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How Video Technology Can Improve Sales Skills

It reinforces training and development and allows sellers to learn from one another

Man watching video on a tabletA common source of frustration and embarrassment in the general hurly-burly of business is an unprepared sales rep fumbling their way through a meeting. The potential customer is frustrated by the waste of time and the rep is left red-faced and at sea by the mess he or she is making of things.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” said Benjamin Franklin – among other useful things – and however much training and development senior sales managers give their reps (CEB would suggest the Challenger approach), it’s critical to reinforce what’s been learnt and maximize the time reps get in front of customers.

The Power of Visibility

The common thread that draws together the B2B sales teams that are best at reinforcing these lessons is “visibility.” If sales leaders and managers can see their sellers practice the delivery of new insights, they can provide valuable feedback faster, and prevent low-quality sales calls that burn through valuable leads.

Sellers also benefit from visibility. They often ask to see other sellers in action: “How does that star performer in New York do so well every year? If only I could do a ride along with her, I’d learn so much!” The reality is sellers aren’t often in a position to be able to physically see their colleagues in action, but they shouldn’t have to miss out on the value of learning from what their best performing colleagues do.

Why You Should Use Video

Visibility is great in theory, but can be incredibly difficult to make a reality. A number of sales teams that work with CEB have found that when the right technology is in place, video is a great medium for providing the right level of visibility with highly distributed, global teams.

It makes it easier for managers to continue the training and development efforts, and provides a place for sellers to receive quick feedback from managers – leaving precious live time for more focused coaching sessions and skill development. Take the two scenarios below.

  1. From:

    • Introduce a new insight for sales reps on a webinar (and hope that everyone is concentrating).

    • Ask sellers and managers practice pitching the new insight before introducing it to the first customer (and keep your fingers crossed that this actually occurs).

    • Request sellers introduce the insight to customers by a defined time (and sit by your inbox waiting for feedback).

    • Wonder why the insight you’ve provided has had the effect you expected.

  2. To:

    • Introduce the new insight using video technology where you can track who watched the video and gather any feedback.

    • Set out an area in each office where, at the sellers’ convenience, they can record their best version of their pitch with the new insight using their mobile phone.

    • Create a library of the best examples from reps around the world to help sellers improve their pitch.

    • Share and view feedback from managers to ensure sellers are sharp before going in front of  customers.

    • Collect feedback from the sales team on the new insight to keep improving it.

    • Sleep better at night knowing that the new insight was not only taken on board by all reps, but that they spent time practicing and perfecting it before going to customers.

Video can be a powerful weapon to keep sales teams prepared to speak to customers and not leave anyone annoyed or embarrassed.

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