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ENABLEOCITY SALES ENABLEMENT-AS-A-SERVICE BLOG

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Last week I posted an article on important considerations for virtual selling.  The article is relevant whether salespeople work from home or in the office, if you haven't read it, you can here, how to be more effective selling virtually.

There are cost implications to consider to equip individuals for virtual selling success.  These costs should appear in the 2021 cost of sales budget.  Are you a sales leader in doubt about investing in salespeople to sell from home?  If so, take a snapshot of your Zoom screen at your next sales meeting.

Analyze the background, illumination, camera angle, and sound quality of each individual.  Rate your team's set-up on a scale of 1-10.  If your team is 6/10 or less, then this article will be of value.  Are you serious about your sales team's virtual sales performance and prepared to invest in their work from home infrastructure? 

My Office Setup

The image below is of my office setup.  I use a desk riser as well as a laptop stand to elevate the camera to eye level. I always stand in virtual meetings.  I have a wall-mounted whiteboard and a portable whiteboard flipchart, as well as pre-printed visual confections on poster boards to quickly convey big ideas.  My office has poor fluorescent lighting and I use a 600W studio light to bounce light from the ceiling to illuminate my face and the whiteboard work surface without reflections.  My laptop is a new Mac and has a good HD Webcam, but I use an external Logitech HD camera and Blue cardioid microphone for excellent sound quality.  I have a standard office desk about 40" from the drawing surface.  When I am standing, gesturing is natural and unforced and conveys in-room presence much more effectively than a seated talking-head.  The total cost for this basic setup, excluding the Laptop is less than US $300.

The author, Mark Gibson - remote selling setup

MG Office

Some salespeople will have already set themselves up for virtual selling success, but the majority have not or still have plenty of room to improve. To improve virtual meeting outcomes where video and whiteboarding are used on every call, consider including the cost of the following in your 2021 sales budget: 

  • HD video camera.  If an HD camera is not built into the laptop, an external HD camera is mandatory. The leader in this space is Logitech and I selected their latest HD stereo camera.  There are cameras that work well for much less, but my philosophy is to invest in the critical infrastructure you rely on in every call vs. going cheap.  A case in point this morning on a Zoom call, a friend bought a $20 Webcam in the Amazon Prime sale, and while the image quality was fantastic, the sound was muffled, so he will have to buy an external mic for high-quality sound.

  • Internet bandwidth is a big issue. Lack of bandwidth makes video meetings problematic. 10MB/Sec down and 3MB/Sec up is ideal. The company should pay for Internet service for virtual salespeople and if bandwidth is insufficient an upgrade is required.

  • Camera angle (must be eye-level, whether sitting or standing)

  • Lighting should evenly illuminate the face as well as the whiteboard, not over-bright, and no shadows.  I spent time taping up cardboard to the overhead light in the office to stop a reflection in the middle of the screen and it took a while to figure out the external lighting to prevent reflection.

  • If you plan to use a virtual background, a green screen is a sound investment for around $60 as it will eliminate image tearing.
  • A physical whiteboard behind the salesperson should not reflect light sources and lighting angles must be tweaked to provide optimal whiteboard lighting with minimal reflection. (I have priced three different whiteboard options depending on the home environment).  I recommend physical whiteboards for salespeople and standing vs. seated delivery.  When using a whiteboard, salespeople who are standing can communicate more effectively using their physiology to convey emotion and meaning, putting themselves in the room virtually with the buyer.

  • A microphone should provide crystal-clear sound with ample volume, without echoes from hard surfaces. Consider a quality wired USB or blue-tooth microphone for clear, concise voice capture, -  a mic may not be needed with the Logitech camera above.  In the photo of my setup, I have added towels to the desk surfaces to cut down echo and I use the microphone in directional mode to prevent echo from the back wall.

  • We recommend a whiteboard behind the salesperson or SE, as background.  Whiteboards can be wall-mounted or on wheels.  The whiteboard is about 4-feet from my laptop camera.

  • If you don't use a green screen, a whiteboard behind the salesperson makes the home office look more professional.  It enables salespeople to swivel to capture and articulate ideas on the whiteboard.  Ideas captured in real-time or pre-drawn in advance show competence and build trust.

Office desk, office chair, external monitor, desk-riser.

  • Do salespeople have a desk or do they use the bed or kitchen table?  Where possible situate the desk so the salesperson has a wall behind them, vs. a view into the room.

  • IKEA has great drop-sided desk options for people working in tight spaces. A desk is a more professional setup, even in a bedroom.

  • Are salespeople sitting on a kitchen chair or an ergonomic office chair? - it's hard to do good work for 8 hours a day in an uncomfortable chair.

  • Do they have an external monitor or only a laptop? A good quality high-resolution monitor could be of value.

  • Do they meet prospects sitting or standing in Zoom calls?  If they stand, do they have a desk-riser or standing desk to bring the camera and screen to eye level?  We recommend that salespeople conduct their meetings standing.  

Remote Meeting Mastery - Bill of Materials, with options

The following bill of materials could be useful in budgeting for your sales team's success in 2021. 

Oh, one last thing, now that you have set your sales team up for remote selling mastery, we can teach sales teams a new way to engage customers using a whiteboard, to bring an added visual dimension and a conversation framework to naturally create dialogue and accelerate trust across the buying process, from the first call to implementation.

Remote Selling Excellence - Optional Bill of Materials

Item

Make and Source

Source Cost  (USD)

External HD video camera and stereo microphone (2020 model)

Logitech C930e Pro Stream Webcam – Full 1080p HD Camera

$129.99

 

USB Condenser Mic.

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic for Recording and Streaming on PC and Mac, Cardioid Condenser Capsule, Adjustable Stand, Plug and Play – Black

$49.99

Lighting

Emart LED Video Light 11 Brightness/4 Color Filters Dimmable Photography Continuous Table Top Lighting, Adjustable Tripod Stand, USB Portable Fill Light for Photo Studio Shooting

$41.99

Wall-mount whiteboard

XBoard Magnetic Whiteboard 48 x 36, White Board 4 x 3, Dry Erase Board with Detachable Marker Tray

$57.99

Mobile whiteboard - large

Double-Sided Mobile Whiteboard, 48 x 32 inches Large Rolling White Board, maxtek Reversible Magnetic Dry Erase Board Easel Standing Whiteboard on Wheels for Home Office Classroom

$148.67

Mobile Whiteboard - space-constrained

Vertical mount 40 x 28 rolling whiteboard, with flip chart

$129

27" External-monitor

Dell 27 Monitor - S2721HSX

$169.99

Office Desk - dropside

IKEA Norden Gateleg table, white $199

Ergonomic office chair

XUER Ergonomics Office Chair Mesh Computer Desk Chair, Adjustable Headrests Chair Backrest and Armrest's Mesh Chair (Black)

$219.99

Desk-riser

FDW Adjustable Height 32 Inches Steel Standing Desk Converter Stand Up Desk Home Office Computer Desk Workstation, Black

$84.99

Laptop Riser

Adjustable Laptop Stand, Suturun Portable Laptop Computer Stand Riser&Multi-Angle Stand

$23.99 

Blue-Screen


AFHT 5'X7'Portable Green Screen Backdrop with Stand Blue and Green 2-in-1 Collapsible Green Screen Kit Chromakey Green Screen Chair

$89.99 

Virtual Selling Training

Remote Selling Mastery Conversation Frameworks

Budget $1000, per head, for virtual training (up-to-12-hours) plus a consulting fee for customizing storyboard frameworks for specific selling motions

 

I want more Mojo in our virtual selling presence!