Distance could complicate closing sales. Or is it so? As we've written in our previous blog entry about Customer Experience being a King, the customers of today actually prefer to buy remotely. It’s not only about consumer goods. Selling remotely is demanded even for super complex B2B products that are hard to grasp for people outside the field of expertise.
Since customers would rather keep their distance, it’s important to equip sales people with the right tools that will work for that purpose. What kind of tools are good for that? Is it a phone call or a video call? We’re giving you our answer. Let’s get straight into the article.
What really matters in sales conversation?
It doesn’t matter what book you read about sales, they all mention the same thing - relationships are one of the most important ingredients for success. If a salesperson can establish a great relationship with the buyer on the other end, they are halfway into the sale. It’s especially self-evident in the B2B sector, where the buying process is much longer and involves many more decision makers.
That’s why many salespeople still set up in-person meetings with their clients-to-be. Face-to-face conversations are viewed as the best method to form relationships with potential buyers. Yet, that’s changing. Customers search for the best solution in the same way as they would look to buy consumer goods. And besides, there are more and more sophisticated tools to sell products and services remotely (in order to digitize their sales process.)
Of course, using B2C tricks in B2B sales rarely works. Business-to-Business sales are more complex than B2C. Such a complexity can be most efficiently sold with face-to-face meetings. Not anymore. Physical proximity is not necessary to sell complex products nor to forge strong relationships with B2B customers. Such relationships can be created and maintained without ever in-person visits, too.
First, salespeople started using phones to find and create relationships with customers. Now, they may use video calls. What are the differences between the two methods?
Difference between video calls and phone calls
Sales folks don’t need to be in the same room with a person to form a relationship with them. At least, not anymore. They can use one of the modern means of communication. What do they have at their disposal then?
For years, salespeople have been getting sales through phone calls. Phone conversations can be very convenient for sales specialists. They don’t need to travel. They can be more efficient. They can follow up with customers whenever they want.
Yet, the popularity of conferencing apps, such as Skype or Zoom and the global pandemic, which forced people to stay home, made video calls an attractive alternative. Like sales conversations over the phone, they allow salespeople to save on travel expenses and get their job done with a higher ROI.
Although they share many advantages, video calls have a few benefits that phone calls lack. When you look at them, you may consider video to be a more powerful sales channel. Especially so if you take a customer point of view. What are those?
5 benefits of video calls
B2B customers usually have a lot of questions about a product or service before reaching the buying decision. It may happen that some customers ask to hop on a phone call to discuss aloof them. Or it’s the other way around. It’s a salesperson who asks the customer for their number. Either way, salespeople may get more sales if they jumped on the video call instead.
Why is that? There are a handful of convincing reasons why you should chat over video rather than phone. Let’s see them.
- Video calls help you make a long-lasting connection
Video call is a digital meeting of two or more people who have an option of turning their camera on. If they do, they can see each other, observe their facial expressions and hear each other like in real-time. It seems like not much, but it actually gives the participants an impression of meeting in real life. That’s important for sales.
Relationships matter in sales. Most people buy from people they trust. Seeing a person, hearing their voice and experiencing their presence strengthens relationship-building processes. People are under the impression that they know a person more than they would just by meeting them via phone call. They learn what the person looks like, the way they communicate and what they are wearing. So, the connection they formed is much more lasting than a phone call.
- Video calls introduce back nonverbal communication
Phone calls operate on just speech alone. We notice tone of voice, speech pauses, vocabulary, sentence structure, but not more than that. Yet, we can’t observe facial microexpressions, posture, body language, hand gestures, and all the little quirks of interlocutors. Video calls introduce back such nonverbal cues. Why is that important? Nonverbal communication makes you more persuasive (source).
- Video calls make it easy to empathize with the interlocutor
Because we have all those seemingly insignificant details, such as body language paired with voice and facial expressions, we are more likely to empathize with the people on the other end of the conversation. They become more to us than a faceless voice on the other end. Since we can communicate with them via video, we feel much closer to them. And above all else - we humanize them. They are living beings with emotions and opinions.
- Video calls help you engage in the conversation
Zoom fatigue is said to be real, but if we’re talking about sales conversations, the attention is on you, salespeople. You can help buyers focus and engage in the conversation about the offer. Just make sure that all of you look at the same thing (such as eCommerce store’s subpage) or that you are letting the people speak. Ask them questions, observe their body language, and you can discover how they truly feel about the offer.
- Video calls can be integrated with sales equipment
Phone calls are great at establishing fast communication with people who are anywhere in the world. But when you want people to look at the same thing as you do, for example, a slide deck, then, you can’t be certain that you’re focusing on the same thing. Video can be integrated with presentations, websites, apps, so you and the people you’re speaking to see the same thing. All of that can be accomplished just by using one app.
Get into video selling
Sales is changing. Much of the change happens online. Although a lot of countries are trying to get back to the regular swing of things after the greatest hit of the pandemic, some companies adapted really well to the changing times and remote-first approach with the set of tools, such as a reliable Internet connection, great apps and power to connect people even if they are on the other ends of the world.
Business meetings are becoming more digital, yet people still need assistance when it comes to reaching their business decisions. They need to have a name (and put a face to it) that they can reach out to when they want to buy things that are going to move their company forward. Great technology can help salespeople to facilitate it. They can hear out their customers, respond to their needs, and establish a long-lasting connection with them. All of that with technology. Video sales can be that technology, but how to get into it?
What do you need to start video calls for sales?
To start video calls for sales, you need the right equipment. We created Meetsales to give you that equipment. But if you have other software - that’s fine too. Just don’t use conferencing software for sales conversations. Why? This kind of software is for running meetings. It won’t help you establish meaningful relationships.
Modern video-based sales tools, on the other hand, aim at enabling sales teams to not only speak with customers in real-time, but also present products, integrate with PIM or ERP systems, collect data and generate reports. It’s a lot of features aside from just real time video with customers. All of that makes assisted-shopping easy.
But the tools are only one side of the coin. The other is you. You don’t need to change much if you want to try sales video calls. If you are swapping phone calls for video calls, it should be easy. Those of you who relied on face-to-face meetings need to digitize their sales process. We have a short guide on that, How to create a digitized sales process in your organization at speed. It will guide you through the first few steps of digitizing sales.
Video calls over phone calls: Are you in?
Both video and phone calls are great methods of getting in touch with people who are far away from each other. Video can make you more memorable, approachable and persuasive than a regular phone call, but that’s not all. It can be connected to tools that enable sales and make it more efficient. Instead of flipping through tools during a sales call, you can focus on the conversation and find necessary information in the video sales app. That’s why having the right equipment for video calls is so valid.