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Insights

Turning the Tables—and the Camera—on Your Sales Team

BF
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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Are you looking for new and better ways to train your salespeople in 2018? Think video! If you Google “ways to use videos in sales training,” you’ll get hundreds (if not thousands) of suggestions, but most focus on showing videos to salespeople. Consider the value of turning the tables and assigning a video project instead.

Simple software tools and high-quality cameras have made it easy to incorporate video into sales training to make it more interactive and engaging. However, watching a video is still a passive activity. To truly engage sales reps and get them practicing what they are learning, video offers an excellent platform to take your training to the next level.

Many in-person sales training programs involve role playing as a way to practice and reinforce key concepts. However, in-person training is not always practical or feasible. With today’s technology and tools, you don’t need to lose the critical element of role play and practice in your training programs. Have your sales reps grab their phones, tablets, or PCs, and give them an assignment and practice away.

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There is a hidden benefit using technology to practice, too. In a typical in-person class the instructor will generally say, “Grab a partner and spend the next five minutes practicing and give each other feedback.” With a video coaching assignment, reps are actually more likely to practice even more. Think about. If your manager assigns you a scenario to send back for review and feedback, will you record it once and hit send? Probably not. You’re going to re-record over and over until you get it just right.

Here are some tips for video assignments so reps can practice real world sales scenarios:

  • Set a time limit. Make this appropriate for the presentation. Is it a complicated concept? Encourage simple and brief. Two minutes is a good goal.
  • Share the judging criteria. This is about making the salesperson great, not creating a gotcha moment. Did they convey the value? Were they consistent with the message?
  • Have the video end with the salesperson asking a question. Be careful that the video doesn’t encourage simply talking at a prospect but engaging in a conversation—prompting the salesperson to ask questions of the prospect.
  • Share the best videos with team members. Encourage friendly competition and recognize those who did a great job. Post the exceptional videos as training content for others.
  • Use technology or a platform that can archive and score the videos. Allow managers to see patterns over time and recognize improvement. Some sales enablement platforms have a grading or scoring capability for video within the rest of training modules.
  • Make this a regularly scheduled assignment. Like all good training, consistent reinforcement throughout the year adds to the success. Perhaps schedule this quarterly or plan assignments around product rollouts and updates.
  • Set a reasonable due date. Allow enough time for the video creator to do several takes. Practice is encouraged! It’s about the practice, not just the video you submit.

Technology is always changing the way we work, learn, and communicate. While the basic act of assigning a video pitch simulates in-person role playing, there also are ways to incorporate a grading or scoring element. This provides consistent feedback to the team. Sales leaders may also see value in archiving the videos to track patterns over time, spot challenges, and suggest new approaches.

The ways you can use videos in training and coaching are unlimited, yet the goal is always the same: improving how sales people communicate with their prospects and customers during the buyer’s journey.

BF
About the Author
Brian Fravel is vice president of marketing for Veelo, an award-winning, cloud-based marketing and sales enablement provider. Brian is a frequent contributor on topics related to learning, sales and marketing, and sales enablement solutions.
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