Whether you’re initiating a new sales coaching strategy or trying to improve what you’re already doing, there’s one essential coaching tool you can’t overlook: video.
The effectiveness of visual learning certainly isn’t a new concept and videos can often be among the most powerful content assets companies use for marketing. But at a time when managers are currently devoting only about 20% of their time to coaching (despite leading companies saying it’s a manager’s most important duty), implementing a sales coaching solution with video technology might not be a first thought. Here’s why it should be the kick-starter your company needs to get a better coaching program off the ground:
1. Better communication – near or far
When you consider that more than half of communication is said to consist of body language and other nonverbal signals, a manager must be able to pick up on a sales rep’s full communicative style to properly give feedback.
This is particularly valuable for those reps who work remotely, as did 23% of U.S. employees in 2015. When reps struggle with the coaching they receive, a communication breakdown is often the problem.
With video coaching – despite geographical location - coaches can pick up on body language, see facial expressions, hear tone and phrasing, plus see how reps make use of props and products.
2. Sales managers can easily identify and promote best practices
Sales managers are undoubtedly busy (just one reason that Mike Kunkle, our senior director of sales enablement, says they have some of the hardest jobs in North America.) For a sales manager to compile and review notes on several reps’ performances each week, deliver coaching feedback, and then distribute best practices to the full team, it’s a massive undertaking – on top of an already crazy schedule.
With video coaching, managers can set up a single objective for individuals or teams, challenging them to deliver a slide presentation or rehearse sales messaging – all at once. From there, managers can:
- Easily compare videos to identify best practices and see how reps perform in a controlled setting
- Share top performances with the rest of the team to promote the behaviors of ‘A’ players
- Easily reference specific aspects of a performance
- Share performance with the team, and even call upon team members to share feedback on each other’s efforts
And with all responses on video, managers can easily store and track reps’ ongoing progress.
Related Article: Is Peer Collaboration Missing From Your Sales Coaching?
3. Reps are more likely to practice
Practicing anything is rarely fun but it pays off. This, of course, rings true with sales.
Even your top reps need to hone their performance, break down how to sell new products or try out different sales approaches. And they need the opportunity to do these things before using them in front of buyers.
When a rep knows a video of their performance will be reviewed by a coach – and even held up as an example for peers – he will work on it until he gets it right. He’ll probably want to record several attempts until he’s satisfied with the result. And every time he submits a recording for review, his boss or peers will have the opportunity to provide feedback to help him improve in his next attempt. Over time, the rep improves his skills, gains confidence, and ultimately becomes better not only at the immediate task at hand, but also at his job.
4. As humans, we love video
Think about the last time you watched or shared a video online. It was probably within the last couple hours. In fact:
- 100 million Internet users watch online video every day. [CMO]
- 69% of all consumer Internet traffic will be video by 2017. [Cisco]
- Facebook sees about eight billion daily video views from 500 million users. [USA Today]
- More video content is uploaded in 30 days than has been created by all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined in 30 years. [Invisia]
If our professional behaviors match our consumer behaviors, we’d probably like to use video for every aspect of our jobs. This lines up with research from Forrester, which shows that employees flock to video. In their study, 75% of respondents were more likely to check out video lessons than read a document, email or web article.
And this is particularly important for millennials, who will soon become the majority of today’s workforce. As SiriusDecisions’ Research Director Peter Ostrow’s notes, “younger generations of sellers are rooted in their deep experience with rich media offerings, thanks to YouTube and virtually every social media platform available.”
Remember: When it comes to sales coaching, most reps want to be coached to succeed – but 70% of voluntary sales attrition takes place because they feel that they’re not getting what they need from their managers.