How to Pitch a B2B Software Explainer Video

Introduction

If you want to sell more B2B software then you’ll need to devise an explainer video sales message – a pitch – that strikes right at the heart of your customer’s needs, something that will make them feel like a breath of fresh air has come into their lives.

If you can do this, you’ll sell more, whether you’re selling a high cost, enterprise-scale, subscription technology, or a smaller, dedicated package that fixes a specific problem.

This blog is designed to show you how to professionally pitch your software explainer video message so it wins more often, with more customers, in more places.

Whether you’re a coder/owner or a business development professional, you’ll already have most sales angles figured out for your package by now. But I’d also ask you to consider that video is different.

And since you’ll spend a decent sum of money paying for your new video, it makes sense to get the message right in the first place, to pitch your video message in the best possible way for the maximum return on your video investment.

9 questions to help you get your sales video pitch right

1: What is the exact goal of your Software Demo Video?

Obviously winning more web enquiries is the primary goal for most software developers.

But what sort of web enquiries do you want? Anything you can get? Or as much as you can get? Or maybe you just want real buyers?

This asks further questions:

Do you spend a lot of your time educating your immature market?

or

Are you looking to close down customers who’ve already researched your topic, know moreorless what they want, and are now looking for a suitable supplier?

Or in sales parlance:

> Are you looking to capture early sales cycle buyers and nurture them for 3-12 months?

> Or are you looking to identify late sales cycle buyers, who want to buy this quarter?

> Or do you need a bit of both?

You need to be clear in your own mind about your video’s goals. Only then will you make a more compelling, relevant video.

Takehome: Write out your goal as “what good looks like”, then stick to it.

2: What is your viewer’s immediate need when they arrive at your website?

Customers come in all shapes and sizes.

Some are managers with a big work problem that overshadows all else. Others are buyers simply collecting quotes for a tender. And even more today are junior executives researching the marketplace for their boss.

The best place to start is to look at the deals you’ve actually closed in the last 12 months and think back to each customer’s need when they first discovered you.

For example: You may find that most of the customers who actually bought were all broadly of a similar type?

For example: Maybe they all discovered your site through a particular keyword, which tells you a lot about their common state of mind when enquiring?

If you can clearly identify these common need factors, then this will form a significant part of your underlying video message.

Knowing the mindset& needs of the customers who actually bought is central to your plans.

Once you know this clearly, it’ll be reflected in your script, storyboard, visuals, animations – everywhere the customer can intuitively recognise themselves and their situation.

Takehome: List user needs based on real sales analysis.

3: What can a business generally achieve by using your software?

For businesses, new software usually means faster, cheaper, better. But this is too broad brush a statement. Clients obviously expect to see more detail.

Overall I find that software productivity improvements generally come about in 3 ways:

1 – As simple time-saving benefits because your software does things quicker, and maybe with less people, which all adds up to more profit, perhaps less staff, and quicker work turnarounds.

2 – As overall workflow benefits, as your package has many functions that solve a lot of different problems, all within one package. Life becomes easier using your system, with less mistakes, or clumsy slow work methods involving too many people.

3 – As new smarter ways to solve old challenges.

To discover exactly what sort of productivity improvements your clients are getting from your app, you need to ask them.

Start a conversation with all your real buyers over the last 12-24 months.

You need to be bold here and obtain fairly accurate performance & productivity improvement data from them.

This client data feedback will underpin your key sales points, allowing you to express these points memorably, with supporting visuals, animation, captions, screenshots, etc. as evidence to back up your claims.

The thing about claims is that clients only believe half of what you tell them, so be sure to quantify everything that needs to be quantified with some proof or performance metric. Legally it should stand up in court.

Typically you can show this as an engaging, dynamic & fascinating animated chart, or flow diagram. Any expert video editor or motion designer can do this for you.

Takehome: Write down anticipated user improvements as numbers, based on real customer analysis & feedback.

3: What are the 3 unique differentiators that set you apart from competitors?

If clients can’t clearly distinguish you from your competitors, then your video won’t stand much chance.

You need to visit your competitor’s websites, see what they’re doing, and how they’re saying it. Watch their software explainer videos. Then figure out point-for-point how to beat them, in as few words as possible. Try to develop an overall pitch that is different.

The best way is to list your package’s main strengths and figure out how to say these strengths in a way that simultaneously sets aside, or precludes, your competitors’ arguments.

I call it Counteracting the Competition.

You also need to ensure your video isn’t in the same visual or art style as your competitors, so due diligence on YouTube, checking out all their videos, will ensure you don’t accidentally make a video that looks like their video.

Little things count here too. So if they all have male voiceovers then use a female voice and vice versa. Likewise, if they use an animated presenter or characters, then use better ones yourself. If their music soundtrack is tedious, then go one better yourself. If they use lots of stock video footage, then differentiate by using nice illustrations instead.

Takehome: Write a point-for-point list on why you’re better and, from this, establish a video identity for your company.

4: What are your 3 biggest market niches that generate the bulk of your income?

Studying your last 12 months sales will highlight which industry sectors or geographical areas you’re winning in.

Highlight the big 3 in your video script.

If you feel it’s important to go into depth with one particular sector or vertical market, then make a video case study, highlighting a successful client story.

Takehome: List your biggest vertical markets or geographic areas based on real sales analysis.

5: What does each niche mostly want from your package?

Most software buyers want mostly the same benefits as each other, but they do like things spoken in the language of their industry (and perhaps in their native language or accent if you want to win new European, Arab or US customers)

For example, the rail and construction industries buy mostly the same things. But they consider themselves vastly different to each other, and hate being lumped together.

For example, banking and financial markets are often seen as the same, but again they’re quite different, ranging from prudent bankers to high risk investors.

Takehome: List out each vertical’s special needs, and weave this meaningfully into your pitch.

6: What is your Remarkable Proposition?

Your Remarkable Proposition is a single sentence that describes what you do and why it’s essential. You need one.

It should be couched in simple language so that any junior exec can easily recall & repeat it to a colleague, or CEO, over lunch, in a meeting, or in the boardroom.

Your remarkable proposition enables people to talk about you simply, succinctly & reliably when you’re not there.

Takehome: Write out your remarkable proposition in a simple, easy-to-recall sentence.

7: What is your biggest sales obstacle / customer objection?

This is more than simple objection handling, although this shouldn’t be omitted either.

It’s important to look over your last 12 month’s deals that you “almost won”.

Figure out why you lost.

Were you “too expensive”, or “they didn’t trust you”, or was it they needed “some function you don’t have”, or “the other guy simply offered more”.

Understanding why you’re losing can be as important as understanding why you’re winning, as you can ensure your video doesn’t keep repeating the same losing message by mistake.

Takehome: List your 3 biggest problems and how to counteract them.

8: What about the CXO?

If your package is expensive, or enterprise scale, then sooner or later there’ll probably be a middle aged person signing the cheque on your behalf, who we call the CXO (CEO, CFO, CIO, COO, etc)

In a large client organisation, this individual will probably be risk-averse. They’ll be asking themselves:

“Will I lose my job, my seniority, or my pension, if this package doesn’t deliver the dream 12 months from now?”

Countering this doubt is often done through Trust. You need a trust message in your video, about your stability, ability to deliver, your seamless onboarding process, experience, awards, backing – or whatever it takes to make the middle aged cheque-signer comfortable with your total app package.

Be warned here: Looking trustworthy to a CXO means injecting quality into your video. Cheap explainer videos don’t generate Trust with hard-bitten, usually very smart CXOs.

Takehome: List your Trust factors.

9: What devices & media will your video be viewed on?

Viewing devices range from huge curved 4k boardroom monitors, to big desktop PCs, to midi sized iPads, to small hard-to-see smartphones.

Media can vary from a 4k presentation video, to a HD website video, to a small mp4 Facebook promo, to any social media outlet (YouTube, Vimeo and more).

Knowing this will affect your pitch.

For example: If you think your B2B audience mainly watches on a desktop PC, you can have a longer more developed pitch, as customers are normally prepared to sit and watch a longer programme if they think it’s worth their while.

But if you’re mainly seen on Facebook or through Twitter links, or on a cell phone, then make your message short & sharp, viewable with captions as well as voiceover speech. If you need a longer video to explain your message, then make 2 shorter video instead of a longer one.

If phone viewing is important to you, then think twice about showing too many software captures, as these will be hard to see on a small screen. Screenshots are often more useful in tutorials.

Obviously you’ll need to strike a balance. If you’re not sure, pick up the phone and speak to some of your customers. They’ll tell you, and avoid you guessing.

Takehome: The smaller the device, the shorter and bolder your pitch needs to be.

Summary

Too many software explainer videos look good but still fail to persuade as well as they could because the pitch wasn’t considered professionally in detail.

Instead of diving straight into your software explainer video with a bunch of visual & storyboard ideas, step back and think about your pitch first and build from there.

Start by working through each of the 9 questions above. It’ll change your perspective for the better, and you’ll sell more because of it.

Whatever else you do, don’t take your B2B software explainer video pitch for granted.

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