How do I get my sales force to use more videoconferencing and travel less?

Everybody needs an incentive to try something new; especially those who are in business development and sales. If your company invested in video conferencing technology for the sales and business development application it’s imperative that the sales team start using this technology now, so you can see more efficiency in sales and marketing, with a return on investment.

First the push back might be face-to-face sales calls are more effective. Guess What — A video conference is a face to face call!  In fact it’s a face to face call on steroids because chances are the other party is seeing you on a 50” flat panel display in their conference room.  If they are seeing you on their desktop, even better — You are in their office on a 20” to 24” computer screen less than 24” in front of their face.   You don’t get more face to face than that. 

Here are some ideas that may help.  First, make sure all your equipment works seamlessly.  If you are using a mobile videoconferencing application, make sure this works without any hiccups.  Test the mobile app with each other, within the company. If you are using a bridging service make sure you can test, “At no cost,” before deployment.  Reputable video conferencing bridge services will certainly accommodate no cost testing.  Often sales people are reluctant because they think there will be too many problems connecting.  If you are using standards based equipment, reliable mobile apps or a good bridging service there are usually no problems.

Once the technical issues are eliminated and the sales team is comfortable you are good to go.  One incentive is commission increases or spiffs for every new account brought in using video conferencing.  Other incentives can be tied to decreasing travel and auto expenses.  There can be fun incentives tied to a contest.  For example for every video meeting completed with an existing client or prospect, the sales person gets a ticket put into a hat for a drawing to win a grand prize at the end of the quarter.  There is a lot of room creativity.

Another critical step is training.  Make sure your video conferencing vendor trains the sales staff on how to use the technology in the context of a sales call.  If your vendor is using the technology now as their sales communications tool, they will certainly do a very good job in training your sales team.  If they don’t, you will not get the proper training you require.  One good way to tell if your vendor is using what they are selling is found on their business card.  If they have a public video number or a web address with a video conferencing server — they qualify.  If they don’t they probably shouldn’t be selling the technology.

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