The role of the sales professional is constantly evolving in the face of changing consumer demands, changing products, services and business models and, of course, changing technology. The ways that sales professionals can reach out to new prospects, nurture existing relationships and close more deals have all been impacted by technology – and communication and collaboration tools like web conferencing software are both at the forefront of these changes.

The cold call is long dead – in fact, over 90% of CEOs never respond to cold calls. And consumers are more educated than ever before. According to Forrester Research, the average buyer has completed between 60 and 90% of the decision-making process before engaging sales.

It’s up to you – the sales professional – to learn how to leverage the latest collaboration technology. Web conferencing solutions can provide big advantages over traditional prospecting and follow-up methods, and give you the edge you need to close deals over your competition.

Video Closes Distance, Builds Rapport
It’s important for sales professionals to get in front of their prospects early and often in order to establish rapport and become memorable in the mind of the buyer. Audio calls alone don’t generate the same kind of personal, engaging experience that in-person meetings do, however in-person meetings can be expensive and time-consuming.

By meeting your prospects and existing customers online over high-definition video, you can reap all the benefits of in-person meetings right without ever leaving your desk or home office. Online meetings also let you meet more often; rather than having to fight schedules for a long lunch meeting, you and your prospect can hop into an online meeting for a quick ten minutes follow-up. You get to stay top-of-mind without inconveniencing (and ultimately annoying) your customers.

Get Your Well-Crafted Collateral and Decks in Front of More Prospects
One of the best weapons in today’s sales arsenal is a well-crafted piece of collateral. Your marketing or sales enablement organization invests heavily in creating the most impactful, up-to-date pieces of content for you to wow prospects with, but if you’re having audio-only sales calls, they never get to see your documents.

Web conferencing tools offer the ability to share files, your desktop or even an individual application, letting your pitch deck shine in all of its well-designed glory. And, best of all, you can stay on video while presenting, continuing to generate those engaging personal impressions while sharing valuable stats and product information.

Focus on the Conversation, Not the Technology
On the subject of impressions, you only get one chance to make your first. Once you’ve committed to meeting with prospects online, you have to ensure a seamless, painless experience for your guests; otherwise, all they’ll remember you for is being the salesperson with the technical difficulties. In fact, in a recent PGi webinar, over 40% of respondents cited “Having to download software to enter the meeting” as their biggest frustration with online meetings.

Web conferencing software can be a cumbersome, confusing experience if you choose the wrong tool, particularly for guests trying to enter your meeting. Be sure to pick a tool that doesn’t require guest downloads, offers easy one-click audio and web connections and provides options for mobile entry. It’s important that you remove all barriers and confusing interfaces so that you and your prospect can focus on the conversation, not dealing with the technology.

Web conferencing is just one of the many new tech tools in the sales arsenal. By learning to use it effectively, you can meet more effectively, meet more often and close more deals.

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