9 ways field sales reps are leaving money on the table with virtual presentations

That quota you’re carrying…does it ever get lighter?

I didn’t think so. Read on.

Whether you love or hate web and video conferencing, you’re leaving money on the table if it’s not in the go-to-market arsenal of your business.

To make the most of your time, money, and relationships, avoid these mistakes:

Mistake #1: Abandoning face-to-face meetings

“Present to anyone anywhere, save travel costs” has been the mantra of the conferencing industry for a long time.

It is not that this is not true. It’s just that it be irresponsible to the sales profession to abandon face-to-face meetings.

Mistake #2: Not using web/video conferencing at all

In a recent session working with a team, one rep piped up with, “But I like to meet people, shake hands, get to know them.” I didn’t even have to reply, because one of his teammates chimed in, “Yeah, but my customers are sometimes saying, ‘Can’t we avoid getting everybody together and just knock this out in a web meeting.”

It is equally irresponsible to avoid web and video conferencing. You actually increase the service you provide when you save your prospects and customers time and money.

Mistake #3: Using web/video conferencing every time you make a phone call

Just because your specialty is field sales doesn’t mean you don’t use the telephone, right?

Here’s the big “but”: Using web or video conferencing is a visual extension and/or improvement of that phone call…but do not waste time putting together PowerPoint or scheduling a video conference if it’s not needed.

Mistake #4: Not saving your client time

Once during a training session for a Fortune 500 team, one of the reps was giving me a hard time (“It’s not like being there,” like I’ve never heard that before).

I didn’t have to answer him. One of his peers spoke up, and she said, “Joe, I’ve got clients asking for it. Sometimes we can just get something done in 30 minutes, They don’t have to go book a conference room or feel like they’ve have to ‘do lunch.'”

Mistake #5: Not being ready with a backup plan

Imagine this: Flight number one is late, and you missed the connecting flight.

Rescheduling the presentation doesn’t have to be your only option. (Read these tips for being ready to present virtually while traveling).

Mistake #6: Not accelerating the sales cycle

Having all the decision makers and influencers in the room isn’t always possible. Doing more appointments and/or making more calls take more time.

Answer: Get everybody in the same virtual room.

Mistake #7: Not including other team members

If the deal’s large, the sales engineer or senior exec will travel with you, but many times the appointment doesn’t warrant that. Unless all they needed to do was join virtually.

What’s the value of your CTO dropping in for 10 minutes to provide a personal comment?

Mistake #8: Not adapting to the medium

A change in the medium of communication changes the experience for both you and your clients. Any change of medium loses something (everybody gets that), but it also gains something.

Learn your virtual presentation tools. You’ll likely discover something you can do better virtually than in-person.

Mistake #9: Not growing your presentation design skills

Of the brain’s computing power allocated for our five senses, half is dedicated to vision. It’s a cliche’, but sometimes a picture is literally worth a thousand words, and research proves that complex or intangible ideas are often better communicated visually.

Why does this grow in importance online?

You don’t “work the room” in the same way. There is more focus on your slides to communicate key ideas.

The bottom line

Web and video conferencing isn’t the answer to world hunger, but it when you look at it through the eyes of business owner and value creator, they are uniquely irreplaceable assets in your bag of tricks.

As some total slouch named Sun Tzu put it,

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”


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