In Joe Gustafson’s recent post on sales analytics, the Brainshark founder talked about the value of understanding the finer details of sales conversations. How does what’s being said – and the way it’s said – resonate with buyers? Sales managers with those answers have a distinct advantage improving sales performance.
For most, that’s the future. Few organizations have the tools that produce deep-data sales conversation analytics. But there is a sales coaching tool that can help guide reps toward nailing those conversations in the first place: video.
To begin, just press ‘record’
There are a few ways to use video for effective sales coaching. You can record role-playing scenarios, in which reps try their hand at talking through certain selling situations. You can share video of your ‘A’ game all-stars, so ‘B’ players can see and mimic their winning techniques. And, you can “challenge” reps to record their best presentations, for sales managers to review and use as a coaching reference.
“It’s about getting close to the actual behaviors that reps are demonstrating in front of their customers. That’s true coaching,” says Michael Crain, vice president of global sales and product design for CloudCoaching International, a Brainshark partner.
“It’s not enough for the rep to know what the value pitch is,” says Crain. “It’s how they delivered that value pitch. What’s their tone of voice, what’s their body language? How confident did they sound?”
Take two… or three or four
With video, sales managers gain insight into their reps’ selling actions and attitudes, and then coach them to adjust. For the reps, video provides the benefit of repetition – when a rep is asked to record themselves, a single take almost never does the trick.
“They fire up their laptops and webcams, and give their pitches,” explains Mike Kunkle, Brainshark’s senior director of sales enablement. “When they don’t like the results, they do it again, and when they don’t like those, they do it again. Now they’ve practiced three times.”
And putting a pitch on video those few times is a good way to get the coaching ball rolling.
“I think the statistics show that it takes six times practicing something before you deliver your best effort over video,” says Kevin Starmer, vice president of sales enablement for records management company Iron Mountain. “Whether it’s a point of view or a presentation of some sort, I think it’s a great way to have the rep spend a lot of time preparing.”
Related Article: Why Sales Managers Must Coach - And Why Many Aren't
Coaching with video for ongoing learning
Once you’ve integrated a video tool into your coaching process, it’s something you can go back to regularly – and you should. As far back as 1885, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus described how information drops from your memory within two hours of learning it.
Using video to make it all stick is a heck of a lot more interesting and effective than standard classroom coaching, or one-on-one sessions that lack reference or a benchmark.
“We want to take this to a point where we can assess situational fluency – I love that term,” says Kunkle. "It’s really all about the dialogue and the conversation. If you can’t message in a way that articulates value, you can’t get to situational fluency."
To learn more, see how Brainshark makes it easy for sales managers to coach using video and improve sales team performance.