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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This special Women in Sales episode, hosted by Gina Stracuzzi, featured an interview with Yaalit Pereira from Vidyard. Both women were listed by DemandBase and Women in Sales Club as two of the top 100 most powerful women in sales.]
Find Yaalit on LinkedIn.
YAALIT’S TIP: “People have realized now that video is a tool that can be used all the time to save time, to do things asynchronously, to give that personal touch that you just can’t get with email.”
THE PODCAST BEGINS HERE
Gina Stracuzzi: Welcome, Yaalit. Before we get started, I always like to ask my guests to introduce themselves to the listening audience and tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yaalit Pereira: I’m Yaalit. I am 26 years old. I’m an account executive at Vidyard, which most people are probably familiar with. I’m also the founder of SDRs of Israel, which is Israel’s number one sales community. I’m a mom of two children. I don’t know if I said that but have a lot going on I think at this time.
Gina Stracuzzi: Basically, at least a job and a half, if not two, and two kids is 150 times more work.
Yaalit Pereira: Right? It is.
Gina Stracuzzi: That is a lot. Well, that’s why you do it when you’re young, because as you get older, you run out of energy. Before we get into our conversation, tell us a little bit about SDR Israel.
Yaalit Pereira: SDRs of Israel is a community. When I created it, I didn’t think it would actually be a community like that, but I just felt there were a lot of gaps here in Israel in terms of community and having other people to lean on. It’s very well-known that Israel is a tech hub. There’s a lot going on here, lots of people working in tech. But I always felt like I was leaning on communities in North America, or the UK, or just other geographies to support me through my role previously as an SDR and as a salesperson. It was quite frustrating because you have the big time difference, which is number one, and number two, just the people that you’re working with, the culture is very different as well. I really felt there was a need for it.
When I got into Vidyard, I finally had that confidence to just say, “Okay. Let me try this. What can happen?” Either people join me, and it becomes something great, or people are just like, “Okay, you’re the only one.” In that case then, at least I can say I tried for myself. That’s how we came into SDRs of Israel. But today it’s really just a community that we host on Slack. We do webinars, we do in-person events, networking, and just try to be there for each other, have a place where people can grow and learn with people that live in their area and also understand the things that they’re going through.
Gina Stracuzzi: Let me ask you, are there a lot of women in tech sales in Israel?
Yaalit Pereira: Definitely. Yeah, definitely.
Gina Stracuzzi: Do they have opportunities for growth into leadership there, or is it like here where there’s a lot of roadblocks?
Yaalit Pereira: I think that they do. I think that there are roadblocks here too. I think that one of the big things that I struggled with here, and I think it could be other people’s experience too, is that managers become managers here most times simply by being good at their job previous to that. If say for example, you’re a good SDR. Great. Now let’s make you an SDR manager. Which doesn’t always work out. I feel like in many ways there’s that big gap there. But I would definitely say I know quite a few amazing women here that are in leadership roles. I don’t know how hard it was for them to get to that, so I can’t speak on that, but it definitely happens. It definitely happens.
Gina Stracuzzi: Well, it’s interesting. I just was curious as you were talking what the makeup is of sales, especially in tech sales, if there is a good showing of women in those roles or not. Let’s talk a little bit about Vidyard and how you got with them. Tell us about what Vidyard does for people who might not know and what you do for them, what you sell, what services, and then who your clients are and how this has changed your life from other sales.
Yaalit Pereira: Vidyard is a platform used for anything video pretty much. That can be sales side, lead generation and prospecting throughout the sales cycle. It can also be used for marketing, so to track what’s happening with your marketing videos, be able to really go ahead and prove the ROI on them. Basically, my role within Vidyard, I started off as an SDR. From there I moved up to an AE position on the EMEA team. Now I’m basically selling to quite small businesses in EMEA and selling our business package, which is basically, if you know anything about Vidyard, then we have our free tool, we have our pro tool, which wouldn’t be so relevant to what I’m doing right now. Then we also have our business packages for teams that are really ready to take the next step with video, really incorporate it into their process and do it as a team. That’s what I do for Vidyard right now.
Gina Stracuzzi: So you’re B2B, bigger sales?
Yaalit Pereira: Yes. I would definitely be B2B right now. Yeah, it’s exciting. You see, it’s interesting because Vidyard and video in general took a huge jump when COVID happened. We saw that with Zoom and with other tools. We didn’t really have a choice, right? But people have really realized now that it’s a tool that can be used all the time to save time, to do things asynchronously, to give that personal touch that you just can’t get with email. Just like we all know too, text based, emails, those rose by 200% during the shift to remote work. Maybe we don’t know it was 200%, but it was, and reply rates really dropped. People are looking for different ways to stand out from the crowd and Vidyard is a great way to do that.
Gina Stracuzzi: In our previous communications, you mentioned that working at Vidyard has changed your life. As a working mom, I’m sure there will be a lot of listeners that can appreciate this conversation. Talk to us a little bit about what you mean by that and then talk to us about what it means to be a young mom in sales.
Yaalit Pereira: Joining Vidyard really changed my life because before Vidyard, I was just in Israeli companies, feeling very alone in my role. There wasn’t much teamwork going on there. When I was reached out to by Yaniv, who’s my manager now, who I knew previously from another company I worked with that had some connections to Vidyard, it was a no-brainer for me. First of all, I was always very impressed by Vidyard. I saw it as this big, nice company that people actually like and need. But joining the team was wow. I don’t know if it’s maybe because it’s a Canadian team and they’re just very friendly, and nice, and organized. But that was really what I needed.
I think there’s a lot of people that can thrive in a startup background, even from the beginning. But for me, specifically as a young mom, that I had so much going on at home too, and so many other pressures, I just wanted to come every day and do my job. I just wanted someone to tell me like, “Okay, this is your job. Just do that and keep it simple.” That’s exactly what I got from Vidyard. A lot of structure, a lot of resources. I didn’t have to go ahead and go crazy trying to figure out very basic things, or I’m getting help, and I just thrived with it. As soon as I had that, it was automatically I wanted to do 10 times more and I took it to the next level and I got better with LinkedIn and I got better at home, and I just turned into this different person simply by having good resources and structure that gave me a chance to build that confidence and say, “Okay, I can do this. If it’s done properly, I actually can do this.” But I guess as a 24-year-old with two kids already and a lot going on, I was just never given that opportunity to see that in myself. Because I was always in very tough positions at work and not having the resources I needed, and I took that personally. I felt like that was my issue.
Gina Stracuzzi: I think that happens to a lot of people and a lot of women in particular that we take it out on our own shoulders when things aren’t working out very well. With anything, there’s sides to every equation, and with the right support and the right learning within an organization, you can do amazing things. But if it’s not there, everything gets stagnant. Then of course we start to internalize it and what am I doing wrong, kind of thing. I love that insight that you have that it wasn’t really you necessarily, it’s just not the right fit for you. This sounds like it is, which is wonderful. Let’s talk a little bit about how B2B clients are using video and what you’re seeing as trends. We work with a lot of public sector companies through IES. Do you do any work with government clients there and do they use video at all? If not though, how are corporate clients using video?
Yaalit Pereira: I know through Vidyard that we do work with governments. It’s not me directly, so I can’t really speak on that, but I do know that it happens. I’ve been approached by big companies here in Israel too that are also considered government companies. It’s definitely there. Just like any corporate client, I think that they have similar needs. Getting that attention, making sure that the word is out, making sure that the things that they’re investing in are actually paying off when it comes to marketing material and video material. But for me, I see more of the B2B side, and what I see a lot of them, where I feel video is most powerful, is first of all, humanizing that process.
There’s so much back and forth in sales. It’s a sales process. It does take time. A lot of times, just like I go through it, I’m sure that almost every other company goes through it. You’re not always speaking to the relevant person. You have your champion, you’re going to talk to them. Now you’re asking them to go ahead and talk to someone else. There’s an idea here that, “Okay, I said this and this on Zoom, and now he’s going to say that and that”. He’s never going to have, and he shouldn’t have maybe, the same exact passion as I would have speaking about Vidyard. Being able to make a video, for example, and send that off and make your champion’s life easier and say, “Okay, now you share this with the rest of the people on your team” and you can say it exactly how you want to. I think that’s extremely powerful and it’s just something that text can’t really do unless maybe you’re a phenomenal writer and you just know how to make people feel things without writing a whole storybook. For me, that’s not the case. I talk much better than I write, I think. That’s one way, getting people’s attention on that first touch. There’s so much noise, so many blank boring text-based emails. So having that video there will help us to stand out a bit.
Then another big thing where it becomes a no brainer for me is on the marketing side. You see so many companies that are making these amazing marketing videos, putting them, for example, on YouTube. Which is great, we all love YouTube, but how do you know what’s actually happening with these videos? How do you know what the ROI is on these videos? Is there an ROI? If we can’t actually associate these things, how can we say, “Okay, we know that this video made us X amount of money,” or was it even worth the $10,000 it costs to make it? Those are just a few of the places that Vidyard can come in, but every day I’m surprised, and I hear another use case, whether it’s customer success or doing more asynchronous people, wasting less time on demos and first sending a video, seeing if that person is really happy with what they have to offer, and then getting on a call. There’s really so many different ways to use it. I don’t know if it’s because I love Vidyard so much and I love video, but for me, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t have Vidyard.
Gina Stracuzzi: I’ve heard a lot of really good things about it. I’ve played with it a little bit myself. Are there some basic things that people shouldn’t do with video? Mistakes that you see people make.
Yaalit Pereira: Yeah, definitely. I think that a lot of people have this idea that they’re like, “Oh lord, how do I make this?” It has to be perfect. It has to be completely scripted. I think that’s actually one of the biggest mistakes that I was also guilty of in the beginning, is that people just want to see you being natural and acting like a normal person. If you’re so scripty and fake, that comes off way worse in video than it would over email, for example, where you can’t really maybe pick up on those kinds of things. I would say that from the stories that I’ve heard and the success stories that I’ve had, it’s usually when you do something weird or when something goes wrong in the video, that’s when people are like, “Okay, this is just a person. This is just a person trying to reach out to me.”
My first video that was really actually successful, it was to a big Swiss banking company, and when I got on this guy’s LinkedIn, I was like, “Yeah, he’s never going to answer me, but this is my job. Let me just make the video.” I made the video, halfway through, I clicked on something else, and the video disappeared, but I never re-watched my video. I just sent that off and it ended up getting 180 views. The guy was like, “Listen, this was amazing. I shared it to my whole sales team, and do you want a job?” It just goes to show, and I didn’t actually even realize this until months later when I was doing the training for another company, and I was showing this video because it brought me success. Then I realized, “Oh my god, I messed up 20 seconds in. You didn’t even see me anymore,” and it still did so well. My biggest thing is when people start taking it too seriously or overthink it, that’s when it becomes a burden, and it doesn’t work as well.
Gina Stracuzzi: And I have to say, when I have to record a video, something happens. I can talk to anyone anywhere face to face. When I start looking at a camera, I get very stiff. I look at it later and I think, “Who is that person?” Because I’m just super friendly and way out there. Then there’s this person who’s just standing stiff.
Yaalit Pereira: Yeah, I know. It happens.
Gina Stracuzzi: I’m not sure what it’s about, but I can-
Yaalit Pereira: I think it’s just breaking you in. It’s just like cold calling. So many people say, “Okay, you’re going to call the first few times. You’re going to be mortified.” But eventually you just realize, “Okay, this is just another person on the line. What are they going to do? Jump out the phone and attack me? What’s going to happen?” You realize that all these ideas aren’t actually possible. Also, another thing with video is you can always delete it. If it doesn’t go well, you can just delete it. I think it’s just practice that gets you into that loop of saying, “Okay, this isn’t that serious.”
Gina Stracuzzi: In the beginning you mentioned that teams are beginning to use video. Talk to us a little bit about how a team approach to video works.
Yaalit Pereira: Usually where we would see this most is marketing teams, sales teams, customer success teams. But say, for example, for a manager, if you’re going to get everyone to start a new process and ask them to make videos, you really need to be able to track what’s going on with those videos. That’s also a good way to motivate other people on the team to do video and to use video, is by seeing other people’s successes.
When you start looking at a business package with Vidyard, essentially what we’re offering you, along with a ton of other features and nice things, is being able to see team data and individual data, so having a view on everything. As an admin or manager on the team, you can actually start seeing how your team is performing as a whole when it comes to video, what lengths are working best, which talk tracks work best. Really starting to understand how to build this into a proper process.
Then the same thing goes back to the end user. The reps on your team, if they’re seeing that people are actually booking demos from sending out videos, that’s motivational. The idea is, in my opinion, any channel or approach that you use should be done as a team, because then you can actually start tracking how well this works. Especially if something’s working well for someone, they can go ahead and teach this back to the rest of the team. That’s how a team would use it. Again, it’s still on each individual user when it comes to sales to actually do their part.
Gina Stracuzzi: I can see how involving the team as well gets them more comfortable with video. But for the person who’s a little trepidatious, I can see how looking at someone else’s videos and watching them, and especially if they have a lack of fear over looking stupid, that can be really motivating, and it can really help people get over their shyness on things. Let me ask you, what are some of the objections you get from clients or would-be clients over the use of video?
Yaalit Pereira: Yeah, it’s a funny one. I think a lot of times, it comes down to adoption. Like, “I don’t know if people on my team are actually going to use this.” My response to that is always, “Well, do they have that option with other tools?” If you had an SDR and they said, “Hey, Mr. Manager, I actually don’t like to email. I don’t like to cold call. I don’t like to use video.” Is that just okay? Are they still a rep on your team? The idea is, with adoption especially, that comes from top down. If managers aren’t pushing that, then people aren’t really going to do it. We want to do as little as we have to do. But if we know that something’s going to work, then our manager should be pushing for it. I definitely say that’s one of them.
I’d say that there’s always that question too, “Well, how am I going to know for sure that this is going to work? What guarantee do I have?” Which I always find that’s such a silly question because it’s like, which SaaS product have you bought that has a guarantee? You can buy Gong, which is an amazing tool, but if your reps are never going to go into it and never going to allow it to record their calls, then it doesn’t work. It really is on us to go ahead and make that effort, and that’s with every single tool. The objections that I really get, if I’ve gotten to that point that I already have someone on the call, it’ll either come down to those things or it’s budget, which I always say too doesn’t always really exist. It’s either you don’t really see the ROI in it, we haven’t proven it, I haven’t done my job properly, and making you feel that this is really a fit for you and this can help your team. I don’t feel like I come up to too many objections that are legit ones, fortunately, I guess.
Gina Stracuzzi: Do you have a client success story where they have used video and reported back to you that it has gotten them some big sale or some big partnership?
Yaalit Pereira: As a company, we have a whole bunch of those. Me particularly, I’m relatively new in my role, so I haven’t gotten to that point of hearing a big one like that. But one thing that recently happened is a prospect ended up becoming a customer and they had this whole thing about time saving. They sell a very complex product, and it was like, “Okay, we’re getting on all these demos, but these people can’t afford our product at all or aren’t relevant at all. We’re wasting all this time.” He actually did this whole business case where he showed how much money the people that are taking on these demos are actually being paid per hour, what it’s costing them to have them on these demos, and what we could fix if we just had a tool that can allow us to do this asynchronously, but still get the analytics on how the person engaged with the video. That was a no brainer.
It was actually really cool too because he actually proved this whole business case to his CEO over Slack. He actually just sent bullet points, why Vidyard, why video, how much money this is going to save us, what we need to put in, what the onboarding process looks like. The response he got back was just approved. It was a really cool one for me especially because it was like, “Wow”. Sometimes we think there’s such huge processes going on behind the scenes, but it could be as simple as a Slack message, if it really makes sense for a business. The numbers seem to really make sense, so it’s a good story.
Gina Stracuzzi: We’ve come to that point in the discussion where we like to ask our guest for an action item or piece of advice that you can give the listeners that they can put in place today. Something they can do to take their career to the next level or perhaps a sale that is in process right now, one thing they can do to really make a difference today.
Yaalit Pereira: Mine would definitely be, and it always comes back to this, it doesn’t matter what you do, I would say just be more active on LinkedIn. Be part of LinkedIn because there’s so many opportunities just waiting for you there. The amount of things that you can just get without even asking for them, with just having that presence and just being a person on LinkedIn. That’s always going to be my piece of advice. It changed so many things for me and my career, gave me a lot more confidence. It allowed me to meet so many more people that are willing to help me. In terms of an actual actionable piece of advice, I would still go back to that because, again, you’ll find so many people that are willing to give you their time if you just ask for it. LinkedIn is never ending. You can connect with everyone. I would say if you haven’t done that yet, get on it. Just post something today, start connecting with people, start talking to people.
Gina Stracuzzi: How do you use video on LinkedIn? Or do you use video?
Yaalit Pereira: We definitely use a multi-channel approach. We’re lucky to have to be the only video provider with the little extension on LinkedIn. It is part of my process, if I haven’t gotten someone on email yet, then I’m going to be sending you a video on LinkedIn as well. That’s how I use it there. I love the idea of uploading more videos onto LinkedIn too, just tips and little updates, and instead of typing something out, having a video. Unfortunately, I don’t do it enough. I come up with my own excuses too when it comes to that. But I do recommend it and I guess this will hold me a bit more accountable to getting on that.
Transcribed by Mariana Badillo