The time when an organization’s brand could be created, managed, and brought to life by a group of founders or marketers has long passed. Now every interaction a potential customer has with your company – whether it’s digital, social, or in the real world – builds the public perception of a brand.
This is why it is more important than ever to make your salespeople your best brand ambassadors. Even though sales people are the face of an organization, they are often the most geographically distant employees as well. After all, outside sales by nature requires significant travel, which rarely affords an opportunity to spend much time in the office.
And salespeople are often the first to balk at the branding handed to them from marketing. After all, what can this team that spends most of their time in the office know about their customers? What they don’t realize is that, as this Forbes article so eloquently puts it, a consistent brand “communicates the characteristics, values and attributes that can make or break whether a customer chooses you over your competition.”
Speaking to customers with the same story your marketing team is sending them via social, email, and events may be the key to exceeding your quota.
So the best marketers will find creative ways to keep the sales team engaged and connected with the core values of the brand. This is true whether the sales person has been with the company for years or is new to the organization or position. As this Entrepreneur article mentions, “even if salespeople with years of experience join a new team, they need to be brought up to speed on the new company’s processes.”
Fortunately, with a little forethought, video conferencing can be an effective tool in improving the engagement of this important – but far too often neglected – workforce. Here are a few ideas you can embrace immediately where video can help enable and engage sales:
Pitch contests – Salespeople are almost always predispositioned to thrive in a competitive environment. Pitch contests leverage this inherent trait while covertly reinforcing the most on-brand customer messaging.
Each salesperson records themselves giving a pitch of your solution (could be one specific solution (e.g. a newly launched product) or your whole portfolio) and submits at the end of each quarter. By giving the winner some type of spiff or companywide recognition and articulating why it was selected the other sales reps will view the winning pitch.
Not only does this exercise appeal to the sales person’s competitive nature, it’s also an opportunity to improve comfort level utilizing video. Obviously, there are numerous variations you can take with this exercise – each designed to improve engagement. The key to success is to keep it fun – and competitive!
Quarterly training – While the benefits of in-person training is undeniable – participants are far less likely to multi-task and they retain more of the content presented – the cost is often a deal-breaker. Even beyond the T&E, the opportunity cost of taking sellers out of the field ultimately outweighs the benefit.
So many organizations turn to web conferencing where participants only see slides and presenters see nothing but a roster list. But without eye-contact, sellers are likely to divide their attention during web-based training and the benefits are becoming negligible for this delivery model as well.
Fortunately, there’s a third option: training delivered via video conferencing. Sellers are less likely to turn to email or their phones when the presenter is looking right at them. If that eye contact isn’t enough, calling on attendees throughout the meeting provides an incentive for staying engaged. Video conferencing also makes it easy to hand the presentation to someone in sales to give first-hand (and an inherently more trusted perspective) to fellow sellers.
The result is training that sales dreads less, is more likely to retain, and that doesn’t require the time away from customers travelling to a central location.
Product launch pre-briefings – As soon as you have your general availability date set and a prototype/demo unit available, video conferencing allows you to literally show your entire global sales team the features they should be most excited about. If you involve subject matter experts as part of these training sessions – such as key members from within engineering and product development – it provides sales with a meaningful opportunity to ask questions about functionality that may not be addressed within literature.
Additionally, recording these sessions helps the marketing and product management teams build a training database and library for sales to refer to later in the sales process. This is useful when employees need additional training or retraining on a specific product. If you encourage the sales team to ask questions throughout the process, it can help you in creating video FAQs that ultimately strengthen the future utilization of the product video library.
The common theme here is that because salespeople are the most geographically disconnected team within your organization, but also the most relationship-driven, video conferencing has a unique ability to reach them effectively. These examples only scratch the surface when it comes to utilizing video conferencing to make sales your organization’s best brand ambassadors, allowing them to unlock the power of a consistent brand to close more business. With a little creativity, the sky’s the limit!
Do you have an interesting story to share about your use of video to keep sales engaged and well trained?