Effective sales calls are, obviously, an essential part of a salesperson’s job. But it’s hard to know if the person on the other end of the line is even listening, if your meaning and tone are coming across correctly, if they get your jokes, or if their needs are being met while you’re on the phone. Facial expressions and body language convey a lot — that’s where video conferencing can help.
Building and maintaining strong professional relationships is easy with video conferencing, particularly if you take the time to understand and utilize the many features that this tool offers. Just like in-person meetings, there are best practices that will keep your sales calls productive and problem-free. Here is both the why – and the how – to put video conferencing to work for your sales team.
Benefits of video conferencing for sales
Have more nuanced conversations
When you can’t meet in person, sales calls can be difficult to navigate. You have no idea what the person on the other end of the line is expecting, or how they’re receiving the information you’re giving them. That’s why the modern world of video conferencing benefits from old-fashioned sales skills.
With video calls, you get more insight into how the person is responding and can adapt accordingly. Respond to cues, both verbal and nonverbal, and be ready to change course if needed. If, on video, someone seems uninterested or confused, try a different angle or ask for their input. If a contact is nodding and appears attentive rather than confused, you know you have the go-ahead to follow through with what you’re saying instead of doubling up and explaining points more clearly.
Be in frequent contact with customers
When it comes to effective sales calls there’s really nothing like face time to make sure you’re deepening your relationships with your customers. Video conferencing allows for more frequent touch points with less frequent flier miles! Building relationships with customers (and contractors) takes time, and video conferencing is a great way to strengthen partnerships and make sure that you’re connecting on a regular basis. Don’t save video conferencing for special occasions.
A live demo can be much more valuable than mere words, and video conferencing makes it easier than ever to show your customers your product in real time.
If your product doesn’t allow for demos, you can also share presentations, photos, product education, and videos during a video call. It’s a great way to provide customers with a more interactive experience.
Decreasing the length of a sales cycle can lead to greatly increased revenue, and a video conference is an excellent way to keep sales cycles on track and win over more customers. You’ll answer questions and uncover opportunities for greater collaboration much more quickly than with a stream of emails.
Make the most of video conferencing sales calls
Now that you’ve gotten started with video, here are a few important steps to take in order to move your video conferencing sales calls to the next level and prevent annoying technical difficulties.
Set the stage
Take a look at the environment where you’ll be during the video conference to ensure a professional looking backdrop. Your customers will likely (if just subconsciously) make judgements based on your milieu. Here are three factors to consider when setting the stage for your call:
- Light: Consider whether the room is too bright or too dark, which may cause you to appear backlit or washed-out. Make adjustments like changing the angle of the screen or adding additional lighting sources.
- Sound: Eliminate background noise from phones, equipment, or other employees.
- Clutter: If there are empty coffee cups in the background, clear them away. If you have distracting artwork on the wall, take it down for the duration of the video call.
The next thing to do is to login to your video conferencing account and get your profile set up. Some video conferencing platforms require you to upload a headshot, while others, like Highfive, allow you to simply take a quick photo. Either way, you’ll want to be recognizable to clients that you may have met in-person before.
Now that your profile is set up, reach out to participants to invite them to your call. Be sure to include links or attachments to any supporting material that will be discussed in the meeting. Participants should receive an email that will let them know what time the call is taking place and how to access it.
Include an alternate method of contact in your email that you can access during the call. Participants may need another way to reach you if they are unable to join the video conference.
Select your connection type
You can choose whether you connect to the conference with your home computer, room system, browser, phone, or tablet. Test all of these methods before the call so that you can easily guide participants who may be using a variety of devices.
Control the meeting
Now that all the basics have been covered, explore different features like muting yourself and other participants, moving the call from your computer to a conference room TV, screen sharing and more. Again, test these functions before the meeting. Make sure you’ve turned off notification pop-ups and closed any personal tabs in your browser if you’ll be sharing your screen.
Many of the sales meetings you hold are probably quite small, but when you do meet with a large number of participants, it requires extra management. In order to offer the most value possible, here are our tips for keeping sales calls with numerous attendees running smoothly:
- Encourage everyone to identify themselves before each contribution, e.g. “This is Dave from the Minneapolis location. I’ve found that this widget works best with…”
- As the host, repeat all questions that are asked of you before answering. Some attendees may not have heard the question.
- Remind all attendees before and during the meeting to keep their microphones muted unless they’re speaking. How many video conferences have you seen ruined by echoing and background noise?
- If you are bringing in additional material via screen sharing, such as PowerPoint presentations or product demos to make the conversation even more productive, send the documents to participants in advance.
Close more sales by working smarter
Investing in video conferencing equipment will put you face-to-face with customers, contractors, remote employees, and numerous other potential partners. For sales calls, it can shorten the sales cycle while enabling you to build stronger relationships with prospects and current customers.