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Tapping Tutorials to Aid the Sales Process

Sales executives are constantly facing challenges that distract them from focusing on the sales themselves. Whether trying to close sales with multiple decision makers, enhance customer satisfaction and support, or manage turnover, tapping into animated/video presentations can allow sales execs to smooth out many bumps in the sales process, while at the same time conveying the sophisticated and technologically advanced ideals of the partner or sales company. In addition, these tools provide a consistent “get on the same page” message whether it be in Boise or Buffalo.

Multiple Decision Makers

Sales execs constantly face the challenge of the multi-decision-maker sale. In reality, this is any sale. You will never know all the people involved in the sales decision process but you need to sell all of them. That is, there is a lot of communication between all the players and you don’t know who they are. It often begins with an initial sales call with a decision maker. Next, the decision maker and CIO talk or meet with others including finance, operations, etc. Even the smallest companies might involve consultants and procurement (or an outside accountant) to review. This might include meetings with staff, consultants and legal. Then a final meeting or review by decision-maker, CIO and consultants. Finally, a closing call or meeting with decision maker for a decision.

When technology sales animations are presented, complex concepts such as telecommunications, Internet, integrated access, outlook integration, VoIP/SIP, and many other complex systems are reduced to an easy-to-understand format. In a number of tests, a number of consultants noted that a “pictionary” presentation reduces the days customers require to evaluate the process. Benefits of animated/video presentations not only include getting everyone on the same page, which is proven to reduce the sales cycle by two weeks, but also increasing a salesperson’s close rate in the long run.

Customer Support

Animated sales presentations also aid in customer support. Support centers often receive large bursts of support calls, forcing many callers to give up their efforts to obtain explanations for their queries. One customer commented that “installation animations on Microsoft OCS, Polycom and others saved substantial amounts of time because support calls don’t come in one-at-a-time.” Calls don’t come in just from people with computers; they come in from many places where laptops are not ideal but tutorials already have been built for portable devices.

Additionally, customer support costs can break the bank. It isn’t the first or second phone call that causes support costs to skyrocket. These animations provide a pictorial approach that greatly reduces the number and length of such phone calls, thus saving thousands of dollars while at the same time providing cost-efficiency and insuring increased customer satisfaction.

Additionally, when it comes to client satisfaction, customers seek a relationship with a vendor who will respond during the after-sale period. They want to be sure that new features can be added or changed as new services emerge. These animated presentations easily meet these and other business challenges.

The Impact of Sales Churn

Sales managers continue to face the never-ending challenge of turnover of sales staff – the “hire-fire” cycle. Simply adding more sales people does not by itself increase revenue, and in fact, excessive churn in staff has proven to have a negative impact on customers.

For anyone in sales management, the ultimate challenge is to predict, manage to and grow revenue – not the sales force. Online animated or video presentations, which provide a detailed sales pitch and can be shared easily and quickly, can actually help the customer sell themselves. Instead of relying on the sales staff completely, sales managers can utilize tutorial presentations to supplement the sales efforts of their current staff without feeling the need to grow the number of sales personnel and risk more churn.

This does not mean you don’t need sales people. They still open and close sales, but “pictionary” tools bridge the gap. The bottom line is it is possible to increase revenue with fewer sales people by closing more business with alternative tools.

Thomas Cross is the CEO of TECHtionary.com, which provides these animated sales presentations, and OCSForum.com. He can be reached at cross@gocross.com. For an animated presentation regarding this material, visit www.techtionary.com/sales.

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