Big Data

How streaming video unites direct-sales teams

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There’s been a lot of buzz around streaming video’s potential to transform the way that corporate organizations — especially those with teams scattered around the world — communicate, collaborate and sell.

But what about companies with a direct-sales model? Is there a role for streaming video to play in helping groups of independent sales representatives improve their game and feel like they are all part of one team?

Jennifer Thompson, an independent distributor for SeneGence International, can attest that there is. Since becoming the leader of an international team of 400 independent distributors for the cosmetics and skincare company several months ago, Thompson has been using live streaming video to conduct biweekly training sessions.

“We discuss product knowledge and share marketing, advertising and social media tips,” she says. “It’s an effective platform for sharing best practices and creating an experience that feels like everyone is working in a real company setting.”

A marketing and communications veteran, Thompson says she immediately recognized the value of using video to virtually and cost-effectively bring together direct-sales team members located across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. She uses live video to train and onboard new employees in a way that makes everyone feel involved in the organization.

Virtual training and collaboration

Thompson develops all the training materials she uses, with the exception of product-related information provided by SeneGence. She also frequently conducts spur-of-the-moment training sessions on specific topics for her team, who communicate almost exclusively through a closed group on Facebook.

“I monitor the discussions in our group in real time. If I see an issue that’s generating a lot of questions from, or conversation within, our group, I will offer to do a 15-minute live training on the spot to talk through it,” she says. “I also receive direct messages from reps asking me to conduct quick training sessions on specific topics.”

Thompson adds that this direct access to leadership for team members is a major benefit of using live video. Though there was a learning curve when she first introduced the idea of live video training, her sessions are now well-attended, and team members actually request these sessions.

Seamlessly bringing new employees on board

Thompson says that streaming video has quickly become her go-to tool for onboarding new SeneGence distributors as well. Video helps the new members feel more connected to the rest of the team and more comfortable asking questions, a substantial improvement from Thompson’s own onboarding experience, which took place via text messages.

Live video “has really been a game changer for many of the women on my team,” she says. “They are more comfortable sharing information, initiating discussions and collaborating. That’s been an incredible takeaway for me as their team leader, and it’s an incentive for me to keep expanding our group’s use of video.”

Learn more about using video for direct-sales training at IBM Cloud Video.

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