If you regularly listen to podcasts–you’re not alone. In the US alone, 62 million people report consuming podcast content every single week. The statistics surrounding podcasting’s meteoric rise are pretty astounding: listeners are downloading upwards of 1 billion episodes of content every month and in 2017, podcasting surpassed Twitter and LinkedIn in popularity–and companies are taking notice.
In a time where workers are demanding more accessible leadership and transparent communication, employers are leveraging company podcasts to effectively reach their internal and remote workforce. It’s not just SMB’s getting in on the action, either: Major players like Trader Joe’s, GE, American Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Samsung, and even Walmart, have already implemented podcasting into their integrated communications plan.
But this medium isn’t just effective for your internal comms, podcasting for sales enablement can also have a powerful effect on your team’s productivity and bottom line.
Between articles, videos, social media feeds, and endless blog posts, it’s pretty clear we’re living in a time of information overload. And that’s just in one’s personal life. Your team also likely has to contend with online chatter from email, office messengers like Slack, and other tools unique to your organization. Podcasting for sales is the perfect way to cut through some of that noise since listening is a passive action and requires less attention than reading or watching multimedia files. A recent survey showed that, of current podcast listeners, 64% listened in the car, 43% at the gym and 49% consumed content while walking.
It’s pretty much a given that sales reps are strapped for time and are more remote than regular desk employees. This often means missing out on key meetings and information that would help them do their job more effectively. After all, the most successful sales teams are:
- Informed and prepared about the competition
- Up-to-date on the company’s most current products and services
- Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to industry news and trends
Regardless of if your sales team is already checking those boxes, there is always room for improvement and growth.
Ways to Use Podcasting for Sales Teams
Train and onboard new reps more effectively
The average sales rep turnover rate currently clocks in at 34% (yikes). Even more staggering: research suggests 1 in 10 companies experience rates exceeding 55% with an average “ramp up” time of 5.3 months until new reps are ready to strike out on their own. With all those people constantly coming and going, you (or someone on your team) is spending an inordinate amount of time training and onboarding, which not only takes a toll on productivity but also your bottom line.
62% of companies consider themselves ineffective at onboarding new sales hires. Why do companies struggle so much with onboarding? It’s usually a combination of the following:
- The existing onboarding process is slow and cumbersome
- Training is done “on the fly” without much structure
- There are no benchmarks in place to assess the readiness of a rep to “leave the nest”
- There’s no formal measurement of onboarding efforts or results from those efforts
- Companies set unrealistic hiring or quota expectations
There are tons of benefits to pre-recording training and onboarding materials and companies that use technology for sales training and onboarding are, on average, 57% more effective.
- It’s an easy way to cut down on time spent repeating the same sessions Information
- Training modules are easy to go back to for a knowledge refresh
- Modules are able to be accessed 24/7, on-the-go, from anywhere
Share winning stories
Sales reps are usually busy pursuing their own leads and managing their own opportunities. When someone on the sales team closes a deal, we may hear about the customer’s name, and the size of the sale, but we don’t learn the most important thing: how did we win this customer’s business?
A podcast is an easy way to share a success story. You don’t have to write a long email or be a good writer. You just need to be able to speak which, consequently, salespeople are typically pretty good at.
Even a short, three-minute chat detailing how a particular opportunity was won can be massively helpful to the team. They’ll likely want to know:
- How did the sale begin?
- What were the customer’s key needs?
- What features were most important to them?
- Were they considering competitors? If so, which ones.
- How was the pricing discussion handled? (I.e.– were discounts required, etc)
Making this kind of podcast is as easy as clicking the Record button in your podcasting platform and talking into your computer. When you’ve finished recording, you can share the podcast as a link by email.
Unsurprisingly, 64% of podcast listeners tune in while driving, 43% at the gym and 49% consumed content while walking. Whether commuting by train, plane, or car to appointments a podcast platform that offers a mobile app will allow everyone to listen whenever they want through their mobile phones.
Leaders have long used pep talks to inspire teams. One of the most famous motivational speeches came from Knute Rockne, the football coach at Notre Dame in the 1920s.
At halftime during a 1928 game against Army, with the score tied, Coach Rockne gave an emotional, heartfelt talk about a former Notre Dame player, George Gipp, who died in 1920 at just 25 years of age. Rockne implored the team to “win just one for the Gipper.” The team responded with two touchdowns in the second half and won the game 12-6.
Of course, you don’t have to be the football coach of an NCAA Division I school to give a great pep talk. Sales managers can draw on their own stories of challenges and successes to give their teams a boost or they can upload to a podcast platform any number of motivational talks that are publicly available.
Here are a few we like to get your podcast library started:
- Admiral McRaven’s “If You Want To Change The World, Start Off By Making Your Bed”
- Steve Jobs “Getting Fired From Apple Was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” (Don’t Lose Faith)
- Denzel Washington “Take Risks“
- Tony Robbins “The Magic Of Rapport“
- Joachim de Posada, “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow“
- Richard St. John, “Success is a Continuous Journey”
Of course, leadership is responsible for team morale and being an inspiration to your sales team is fundamental to boosting productivity. If you want to create your own quick, easy motivational content, try uploading these types of “snackable” content pieces to your podcast platform:
- Daily intentions
- Virtual high-fives to team members performing especially well or who closed a particular deal
- Quote of the day and what it means to you
- A brief overview of industry trends or news pieces affecting the day and how your team can use them to their advantage
Elevate recognition strategies
Recognition is an integral part of most sales programs. In fact, researchers have found that public displays of appreciation can often be more motivating than salary. After all, you want to ensure your best salespeople are being acknowledged for their contributions and successes. Podcasting can be a wonderful tool for giving kudos to your best performers and encouraging them to share what tactics worked best to close the deal.
Gamification has also been a hugely successful tactic commonly used to boost reps motivation, which ends up have some pretty great benefits for your bottom line. It’s a great way to tap into the competitive spirit of your reps and encourage them to play-to-win. Try following up podcast content with some quizzes for knowledge retention and incentivize listening with prizes for the best scores (Hot tip: CircleHD’s podcasting solution has a leaderboard you can make public, which can show which team members are coming out on top).
Get everyone on the same page
Did you know?: A recent study of 1,100 employees found that remote employees often feel shunned and left out. Since sales reps are often in the field, meeting with clients and prospects to build relationships, they may miss out on the day-to-day meetings and interactions taking place at your company. Podcasts can build a bridge and make them feel like a more integral part of the team. By allowing your field reps to access content at a time that is convenient for them, you create a feeling of inclusion at the company, allowing them to refer to key information even if they’re not in the office.
Build stronger executive-employee relations
We live in a time where employees expect more from their leaders. Podcasting provides a unique opportunity for companies to address one of the biggest challenges in the workplace: employee engagement. For C-suite executives, managers and HR leaders who are often viewed as uncaring, podcasting provides an opportunity to humanize the communication pipeline. This can lead to better company culture and workplace relationships and provide an easy way to deliver company news.
Research shows organizations with a thriving workplace culture tend to grow significantly faster than peers and there are many content ideas your leaders can activate to create an engaging listening experience for the audience:
- Q&A Sessions
- Interviews with key stakeholders
- Fireside chats between leaders and team members
- Sharing company news and successes
- Spotlights on specific products or offerings
- Episodes about industry trends or with other industry leaders
- “Making the company” talks about the origins of the company
Key Things to Consider
It’s clear that podcasting isn’t going away anytime soon—so it’s time for companies to explore this as a new way to scale overall business growth. As with any new enterprise solution, leaders should consider a few things when it comes time to implement a podcast for your sales team:
It’s likely sensitive information and trade secrets will be mentioned in podcasts. You’ll want to make sure whatever platform you use has enterprise-level encryption and security protocols so nothing gets leaked.
Ease of Use
Getting started with podcasting doesn’t have to require sophisticated setups, complicated equipment, or a sharp learning curve. Platforms like CircleHD allow teams to record natively from their desktop or mobile, so you can spend more time focusing elsewhere.
How You Will Measure Success
As with any other communication initiative, you’ll want a concrete way to measure success. This checklist will give you some insights into what metrics should be a priority when determining the success of your podcasting efforts.
Putting together an internal podcast for your sales team that is engaging and boosts productivity is easier than it sounds and has a multitude of benefits. CircleHD provides a feature-rich podcasting platform, ready for next-generation enterprises that need mobility and security for employee engagement and learning. No matter how you rate your team’s communication, there’s always room for improvement. Internal podcasting can help organizations with initiatives like company messaging, culture building, learning and development, training, onboarding, and more. Since listening is more of a passive action, it can be less of a burden for your workforce than reading or watching videos. Not sure where to begin? Download our checklist.