4 must haves For pipeline growth in a virtual world
The essential ingredients for salespeople to rapidly build a pipeline in addition to selling competence are virtual presence, video competence, brand mojo, and visual conversation frameworks for synchronous and asynchronous selling. Each element in the pipeline growth equation is important but they are accretive and help salespeople to capitalize every moment on camera in front of buyers.
The author, Mark Gibson using his Deskrig setup for remote selling excellence.
Combined they are synergistic, meaning the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When a sales team embraces this combinatorial synergy, everyone on the team achieves more. Let's explore how by exploring each ingredient.
What is virtual Presence?
Virtual presence is:
- the ability to connect authentically,
- communicate effectively, and
- influence the thinking and behavior of others when not physically present, and it includes
- synchronous and asynchronous communication
Virtual presence builds on a foundation of video competency and a great virtual presence is impossible to achieve without it.
What is Video Competency?
Video competency means a setup that enables salespeople selling from home or an office to be the best they can be on a video conference.
Video competence requires a minimum equipment investment to achieve the following:
- Eye-level video camera angle - this eliminates "lighting-fixture head" and "ceiling-fan head" and a view of the top cupboard.
- Desk riser - we strongly recommend that salespeople stand up when they sell remotely and this could mean a standing desk or desk riser to elevate the camera to eye level.
- Crystal clear sound capture, which usually means an external microphone is required.
- Lighting that evenly highlights the face without under or overexposure and where there are no windows behind the salesperson to create a shadow-face. If using a green screen, lighting is required to illuminate it evenly for clear profile edges and reduced noise.
- HD video - even though newer laptop computers offer built-in HD video cameras, an external HD camera either from Logitech or a mirrorless 35mm camera makes a huge impact on video quality.
- Green screen - a green screen allows sellers to project their brand in a clear and consistent manner on the virtual background without the tearing and holes that occur without one.
- Mastery of the videoconferencing platform.
What is brand Mojo?
Doug Kessler from Velocity Partners in London nailed the term brand mojo in relation to salespeople.
Brand mojo for remote salespeople is:
- Virtual presence
- Energy and Attitude
- Clarity in communicating value
- Communication skill (asking great questions and listening)
- Consistent and uniform brand representation
What salespeople wear on camera impacts brand mojo. Professional attire on camera creates more gravitas than tee-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps and it shows respect for the buyer.
What are visual conversation frameworks?
Visual conversation frameworks combine a physical or digital drawing surface into the video conference. Conversation frameworks create structure for true dialogue between buyer and seller. This enables both parties to communicate more effectively about what they want at each step in the buying process. Frameworks vary across the buying process from discovery to implementation and onboarding.
These conversational frameworks are populated live during the meeting with the buyer and help to create mutual understanding. Post meeting with the buyer, they are reused in asynchronous selling applications and video to build mindshare and to confirm qualification. Used effectively they increase win-rate.
How to implement it
Last month Enableocity launched its Remote Selling Mastery brand for the training services to deliver all of the above services.
Step 1. Basic setup: includes video competence and virtual presence.
Commencing with an audit of existing virtual selling setup and video competence, we help sellers to get set up for professional selling over video whether working from home or in the office. In a budget-constrained environment, salespeople should be well equipped for under $300. Enableosity also offers a studio-quality set up in partnership with Deskrig.
Step 2. Brand mojo
Once a green screen and lighting are in place, strong branding of virtual backgrounds creates consistency across a sales team. Salespeople who believe in brand mojo dress for success and wear what they wore on sales calls pre-covid. The difference in virtual presence and brand mojo that we see before training and equipment setup and after training is remarkable and salespeople themselves love what they see.
Step 3. Conversation Frameworks Training
Training consists of a series of immersive 1.5-hour roleplaying workshops and eLearning tutorials over a period of up to 6 weeks, depending on how many conversation frameworks deployed. Workshops are kept deliberately small with a maximum of 25 per group to enable mentoring and peer learning.
Step 4. Take the next step and talk to us about how you can drive pipeline growth by re-equipping and upskilling your sales team for a virtual selling world.