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About This Episode
Wouldn’t you like to see a 280% increase in productive opportunity?
Wouldn’t you like to get your message across 60,000 times faster than usual?
Try using images, not words.
I got to have a conversation with Kyle Williams and Ben Salzman from Dogpatch Advisors about the very cutting edge of sales engagement: Visual prospecting.
Sales engagement and outreach are a big part of data-driven sales, and the new showstopper in the field is visual prospecting.
Introducing… Visual Prospecting
Uh, remind me what visual prospecting is, again?
Short version: Basically you’re sending custom visuals.
Kyle explains it like this: “You’re using the same analogies that have happened with the trajectory of sales engagement to dynamically change the images.”
Visual prospecting isn’t just static images, and it isn’t just memes.
You know how in outreach, you can put merge tags like “first name” and other customizations?
It’s like that, but with visuals.
“Everyone you’re reaching out to is getting a different image,” Kyle said. “And we’re changing the image in a programmatic way.”
Dogpatch will put in the prospect’s logo on some slides or send screenshots of their product showing what else it can really do.
What’s So Great About That?
“Visual prospecting leans on the fact that we’re all better at processing visuals than reading texts,” Kyle explained.
Like, 60,000 times faster.
(That’s not a typo.)
Visual prospecting speaks to the direction that we’re going as a society in terms of the way we consume media.
Ben explains the impact of visual prospecting this way: “One of the key principles is zagging when everyone else is zigging.”
Visual prospecting is different, it’s original, it’s easy on the prospect.
Like, you don’t have to ask them to read a 650-word blog post and then contact you. They just see the image, and bam, they understand.
“Being able to condense that information into an image and allow someone to consume it a lot faster–it’s better for everyone,” Ben said.
95% to 99% of the work that’s being done to power outreach is probably in plain text.
Well, visuals should take over at least 30% to 50% of that.
Ben and Kyle did some experiments with images. “In that image experiment, what we saw was a 280% increase in opportunities generated,” Ben said.
(Also not a typo.)
What Images Work and What Don’t?
Kyle and Ben figured out three things right away.
You want your first image to be something personal or familiar to the prospect, like their logo or product.
Not this big, complicated mural that will take a long time to absorb.
Your message should be simple and should form a connection.
A 40-point diagram is bad. An image that takes two to five seconds to grasp is good.
The image should be neither too simplistic nor too engineered.
Too simple looks like a time-strapped designer put it together in 60 seconds.
Too complex looks like an enterprising sales rep spent 45 agonizing minutes on it.
“If it’s overproduced, it actually switches into the marketing standard marketing email category, which gets processed completely different by your prospects,” Kyle said.
Take stock of what’s already working. What would it take for you to put more relevance or personalization into that image?
Think about these top level categories.
- Product-centric images. They’re visceral and appeal to nearly everyone.
- Workflow diagrams. These show how the workflow could improve.
- Side by sides. This is your world today, this is your world tomorrow. Very effective.
- Org-centric or people-centric. What if this person could interact with that person in this streamlined way?
Take inventory of what you have to work with. “There’s a lot of stuff flying around in companies that becomes the template for personalizing it,” Ben said.
Launch and iterate. “It is much better to just test, test, test than to try and come up with the perfect concept on the first go round,” Ben added.
Kyle and Ben will be at the Unleashed Summit series in Seattle and Austin. They’re both going to be keynotes, so you can hear more about visual prospecting from them, from future Sales Engagement episodes, and through Dogpatch Advisors.