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Why Sales Teams are Flocking to Videoconferencing

on October 27, 2015

Your sales teams don’t want to be ‘road warriors’ any longer. And that’s where videoconferencing become an important tool. Here’s why.

In the world of sales, face-to-face interactions have the greatest impact if you’re looking to make long-lasting connections and build trust with prospects. It is the reason sales teams have primarily been “road warriors,” travelling via car and plane over vast geographic territories to have that meaningful, one on one meeting.

The cost to maintain these road warrior sales teams is not small; airfare, hotel stays, mileage, per-diems, and other miscellaneous out of pocket travel expenses add up and impact the bottom line. Nothing can replace the in person meeting, but for many companies the cost of a travelling sales force is neither economically feasible nor sensible.

And this is where technology is having a major impact. Holding virtual meetings using videoconferencing technology cuts down on the need for frequent trips, saving businesses time and money in the process. The benefits carry over to the sales reps as well. Spending less time travelling not only eliminates wasted down time, but, as anyone who travels frequently can attest to, they are less exhausted and more productive due this reduction in what were once grueling travel schedules.

Today, according to a Redshift Research survey of 1,205 business decision-makers in 12 countries, 76 percent of business decision-makers use videoconferencing at work, and 56 percent of them make at least one video call per week.

While reduced travel is one major reason salespeople are embracing video communications, it’s not the only reason. A Wainhouse Research survey found that 94 percent of videoconferencing users consider increased efficiency and productivity as the biggest benefits; 88 percent said video conferencing leads to more meaningful discussions, and 87 percent said they benefited from faster decision-making. What is apparent to anyone who uses videoconferencing regularly is the importance of the physical cues you can pick up that are missed on a voice-only call. Getting to know what someone’s mannerisms, facial expressions, and other physical tics may indicate is pivotal to the seasoned sales person who is experienced at reading the subtle nuances of body language when trying to make a sale, and who also needs to understand where the prospect is in the buying cycle.

Benefits of Video Conferencing for Sales Teams

More engaging than voice calls, videoconferencing is a valuable tool to leverage the salesperson’s limited time and help them establish a deeper connection. It’s known that, for example, a person’s attention span is held for 12 minute longer than attention spans of those on an audio-only call. Here are some other ways video conferencing benefits the sales force:

Better demos and presentations. Efficient demonstration of products and building trust are vital for closing deals. The longer you take to accomplish these steps, the more time it takes, and the more difficult it is, to close the deal. Video conferencing allows you to conduct face-to-face meetings with clients and engage them with visual demonstrations by screen sharing or via web cam. More focused attention means faster sales cycles with higher closing rates.

More efficient sales cycle. Video conferencing can boost customer interaction, resulting in increased sales success. Salespeople can only be at one place at a time, so the number of interactions with customers is limited if they are reliant on in person meetings. Through video calls, sales reps can meet more people within the same time frame, speeding up the sales process.

More efficient sales training. Nearly 50 percent of sales managers don’t have enough time to train their sales team. Video conferencing offers sales managers the scope to train and interact with their sales teams. They can train global sales teams by conducting a single training session and record it for future use.

Improved team collaboration. For large organizations with a global footprint, sales teams may be scattered across several time-zones. Video conferencing enables teams from various locations to collaborate and help managers foster a culture of teamwork. Don’t think effective methods of communication are important? Thinks again. A report from Econsultancy found 96 percent of executives surveyed cited ineffective communication as the reason for workplace failures.

Video conferencing may not replace the experience of an in-person meeting in certain situations, but on most occasions it helps salespeople achieve everything they would from cost-intensive and time-consuming business trips. By shortening sales cycles, deepening customer relationships and making a sales force more productive, video conferencing has become an incredibly important tool for conducting business in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

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