One example is using the powerful video recording features of iPads to allow sales people to capture, share and discover their company’s best knowledge in a kind of “private corporate youtube”.
A leading life sciences company we've been working with did just that to support a recent re-launch of one of their products.
The commercial sales team adopted an innovative approach to reinforce and enhance their sales training and certification program using iPads and videos. This approach resulted in immediate business benefits to the training, management and field sales teams.
The challenges our customer faced in their efforts to meet business objectives and expectations were significant and all-too-common.
The training team needed to deliver relevant content and review performance in a limited amount of time. But after returning to the field from training, a typical sales person’s rate of knowledge loss is staggering. According to a study by Robbins Research and Baker Communications for the Sales Executive Council, sales reps forget up to 70% of what they’re supposed to learn within one week of a training event and 90% within 30 days.
Meanwhile, sales and training managers have limited visibility to the skills of their sales people, and the inefficiencies of one-on-one coaching and “ride-alongs” limit the frequency of feedback that can help foster continuous improvement. Moreover, it is very difficult to leverage the team’s top performers and share best practices with a busy, distributed sales team.
iPad and mobile video
World-class training and development organizations have begun to address these challenges head-on with the deployment of iPads across the sales team. In addition, companies like GE, Pfizer and Siemens are utilizing video as part of their internal and external communication.
However, the key innovation here is the combination of iPads and video: solving all the technical challenges of integrating these two technologies and leveraging them to make knowledge sharing across the organization and between reps — easier and faster.
(For key insights and trends related to more effective use of tablets in sales, sign up for TabTimes free monthly Tablets in Sales newsletter)
Mobile video coaching & knowledge-sharing
This innovation is a sign of a new industry trend of using mobile video to capture and share knowledge anytime, anywhere.
As sales reps prepared for certification, they recorded 5, 10, even 15 practice videos of themselves delivering the presentation they needed to master. These were stored privately for personal review and only shared with managers when they were ready to request feedback.
Managers then reviewed the videos, at their convenience, and provided the valuable feedback and coaching needed for the sales rep to improve their skills. For our customer, this process resulted in more consistent messaging and a greater degree of efficiency, in that the complex logistics of coaching and certification were eliminated.
Research has shown that regular coaching can result in a 35% decrease in time to onboard new reps, 30% more reps achieving quota and an up to 19% increase in sales rep’s performance. Yet only 15% of sales manager say they spend enough time coaching due to scheduling, time constraints and travel (still according to the Sales Executive Council-sponsored research).
Through asynchronous and interactive video, sales managers were able to engage, anytime, anywhere, to provide coaching to help a sales rep improve upon their sales skills and reinforce existing strengths.
Innovative companies are finding that socializing and amplifying best practices result in much stronger knowledge retention. For sales reps whose videos were noted as outstanding by their managers, the rest of the team was able to reference those presentations to provide a benchmark of “what the best looks like”.
Because our customer is in a highly regulated industry, they had to be confident that the content they shared across the organization has proper approval, with a high level of consistency. Compliance processes built into the solution gave them this confidence.
You don’t have to do it alone
The benefits of integrating video into sales presentations are clear and compelling. While implementation may not always be straightforward, enterprise sales organizations can leverage strategic partners to make their sales efforts more effective with video and mobile expertise they may not have in house.
(Don't miss "How a new generation of apps are making tablets a more effective sales tool" at the Tablet Strategy conference in New York on May 6, 2014. If you are involved in a tablet project for a non-IT organization, you may be eligible for a free pass. Chech conditions that apply on the registration page.)