If there can be one bright spot that comes out of the whole COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns, it is that we all have become live-streaming and video-call experts. Ok, “expert” is a bit strong. Even the best of us stare blankly at the screen asking, “is this on?” And, “can you hear and see me?”  But, in the least, we all now know what a “zoom” is.

“Zoom,” has become synonymous with any type of video call, online video conference, and even live stream.  Zoom is to video calls what Kleenex is to tissue paper. It became a way for people to connect when they could not be together. Businesses utilized zoom-style meetings to temporarily replace in-office meetings. Human Resource departments utilized video calls for interviews. And, people all across the globe utilized zoom of some sort to stay connected with family and loved ones. In fact, people transitioned to video calls so quickly that Zoom itself saw a 317% revenue increase in just the past year.  But, how did this change affect how we do business, how we prospect, and how we sell?

How Video Calls Changed Business

When we hear the phrase “streaming,” most of us will first think of things such as Netflix and Hulu. And, while that type of streaming grew tremendously the past year, up 42% according to Nielsen, we are going to focus on a more business-centered live-streaming. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on live-streaming such as you or your business utilizing Facebook and LinkedIn, or similar type networks and websites, to “go live” to your audience. We’ll also look at video call services, such as Zoom and GoTo (formally Go To Meeting).

How Live-Streaming Changed Business

This change pre-dated COVID. Live video has been around for over a decade. But, it was when Facebook launched live video in August of 2015 that the concept really caught on. In a way, Facebook brought live video to the attention of the masses. It also made it simple for a business to “go live” to an existing audience through their Facebook Business Page. This allowed businesses to essentially take the relationship with their audience, their prospects, and buyers, to the next level.the big increase in video business content for sales

When a business live streams, they connect with their audience on a deeper level. By next year, 82% of all new online content will be video. Beyond video being an increasingly preferred way people like to consume content, it is a relationship-building tool for businesses.

These days, buyers want to have a connection to the brand. In fact, they will often feel like they have a relationship with the brand. On social media, a brand simply liking or replying to a consumer’s comment can start that relationship. Live streaming takes it to the next level. Sure, grabbing a cup of coffee with someone is much better in terms of relationship building. But, live streaming allows you to grab a virtual cup of coffee with a large audience. And, the benefits go beyond that.

Live Streaming For Sales

Live-streaming now allows a business to build relationships and turn prospects into customers without ever having to leave their home office. Beyond relationship building, live-streaming allows businesses to go more in-depth on various features and benefits, in a more personal and natural way than a traditional video demo or in-person presentation does. This can facilitate a more natural feeling sales process.

Last, and this is important, it is fun! Sure, you could sit around sending cold emails, but live-streaming is a form of social selling, and it’s simply more fun. Why not have fun while conducting business and making sales? It is also more fun for the prospect. People like to see people. They like live interaction, telling a few jokes, and seeing each other smiling. And, when you’re having fun prospecting and conducting business, you’ll sell more and you’ll enjoy work and life more.

How Video Calls Changed Business

Ready for a statistic that will blow your mind? Video Calls are up 535% over the past year. And, that is probably a very conservative number! It does not account for all of the increases in FaceTime, Messenger Video Calls, and other social media platform video calls. When you add that, video calls may very well be up 1,000% from pre-pandemic times. It is not just that the pandemic necessitated the need to transfer some in-person meetings to video calls, it’s that when that happened, people liked it. Once people got a taste of video calls, they wanted more of it.

The rise of video calls certainly changed how we communicate in our personal relationships. But, it also changed how we communicate in our business relationships and how business and sales are conducted.

3 Ways Video Calls Changed Business And Sales

1. Efficiency

Back in the day, in 2019, there were only so many meetings or sales presentations that you could make in a day, This is especially true if you were having meetings in multiple locations and at local businesses. But, it is also true just within an office, going from meeting room to meeting room, waiting for people to arrive, and all sorts of other things that took time from our days. Video calls have enabled the workforce, especially sales reps, to conduct more meetings in a shorter amount of time.

2. Improved Communication

There can be a lot lost in communication via email or even over the telephone. When we communicate via video, we use more of our senses and pick up on not just verbal cues, but we pick up information from nonverbal cues. For those in sales, this is tremendously beneficial. Over the telephone, and certainly, over email or text, it can sometimes be difficult to gauge the prospect’s interest level. But, when you’re on a video call, you’re given a lot more information. If the prospect is checking their watch, looking at their phone, and hardly looking at you, you know the sales call is going bad and you can adjust. Video calls improve business communication.

3. Shortens The Sales Cycle

Video calls have done a lot to shorter the sales cycle, and to decrease the cycle of any major business decision. Similar to point one, Efficiency,” video calls allow you to move a prospect through a sales cycle faster. Many of the sales presentations and follow-up meetings that use to be conducted in person, of which phone calls or emails just aren’t a good substitute for, can now be done by video call. This gets you to the “no” or “yes” quicker, and speeds up the sales process.

Furthermore, video calls shorten the prospecting, and therefore sales prospect, by increasing the speed at which you can build a rapport and relationship with a prospect. This really falls under all three of the points above. People like to buy from people. They did pre-pandemic, and they still like to today. Video calls make it possible to better, and more quickly, develop relationships that lead to sales and life-long customers.

How have live streaming and video calls changed your business? Which platforms or software do you use most for video calls? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.