How Much Has Video Impacted the Way We Sell?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jun 22, 2020 @ 23:06 PM

video-call

Back in the old days, when you wanted to copy something, you would have said, "I'm going to Xerox this."  And for years when you needed a tissue you would have asked for a Kleenex.  And when you wanted to clean your ears you would have asked for a Q-Tip.  All three of these are examples where the brand and the product were one in the same.  We're getting to that same point with Zoom video, where more than half of all salespeople are now using Zoom!

Video is becoming such an important part of selling, especially during the shutdowns and quarantines, that Objective Management Group (OMG) is creating a new selling competency called Video Proficient.  As part of the development process to identify the attributes for this competency, we test various questions in advance and examine the distribution of answers to make sure that they are within the norms we need to have.  We also ask more questions than we will actually use.  In the past week, nearly 2,000 salespeople answered 10 potential questions and I thought it would be useful to share some of the data we have already collected.

In March, most salespeople were very uncomfortable conducting their business over video. Look at this article I wrote about video as recently as November!  Yet today, just three months later, 49% of salespeople prefer video to a phone call and another 28% don't have a preference.  That's quite a change!

So how do salespeople feel about video?

Video-feelings-1As you can see, 91% of salespeople now have positive feelings about using video for selling!

Are they Zooming? 

Video-platformsActually,  they are, with 56% of salespeople using Zoom.  I was surprised to see 38% still using Skype and 26% still using Facetime.  I predict that before the summer is over, most salespeople will have moved from those two platforms.

How serious are salespeople about their video and what kinds of accessories have they added to make their video more professional?  Nearly 40% are using virtual backgrounds and almost 20% have added external microphones, HD cameras, green screens and/or studio lighting.

How proficient are salespeople becoming with video?  They're doing better than I expected.  More than half consider themselves to be intermediate users, while almost 30% believe they have mastered their video platforms!

Video is here to stay and not just because so many of us will continue to work remotely.  It's here to stay because it's a far more effective tool than the phone and almost as good as being there!   

Image copyright 123RF          

Topics: Dave Kurlan, salespeople, zoom, remote selling, video conferencing

Why the Future of Selling Won't Resemble the Past

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 17, 2020 @ 12:04 PM

past or present

It's April 17 and nearly every salesperson is selling from home.  It's just temporary, right?

Maybe.  But what if it's not? According to the President, Vice-President, Scientists and some Governors, the economy will begin reopening in stages, perhaps as soon as May 1.  So it's back to the office and your territories, right?  Wrong.  You'll still be home.  Welcome to the future of selling where I'll share my top five reasons why.

Reason #1 - School: Your kids are still home from school, they probably won't be back this spring, they probably won't be going to summer camp, and may not even be at school in September.  And if they're home, then your salespeople are home too.

Reason #2 - Efficiency: Once your salespeople have begun to sell not only remotely, but virtually via video conferencing, you'll quickly realize that they can meet with 6-8 prospects and/or accounts per day, compared with 2-3 when they're traveling in a territory.  Think about how much more business they can generate and how many more touches your customers will get from your salespeople?

Reason #3 - Cost: Depending upon your business model, the cost of cars, gas and maintenance, parking, airfare and hotel, meals and entertainment can be drastically reduced or even eliminated when your salespeople are selling virtually. 

Reason #4 - Coverage: Many companies don't have enough coverage to blanket the entire region, country, or continent.  Their customers are spread out so they deploy salespeople where most of their customers are.  With virtual selling, your salespeople can reach every customer that's out there.

Reason #5 - CRM Compliance:  Your salespeople have great excuses for not keeping their CRM up-to-date.  They were "traveling", "on the road", "away from their computers", "unable to get to it", or they forgot.  But when they are selling via the very same piece of hardware that their CRM is in, there are no longer any excuses for lack of compliance.  It will finally be time for them to live in CRM and you'll finally have the visibility into real-time data that you wanted when you invested in your CRM platform.

Although those five reasons as to why selling from home will become the new normal, you should be forewarned.  Selling from home is not without its challenges.  Three primary challenges will make selling from home difficult:

Challenge #1 - Only 41% of all salespeople are well-suited for working from home.  This speaks to whether they are self-starters, can work independently from a team, and can work without supervision.

Challenge #2 - Sales Managers will need to coach more, not less, increasing the time they spend on coaching to as much as 75%.  Unfortunately, most don't spend even 25% of their time coaching.  Sales Managers will need to huddle with their team twice per day despite the fact that most haven't even begun leading daily huddles yet.  Only 7% of all sales managers have the coaching skills required to coach up a remote team.

Challenge #3 - The new world of selling will appear very much like it appears today, only everyone will get better at it.  They must!  Selling has been pretty easy the past three years and despite that, fewer than half of all salespeople were meeting or exceeding quota.  It won't become easy again for a quite a while.  Companies will either be on spending freezes, have money but not want to spend it on what you're selling, or if they are buying, will demand that you sell it for less than ever before.  All this at a time when it's more important than ever that you maintain your margins.  This will require your salespeople to master three competencies that most salespeople aren't very good at:

Competency #1 - Consultative Selling - only 15% of all salespeople effectively differentiate by listening and asking great questions

Competency #2 - Value Selling - only 41% of all salespeople have the ability to be the value

Competency #3 - Qualifying - only 31% of all salespeople can thoroughly qualify an opportunity

Good luck!

Image Copyright 123 RF

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Consultative Selling, qualifying, value selling,, selling remotely, selling from home, selling virtually, video conferencing

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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