Asynchronous video vendor Vidyard announced the appointment of Jonathan Lister as its new COO. Lister joins from LinkedIn, where he served as VP of Global Sales Solutions. Prior to LinkedIn, Lister was the Country Manager for Google Canada and held multiple executive positions at AOL.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Jonathan to the Vidyard team,” said Vidyard CEO Michael Litt. “His unique experience as a global leader at LinkedIn will be a tremendous asset as we build on our mission to empower every go-to-market professional with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful in the new world of digital customer communication.”
While at LinkedIn, Lister increased the division’s customer base to one million users paying $1,000 per year for Sales Navigator.
“So, he drove it to a billion dollars a year in revenue,” said Litt. “And we have the same user — the sales professional using video to communicate with their customers.”
“The next stage is, how do we commercialize and value at scale?” continued Litt. “And that is exactly what Jonathan is here to help us with.”
Video adoption remains strong among sales and marketing organizations. According to Demand Metric’s 2022 State of Video Report, 82% of go-to-market teams report that video is becoming increasingly important when connecting with buyers. Furthermore, 70% of sales reps stated that video converts better than other content formats.
“There are few SalesTech companies that are truly focused on empowering the individual sales professional,” said Lister. “That’s really what drew me to Vidyard. I believe the company is uniquely positioned in that its products can be used by any go-to-market professional in the world to impact every stage of the customer journey. I’m looking forward to building on Vidyard’s strong momentum and reputation as a world-class provider of sales technology and community education.”
Vidyard also provided a summary of its 2022 enhancements
- Video Templates: Video Templates guide sellers on how to use videos across various including getting in front of a new prospect, recording a custom demo, or closing out a deal. Video Templates include sample scripts, example videos, recording tips, and related best practices. There are also community-contributed templates from Shari Levitan, Sales Gravy, Katherine Caldwell, Todd Caponi, and Salesloft.
- Enhanced Editing: Enhanced video trimming and cutting features.
- Video Chapters: Add chapters to mark specific topics and improved navigation.
- Salesloft Insights Integration: Salesloft users can discover which prospects are watching their videos natively within Salesloft. Vidyard video views are surfaced within the Salesloft activity feed to “empower sellers with timely customer insights.”
- Sales Feed Learning Hub: Vidyard launched a new learning hub, accessible within the Vidyard app, powered by its Sales Feed media network. Vidyard users can access sales learning content, including cold calling, prospecting, discovery and qualification, negotiation and proposals, and selling with video.
“Our singular focus with Sales Feed is to help B2B sales professionals learn, laugh, and live a better life in sales,” said Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard and Head of Sales Feed. “The response we’ve received from our community has been nothing short of incredible, and we’re thrilled to put our top-rated content into the hands of every Vidyard user. At the end of the day, if we can help one more sales rep close one more deal – and feel good about how they did it – we feel like we’ve done our jobs.”
Litt argued that field sales reps were already in decline in 2020 and that “the pandemic basically killed field selling,” The pandemic forced firms to sell remotely, benefiting Vidyard, which offered a personalized communications channel that allowed sales reps to stand out in the inbox.
“That story played out again, and again, and again,” said Litt. “That enabled us to accelerate our trajectory through to profitability, invest as much as we could back into [research and development], and totally embrace this video messaging story.”
Vidyard now supports 12 million business professionals at 250,000 companies. At this point, the firm can either operate on a cash flow neutral basis or be more aggressive to foster growth.
Vidyard has not had a funding round since 2019, as the firm did not look for an “insane valuation.” Litt said, “[this] means not doing big financial raises at crazy valuations because we want our employees to have upside. We want all of our stakeholders to be engaged with the same outcome.”
Litt said Vidyard has been “judicious” about its spending. The CEO noted that the company has kept its focus on retaining “really strong delta option value,” adding, “[this] means not doing big financial raises at crazy valuations because we want our employees to have upside [and] we want all of our stakeholders to be engaged with the same outcome.”
Although the firm did not state its current revenue, Litt sees $100 million as Vidyard’s “next meaningful milestone.”
Litt sees a great opportunity in asynchronous video. Vidyard’s R&D efforts center around more compelling video content, including AI assistance to improve content efficacy.
As firms face a challenging market, Litt is eyeing potential acquisitions, “especially in the next couple of quarters as businesses look for a soft landing. We think there’s going to be some opportunities to pick up some interesting tech to better complete our vision, and again, come out of this cycle with a really, really amazing suite of products that benefit our go-to-market teams.”
With firms cutting travel budgets during the recession, demand for Vidyard should remain strong. “Fortunes are built in bear markets and harvested in bull markets, and we’re in a bear market. But we have the balance sheet and financials to invest heavily in product and value for our users,” said Litt.