In their recent survey of Chief Sales Officers, Accenture, in collaboration with CSO Insights, highlighted the need for sales executives to adopt an ‘agile selling approach’. This idea of sales agility encompasses a range of attributes that need to be implemented across the sales operation, from using customer insight to tailor the buying process to taking full advantage of digital technologies to engage more effectively with prospects.
Moving from a ‘static’ sales approach to a dynamic buying process clearly has a number of different facets, but video can play a key role in driving this agility and engagement with prospects. There are three areas where video can be particularly effective for dynamic sales enablement.
1. Getting new sales staff selling quicker
In the CSO Insights survey cited by Accenture, Chief Sales Officers stated nearly half of their sales representatives took 10 months or longer to reach proficiency in their job. Clearly the onboarding and training process for sales staff plays a key role in helping them gear-up more quickly.
An increasing number of companies are finding that using video recordings during the induction process for new employees is a much more effective way to embed knowledge than traditional approaches that rely on face-to-face sessions supplemented by documentation.
With video, sales staff can refer back to key points in the recording again and again, improving their retention of important information. Video recordings can also be used to deliver ongoing training and development material that can be reviewed whenever, wherever – critical if sales reps are on the move and therefore unavailable for in-person training.
2. Supporting sales staff in the field
Many companies have a complex suite of products and services being sold in a range of markets. This means that sales executives can’t necessarily be expert in all elements of their company’s offering.
That was the dilemma faced by City and Guilds in the UK, which has over 500 vocational qualifications on offer. To support staff who are out speaking to prospects and customers, they have started recording subject matter experts talking about particular aspects of their offering.
The benefits are twofold. First, the video can be used for knowledge transfer, so that a member of staff who might be new to a certain part of the course portfolio can get up to speed. Second, the video can be used directly with the prospect or customer, so that they can hear from the subject matter expert themselves. This promotes a culture of social learning, which can help sales representatives learn new material on the hoof – critical to the idea of the agile sales process.
3. Connecting effectively with ‘digital savvies’
The report points out that today’s potential customers are more connected and more informed than ever before, suggesting that by the time many buyers meet with a salesperson, they are often more than 50 percent of the way through the buying process. Described as ‘digital savvies’, they demand a much more customized buying experience.
Here too, video can play its part in creating an engaging narrative that drives the sale forward. For instance, many companies are discovering that sending a video follow-up to a sales meeting can generate a much more positive response from a prospect. The video allows the sales rep to personalize their message, cover key action points that arose from the meeting and outline next steps, all in a format that feels more dynamic. An example of just this kind of sales nurturing approach can be found here.
In an age when customers have ever-expanding expectations and companies have to react increasingly swiftly to new trends and developments, it’s evident that video can address many of the challenges companies face in their attempts to develop agile, dynamic and compelling sales strategies.
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