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Sales Coaching Lessons from Facebook and Snapchat

Mar 10th, 2017


Facebook and Snapchat are two of the most popular social tools.  While they may be similar in their purpose – connecting people and the moments of their lives – they are very different. On Facebook, posts are shared one-to-many, and connections have the ability to leave comments and “likes” (who hasn’t gone back to a post to count the number of likes you earned?). Snapchat is designed to be more spontaneous and fleeting, like a conversation, and are typically shared one-to-one or one-to-few, then disappear after being viewed. There’s no pressure around whether your post received an acceptable amount of “likes.”

You can boil it down to Facebook being a more “formal” social sharing tool and Snapchat as a more “informal” tool, each with its own appropriate use cases. Sometimes you feel like a “like.” Sometimes you don’t.

Sales organizations that utilize a video coaching tool (like Brainshark) can learn from the Facebook vs. Snapchat story.  Sometimes, coaching strategies should be more formal and include structured assessment and feedback. Other times, they should be more informal and unstructured where little if any feedback or scoring happens. Sometimes, you want to include the entire sales team, while other times you’ll want to focus on an individual.

Learning to leverage a video coaching tool in these different ways will increase adoption and the value you’ll receive. To make it easy we’ve created the Brainshark Video Coaching Quadrant to guide you through when and how to use both formal and informal approaches to coaching.

The Video Coaching Application Quadrant

sales coaching informal formal video

The Upper Right: Formal/Team Challenges

Many sales organizations that deploy a video sales coaching tool begin by assigning a formal, structured challenge to the sales team.  Each rep’s submission is assessed and scored by their manager and/or sales enablement team, and their results are tracked against their peers on a leaderboard. Think of it like posting a photo on Facebook to all your connections. Typical scenarios for these challenges might include a product certification for the entire sales team, assessing the new hire class during onboarding, or practicing a new sales methodology.

These challenges take more time to properly create, score and prepare reps to complete. They also carry a certain level of pressure – which is not necessarily a bad thing. 

The Upper Left: Formal/Individual Challenges

Like formal/team challenges, these challenges include a structured assessment and feedback from a manager or group of reviewers. The difference is that the challenge is assigned to  an individual versus a team. Typical scenarios include reps that are onboarding outside a new hire class, individual improvement needs for a single rep, or developing leadership skills for a front-line manager.

The Lower Left: Informal/Individual Challenges

Think of this quadrant as sending a Snapchat to a single friend.  For this type of challenge there is little, if any, structured feedback or assessment. Rather, the idea is to use the video coaching tool to focus on a specific skill or test for a particular piece of knowledge.  Typical scenarios include one-on-one coaching before or after a sales call, such as asking a rep to show how they’d handle a price objection. The manager and rep would then review the video together and discuss strengths as well as areas for improvement, or the rep could share a video response with a more senior peer for mentoring and guidance.

The Lower Right: Informal/Team Challenges

Think of this quadrant as sending a Snapchat to a group of people. Like the upper right quadrant, a challenge is submitted to the entire field force or regional sales team, but there is no structured scoring or feedback, and no leaderboard. It’s more focused on peer-to-peer learning. Typical scenarios include gathering best practices from the field (e.g. explaining your job to someone at a cocktail party), collecting tips and techniques from the field (e.g. “What’s your best attention “grabber” for opening a sales presentation?”), or preparing for an upcoming national or regional meeting (e.g. “What excites you most about working at ABC?”). From these challenges, a library of the selected videos will be created that can be used to share best practices across the sales team.

Like most millennials, my kids use Facebook to share things “formally” with their friends and Snapchat to “informally” share with selected friends. By leveraging video sales coaching tools to create a mix of challenges across the Brainshark Video Sales Coaching Quadrant – formal and informal, team and individual – you’ll improve adoption, utilization and ultimately, the sales mastery that you are looking for.

Want to learn more? Check out how Brainshark helps sales managers coach reps to mastery.