Meet revenue and contribution commitments to the organization.
Sales is about getting face time. Getting face time with customers to respond to objections and accelerate the buying process. Getting face time with the right stakeholders to identify new business opportunities. Getting company experts in front of customers. Getting distributed sales teams together for planning, reporting, tracking.
"Clearly we have a competitive advantage because we have a video option to communicate with our prospects," says Maurice Settles, Market Development, Manhattan Associates. "A lot of our value in the market is the fact that we're supply chain people. And so by using the Polycom systems we're able to convey, and our prospects are able to see, that there's value in working with our organization because of our people."
Collaboration complements traditional CRM solutions by enabling regular, visual contact with customers and expanded reach throughout each territory. With Polycom video collaboration solutions, sales teams can get face time more easily with anyone from anywhere. And because they do so for far lower cost and with far less hassle and wasted time than physically traveling to meet someone, customers consider Polycom to be a "force multiplier."
"The key is to find ways to serve clients without growing budgets or increasing staff," says Seth Birnbaum, co-founder and CEO of Verdasys. "Yet how do we scale our footprint while cutting travel and without adding more people?
"Polycom allows me to extend the reach of our business, to get better leverage out of individuals. With video conferencing, you take someone who affects millions of dollars of business and multiply them by a factor of two. It's a force multiplier."
From wherever you are, you can engage in more face-to-face discussions with customers and prospects to qualify, solidify, and expand opportunities. You can use video collaboration to more efficiently manage extensive territories and regions or to help customers solve business problems or to bring specialized expertise into the process. In short, Polycom collaboration solutions improve customer relationships, enable better tracking of sales opportunities, and accelerate sales cycles.
Geographical distance presents major challenges in managing and maintaining relationships both internally with colleagues and externally with customers and partners.
Video collaboration solutions remove this distance barrier, allowing visual interaction with customers from practically anywhere. While reducing the financial costs of travel is typically one of the main reasons that companies adopt video collaboration solutions, the truth is that eliminating the wasted time involved in travel is one of the main drivers of adoption for salespeople.
With video collaboration, salespeople can:
- Manage extensive territories and regions more efficiently and effectively
- Have visual discussions with colleagues, customers, and partners to better evaluate and qualify opportunities
- Keep in regular contact with customers and partners without having to visit on site and in a way that builds trust
"It certainly is a great tool for being able to speed up our design sessions, our demonstrations, and just in general our sales process," says Heather Mahan, Sales Account Executive, Manhattan Associates. "Not only can we do things faster and more efficiently, but we’re able to develop really strong and deep relationships without even having to be on site."
In essence, sales is a relationship-building business.
Video is a flexible tool that can be used to initiate customer relationships by broadcasting visual information to many customers and prospects at once, as in the case of Lexus. "Webcasting is one of the ways Lexus communicates to our dealers and to the public," says Sandy Blanchard, Relationship Marketing Manager at Lexus. "Tens of thousands of viewers watch our product launch events via live stream and access the file for replay."
Considering that building relationships face to face is what works best with human beings, video also works superbly well for conducting more intimate one-on-one customer meetings. "Seeing is believing, and with video you see people’s reactions and misunderstandings are therefore much less frequent than in a simple phone conversation," says Andreas Gaebisch, CIO, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft, a German law firm.
With Polycom, adds Gaebisch, "We have given our employees freedom. Freedom to connect and hold their meetings from anywhere using video, without having to worry about dial format, location, bandwidth, quality, or security."
Salespeople can use Polycom video collaboration solutions to manage extensive territories and regions—keeping in touch with customers without having to physically be there. Less travel not only reduces costs but also allows more customers to be reached within a given time period.
Frequent contact results in the building of strong customer relationships. And you often can uncover new business opportunities within existing customers as you establish a trusted advisor role and help them to solve problems on a more frequent basis.
Video is fast becoming the primary knowledge transfer mechanism of this era. The reason is that the information density of video is orders of magnitude higher than the written page or the naked voice because it provides context and values, through body language and facial expressions, together with environmental content.
"Straight audio is useful," says Simon Quintin, Director, Workplace Services, Smiths Group PLC, "but that ability to actually see someone directly makes the whole communication mechanism more personal as you build rapport quicker to get things done faster." Seeing, in other words, is believing.
In addition to building trust with eye-to-eye interactions, video collaboration builds trust by making it far easier to connect customers visually with sales engineers, product experts, customer references, services professionals, and partners at the right time in the sales cycle.
"The use of video collaboration has helped make Buro Happold more competitive," says Paul Westbury, CEO, Buro Happold. "If anyone in our 27 offices needs to offer a client their unique expertise, whether it’s a hotel or stadium development or the design for a new city, we can readily bring in the relevant people using Polycom HD video. And I can now join in meetings all over the world from my laptop, even from home, without worrying about interoperability issues—because it’s Polycom."
Video collaboration makes it easier not just to build trust with customers, but to keep sales aligned with colleagues and the company’s business goals as well.
"Our vision is that our sales force will use personal video to stay in touch with each other and customers," says Jem Anderton, IT Innovation and Solution Development Manager, HEINEKEN, "cutting down the time required for one-to-ones and also keeping them in real-time contact with colleagues in the office."
Collaboration is one of the biggest challenges for the mobile sales rep or sales engineer. Subject-matter experts can help answer customer questions and help close deals, but bringing them on site can be costly and create delays. And when field sales reps travel to the office to meet with sales leaders or product engineering, or to participate in product training, that means they are spending less time with customers.
With Polycom solutions, you can:
- Connect customers with subject-matter experts: Tap into all available resources who can address customer questions and help close the deal
- Reduce costs and improve margins: Avoid unnecessary travel expenses which increase the cost of a sale
- Maximize time spent with customers: Attend internal meetings, training sessions, and business reviews without having to leave the sales territory
- Achieve a better work/life balance: When sales and subject-matter experts attend meetings by way of video, they spend less time travelling on business, and so are more connected to family life
And with the Polycom RealPresence CloudAXIS Suite, sales teams are now more empowered to connect with customers and bring in the resources they need to support them. RealPresence CloudAXIS extends Polycom’s HD video collaboration to anyone, regardless of application, system, or device. Connecting customers face to face with sales people or subject matter experts—no matter what system they are using—is now a cinch.
"My sales team is home-based and on the road all day," says Bob Brilman, CEO of Boretti. "Polycom video solutions enable us to have regular and secure face-to-face meetings no matter where they are."
Each Boretti sales professional has a tablet with Polycom RealPresence Mobile 2.0 installed, enabling him or her to dial into a meeting anytime, or show the latest appliances to a customer instantly from anywhere by video calling the product showroom. In addition, the services team has improved customer service by connecting customers with product experts at the call center via video to help identify, diagnose, and repair or troubleshoot in real time.
"I am now asking my suppliers, resellers, and distributors based across Europe to use video conferencing for all our meetings," says Brilman. "I prefer to communicate via video instead of over the phone or via emails, as I find video promotes honesty, trust, and efficiency."
With mobile video collaboration, sales teams can keep in regular contact with customers and partners, building trust and thereby building strong customer relationships where new opportunities may be uncovered in the context of discussing broader issues and plans and strategies. Sales teams can also access training and other sales-related information on demand, minimizing time out of the field and improving productivity.
That's why "We use Polycom RealPresence video in every part of our business," says Brilman. "Video collaboration is a vital tool for the development and success of Boretti and has become the standard of communication throughout the organization."