Guest post by Sean Gordon.
Understanding sales means comprehending the roots of the profession as well as looking ahead to the future of sales strategies. You have to look back to appreciate just how far the profession has come; from the days of cold-calling and door-to-door pitches, sales in the 21st century is radically different from decades past in many ways.
While basic philosophies still stand the test of time, social media tools and video-based platforms have turned sales into a totally new ballgame. And that’s where having a proper sales enablement strategy becomes critical factor to your success.
Sales enablement, defined by Gartner’s glossary as, “the activities, systems, processes, and information that support and promote knowledge-based sales interactions with clients and prospects,” involves creating and implementing a systemic approach to sales.
It’s about adopting efficiency, casting the widest practical net with tested strategies that can be analyzed on a statistical level to measure outcomes beyond just making the sale.
For many modern sales professionals and digital marketers, that efficiency is enhanced by employing a video-based strategy. Video-based systems can now sustain themselves solely through social media outlets, offering a trove of potential clients that can be reached using the phone in your pocket.
Videos provide a gateway into a number-based sales enablement strategy, harnessing the power of video content management platforms or social media sites to aggregate data on potential buyers in a manner that relies more on the scientific method than gut feel.
Counter to this level of efficiency, traditional sales tactics can be tremendous resource wastes that lead to frustration, dead-ends and employee burnout. One Forbes contribution noted that sales reps are still spending upwards of an hour per day on tasks like client research, along with another 1-2 hours addressing product issues and technical concerns that are more appropriate for other team members.
Streamlining is necessary in 2020. With modern capabilities like video-enhanced social media, it’s clear that sales enablement strategies using video as a primary focus offer a promising route to efficiency and maximizing growth.
Here are four video-based sales enablement strategies you can start to implement with your sales team to help increase productivity.
#1: Start At The Beginning
One of the first steps you can take to enhance your sales enablement strategy is to implement your new philosophy from the ground floor, during the onboarding process.
A first priority should be shifting your onboarding focus to represent your video-based sales values. Rather than wasting time going through antiquated training processes, only to ask sales reps to unlearn them later on, put together a program that targets your future sales team members and builds strong habits from the start.
This project will be two-fold. First, this means training new employees on video strategies, from how to engage with clients using video to actually creating and editing videos. It also means hiring sales team members who have a background in this type of sales enablement strategy, requiring a pivot from hiring managers as well.
The type of work and training in video elements won’t necessarily be all that different from what current employees face, and there can be some opportunities for team-building by “killing two birds with one stone,” hosting integrated training groups with new and existing employees.
The second component of this involves using video as a training medium. Use video as the primary delivery system for onboarding by building a library of how-to’s and quick snippets of digestible content that employees can access as they learn.
Rather than cramming in a week of learning, hoping an employee retains it all and immediately becomes a star, use video libraries to allow employees to learn as they go, as well as revisit content for second and third passes to understand more fully.
Some platforms allow users to interact with one another during videos, posing questions at time stamps and allowing for a running commentary of focal points for further understanding. These systems cut down on time wasted, and also allow for teams that work remotely or at different offices to benefit from a standardized, uniform approach to the overall organizational strategy.
#2: Fight Off Feelings of Stagnation
Building on those concepts, video allows for continued training as new strategies or approaches become available. Your best employees want to grow in their positions; give them this opportunity by using video as a means to offer positive job coaching or continued training in other elements of the organization that allow for employees to take on new tasks.
It’s not impractical for managers who are feeling inspired to quickly record a 5-10 minute video on the subject of their expertise, edit it, and assign it to employees to view during a lull in the action (referred to as “on-demand learning”).
This kind of microlearning strategy is tremendously valuable, as studies have shown the effectiveness of learning just one or two new concepts in short bursts, rather than devising massive training seminars that require half a day or more to complete (as well as the entire team’s presence).
#3: Elevate Prospecting Performance to a Whole New Level
Now that you have your sales infrastructure incorporating video-based strategies into training, you can turn to the nuts and bolts of your sales team’s routine.
How you prospect and coordinate outreach to new clients can be the most challenging element of your team’s tasks. Video can alleviate some of the difficulties of cold-calling and make lives a bit easier, with the goal of casting a wider net to more clients, eliminating the “cold” part that can be so frustrating, and delivering more targeted information that clients actually want to hear.
Video-based solutions, once again, can utilize social media platforms for points of delivery. What this means is that you can essentially create a profile of the type of audience you want to reach, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram will help you deliver your content to that audience.
Through user-aggregated data, you can target your videos in a way that truly captures a relatable clientele that will value your product or service message.
Not only that, but onboard analytics will allow you to measure a number of data points in real time: assessing how long viewers watched for, from what locations they watched product videos, when during the video they participated in a call-to-action or exited out, and other key parameters that will help inform your team on future sales strategies.
For B2B vendors, video outreach offers similar personalization to calls or emails, and certainly much more that brochures or other methods used to reach faraway clients. An effective video strategy is to use a primer video for a new product or service that your team creates, then edit in a 30-60 second introduction at the front-end of the video, explaining who you are and why you thought they may be interested in this content.
This sort of outreach offers a significantly higher degree of personalization and attention to detail that clients will have a higher likelihood of respecting. Not only that, it will get increased eyes on your prospecting; reports show that click-thru rates on email with video are three times higher than a generic email.
You can apply the same tactic to follow-up videos after initial orders have been placed. Giving customers a face to attach to the brand they’re working with is pivotal in fostering a long term relationship between your businesses.
Sending a quick minute-long video with a follow-up email, informing new customers of potential support opportunities and additional sales opportunities can help boost numbers and make new buyers feel welcomed.
#4: Create Customer Calls That Provide Results
Another way to add value to your sales enablement process is by using video to close the distance gap between you and your customers. Particularly when you’re working beyond a regional setting or hoping to expand, having the ability to reach customers in a face-to-face format from afar is essential.
You can take this approach in a few ways. One common video-based solution is conference calling. While you may have images of Skype in mind, video-based conferencing has become even more dynamic in recent years.
Many platforms allow for screen-sharing during video calls, creating instant support opportunities for your tech team, or product displays in video-within-video embedding for the sales team (obviously, both can be positive influences on sales and client relationships).
Not only does this work great for product demonstrations, but also reassures clients about the level of assistance and tech awareness they can expect in partnering with your brand.
Look around on the bus or at the restaurant and you’ll see individuals immersed in and engaging with video in increasingly dynamic ways. Your business should be on the cutting edge of this type of transformative tech, implementing it into your sales enablement strategy and strengthening your sales team with renewed B2B opportunities.
Sean Gordon has an extensive track record recruiting, hiring, training, and unlocking the talent of people. For 20 years, Sean has been on the front lines of business across North America. He started with AT&T, where he built award-winning teams in sales and operations from coast to coast. He delivered equally stellar results for EMC, Aetna and West Corporation before becoming CEO of a technology company in need of innovation.
Sean founded vidREACH.io to engage candidates, prospects, customers and employees – all on one platform. Sean has created new lines of business, reinvigorated stagnant company cultures, and mentored hundreds of employees who have gone on to do great things. Connect with Sean Gordon on LinkedIn.