Sales reps—especially the mobile ones—increasingly have to produce more results with less time and resources. Practice, role-playing, and reinforcement are critical to building their skill set, but how can that happen when your people are never in the same place, at the same time? Interactive, online video is the answer.
Selling is an art form—performance art, if you like. As with other art forms, the artist needs to have natural talent, and the willingness and discipline to practice, practice, practice. Training helps. Role-playing and reinforcement is great—especially in a team-building context. Friendly competition is also effective.
The trouble is: In today’s hyper-competitive, mobilized sales environment, your team members never have the chance to hone their skills. Ordinary online video fills some of the information gaps, but to be truly effective, the online video approach must be interactive.
Here are 5 ways interactive video can help your sales team become more effective in less time:
1. Re-Think What “Video” Means
In a previous blog, we discussed different ways to create online video. As a sales team leader, you should not be confined to thinking of video as just the professionally-produced (and expensive) variety. Alternatives—including webcam and mobile device recording—can be extremely effective, not only as assignments or examples from you, but also as practice sessions and role-playing by your team members.
Webcams are only the beginning. You should also have a secure system that makes using them easy and intuitive.
2. Break the Timezone Barrier
Live in-person events and webcasts share one major drawback: getting everyone to sacrifice a specific time. Depending on how widely distributed your people are, this could mean sacrificing valuable sales hours, travel schedules, or personal time. The preferred alternative is to make the video experience asynchronous—available on demand.
However, traditional video-on-demand can be a tedious, one-way process. Even though an asynchronous approach is by definition lacking in live interaction, it should still open the door for two-way communication—preferably at any point in the video timeline. Participants must be actively involved, not passive viewers, and you should be aware of how much (or how little) each team member is participating.
3. Practice and Role-Play
The art of selling is performed in different venues: in person, on the phone, via email, or (increasingly) using video chat. Every viable member of your team has learned (hopefully) from their failures in live situations, but that can be costly. Better to practice in a simulated environment, where you or other team members can practice typical sales situations, and coach the less experienced.
Video and audio recordings are a great way to do this at a distance, and at the best possible times for each team member. So long as the practice environment is secure, and the recording tools are easy and intuitive, online video or audio role-play can produce a game-ready team.
4. Reinforce and Give Precise Feedback
As a sales mentor, you want to give the best possible feedback for each role-play exercise. However, traditional “YouTube-style” comments usually don’t work well. They’re not related to specific moments in the video—where they would do the most good.
Viddler’s interactive video player lets the team leader (or other team members) add comments and start discussions at any point in the timeline, keeping everything in context. Viddler also provides numeric scoring—letting you rate things like presentation skill, product knowledge, or overall appearance, for each role-play exercise submitted.
5. Promote Friendly Competition
Salespeople are generally a competitive lot. In a typical sales team, there’s nothing quite like bragging rights to inspire others to excel. An online, interactive video sales training and reinforcement system is a great way to promote some healthy team competition.
The ratings described previously, combined with other metrics, can easily be used to create a leaderboard, for internal team use or even among several sales teams within the same company. The more traditional competitions—like highest sales numbers or close rates—will always be a part of the mix, but there’s something to be said for competing on skills and expertise.
“Lean and mean” is simply a sports or hunting metaphor for efficient and effective. With the right training approach, your team can be both.