With our nation and the world facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders are trying to balance keeping employees safe and healthy with their social and economic responsibilities. A global economic recession seems inevitable.
Many employees fear for their jobs, many fear that this pandemic might escalate to a longer furlough or even worse, a complete closure. Restaurants and clubs are shutting their doors for weeks at a time; trade shows and corporate travel are being cancelled. Leaders need to find new, creative ways to work within new constrained parameters. Working from home and halting person-to-person meetings present new challenges for many businesses. If your business is one that can adapt there are technologies and strategies that are making this process much easier. Companies like Zoom and Google are making it affordable if not free to allow individuals to communicate via video and chat software.
Online virtual solutions have made it possible for some companies that normally would rely on hefty business travel and hours of preparation to get in front of their clients while adhering to social distancing guidelines. With a simple desktop, tablet or phone, having a presence in front of clients is no longer a problem. During the coming months it will be important for companies to modify their current processes and utilize more online resources. Most of us already use some sort of communication technology for day-to-day internal communication, online meetings and remote work. But how can we make these even more effective? Spending the next few weeks to ramp up your capabilities will give your team the edge it may desperately need in the next quarter.
Let’s look at how to keep your business moving forward and adapting during this anxious time.
1) Video Conferencing & Virtual Meeting Solutions
Nearly 4.9 million people use Skype daily for communication across the globe. And that doesn’t include the other platforms that are used. Much of the benefits and daily growth are due to its “built for all” nature. Android, Apple Mac, iOS, Linux, XBox & Windows offer the ability to use it on virtually any device at any time. Importantly, it’s easy to send meeting invites and add users pretty much effortlessly.
With all of this, the ability to share your desktop or screen of your device has added a new dimension to the presentation realm. Being able to illustrate or show what you’re presenting helps to address the old adage of people remembering 10-20% of what they hear and over 50% of what they see and hear. By adding visuals and the right content that is meaningful and impactful to your listener, the sales process will progress faster and really speak to the customer pain points, validating YOU as the trusted advisor. Giving your audience the right content to enable them to make informed decisions will be even more valuable.
2) Customer Engagement Apps for presenting
You’ve probably had this one on your list for a while but haven’t made it a budget priority. Now is the time to invest in the mobile materials that will give your sales and marketing teams the agility they need to succeed. During an online meeting, your rep can share their screen and use a customer engagement app to present your services and products. This will keep your team “in front” of your customers and their workflow progressing. A platform that gives your team the capability to add and change the content without having to engage a web design company is critical. Starting with focused strategic presentation content allows you to get your app up and running quickly. Then you can continue to update the app to encompass deep-dive information for all of your customer needs. Your return on investment is amplified when you consider how many people can use the app and in how many different ways. When things return to the new-normal, it can also be invaluable in traditional sales settings when we are back to meeting in person.
Platforms like Command.App® offer a situational “choose your own adventure” strategy to create high-impact presentations. The ability to adapt the presentation in real-time during a conversation is key. Additionally, they need to be able to gather information quickly from an easy-to-use user experience that is not only aesthetically pleasing but puts all of your company’s content under ONE solution. Gone are the days of endless clicking around a dropbox or searching through a bunch of files and folders.
3) Sales Meetings Have Changed
The best sales meetings occur when the salesperson speaks 35% of the time and listens 65% of the time. Whether you have a sales force of 1 or 1,000, believe it or not, not all salespeople are created equal. Some say that you can’t be taught how to sell, you have to be born with it. Others believe that the more you sell and the more you have in common with customers, the better you will do. Well, no matter what, at some point in a person’s speaking engagements, it becomes fearful to be in front of a large crowd. When engaging with a customer (especially when in a virtual environment) it’s important to turn presentations into conversations. Customers are as stressed, and now more than ever, you need to listen to all their questions and concerns and be able to address them with specific information and content. You need to be concise and on point. You need a tool that can present online, interactively bringing up the right content at the right time. With the right presentation tool, sales associates simply ask pivotal questions, then seamlessly navigate to customer specific information targeted to address particular pain points.
Do you have the right tool to engage audiences online? If you answered “yes, my website” then you may have fallen into a trap that’s hard to escape. Websites are a great resource for your customers to do their research on, but often are a disaster if you use them during an online presentation. No one wants to watch your sales associates dig around on a website. An interactive presentation app like Command.App allows you to present with confidence in a manner that is conducive to creating high-impact online presentations. When used in conjunction with online meeting and video conferencing software, your sales teams can often get benefits that you might not be able to achieve in person.
- Because you are presenting your screen, your web camera could and should be turned off. This allows you to have all of the notes and information available surrounding your workspace. Your desktop visual will help to do almost half of what you would need just standing in a room of people.
- Visuals on-screen allow your customer to focus on what they are seeing and ask questions freely. This helps both parties remain more relaxed and conversational during the conversation.
- Screentime is inevitable. With the “work-from-home” mandate that is sweeping the globe, it’s easy and almost a dead-lock that you’ll be able to schedule a video conference at any time during the business week with your customer, they’ll all most likely be online anyway!
4) Reduced Travel Spend
With most companies cutting off all non-essential travel, leaders need to consider how to keep their teams working while supporting their job duties. This goes back to online solutions to keep your teams interacting with your clients. By moving travel budgets to sales support tools, companies can help their employees communicate more effectively with existing and potential customers. Sales support tools are great to streamline your company message, focus only on topical content relevant to the customer’s needs and be able to review what is effective with analytics and reporting.
5) “Nothing happens until someone sells something!”
Whether you attribute the quote to Peter Drucker, IBM’s Thomas Watson or Arthur “Red” Motley, the former Publisher of “Parade” Magazine, it’s true. To succeed during hard times, e need to adapt. We need to progress and move forward. The world is simply not going to be placed on hold for weeks on end. There are millions of sales opportunities that are in flux right now. They could’ve started back in 2019 or are a fresh new lead, people need products / business / success. Because we are all quarantined and respect that we need to “Do The Five”, investing in sales support software and online meeting software is essential. Arm your sales professionals with the right content, software and information to help drive your business forward.
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With the unfortunate hold on “in-office” business, corporate travel and remote work are becoming more prevalent around the globe, it’s more important than ever that companies support their teams with the tools to continue to be successful. Schedule a quick 15-minute demo today and learn about how you can continue your sales outreach and effectiveness even when all odds seem to be stacked against you.
Schedule a free demo to see how our clients are still doing great business working virtually and turning presentations into conversations.