Posts tagged Vsnap

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How iOS8 Can Help Small Businesses Grow Revenues

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap

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Today Apple is releasing its iOS8 software – and it includes a feature that is proven to grow revenues. This is a great opportunity for small businesses.

What’s that feature? Video messaging. It’s now baked right into iMessage for Apple’s new operating system.

We recently published powerful client data on the impact that video messaging has in sales.

Our client Penn Foster, an online education company, achieved a 34% increase in their close rate, by sending short, individual video messages to students who were engaged but were unsure whether or not they wanted to enroll. This was on a data set of nearly two thousand prospective customers. You can download the full report here for free.

Now, Apple is giving this same core ability to all iPhone users – for free. You can read about it here.

iPhone and iPad users can send a video message almost the same way as they would send a text or a photo. In iMessage, you touch an on-screen button to engage the front-facing camera, then record a quick message that gets delivered right to the recipient’s device.

When would you do this?

Look at how people buy in today’s world. There’s a period of time when the buyer is doing her own research on your product. She hasn’t yet given you permission to get on her calendar for a live call. She isn’t ready for that yet. But she will watch a short, personal video message because, for her, it’s much more convenient than a live interaction. (On Vsnap, average view rates are about 50%, and many people have view rates in the 70% range).

Everybody who’s selling something needs efficient ways to create that human connection with buyers as a context for doing business together, and that’s exactly what a quick, personal video message does. (If you want to read more about how powerful non-verbal communication is, have a look at Honest Signals by MIT Professor Sandy Pentland). 

At Vsnap, we see Apple’s video messaging feature as awesome for some business users such as sole proprietors and small businesses, and we know that more structured sales organizations will want features like branding customization, tracking and analytics, flexibility around how the video message gets delivered, and integration options, where they can pair video messaging with their own specific calls to action. For those companies, Vsnap will be a more suitable tool. 

Whichever group you’re in, the most important thing is that you understand when to use a video message, rather than a call or an email.

After working with clients who’ve sent thousands of these messages, we have found that this kind of one-to-one video messaging is not for prospecting. Instead, think of it as an engagement accelerator. When a buyer engages with you – someone named Fred Smith downloads a white paper on your site, for example – immediately send Fred a video message.

“Hi Fred, I’m Nancy Jones at Company XYZ. I just want to say hello and say thanks for downloading our white paper. And I want to make sure you know I’m here to help if you have any questions or feedback for me. I’d love to learn more about your business, so let’s schedule a call when you’re ready for that. I have time open tomorrow and Thursday, or if you want to just try me, my direct line is 555-555-5555. I look forward to talking with you, Fred. Hope you have a great day.”

That simple statement puts a human context around the interaction. It makes Fred feel that you value his business, and that you’re oriented around him and his needs, and not around yourself and your needs. This is proven stuff. It accelerates the conversation and increases your close rate – and you can measure that.

For more details on how to do this, have a look at our report Revolutionizing Sales for Online Businesses. And let us know any questions you have. I’m easy to reach via email at dave@vsnap.com or on Twitter @davemacboston. We have a ton of learning on this subject. We know exactly what works and what doesn’t – and we love to share it to help people grow their businesses! (We have six simple values at Vsnap, and one of them is “Only Help!”)

Filed under vsnap ios8 ios iOS App apple Video Messaging video app sales enablement sales

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[Guest post] How Video Helps Sales & Marketing Teams Attract, Engage & Convert

By Bonnie Gibson, Content Creator at RAMP

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Today’s sales and marketing tactics are full of noise and clutter. As a sales or marketing professional, you might be wondering, “What does a lead need to be a customer?” or “What does the customer need to stay a customer?” or even both. The answer lies within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, the need for love and belonging. Successful businesses such as JetBlue and HubSpot know that creating a more human experience will allow their business to grow. Producing videos is a way to reach your audience and show the human side of your business. Let’s take a quick look at how video can help attract, engage, and convert your prospects and delight your current customers.

Attract – Your step to gaining trust

Think of this as a “getting to know you” stage. Sometimes that getting to know you phase can be overlooked and misunderstood. Even with the best of intentions, nothing drives me crazier than the use of caps and exclamation points. It reminds me of watching the monster truck commercials I’d see as a kid where the announcer is yelling, “SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!” Video clarifies your messaging the way bold, italics, caps, and five exclamation marks simply can’t.

Examples of videos that attract:

·       Tips and tricks

·       Demos

·       Introductions

Engage – Being as human as possible

Purchases are based on need and emotion. The bigger the purchase, the higher the emotion. So it would make sense in any sales or marketing strategy to cater on the side of emotion to further build a relationship with your prospects. With a video, you can put a face behind the pitch and build trust and  relationship with your potential customer. This is what Vsnap is all about, sending short, personal messages showing a prospect or customer how much you appreciate their business.

Examples of videos that can engage:

·       Follow up’s

·       Thank you’s

Convert – Keep the cycle going

In marketing, we strive for conversions, and we do this by creating a call-to-action. If you’ve ever seen a “register here” or “download now” button, then you’ve seen a call to action. The call to action is the next step you want the customer to take. For a disengaged customer, you might want to send a quick video letting them know you care and what steps to take to keep them involved in a relationship with your customer. You might have a big renewal coming up for a current customer, using video to convey why you are excited about your company can help in getting the customer ready for that new contract.

Remember, it’s not about how big you or your business is, it’s about how your customer feels. When your customer feels the love, so does your business. In the “Age of the Human Era”, isn’t it time you sent them a video to show your appreciation? 

Filed under guest blogs ramp bonnie gibson Video Messaging sales marketing vsnap

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Revised Release Date For Vsnap 2.0

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap

We’ve decided to delay releasing our new product until October, to give ourselves extra time for testing and refinements on some of the key features. This is a completely rebuilt platform, both front and back ends. We’re really excited about how this product simplifies the process of creating vsnaps, making it easier for sales reps to send short video messages that build trust with their buyers. We’re also super excited about how the new product puts us on a path to iterate more rapidly than ever before. The coming year is going to be super exciting! 

Current users will be moved into free trials (no credit card info will be taken), as outlined in earlier communications. That will just happen in October rather than on September 1. If you have any questions, please let us know. 

Finally, this is a reminder that we are doing away with free Vsnap accounts. If you already know that you do not want a free trial or will not be moving into a paid account, we want to remind you to log in now to download the vsnaps you’ve created if you want to keep them. 

Filed under dave blogs vsnap

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Thank You, Trish Fontanilla

by Dave McLaughlin, CEO of Vsnap

This post is a thank you to Trish Fontanilla, our Vice President of Community and Customer Experience. She will be moving on from Vsnap next month, and we’re really going to miss her energy and passion, which are truly extraordinary. 

Trish has not decided yet what is next for her, but my guess is she will be creating and nurturing online and offline communities at some awesome, values-based company, helping them nurture conversations and inspire amazing customer evangelism. 

But then again she might just decide to solve global warming or some other big, gnarly problem instead. Whatever she does, she’s going to be outstanding, and if anyone needs a reference, please get in touch with me at dave at vsnap.com. Set aside some time for that call though, because the list of Trish’s Awesomeness is longer than you can imagine. 

At Vsnap, we’ve refined our focus through a series of iterations, as most startups do, and now we are about to launch a new product that is very targeted to people in sales. Given that focus, we have less of a call to invest in the kind of broader community efforts that we’ve been engaged in, and that Trish has been so great at leading. 

An example of this is the Customer Love series, which we started three years ago to bring together a cross-section of businesspeople who believe that making customers feel loved is the fastest and most enduring path to growth. We’ve held an annual Customer Love Summit on Valentine’s Day each year, and we’ve put together semi-regular meetups on this theme both in Boston and New York. It’s been fun and valuable, but given our refined business focus, the Customer Love movement is a little too broad for us to really invest in growing. 

I bring up Customer Love as an example, but it also brings me back to Trish. In our conversations, she talked about how important that community is to her — and we agreed that she should own the Customer Love brand after she leaves Vsnap. So I’m happy to share that she will continue to convene that conversation, and I hope that Vsnap can continue to be involved as a participant. 

I know people will be curious about our immediate hiring plans at Vsnap. The truth is I haven’t decided on that quite yet. I want to be very specific in terms of who we’re looking for, and I need to take a little time to do that. 

Trish was the first person I hired at Vsnap. She started as our Community Manager, and she just kept taking on more and more responsibility. Honestly, I never could’ve anticipated how influential she would be in our company. She’s just so good, and her voice has so much power, and her name carries so much cred. I’m deeply grateful to her. 

If you know Trish, I hope you’ll reach out and congratulate her on her many, many accomplishments here at Vsnap. And if you don’t know Trish, I encourage you tweet at her and say hello. She’ll change your life. 

Filed under dave blogs trish fontanilla vsnap

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Thrive in Q4: Event Recap & Invitation

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap

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Yesterday, Mike Sadeghpour (LinkedIn, Twitter) led a discussion at Vsnap about understanding the role of emotion in sales, both for buyers and for sellers. The participants were from sales teams at a range of companies, from startups on the rise to a multi-billion dollar business with a thousand-plus reps.

A bit of background on Mike. He began exploring the mental and emotional aspects of high performance in the context of competitive sports. He won the NCAA hockey championship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, then stayed at RPI as a member of the coaching staff. At the same time, he earned his Masters in Performance Psychology.

After school, Mike entered the sales realm, and over the years he has sold everything, from class rings to competitive research. And he’s held every role, from individual contributor to VP, SVP and EVP. Today, Mike is a sought-after speaker, mentor and coach through his consulting practice, edgeThink (www.whatisyouredge.com).

Yesterday’s conversation was called “Thrive in Q4” and it was framed around what sales leaders can do right now to impact 2014 revenues. We covered too much to recap, so here are just two big ideas I think are worth highlighting.

Q4 Pressure Vectors
Mike deconstructed that pressure that creeps up in Q4, breaking it down along four key vectors where pressure builds — the pipeline, the forecast, the quota, and the W2. All of that bubbles up to the overarching pressure around job security.

What is the effect of rising pressure? Well, think of it as a pipe that is constricting. Your brain actually begins to behave differently, explained Mike. In high-pressure contexts, people have a tendency to rely on intellectual shortcuts, or what Mike calls “thinking traps”. He spelled out eight of them for us, things like Tunnel Vision, where reps start to see only the negative aspects of a situation. Or Mind Reading, where the rep unwittingly begins to invent the details of what the buyer is thinking, creating a false basis for their next actions.

The takeaway here is two-fold. First, you need to recognize how real the pressure is for your reps, and where it’s coming from. Why? Because that helps you watch for the patterns that will probably start to play out. And understanding those patterns gives you the ability to help your reps rise above their thinking traps and all the misleading, counter-productive emotions that go with them.

Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset?
This is less of a Q4 comment and more of a framework for thinking about the connection between emotion and achievement more broadly. Mike referenced a concept from the work of Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset (video). In short, the idea is that we are either Failure Avoiders or Success Seekers, and the distinction comes down to mindset. Failure Avoiders have a rigid or fixed mindset. They believe they know what they need to know, full stop. Success Seekers have a growth mindset. They have high self-confidence, but they also believe they can become better at what they do — and they actively look for learnings to help them do that.

For sales leaders, this idea offers another lens for looking at your team and identifying how to help them succeed. The mindset lens helps you identify what’s going on internally in those situations, and it connects you with a resource — Dr. Dweck’s book — that you can explore more deeply.

Also, since my company advocates a new behavior — one-to-one video messaging — for our clients, I see this mindset lens as valuable relative to identifying our most likely buyers. After all, fixed mindset “failure avoiders” are very unlikely to take on the risk that comes with being an internal champion for a new tool, even one as powerful and impactful as Vsnap.

Let’s Do It Again!
The people who sat at our table yesterday are Success Seekers. They are growth mindset people. They want to learn and they want lead their teams, whether by authority or by example, to bigger and better outcomes. Personally, I love to be around people like that. As Mike said at the start of his talk, emotions are contagious!

So we’re going to do this again — we’ll host another conversation on the same topic, right after Labor Day. Because we’re going to keep it small, we will ask you to fill out this form if you’d like to participate. We just want to be sure we’re involving people who are committed to participating with that all-important spirit of learning and enthusiasm, and the desire to put new ideas into action and capture the benefits.

Filed under dave blogs edgeThink vsnap sales Mike Sadeghpour