Web-Assisted Selling

By Lain Chroust Ehmann

Successful sales might be all about the human touch, but Internet technology still has an important role to play in bringing buyers and sellers closer together. According to Interactive Media Strategies, 12% of U.S. marketing and sales executives have used Webcasts for marketing purposes, including video email, on-demand brochures and product-launch events. As bandwidth increases, technology is refined and telephony costs decrease, this trend towards Web-assisted selling will only grow, says consultant Bob Schmonsees.

Many companies turn to the Web for conferencing and information dissemination because it’s convenient and cost effective. Even more importantly, the Web actually can improve the overall quality of many sales interactions, says Schmonsees, even if salespeople and prospects are meeting over the Internet instead of face-to-face. The strength lies in the ability to customize the buying process for each customer, quickly and easily. “Web conferencing can enhance the buying experience for customers. Salespeople can use prerecorded statements from subject matter experts, top management or satisfied clients that can be accessed easily and played as needed,” Schmonsees explains.

In other words, Web-assisted selling means that salespeople can easily adapt their presentations on the fly, pulling in resources and handpicking only the most important information to convey to each unique customer. Instead of boring a prospect with 20 slides on a topic he or she isn’t interested in, salespeople can create an individualized presentation each time. The result? Customized, dynamic interactions and satisfied customers.

As with any technology, the garbage-in-garbage-out rule holds true for Web-assisted selling. The key to making Web conferencing work for salespeople is the quality and accessibility of content, says Schmonsees. For example, Web conferencing capabilities aren’t enough. Companies need quality content and rich media, and the ability to integrate this content with conferencing to enable sales and support personnel to access it in real-time, he says.

For high-quality Web interactions, commitment at all levels – development of content, implementation of technology and skillful utilization – is essential. “Like any new idea, Web-assisted selling means that things need to change,” says Schmonsees. “This requires management vision and commitment, but like most paradigm shifts, the companies who get there first will grab the biggest rewards.”

For more information, please click on www.web2one.com.