Mark Coughlan, VP Sales APAC, Bigtincan gave this presentation at the Sales Enablement Summit Sydney in November 2022.
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Hi everyone, my name is Mark Coughlan. I’m VP of Sales APAC at Bigtincan, and in this article I’ll be discussing why extended reality (XR) is a game changer for sales enablement.
We'll be looking at:
- How to create the buying experience of the future
- The limitations of 2D content
- How to effectively engage tomorrow's buyers
- Going beyond the boundaries of 2D through the metaverse
- The four elements of extended reality (XR)
- Five general applications for XR
- MEDDPICC Galaxy - Bigtincan’s interactive AR game
Let’s dive in. 👇
Creating the buying experience of the future
PowerPoint presentations still have an important place in the world of sales. However, at Bigtincan, we're moving away from long capability statements or explanations about what all our products are.
If you do that with a PowerPoint, you'll lose people’s interest after about two or three slides.
Instead, we're all about creating more immersive, engaging experiences.
Video seems to last. Some stats released recently show that most people want to watch specifically micro pieces of video.
If a video is any more than two or three minutes long, you've lost people. The more immersive the experience, the stickier it's going to be.
Sales enablement is a real emerging space and makes a massive difference to salespeople.
It's not about kicking your sales teams out of the door to go sell - it’s about ongoing coaching and reinforcement.
It's also about the marketing teams providing content and teaching the teams how to use it.
Every day is game day as a salesperson, so you've got to take the time out to train people. What you'll see in our platform is that we take sales enablement in quite a broad stroke. We focus on learning, giving the right content, and also what buyers are engaging and resonating with.
Some people like videos, some like reading a 20-page data sheet, and others like a mixture.
You've really got to make sure that you're hitting the mark with whoever you’re targeting.
It's also important to understand your sales metrics and how your content is performing. This is a blind spot for a lot of organizations and they often make an assumption that it’s working, but really they’re just guessing.
Salespeople will take the content, go a bit off-brand, and marketing will lose all control of what's happened.
The salesperson will slap on a company logo as the personalization for the customer, but they've got no idea what the people are actually sharing. So we're all about getting those metrics and controlling that conversation.
Metrics are vital in helping us find out what's working, what's not working, and what content pieces are actually influencing a sale.
It's about understanding at what point in the sale a certain piece of content makes sense to recommend.
You've got to take sales enablement as a holistic play.
The more we use our platform, and the more you share stuff from our platform, the more value and insights you're going to get, and the better people will be able to do their jobs.
The limitations of 2D content
Everybody uses 2D content and has been doing so for years. It's PDFs, PowerPoints, and a bit of video.
You'll often run into challenges where people will all ask for the same things:
- What do you guys do?
- Who have you helped?
- Who can we ask?
- Can you send us some testimonials of what you’ve worked on?
The salesperson will go and ask the marketing team what they should be sending, they’ll go onto a shared desktop to pull in a pack they use for someone else and rebrand it, go searching for the latest marketing video, and attach it. Their email will then get blocked because it’s been sent via Gmail, and the whole process just breaks down.
We're all about making sure that we put the right content into a customer's hands so they can make that informed decision.
What we're finding with sales content is that it’s a bit dated and a bit boring. It's not very engaging and we're not really measuring it.
On the learning side, we've all been in these instructor-led training courses where you get a folder that you'll never look at again, so it's essential to create a really immersive learning engagement or people just won’t use it.
Additionally, buyers are younger and are engaging with things like Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. As such, you’ve got to be producing similar types of content that resonate with them.
I'm sure most of your salespeople will go out and have those conversations where they’re asked for a proposal, the customer loved their pitch, and so they put their forecast up to 70%.
This causes a sales leader to ask:
- Have you actually unpacked this deal?
- Have you understood it?
The reality is if they go and look at the share, the customer hasn’t even opened the proposal. So that tells you how engaging the opportunity is and what the confidence levels in the opportunity are going to be.
In regards to buyers and their attention span, if you send them a PDF or 20-page PowerPoint, you’re not going to keep them engaged.
A short three or four-minute video will give them what they need to then make a decision. You don't need to spend too much time pulling it all together; you create it once, and then you push it out.
There's a strong trend in microlearning, which involves using little pieces of content. We've all done those compliance courses that have taken 40 minutes to get through.
You could be right in the middle of training and suddenly get a call from a customer, and then you lose the context, and your concentration completely switches.
It's really about giving people what they need quickly so they can tick it off their list.
How to effectively engage tomorrow's buyers
You need to create immersive, interactive experiences for future generations of buyers, as well as gaining an understanding of whether you’re selling them what they need and if they’re interested in what you have to sell.
There's no point wasting time being in a deal that you don't belong in. It’s always advisable to chase your ‘no’ early.
Some salespeople will try to keep a deal lit for weeks and weeks with no activity or engagement.
They're afraid to pull it out because it means that they're not selling or able to close it. But they didn’t belong in that deal in the first place.
We need to design a much better experience for buyers and sellers.
For example, when you buy a house you never know where you are in the buying cycle. You've got your mortgage broker, the bank giving you the loan, and the real estate agent, but no one knows what the actual structure is in buying a house.
So what we're trying to do is bring in digital sales rooms, which are areas or portals where artifacts can live in a shared environment with customers. This is the latest version of content.
You don't have to go looking into your email for the latest proposal, it's all there, and you can easily update it.
Then there are virtual sales rooms that have areas where you can go through your talk track to see your task lists and understand what has to happen to transact.
Going beyond the boundaries of 2D through the metaverse
People are massively gambling on the metaverse being the space where people will transact in the future.
The metaverse is going to allow users to work, meet, game, and socialize together in 3D spaces.
Basically, if you can think it, you can build it in a digital world.
If you think of the metaverse as a future state, the technology already exists right now. You’re able to use it as an immersive experience to train people.
Imagine you have a person who wants to get into mining as a career but realizes they're claustrophobic. How do you train them?
You can put an Oculus on them and put them into a mine and show them what it looks like. This way, you’re able to train and help them understand what they're looking at when they go into a real mine for the first time.
If you teach that potential miner using a PowerPoint slide, they’ve got no idea what it’s like.
It's not tactile, there's no way they can understand what it's going to be like to do that job or if it’s the wrong career for them.
The 4 elements of XR
If you’ve got a modern car, you've likely got a heads-up display, which is classified as assisted reality.
The best example of augmented reality is Pokemon Go.
Remember when everyone was running around looking for Pokemon and you’d be wondering if they were looking for a signal or playing the game?
Augmented reality is the ability to place a digital object in a real-world environment.
Augmented reality also provides the ability to overlay a digital experience over a physical target. T-Mobile is one of our biggest customers based in the US, and they use this in their retail stores to bring a two-dimensional box to life with a digital experience.
Mixed reality is the ability to place a 3D object into a real-world space. Imagine you’re going furniture shopping and you want to buy a sofa but you’re not sure how it will look in your home.
You can get a 3D model of the sofa so you can see what it looks like in a certain space and if it matches your other furniture and decor.
What mixed reality is doing is getting the buyer to visualize, because that's what's causing the doubt. Doubt extends out the sales cycle and time always kills deals.
You're trying to get the customers to transact really quickly and remove that doubt.
Virtual reality is the ability to place something that already exists in the physical world into an interactive virtual space.
5 general applications for XR
Embedding the 3D model in a real-world situation to best understand fit and ‘feel.’
A ScenARio is where you place a 3D model in a real-world environment and then put a training scenario over the top of it.
For example, if you need to train people in a medical room you can do that in a much more immersive way.
This is where you can show certain triggers in a room.
For example, in real estate, you can walk through a house and take your time looking at it, rather than having the traditional, short 15 minutes normally given to you to inspect the house (and make probably the biggest decision of your life).
There's a company called Matterport who create “digital twins” of houses using 3D cameras. They use those 3D models and put pulsating icons over them, so you can get specific information like how much space there is and if aircon is in each of the rooms.
Virtual realities and virtual portals enable you to teleport somebody into a virtual 3D space. You could click on a button and all of a sudden you're at Waikiki Beach and you can actually ramble around like you’re really there.
These are tied to campaigns and product showcases. We recently built a virtual room for one of our biggest customers, Optus, for their sales kickoff.
It was a really cool experience and a much better way to show what our goals and objectives were for the next year in a virtual environment.
MEDDPIC Galaxy - Bigtincan’s interactive AR game
The Bigtincan SKO quiz was how we introduced a bit more interactivity for sales teams.
When Bigtincan was organizing our sales kickoff, we took on the challenge of building an augmented reality game using Bigtincan XR to reinforce MEDDPICC.
For those that don't know, MEDDPICC is an acronym for all the questions you should be asking in the qualification stage.
It's risk management for an opportunity and gives you a talk track to make sure you've asked all the right questions throughout the deal to keep it alive.
For the kickoff, we moved sales reps into a room where they used their phones to explore the MEDDPICC gallery. They were prompted with specific questions and then navigated the galaxy to choose the right answers.
The reps completed these questions and were immediately provided with a score showing their successes and challenges.
MEDDPICC is often an issue, and we see delayed deals because our sales reps didn't nail all the criteria needed.
By leveraging AR for a fun learning experience, we were able to get reps excited to participate, and many have started using what they learned from the experience in their current deals.
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