Don't miss a thing! Sign up to be notified about new blog posts.
When I was in sales in the early days of WebEx, video was cool, but ultimately risky eye candy. We only had 40 video ports for the entire company (and mind you, this was supposed to be our bread and butter), so salespeople had to jump on video to give the prospect a quick peek, and then jump right off so we didn’t crash the system. Given the quality and performance of WebEx video past and present, it never really took off and WebEx remains largely a web conferencing product versus a true video conferencing solution.
Without video, we had to teach our sales reps to ask a lot of confirming questions for selling over the phone. For example, we’d repeatedly ask check-in questions such as, “How does that sound?” and “What do you think about that?” to try to make sense of the what we were hearing (or not hearing) on the other end of the call.
When Cisco bought WebEx, things were supposed to change. We were excited to use Cisco Telepresence for our sales calls. But, unfortunately, we only had a limited number of telepresence rooms given the high cost of our own product, and prospects didn’t have our same equipment so they couldn’t connect with us anyway. We quickly reverted back to our telephones. Then as now, most web meetings rely heavily on PowerPoint, with limited live product demo time. Prospects are on speakerphone, but you can’t see them to gauge responsiveness, to know if they are actually checking emails, or who knows what else while you talk. Obviously, this status quo is both challenging for the salesperson and boring for the prospect.
Today I walk around the Zoom office and see all our salespeople meeting on video, really engaging their prospects and customers. I personally have four to five highly-productive video meetings every day from the Zoom Room in my office. Video is at the center of our sales process, and to the sales process of so many of our customers.
Why has video taken off in sales? I can venture a couple ideas. First, for me, it’s about seeing the faces of decision makers. I want to see the arch of their eyebrow, a slight smile or frown, or their eyes glaze over when I go on a bit long. Seeing these small expressions on HD video and instantly shifting our discussion in response allows the salesperson to keep the conversation moving in the most effective direction. It’s especially helpful seeing this on the 56” screen in my Zoom Room – I don’t miss a thing!
Second, it’s about instant connections and building relationships. In sales today, it’s not about making a deal and then walking away. You need to be there for your prospect, and then your customer, from evaluation through adoption. Whether it’s through chat or video meetings, the sales rep needs to be instantly available on their mobile phone, at their desk, or their conference room system.
Finally, it’s about productivity. You need to spend less time behind your car windshield and more time face-to-face with your prospects. Sales people can have 6 or more face-to- face meetings a day over video, vs. the norm of 2-3. That’s double the productivity! Getting that face time with the right prospects and customers is the most important KPI for our top sales professionals.
Video is powerful, but you need to know how to use it. I recommend joining our upcoming webinar, Video Conferencing for Sales: Best Practices for Closers, featuring top 1% sellers Jason Broussard from SolarCity, and Ash Seddeek from Top 1% Sales Factory.
Our panel will focus on how to successfully connect with customers and build deeper relationships. They’ll show how leveraging video in conjunction with tools like Docusign and virtual backgrounds can help dramatically accelerate the sales cycle. Topics include how to:
Join our free webinar Video Conferencing for Sales: Best Practices for Closers | Thursday October 6th from 11 – 12:00PST >> Register Now! <<
About the Author: David Berman is the President of Zoom. With more than 20 years of experience in the software technology industry, David Berman is known for his innovative, highly successful sales and go-to-market strategies, and for his expertise in leading high-performing organizations. Berman was President of Worldwide Sales and Services at WebEx Communications, where he developed the revolutionary web-touch sales and service model, helping the Company attain its IPO and 100X revenue growth. As President of RingCentral, he was a key contributor to their highly successful IPO and helped drive the company to industry-leading growth rates. He currently serves an is a Venture Adviser for Spider Capital Partners, a seed-stage venture capital firm.