Case Study

How Video Has Shortened One Company's Sales Cycle by 44%

You can have as many video views as you want, but unless you can quantify that into hard sales dollars, you have no idea...whether the video you're producing actually converts to bottom line revenue.
Skyler MossDirector of Digital Marketing at HCSS

Since 1986, HCSS has been the gold standard in construction software, helping customers improve their businesses through innovative, cutting-edge software and first-class service. Based in Sugar Land, Texas, the company develops technology solutions for utility contractors big and small. From initial bid to completion, HCSS’s integrated software provides streamlined support to better manage operations, oversee daily activities, and keep workers safe. Plus, with its 24-hour customer service, HCSS is available any time to lend a hand.

“Our main goal is to show we build software that’s for construction, by construction,” says Skyler Moss, Director of Digital Marketing at HCSS. “We’ve built it by thinking through their processes—what they need out in the field, on the job site, in their offices. We’re always here because construction runs 24 hours a day.”

When Moss joined the company, he wanted to bring that brand message to the forefront, emphasizing HCSS’s expertise and steadfast support. Steadily, Moss increased video use across the company’s website, garnering positive feedback from viewers. Realizing video’s influence among customers, he re-strategized video’s role in the marketing mix. The revised digital marketing plan targeted every stage of the customer journey, from initial attraction to client retention, all driven by video. With awareness campaigns like “I Build America,” and the conversion-driving website The Learning Center, Moss’s digital team was able to boost HCSS’s engagement across all social platforms and cut its sales cycle time by 44%.

Mapping Video Across the Entire Customer Journey

Before Moss’s arrival, HCSS’s only digital property was its website, which featured whitepapers, case studies, articles, and blogs. But as Moss began adding short videos, he realized just how much more his customers engaged with and responded to the content.

“We had to truly listen to what our audience was telling us about content,” says Moss. “That’s when I knew video was important to me, because it was the most important thing to our prospects.”

To date, 90% of HCSS’s leads have initiated the customer journey through video, solidifying it as the company’s most significant demand-generating tool. With video, HCSS has realized it’s much easier to demonstrate software know-how, educate users, and allow prospects to make well-informed purchasing decisions. In fact, Moss and his digital team have completely re-built the entire customer experience around video-based content to accomplish four main objectives: (1) generate awareness, (2) engage prospects, (3) drive leads, and (4) close sales.

Generating Brand Awareness and Attracting Prospects with I Build America

While Moss was redesigning HCSS’s digital strategy, company CEO Mike Rydin came up with a campaign he believed would meet all core marketing objectives, plus put a human touch to the HCSS name. Even more significant: he offered to fund the project himself as a way to say thanks to the company’s dedicated customers.

“We could see how our software was really there for them and helping them so much,” says Moss. “They rely on it day in and day out, and the support our company provides really means a lot to them.”

Moss took the idea and ran with it. Along with four filmmakers, he traveled to job sites throughout the United States, filming hard-working laborers, foremen, operators, engineers, et al.—the true heroes of the construction world. He then crafted the raw footage into several short videos and posted them to HCSS’s “I Build America” website. In lieu of heavy advertising, Moss drove the campaign via grassroots social media and email sharing. Soon, big associations caught wind and jumped on board, sharing the videos with their professional networks.

“We were just creating more and more videos, making each network the hero, each association the hero, the construction workers themselves the heroes,” says Moss. “It wasn’t about us. It was all about them.”

Moss saw the campaign’s impact through a growing list of email networks, registered subscribers, and professional associations re-sharing the videos. It’s given HCSS a boost in brand recognition across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and it’s prompted incredible audience engagement. Currently, HCSS’s “I Build America” videos garner a 50% share rate among viewers.

The Learning Center Converts More Customers, Decreases Sales Cycle Length By 44%

To help close more sales and provide steadfast customer support for all HCSS clients, Moss launched the company’s game-changing, conversion-driving resource—a video-centric website called “The Learning Center.

Moss pooled 300 of the most frequently asked questions among prospects and existing clients and then crafted short how-to videos per each query, focusing on product demonstrations, troubleshooting, and technical features. Next, Moss built a website for “The Learning Center,” where he housed all video content. Prospects could access the site themselves or receive a video directly from a HCSS sales rep. By integrating the gated video content with Hubspot and Salesforce, “The Learning Center” offered HCSS a sure fire way to connect with serious prospects and initiate sales faster.

“A lot of the time, our sales team spends about 45 minutes to an hour doing demos for a customer,” says Moss. “Now, a salesperson can say, ‘Let’s talk on the phone, but in the meantime, watch a demo about the software.’ And then I know if the customer watches most of the demo, they’ll end up talking with a salesperson or engaging in a live chat. It frees up time and saves us money. For each hour-long demo, it’s worth about $2,000 of our time.”

“The Learning Center” has also helped improve company-customer relations.

“Now, when a salesperson actually has that live conversation with a prospect or returning customer, they’re having a much more detailed talk about pricing, license structure, or implementation,” says Moss.

Before, it took the company just about 160 days to finalize a sale. Now, with the implementation of “The Learning Center,” it takes them just under 90, marking a 44% decrease in average closing time. It’s also helped in driving revenue more quickly and saving HCSS valuable time and money in the process.

Proving ROI With Powerful Integrations

When asked why Brightcove prevailed as HCSS’s video platform of choice, Moss answered simply: integration. More specifically, it was Brightcove’s integration with HubSpot that really sealed the deal, giving Moss invaluable insight into the minds of his leads and potential prospects.

Recognizing that video viewing is a huge indicator of interest, HCSS turned to Brightcove to provide Moss with video analytics that would help dictate successful sales strategies for highly-qualified leads. The integration is simple. First, Brightcove’s platform delivers video data to HubSpot—information on who’s watched, for how long, and what videos performed best. From there, HubSpot’s marketing intelligence takes that data and uses it to identify qualified leads and segments. Then, HubSpot passes that information to Salesforce. At that point, Salesforce notifies an HCSS sales rep to initiate a conversation.

The benefits are plenty. Through this integration, segmentation and lead nurturing are both simplified, garnering accurate data that allows HCSS’ sales team to better understand prospective clients. Using this critical insight, sales reps are able to develop more strategic approaches to the customer relationship. And because the overall goal is to drive sales, HCSS knows that every dollar spent on video initiatives contributes to the company’s bottom line.

“That, to me, was the number one in terms of importance,” says Moss. “Because you can have as many video views as you want, but unless you can quantify that into hard sales dollars, then you have no idea what your actual ROI is, or whether the video you’re producing actually converts to bottom line revenue.”