rather than going through a 10 page, eBook or a long article that is posted. You could skip, have timestamps, which say that this is the section. You just skip to that and play it at 2x speed, things like that and I think makes it very easy for the customer. And that’s the job of every marketer out there to ensure that you, you make it easier for your customer to consume the message, and then also the product in general. What happens often, as product guys have a lot of bias towards the technology that they’ve employed the product that they’ve built. Many times, they get very personal, and they don’t understand that the consumer out there doesn’t really care about how you built it, or what are the other features. They just want to know how you’re going to make your life easy. But that’s important because I want to talk about how to translate what the product owner or the other person who’s built the product has in mind into a form, which can be easily consumed and seems more helpful to the end consumer.
Patrick Edmonds: Absolutely. I’ll be honest, one thing we’re working through right now ourselves, and I just had a conversation literally earlier today with the person that runs our product marketing, our product marketing manager at the company, and having that exact discussion. I call him the knowledge owner. And it’s someone who deeply understands the product. It’s usually the product owner or somebody who’s deeply involved with the technical aspects of how this thing was built and how it was put together. They’re going to know more about the feature or the product than anyone else. But not a lot of people care about all of the little details that go into behind the scenes there. So, you do have to do a little bit of translation in terms of ‘Okay, customer-focused, what outcomes are they trying to get from this?’ And so, one thing, we’ve created a tight connection between our product managers and a product marketing, in terms of when a product feature is being developed to define who’s the core user of this product, what’s the problem that they’re trying to solve. Very core elements from a product team to define when you’re building a new feature, where we’re using that and then translating that into the message, the product marketing message out of it, which is different than how we’re building it. But the conversation starts at the same place- what are the problems? What are they trying to solve? How can we best solve them? And that goes into creating a great product. But when that discussion starts of even just building the thing, the discussion can also start at the same time of how do we talk about this, what does this mean to the market, what does this mean in terms of their benefits and their pain points, and translating that into your script or the pain points that you want to hit on within that and the struggle. You highlight that knowledge owner is, If you just ask them to create a video, they’re going to talk about very technical things and go into the deep menu that no one is really going to care about. So how do you translate that to someone else? And I think just effective communication at the start of the project and giving enough time for that so that it’s not, ‘okay. It’s here it is handed over. It’s live now create a video’ and you’re struggling to try and figure out ‘Oh, how do I create a video for this quickly, like the launches tomorrow, or we already launched it, we need to get something out very fast’. So, planning ahead of time is obviously really important there. And one thing we realized as the scale of the company grew, is our CEO used to do those videos. He was the knowledge owner, and he happened to be a very talented marketing mind and video person anyway, so he would do the video. And he was the knowledge owner, and he understood the kind of marketing side of it and the product side of it. So that was really easy. He could push out a video just like, ‘oh, give me 30 minutes, I’ll go into my office’ and voila, we’ve got a new feature explainer video which is great. He just recorded it on his webcam and microphone and export it with like an end slate, beginning slate, and done. But now there are more people that are involved. It just delays the time. So, something that took our CEO 30 minutes, maybe four years ago, now takes a team of four people a couple of weeks. Now, it’s not a couple of weeks of work, the whole way through, but as soon as you’re translating information from one person to another, just delays that timeline. So, what we’re talking about internally right now is how do we shorten those gaps? And it’s just effective collaboration, working together and having the right people do the right jobs.
Pranav Chimulkar: Okay. I think this is something that we’ve also faced while working with our customers. I think budget is one point where people a face a problem. And the second resistance is deadlines, right? Like you said, if we ask, ‘When do you need the video?’ They say yesterday, right? Okay, you haven’t really planned ahead. You’re doing it when you realize that there is a need. And you know that, sometimes it’s not just about creating one video. Say for example, if you’re targeting multiple geographies, and you need to sort of personalize and customize this to different geographies, you might have to actually do it in various languages, right? Because you might have European countries, using your product, you could have, say, Asian countries, you could have American customers, and each of them needs to know your message and you need to talk their language. You need to understand that one particular piece of communication may not suit everybody. And that’s when you’re stuck- Okay, how am I going to do this? This is a mammoth task. I was supposed to do one video, and now I have to do like videos at scale. And that’s something that a lot of people ask us. And I think being in an agency setup earlier, this was a huge problem for us as well. It’s been like, how do you answer that question, but that now that we are building guch, we are able to solve for timelines, we’re able to solve for scale. And for budgets, which is, the need of the hour for every enterprise. Like you said, the product owners, and even at times, the marketers. Like, I mean, it’s very hard to predict when you’re going to have a need. And sometimes it’s just a very occasional like, okay, it’s just out there now that you need something right? In the next week, or within four days, you still need to put out a decent scan. And as your brand matures, you cannot go back to like, putting out substandard content. You need to ensure that the quality of the messaging is high. I’m not talking about big production value, but then you need to hit certain benchmarks, right?
Patrick Edmonds: Yeah, a certain level of polish and quality, just that represents everything else you do. If you put a large focus on your brand, or in terms of your writing or your blog posts, why wouldn’t you put the same level of focus towards your video as well. And that level of professionalism, like you said doesn’t have to be high Hollywood quality video production. But it does say something in terms of someone’s willingness to work with a business. There are a number of studies, I’m not going to be able to pull it off my head but, companies with higher level of brand standards have a higher level of trust and a higher likelihood to buy. And that’s something that we’ve seen reflected even just within our own data and in our proposals. Proposals with images in them are 23% more likely to close than those that are just a black and white sort of contract. So, the level of professionalism that you put It into your proposals and videos, into your landing pages, on your website, into your advertising, it does make a difference in terms of people’s level of trust of wanting to work with you, especially if they’re comparing you to a competitor. And they might not have the same level of professionalism that you do.
Pranav Chimulkar: Okay. Because you brought in the aspect of knowledge owner, it also tells you that making a video is not just the responsibility of marketing team, right? In today’s date, I personally feel every team needs videos, right? You’re talking about product guy, you’re talking about sales guy, you’re talking about marketing teams.
Patrick Edmonds: You’re talking about support teams, customer success. Yeah, absolutely.
Pranav Chimulkar: Exactly. Even leadership, right, you need to put out thought leadership content. So that you’re perceived in a certain manner. If you can trust the leadership of the company, I think it’s easier to make a buying decision over people that are not too figured. I think it’s true, we’ve seen a lot of founders create thought leadership content, just to ensure that they get more business out of it. Also, I think it helps Investor Relations when you want to go out and raise funds for your company. Right?
Patrick Edmonds: Yeah, that’s a legitimate factor. People want to see the social proof that ‘Oh, okay, they exist, they have customers, people are paying attention to them’. This is real. It’s not just vaporware or, something that is hidden with smoke and mirrors. Yeah, it does low video does support the ability of showing that you’re legitimate.
Pranav Chimulkar: I think I built out a brilliant argument for videos right there. And then the whole idea is that it’s a collaboration, like when you’re talking about product marketing, again, it’s is the product guys and the marketing team coming together and creating content. So, it is not necessary that the entire onus of creating videos lies on the marketing team, but then it also seeks participation from all teams and people across the board.
Patrick Edmonds: Absolutely, yes, I think we’re moving to a space. And you mentioned too about building teams and finding the right people were just the evolution of our technical abilities and looking at the youth of today, Tik Tok or whatever. Those skills that are built into our phones now in terms of leveraging video, are now a core skill, just like typing was however long ago or just computer skills or knowing how to use a word processor, or knowing how to print and scan things. Those were skills, and now it’s going to be like a resume item. It’s just like video editing is a basic skill that maybe a marketer, but also other team members would just come and say, ‘Yeah, I can use whatever video editing software you use, as long as it’s like a base level thing’. It’s like iMovie is included on every Mac, if that’s the case, whatever. There are web things, gotcha, whatever you need, like there’s so much available out there, that having just the lack of fear. I think that’s a big part of it. If you talk about someone who has never edited a video before, and you say, ‘Hey, can you go edit this video for me?’, they’re going to be like, ‘Oh, my gosh’, maybe they get like a little bit of panic attack. Like, I don’t know how to do this. But there are systems in place, there are software’s that you can do this fairly quickly and easily with just a little bit of education. And it’s on the leaders and within your organization, to help train those people to be able to, to use that technology effectively and create a system so that someone can turn around and explain or a video or promo video within a couple hours, not a few weeks. And so those are systems just like- oh, we can’t write a blog post every week, that’s just too much. Those are conversations that people would have if they’re scared about writing. And it’s very common for content marketing to be pushing in a blog on a weekly basis or more and more often, why can’t you do the same thing with video editing?
Pranav Chimulkar: Right? Proof is in the pudding. Right? I mean, you as a CMO today, you’re doing like a bunch of podcasts. You’re putting yourself out there on video. I don’t think, if you track back a few years it was a mandate for marketers to be able to do videos, right? The way happy talking budgets, talking growth, numbers or objectives, ROI and things like that. But today, I think it’s mandatory for everybody to also upskill themselves when it comes to like you, you’re talking about big data and things like that. Yes, those are things that are also important, but this is a new sort of evolution that you need to seek as a marketer, right?
Patrick Edmonds: Yeah, absolutely. The idea of personal branding is this intangible factor that is weird to put on a resume or something, but it’s something someone’s going to figure out regardless. If you’re looking to hire a new marketing leader, CMO or VP of Marketing. I mean a few years ago, you would have googled their Facebook profile just to see if they were, I don’t know, a real person. But now you’re going to Google them and see like, Okay, what podcasts have they been on? Have they done any videos? Do they have any speaking engagements at any conferences that we typically go to? What’s their reach and their connection, in terms of their social influence, that can have this intangible factor on how much you’re willing to invest in a person. And I’m seeing that across not just marketing, either. But, I mean, we work very closely in the sales space, but there are some sales, thought leaders that now arguably have more value just in terms of their personal network than their ability to be an account executive or a BDR. Their reach on LinkedIn has an intangible amount of value to it, that any company would probably want to hire them just for that, not their actual skills, which were selling or marketing or whatever. It’s kind of this ‘influencer as an employee’ is a really interesting concept that really only came up in the last couple years.
Pranav Chimulkar: Right? Absolutely. I think this is a question that generally keep for the last of every episode. Asking the guests about people that they follow on LinkedIn, say, for example, it’s people that they think are crushing it on LinkedIn. Like, you just broaden the point. And there’s no better point to ask this again. Who are the people that you think are really doing well at this? And think they’re their top of their game.
Patrick Edmonds: Oh, that’s a tough one. There are some really good ones. I’m biased into researching into this sale space, because that’s who our core customer and sales people. So, I’m paying a lot attention to who are the big sales influencers on there, and very transparently, we’re a sponsor of John Barrows, which is a sales trainer and a lot of awesome content that’s coming out of john barrows, and his team Morgan, Ingram and everyone else. So, they’re very close to what we look at. I watched a few of your other podcasts. And I heard Gong mentioned a couple times, or at least once, Sarah brasier. And a few people on that team, that’s the example that came to my mind is that influencer sort of perspective, but trying to think outside of the scope, especially with video usage, this company called Trainual. And they create like an internal learning kind of tool like an LMS. And their CMO. Let me see if I can remember. I actually had some notes here. Jonathan Ronzio is the CMO Trainual and he was one of the first people I saw to use the idea of cameo, which is when you hire celebrities to create videos for you, and they hired a cast of The Office, the American version of the TV show office to create these awesome videos. And that was over a year ago, and cameo just signed a deal with Sentosa, I think, which is like a company that sends out physical gifts and that sort of thing. And so that’s been a trend that’s been happening over the last year where sales reps will hire a celebrity to shoot a video message and use that as part of their sales strategy. But kudos to Jonathan at Trainual, while he was one of the first people that I saw that did really well.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah. And a recent example, that I saw, again, in the same kind of strategy being implemented was Justin bikers. This is a guy who is a trainer and has a lot of followers, and he’s got his amazing patron out there. He signed me on to his patron again, now, I’ve been checking out his content. That’s been great. But then, what actually struck me was he hired the actor who played Russ Hanneman in Silicon Valley to shoot videos, that he could use to send to his customers, partners and other stakeholders. I think, I think because, he used it very intelligently, if not anything else, because this guy is known to play a certain kind of role. And when you talk about trace commerce, all the big billions and things like that, no better guy to actually give out a message like that. So, I think I would like to give a shout out to Justin again on this podcast as well. So that said, I want to drive this conversation into the more important part that I want to talk about is using videos to sell. Today, no longer can you visit your buyer, you cannot do face to face. You cannot do a handshake anymore. This is generally a lot of years of the way sales has been done till date, being thrown into trash. Right? And you have to like, come up with a different way to sort of solve this problem.
Patrick Edmonds: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. There’s been a big shift, obviously, people working from home. And I mean, technology has made it possible at least. So, it wouldn’t have been even possible. I mean, phone calls are one thing, but video calls are another. So, at least we have live video like this and zoom and Google Hangouts and Google meet. So, you can still have the demo call and you can still present your proposal and all of that over live video. But I think what people miss there, is that it’s hard to get every stakeholder on all of those calls. Because we’re so busy. We’re all in our own little calls here and there and trying to get all the people in one room where maybe you could visit the office and see them all in their boardroom or buy them lunch. And if you buy them lunch, then you’ve got their attention, you can’t do that as much anymore. So, the data is telling us, I think it’s Gartner that said that the average buying committee, at least in a b2b perspective is now eight to 10 people. So, the likelihood of you getting all of those people on one call is fairly low. So, you need to do this idea of asynchronous selling. Sure you might be having that live video call and that sort of thing, but a lot of the decisions are being made off of that call, or even off of that meeting, if you were able to have it in that time. And there’s going to be takeaways, there’s going to be questions that they’re going to have that you’re not going to be able to answer or there’s going to be an a quick email says, ‘Hey, what about this, or can you send me some information on that’ that’s going to happen asynchronously from your normal sales cycle, it doesn’t all fit perfectly into that lane of ‘Okay, I’ve got my first discovery call with the person to qualify them. And then I move them over to this stage. And this stage. And that stage’. It’s not as simple and not as perfect is that they’re talking to your competitors, when you’re not talking to them they’re evaluating, they’re looking at their budgets when you’re not talking to them. So whatever you can do to sell a synchronously not at the same time, which is a benefit, if you’re not in the same time zone too. It’s a benefit if you can’t see them in person, but send them information that you can, in video format, ideally, the best way to do that, so that you can get your message and point across and disseminate that to multiple stakeholders, when the time is right for them to be able to consume that information. And you don’t have to rely on their calendar, their busy schedules, getting everyone on a zoom call. And you didn’t just say it once and you can never say it again. And when it’s in a meeting, you say it, it’s done. No one recorded it. There’s no history of what that is. But if you send them a quick 30 seconds video, but like, ‘Oh, yeah, that question you had about my product or service. Here’s a little walkthrough of how it works’. And here’s a link to one of our customer testimonials, videos that I’m talking about using this. They can then forward that to their boss who might be the budget decision maker or someone else on their team who’s more technical, who needs the actual answer of that question to be able to verify? Yep, it does what we needed to do, so go ahead you can purchase that. I give it my my stamp of approval. So video is a very effective way of reaching those people when you can’t in a normal meeting setting.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely. I want to also talk about the evolved format of account based marketing. How would you use videos to prospect people and because you’re working on large accounts that you might want to reach out to multiple people in the same company at multiple roles possibly and influence people that are a part of the decision making process. Because if you put all your eggs in one basket and if that particular lead is not interested in you or has a bias towards one of your competitors or anything, your efforts are going away. So yeah, as many people as possible in that particular account, and what do you feel is the role that we have to play in terms of prospecting and doing?
Patrick Edmonds: Absolutely. So, there’s great companies out there like Canadian companies, Proposify. Will give a shout-out to them. You’ve got an e-mail in your inbox, there’s a little GIF or a person waving. Sometimes they even write your names on a white board and hold it up in the picture and it is very personalized from an ad perspective them. One thing that we’re testing in the same thing as that right now is that idea of not just the person but to the account so we have one of our bdrs who has a list of target accounts that we want to go after and so he’ll record a video that is addressing multiple people at that organization so on the email level, we can through automation, set up personalized emails. ‘Hi, john’. And that but it redirects to a landing page which is offering people something custom value to them and we only want this to go to our target accounts, and on that landing page. There’s a personalized video and it says ‘hi person, ABC from XYZ company’, and then goes through a little spiel of what the exchange of value is and we offer people a custom proposal audit so we’ll take a look at it, we’ll have them answer questions and give them recommendations on how to improve their process free value as an exchange for them just getting on the call with us. We’ll give them, something back this audit for free, but the video is front and center right on the landing page when they get there, and they call the team members out, not just the one person who you’re going after, but the multiple decision makers that will be on the process so they might be they might mention your CEOs name, they might mention your CFOs name, they might mention somebody else who’s in that volume committee or multiple people within that account that we’ll be targeting. Everyone will get that message but those videos, need to be recorded by our bdr in person. They say their actual names, they say the company name, and then on the marketing side we put the logo on the page, the company logo. We mention the company on the page. That page is uniquely personalized towards that company and has that video to them. But it’s going that extra step, it’s not just ‘hi first name’ and inserting first name in there as a variable. We’re using video to show that we care about you as an account. We’ve put the effort in and we’ve offered this thing of value to you for free and video is the way that it really blows it out of the water, I think.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, I think even when you’re on the receiving end as the CMO of Proposify, if I’m sure you would be getting a lot of emails in your inbox and, and most of them are like either they keep talking about themselves and, on the line of ‘Hope you’re doing well’ and know that it’s mixing with fake empathy. If you see a video that talks to you, in particular, lands in your inbox I think it puts you one step closer towards liking that particular person, or at least, giving an ear to what he has to or she has to say.
Patrick Edmonds: Yes, absolutely. It’s, you want to scratch their ego a little bit and it’s not about you. It’s about them at the end of the day and that idea of exchanging some level of value to them. I think is extremely important part of that. I do get a lot of cold emails and usually it’s about- here’s three features that will revolutionize your marketing. But, really. Not really. But if they say, I noticed that your company just did this, you hired this person, and you’re on the MOV podcast. I watched you, It was great like that’s the level of personalization and people really pay attention to. From a prospecting perspective to make sure that the people actually pay attention and then getting the attention is just one part and then getting them to take an action is the other part and then making sure that that information gets disseminated through an organization as a whole other part of the of the question and that’s why, I like to be a big advocate for using video down funnel, as well as, as a funnel, so top of funnel is getting their attention and getting them into your into your kind of sales sequences, but when it gets down to making that decision there’s just some awesome pieces, use of video to which I’m sure you’ve seen in turn those those products and help videos can be extremely beneficial and that sort of thing too, and then when it comes down to sending that contract, if you can walk it through them in person, great, but if you can’t, have a video view of you walking them through that contract which you can forward to the CFO that needs to sign up for budget or the legal person that needs to have approval or stamp on whatever that is. If you can’t get them on that video call, then record yourself walking through the proposal and if you can include it right in that.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah, I think the point that you just made brings me to the next two categories of video that I’d like to talk about. And that is demo videos and how to. You could have a demo video done for a physical product and you might be selling or a software product, right? Just demoing different features again, like you said, if you write a couple of pages about the product, nobody’s gonna read about it but then you should demo them in video of the product and show outcomes, rather than just talk about the functionality and outcomes. I think that’s something that the user really could enjoy. Like you said we could also personalize his demos, you could do a lot of work around that content, these two categories are very important and often, I think most people don’t pay attention to this. I’ve seen a lot of times, marketers. Like, when they hire an intern to do this screen recording of their software, just ask the same guy to do like a voiceover and typically the guy who’s doing this is least interested in putting the message, is possibly doing it after a very bad lunch. And it’s not given enough importance and love. I mean, you’re putting out a message about your products, you’re putting so much of heart into making the product, but when you’re talking about, like, making a great product and keeping it in your wardrobe. If you’re not talking about it, nobody’s gonna use it.
Patrick Edmonds: Yeah, absolutely. That level of polish like we’re talking about on those videos is worth it. You wouldn’t create a brochure and write it on paper by hand, and say- oh here’s my brochure. You wouldn’t go to a conference and just write down the top three benefits on a white piece of paper and hand it over. So why are you creating a video that that doesn’t maybe live up to your brand expectations. At the end of the day I completely agree putting that level of polish and something it’s probably is a struggle for a lot of organizations including us to keep that level of quality up and frequency up and everything at the same time so glad that there’s people like you that are advocating for it and, and I’m sure we will see more companies adopt that as part of a core part of their marketing strategy.
Pranav Chimulkar: I’m a huge fan of this category because it solves a problem right? What it does is not just helps your existing customers who are stuck somewhere in the part of journey. What it also does is, if I were to say for example, look at fixing my car today and if I have to be involved in a flat tire, or, like, if I have to have had a car that is broken down somewhere, I don’t have the patience to go through a long text article or something. I might actually go to YouTube and search, how do I change my tire or how do I fix my engine, right? It’s ideal for me to consume videos. So, it also solves that purpose where I must be not a customer, but I’m searching for a problem in point. And, a lot of times they don’t see this side, where it can also attract new customers. It also plays a role at the top of the funnel, because I post articles or videos that is about help videos but will not talk about this angle. But then there is this angle out there, you will find somebody who’s possibly stuck with a problem, or maybe stuck with that problem while using your competitor’s product. And what if your video is ranking higher than theirs, and they happen to get a free customer.
Patrick Edmonds: Absolutely you had a good point there. You search it on YouTube and YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world, Google is the first biggest search engine but, YouTube is the second largest search engine not just video search engine, any search engine. So when you’re searching for an answer to a problem you’re either going to Google or you’re going to YouTube. Even if you go to Google, YouTube results may likely show up at the very, top of that too and so that can be part of your product and your product marketing and it can be just your content strategy. To give an example that one of our highest ranking blog post is also our highest ranking YouTube video. And it’s because we rank highly for the keywords, both in text, on Google, but we also rank highly in the video rankings there too so we kind of have like a double hit there where we get a lot of traffic to that video that directs the blog post and we get a lot in the videos within the blog post as well. So, and it’s a problem that that our customers have. It’s not directly about our product but it’s tangentially related to acquiring the right types of people to our website and watching our YouTube videos, who have this problem and then we can either re-target them or sell to the messaging or have a call to action within the blog post to to get them into our marketing funnel but yeah the ability to leverage YouTube as a search engine is something that is not often enough thought about.
Pranav Chimulkar: Okay. I think we’ve spoken about visuals on landing pages, we’ve spoken about videos on search engines were spoken about videos in blog course, but this is a topic that interests me a lot because I’ve not seen a lot of these in my tenure, videos within proposals. This is something very interesting. I’ve been sending out a lot of proposals, my team has sent out countless proposals to brands that we’ve either work with or having last to last business, right. What are these videos I mean, how can you leverage video to make a proposal, better and ensure that there’s a higher close percentage? And I want to know what makes that video, or commissioning that video worth it.
Patrick Edmonds: Yeah, absolutely. So there’s a few different things I’d like to unpack there. One I think goes back to our point about branding and professionalism that we talked about earlier and so we said that, just having images in your proposals and designing them increases your close rate by 23%. But for industries that have like a good narrative, and story to tell, so specifically software products and event companies and this is pre COVID for event companies. Software products would see an increase close rate of 41% when they include videos in the proposals and those are typically explainer videos like you probably already have on your homepage or somewhere else or those demo videos that you’re talking about. This is all content that you probably, if you’re doing a good job of videos to start with, probably are existing somewhere that you can repurpose and leverage in your proposals which you’re probably not doing right now so there’s repurposing all those explainer videos those ‘How To’ Videos even if there’s parts of your product. So, just in our case we integrate with a lot of other softwares so say your CRM. So within our proposals, we integrate with Salesforce or HubSpot, we will include a video about our Salesforce or HubSpot integration within that section of the proposal and in terms of what it actually does and it gets to that same point about ‘how to’ article and you don’t want to read a one pager on what the integration is if there’s a video at the top that just does a 30 second walk-through of how the integration works so put that in the proposal with some language kind of supporting, around again. The overall explainer video at the top is probably better than they should know working with you. I think where you can really blow it out of the water is that personalized video aspects, we talked about it in emails, we talked about it on landing pages, do the exact same thing when it comes to the proposal. Say ‘hi I’m Patrick. I’m sending you a proposal. And this is why I think you should work with us these are, these are our strengths. This is the value I’ve identified, that you have this pain point, here is how we’re going to solve those and here’s the solution, the benefit that you’re going to get’. It’s the same thing you would do typically in that sales call, or that in-person meeting, that handshake that you have, but you can put right there in the document. The benefit there is they can watch it again, it’s not just a onetime thing. They can share with those other decision makers in your organization who might not have had the benefit of being on that call or in that meeting, and they can see the same benefit, because you just send a proposal, text based proposal to someone else who has no context about what’s this product again, or service or software. And then you get to read this 10-page proposal or a four 10-page proposals from four different competitors or something like that. And your CFO is just going to be like, ‘Okay, go ahead, I’m just going to go a pricing page, pick the cheapest one’. They’re not going to actually look into the into the value of what that is. But if you have your explanation, you can actually include that right within the document itself. And then those events, services companies, when they have amazing visuals, so if you’re selling anything that you just know, is easier to sell when you can show it to them. That’s the downside of what a document is. That’s why proposals are typically boring. And that’s why you want to show them in person, you want to have that meeting and share the video. Now you can include that right within the document itself. So you don’t have to just rely on, ‘it’s going to be a great event that I’m going to plan for, you know, watch this video of the last four events that I’ve done and how they work’. That’s going to sell your idea a lot better than just kind of saying, ‘it’s going to be a great experience, and everyone’s going to have a lot of fun’. If you can show it, you can show that narrative right within the document. It’s the same reason why use video everywhere else. It’s just another medium that’s been kind of forgotten, I guess a little bit in terms of its benefit of closing a deal, which is the contract or the proposal. So now we’re advocating for leveraging that video in this location as well.
Pranav Chimulkar: Absolutely, I think we spent majority of this time that we’ve been talking about a lot about videos and about your work. But I also want to take a step back and talk about you as a person. I think this was thing that I mentioned on the podcast while introducing you was that the headline on LinkedIn that really stuck with me, and I think is gonna stay with me is just the headline that you put in your LinkedIn. But then there’s something interesting that I also found in your about section that really caught my attention, and I want to talk about that a little bit is how you’ve grown in your journey. You mentioned three points. And one of the points was investing in yourself to push your own limits and and try to be best in class. This pandemic has allowed a lot of us to get a lot of free time, family time and things like that. I think we’ve caught up with whatever we were not doing well like spending time with the loved ones. And also, I think most of us have been trying to use this time very effectively, to upskill ourselves, possibly pick up a new skill, possibly get better at what we’re doing. I don’t know what how you been using this time and pushing yourself to become better than what you were yesterday.
Patrick Edmonds: That’s a great question. And yeah that time stage of not traveling into the office or not going to concerts or eating out, those sorts of things as frequently as you may have before, does give a lot of extra time and I am an advocate of investing in yourself and doing more. So I think there’s two things there- personally and professionally, because like you said, spending more time with family and prioritizing was valuable than lucky to do a couple of things there. So as you mentioned before you are a musician as well, so I’m mostly a bass player. So I got back into playing bass by myself a little bit more, but I had purchased a drum set a few years ago so I learned the drums, I had already owned it, it was sitting in my basement and I hadn’t been playing it. So, when I stopped work at the end of the day, I’ll go downstairs and put a few hours in practicing something, which is a new skill that I didn’t have before and that I might have not found the time to do that otherwise. So that was fun for me to do something else still continue to try and get better at it. And actually filming myself, creating videos of those sorts of things too and that just lubricates the wheels of getting familiar with video and video editing and recording myself playing bass and that sort of thing, too. So, it’s a skill that I don’t actually leverage that often. And I’m not that crazy video or anything, but just having a certain level of competency in that and marrying that with a personal passion that I had was kind of fun and cool. And then professionally on top of that, luxury of growing a marketing team a little bit over the last year or so having a few new members join the team. So investing in them, and investing time in how to best onboard new employees, how to best kind of bring people up to speed and share knowledge information, and get the ideas that are out of this head into other people’s heads, finding time for that and making sure that the team is successful as far as it can be as the CMO, that’s kind of part of my role now, is to invest in others, and make sure that they’re as successful as they can. So putting in time there of training yourself to be a better leader, a better coach is, is a valuable thing to invest in as well. Just stay on top of any technical skills that you need to learn.
Pranav Chimulkar: Yeah absolutely. I relate to both the points. You mentioned music. Again, you played bass, I played drums, but I have been trained in percussion. And I mean, if we ever get time, I think we’re going to use the next session to possibly jam. That’s one thing. The second thing that you also mentioned about investing in growing up teams, and this is something that I’ve been trying to do. You happened to meet my team members, Gautam and Sai just before we started the podcast. Again, It’s a small team for the marketing armen and we sort of grew it from there. But I think the point that you mentioned, is giving them more time to upskill them and make them grow in their own professional paths. And not just professionally, I think also connect with them. Personally, I think that is something that even I’ve been doing the last few things. And thank you for saying that. I really appreciate that. With that said, I just see that we crossed our one hour mark and I don’t want to take a lot of your time. But I will be on your tail. I promise you that. Because it’s been a fun chat to have with you. And then I think there are so many other things that I would like to be in touch with you for, in terms of learning and sharing value right now. I hope we get to stay in touch. We’ll have a lot of other engagements but then I’m really happy that you could make time and come on the Mad over Videos podcasts. Love that passion and the sort of positive energy that you bring. The second thing is I love that Proposify believes in the power of videos. A lot of people have just started doing that. And it’s great to see a brand like yours, believe, invest and put their money where their mouth is. And that’s something so great. I mean, thank you so much once again.
Patrick Edmonds: Thanks for having me. And kudos to you and your team especially for putting this together. You turned it around fairly quickly and was very impressive, everything on the otherside. So anyone that’s working with this team, you’ve got a good group of people here.
Pranav Chimulkar: Thank you so much and I hope we get to talk soon and for everybody else who is watching, we’ll be back soon with the next episode and an interesting guest, who’s going to have a lot to share and for us a lot to learn.