Virtual Reality and The Future of Sales | SalesHood

We hosted a Virtual Reality experience this week in New York with our friends at Collective[i]. I loved the experience. It’s amazing how far Virtual Reality has come in the last twelve months and it opened my eyes to the future. After trying out a number of Virtual Reality experiences like walking through landscapes on this planet and abroad, walking the plank (and jumping) and then flying through the skies, I realized, first hand, the power of Virtual Reality. As different experiences and scenarios presented themselves to me, I was asked to participate and go deeper and deeper. It took practice and role-playing to the next level for me. Did I mention, I’m afraid of heights? Here I was very willing to walk on a plank and jump off a building. What an amazing way to get over fears, uncertainty, and doubt. My virtual reality experiences showed me the future of sales.

The implications here are tremendous for corporations especially around training, coaching, and selling. We can leapfrog engagement and education hurdles by immersing our teams and customers into virtual reality role play simulations. We’ll help our customers overcome their objections as they see their future. We will literally show our customers their future before they buy.

How Virtual Reality will Change Sales as We Know It
Here are some tangible scenarios where I believe Virtual Reality will come to life sooner than we think:

Virtual Sales Training and Role-Plays
How cool would it be for marketing to roll out their new corporate messaging and playbooks using virtual reality? It’s the next generation of video. I suspect engagement, education, and effectiveness would be very high. Companies will roll out sales training and simulate real life situations like calls, meetings and board room presentations. Sales training will be interactive with objections and responses.

Sales Pitch Practice
We’re seeing video and social learning evolve the corporate sales pitch to include practice, reinforcement, manager coaching, and peer feedback. With virtual reality, we’ll see salespeople practicing their pitch in a simulated board room and with customers raising objection in augmented conversations.

Sales Coaching 1:1s
Sales managers and their reps will do coaching one-on-ones (1:1s) in virtual rooms with virtual white boards that have performance data embedded. Managers can also choose settings that aligned with the mood and personality of their team member.

Sales Meetings & Motivational Events
Team meetings can take place anywhere in the world. I love the idea of hosting a motivational meeting at a virtual warm destination. Imagine a manager taking their sales team to a virtual beach destination to truly visualize a sales club trip incentive. I’m sure a quick trip before powering through calls and customer emails will surely be motivational.

Deal Rooms
The idea of bringing customers together in a virtual deal room where buyers and sellers meet and talk just like they would in person is very compelling. It’s the next generation of the video conference. I imagine a scene that looks like the Jedi council meetings from Star Wars movies. It’s here now.

Customer Simulations
The idea here is to give a customer a physical walk through of what their world will look like buying your product or service. We will take try before you buy to a whole new level. Have our customers and prospects take a literal “day in the life” of what their future will look like and sample the produce they want to buy.

The future of sales enablement is here now. We’re already seeing mobile, video and social learning being used everyday. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning is on the rise. Virtual Reality is coming at a fast pace too and it has the potential to tie all these pieces together by enabling us to experience sales training, coaching and selling in a whole new way.

About the Author

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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