Remote Selling: Co-browsing vs. Screen Sharing

What do you do when travelling to visit a potential customer is just not possible? Until a few months ago it may have been because of timing or budget constraints, but today it is simply not allowed due to travel restrictions and a large number of companies requiring their employees to work from home. This has led to a much larger reliance on tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting to connect with prospects and try to mimic the in-person meeting experience. For voice and video conferencing, this works well. But when it comes to sharing presentations, giving product demos, or having your prospect show you on their own computer what problems they need solved, the screen sharing option falls short.

This is likely because these tools still use “screen sharing” technology vs “co-browsing” technology, and when you are trying to recreate an in-person meeting, it is crucial to know the difference. Understanding which is the best choice for engaging with your prospects as if you are sitting side-by-side could have a huge impact on your close rate.

In the end it comes down to the overall sales experience: how a prospect is engaging with you and your brand, and the actual content sharing experience itself. Let’s start with the brand engagement.


Co-browsing and brand engagement

With co-browsing every session starts and ends where you want it to. Because there is no software to download or install, you can simply provide a link to your prospect and the session will begin directly in their browser. This gives you the ability to create a fully branded and customised experience for your prospect. You can begin a co-browsing session directly from your own website or your prospects, take them into your own application, and even visit the site of your competitors to show how your solution stacks up to theirs. You get to build the branded experience you want, and choose where to start and finish every session.


Screen sharing and brand engagement

With screen sharing your prospects sessions begins in a different platform or tool, often requiring your prospect to download and install software. From the beginning you have less control of the brand experience you create for your prospect, and are creating hurdles for your prospect to overcome. With remote selling it is even more important to establish a personal connection with your prospect as well as a brand connection, and screen sharing does not create the best possible environment for that to happen.


When it comes to your prospects actual experience in sharing content you want it to be as simple and smooth as possible. They see what you see and vice versa. Whether it’s text content or watching a video, it needs to be a high quality experience.


The co-browsing experience

Co-browsing works by only sharing what is in your browser window, taking all the HTML content that makes up the page you want to share, sending it to the participant, and recreating the page on their end. This means there is no need to send large amounts of image data, keeping you in sync with the person you are co-browsing with. It also means you can easily share video and audio without losing any quality: a 4k video stays at 4k quality when shared in a co-browsing session. Co-browsing is like driving a sports car to work: it’s a smooth ride that gets you there fast.


The screen sharing experience

Screen sharing works just like it sounds: snapshots of your entire screen are being taken over and over again, resulting in large streams of data being compressed and sent to the person you are screen sharing with. Not only does it take a lot of bandwidth to do this, it requires the recipient to have a computer fast enough to constantly render those images on their screen. This means that screen updates on the other side can often be slow, blurry, or choppy, resulting in a poor sharing experience. It’s like riding to work in a semi-truck: it will get you there, but the ride will be slow and bumpy.


We won’t be able to replace the effectiveness of an in-person meeting, but we can do our best to make sure we use the technology that gets us the closest. Technology that is focused on connecting people and allowing them to fully engage with brands and share content with each other as if they were side-by-side. In the new age of fully remote selling, the sales teams that do this, and do it well, will be able to truly showcase their solutions and close deals.

Learn more about co-browsing technology, and Surfly’s unique proxy based approach.