Tuesday 22 August 2017

How and Why Video-Conferencing is Reshaping Sales

Technology changes have always heavily impacted society and people’s daily life, and video-conferencing does not make exception. Let’s try to figure out how sales could become in a near future when the usage of video-conferencing would be massive.

Video-conferencing is one of the most promising technologies of today, as it is clearly proved by statistics. The global market for video-conferencing is projected to reach about 3 billion $ by 2020, with a growth rate of about 7.5% per year. Among video-conferencing users, companies are going to increase their share of usage massively, mainly for business meetings. According to a survey (source: https://www.pgi.com/blog/2014/07/7-statistics-video-conferencing/ ), 74% of B2C and 92% of B2B marketers already use this technology in their marketing efforts today, and this trend is largely on the increase. Therefore, a question that comes up spontaneously is how video-conferencing is going to reshape sales in the future.

1. Direct sales are going to die out
Video-conferences have made direct sales obsolete. Through video-conferencing, salesmen can have the same benefits of real-life meetings without the burdens and expenses. This is particularly true for overseas sales. Who would spend a fortune to meet a far potential customer, when the same result can be easily reached by a free Skype call?

2. Customers will prefer to avoid any direct human interaction
Today’s buyers are able to make decisions without the help of a representative, as they can find all the information they need themselves. According to a research published on the Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/2012/07/the-end-of-solution-sales ), 60 % of buying decisions occurred before speaking to a sales man. It seems that nowadays the task of representatives is different from giving information to their customers.

On the other hand, video-conferencing makes presentations easy and inexpensive. A video-conferencing server of R-HUB`s suite TurboMeeting (http://www.collaboration-technologies.co.uk/), for example, allows a salesman to host a virtual presentation for up to 3000 participants at zero cost per any additional guest. The equivalent real-life solution would cost much more than £16,000, not to mention the annoyance of the organization of such a big event.

3. Sales pace will increase
Online tools and technology make the selling process easier and faster. As a consequence, sales pace gets quicker and salespersons more productive. The evidence is the huge amount of sales that happen every minute through the web.

4. Sales costs will decrease
In the future, sales managers won’t leave the premises of their office buildings, as video-conferencing gives them all the necessary resources to build and keep commercial relations. This will impact massively on costs: a reliable estimation speaks of a reduction between 50%-90% of sales costs accompanied by an increase in productivity.

5. Virtual meeting rooms will be branded
This is a consequence of the relevance of visual aspects in any sale-process. Salesmen will want to personalize their virtual meeting rooms by showing their companies’ brands and logos. They could even try to create a kind of personalized virtual environment, for example by using the colors of their companies in the background.

In conclusion, video-conferencing is going to replace the traditional face-to-face sales. The benefits of video-conferences are mainly related to increases in productivity and cost reductions, without forgetting decreased levels of stress for salesmen.