Inside Edition with Jessica Liss, Technical Product Manager

This week we had the awesome opportunity to take an inside look at a day in the life of Jessica Liss, one of our Technical Product Managers.  Jessica is a CSU graduate and has been with ReadyTalk for almost a year.

Describe a typical day for you at ReadyTalk. 

I typically attend a class at the gym downtown (which ReadyTalk helps pay for) and arrive at work a little before 9 a.m. for the daily stand-ups with the teams I work with. It's great that I have the flexibility to start the day with a workout, so I'm awake and ready to tackle anything that comes my way. Currently, I join the daily meetings of two teams as they review their status on our virtual Kanban board, and I communicate any priorities that have changed since the previous day. After standup, if I don't have other meetings, I like to sit with the engineers to be available for questions and do some bonding  – though I have to watch my back since I'm often a target of nerf dart attacks! Before lunch I'll head to a Product Planning meeting, which is composed of leadership from marketing, operations and engineering. Depending on the week, we may be further defining a product's minimum viable feature set, reviewing wireframes and usability testing results, raising risks / concerns about project status, or discussing important projects that have come up that need to be defined and planned for. Depending on where a project is at in its lifecycle, my afternoon may include performing competitive analysis, meeting with the Product Marketing manager to discuss a launch plan, or writing user stories. One of the things I love about my job is that there really isn't a "typical" day – my week is fully of a variety of activities with people from across the business… which keeps it interesting!

Why do you think that ReadyTalk is the #1 company to work for in Colorado?

ReadyTalk is the best company to work for in Colorado because of the people and the culture. Few companies are able to authentically define themselves as an employee-centric organization – ReadyTalk has been able to achieve it.  Employees are empowered to do what they love – whether it is coding, testing, selling, marketing, organizing, etc. There is a high level of trust from the leadership that employees are capable of getting the job done without micromanagement. One of my favorite benefits is the ability to volunteer during the day without taking extra time off. It's been really fun to bond with co-workers while also serving the local community. Furthermore, ReadyTalk invests in their employees and provides unique training and professional development opportunities that many organizations have unfortunately cut out of their budgets.

Tell us about your favorite day at work…

One of my favorite days at work occurred a few months after I started… I was working with a team of new engineers on our product called the Quick Launcher. Our job was to take a partially developed product, figure out what still needed to be done, and release it to production. The team unified and took ownership and pride in the Quick Launcher. They brought creativity and talent to make it better than the company could have anticipated. The team really bonded during development and the launch was a big moment of celebration. Each of us brought in something to share for the release party – three types of homemade salsa (one that was mild enough for me to enjoy), tortilla chips, and Limoncello from my recent trip to Italy to make some tasty drinks. As I was grabbing glasses and a bowl upstairs, I ran into the CEO, Dan King, and his brother Scott, EVP, and casually invited them to join us for the party. Without hesitation and with only 5 minutes notice, they both came to cheer on the team. Just last Friday, we had another release party and had all the executive staff there to celebrate and congratulate the team on their hard work.  I appreciate the team-centric and collaborative atmosphere that is found throughout the organization regardless of title.

If someone were interested in working on your team at ReadyTalk what advice would you have for them?

My advice would be to be passionate about what you do, know your strengths and the value you bring to the organization, and be able to genuinely articulate what gets you excited about the opportunity to work at ReadyTalk.

 

Katie Green is part of the ReadTalk Recruiting Team (AKA the Beaphins)  She has been in the recruiting industry for 10 years and has developed a strong interest in technology and technical recruitment. When she isn’t searching for technical talent for ReadyTalk you might find her at the tennis court, playing volleyball or learning a new song on guitar!

 

 

 

Guest Post: Nurturing = Prospect and Customer Relationship Management

You may or may not have a marketing automation tool, but likely you do have a number of leads that are falling out of the sales and marketing funnel because of a lack of quality interaction. Scenario: a prospect shows interests, marketing passes them to sales, sales reaches out and sets up a free trial. Free trial eventually ends. What happens if the prospect decides not to purchase? Maybe they weren’t sure about price or maybe they just need more time?

 In our webinar this Thursday at 2:00ET, we’ll speak to the above questions and then some. I sat down w/ our speaker, Kelly Hall, Business Impact Director at 90Octane, and asked her to give us a sneak peek into what she’ll be presenting. Ultimately – when it comes to lead nurturing, where do we start, what are the best channels to use, and why does it even matter in the first place?

 

Nurturing = Prospect and Customer Relationship Management

What does it really mean to “nurture” a lead, and where does it fit in your marketing mix? The term “lead nurturing” has been front and center in the marketing world for some time now, but there are varying definitions as to what it means, when it makes sense to undertake and what, exactly, you need to create a successful lead nurturing program.

What is lead nurturing?

The easiest way to conceptualize lead nurturing is to think of personal relationships. We don’t leap immediately from dating to marriage, but rather through developing and nurturing the lifecycle of the relationship. Your personal and business relationships are a conglomerate of communication touch points, from face-to-face interaction to phone calls and more. This is also the case for lead nurturing. We would be remiss to define lead nurturing as exclusively an online activity. Conversations with sales or customer service representatives, attendance at tradeshows, and participation in events all factor into nurturing a prospect or customer relationship.

Where (and when) should you nurture?

Lead nurturing is the natural evolution from pure-play demand generation. Regardless of whether you are operating as B2B or B2C lead nurturing can, and should, be utilized. At its most fundamental, lead nurturing is the management of the relationship. Leads aren’t just leads, they are people who need communication before, during and after making purchase decisions.

How should you approach it?

Strategy is the single most important thing you need to undertake lead nurturing. That means you must answer these questions:

  • Why am I asking them to engage with me?
  • What do I have to offer?
  • What is the best way to communicate with the prospects?
  • How often should I communicate with these prospects?


Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that lead nurturing is equal to marketing automation, or that the only way to nurture is through a tool. And, while the help of a marketing automation tool may be great (and frankly, sometimes mandatory), often you can undertake lead nurturing strategies sans the tool. In fact, we recommend for those new to lead nurture strategy that you undertake the strategic side of things, and then use your findings to inform whether you need a marketing automation tool, and if so, what the best tool given your business requirements is.

 

Once you have established your strategic goals and defined when and where you need to nurture, you’ll be well on your way to determining how lead nurturing can work for you.

 

Be sure to register for the webinar and if you are seeking additional information, check out our sneak peek interview with Kelly on what you can expect to learn and who should be attending. Hope you can join us!

Sneak Peeks from ReadyTalk at Cloudforce

online meetings for salesforceLast week, I attended my first Salesforce conference, Cloudforce 2012 in San Francisco. I'm wondering why I haven't been to one before because Salesforce puts on a great event for their customers and partners. I enjoyed the mix of attendees at the conference, from Salesforce admins, developers, sales managers, to partners like ReadyTalk. It was amazing to learn how different organizations are leveraging the platform.

At the show, ReadyTalk was busy giving a sneak peek of our latest update to ReadyTalk for Salesforce. The updated application will be available in the Salesforce AppExchange in early April and we'll be sharing more details in the coming weeks. If you would like to get a sneak peek of the new functionality,  sign up for a demo or stay tuned for more information about our upcoming release of ReadyTalk for Salesforce.

 

Shawna is a Product Marketing Manager focused on integrating ReadyTalk conferencing into the programs and applications our customers use every day.  Being a startup junky, Shawna joined ReadyTalk after working at multiple startups in the Denver/Boulder area. Outside of work, you can find Shawna in the mountains with her family, skiing, biking, hiking, swimming, or just sitting outside in the Colorado sun.

Expand the Reach of your Next Webinar with iReach by PR Newswire

ReadyTalk and PR Newswire have long been mutual customers, benefitting from the various marketing opportunities that result from both platforms and business models. PR Newswire recently launched a self-service platform, iReachTM, which enables users to easily create and distribute a press release for a low cost. ReadyTalk is always looking for new promotional channels that our customers can take advantage of, and the iReach platform is a perfect fit, especially for those that use webinars to generate new leads for their sales funnel.

Besides being easy-to-use and cost-effective, our integration with iReach by PR Newswire offers several benefits:

  • Broader (but targeted!) promotion

    • Automatically promote your webinar on PRNewswire.com and make it findable by search & news engines
    • Ability to target the most relevant audiences when PR Newswire tags your releases for the right industries, subjects and geographies
  • Increase your website visibility

    • Drive more visitors  to your site by including back links in your release
  • Extend the ROI of your webinar

    • Your press release is hosted forever with PR Newswire, which includes a search-friendly permalink URL

ReadyTalk customers have access to two iReach packages at special introductory pricing:

  • SearchReach: Promote your webinar online and within search engines for $99 per release (a $30 savings!)
  • WebReach: Optimize your press release with an image and drive more traffic to your site for $249 per release (a $50 savings)

And, finally, how do you get started?

 

Log-in to Conference Center to schedule your upcoming webinar.  After filling in your meeting details in step 1, go to the ‘Promotion Tools’ section in step 2.

Click on ‘Send a Press Release’ and a new browser window will open to the ReadyTalk iReachTM website.

Choose which option you would like to purchase on Step 1 (SearchReach or WebReach).

You will be taken to Step 2 to start creating the content and details of your press release.  For your convenience, the default meeting registration link will automatically be included in the press release body section, along with the following standard language (don’t worry, it’s editable!)

Please click on the following link to register for the upcoming webinar: Meeting Registration Link

Continue through the remaining steps (preview, pay, release!) to complete the process and promote your upcoming webinar to a broader (but targeted) audience.

A few tips:

  • Remember to finish setting up your webinar in Conference Center (invitations, registration form, emails, survey, social media promotion, etc)
  • Measure the effectiveness of using the iReach platform by creating a unique campaign url and include it in the press release body. **Remember, the default meeting registration link will be automatically populated, so make sure to swap it out!

Please share any feedback, and results, you have on your experience. We love hearing from our customers!

Getting Feedback from your Participants just got Easier!

What is one of the best ways to improve your next webinar? Ask for feedback!  We currently offer customers the option to display a post-event survey after a meeting has ended. Prior to the start of the meeting, the chairperson can modify the messaging that precedes the survey, add custom questions, attach files, or even direct  participants to a 3rd party survey tool.

But what happens if a participant leaves the webinar early, or if the chairperson doesn’t immediately end the meeting?  In the past, you may have missed the opportunity to get valuable feedback.  Now, you can include a link to the post-event survey in your follow-up email to anyone that attended the meeting, but didn’t fill out the survey.

Check out this new functionality:

  • How to Include the Post-Meeting Survey Link in Post-Meeting Email

    • By default, the functionality is enabled and is only included in the Post-Meeting Email to Attendees who have not completed the survey. This will avoid duplicate responses from your participants.


 

  • If the box is checked to include the post-meeting survey link, the text and button highlighted below for the post-meeting survey link will always display in the preview. However, if an attendee already completed the survey prior the post-meeting email being sent, the text and button will not be included.


 

 

  • Do you want to include a custom survey link instead?

    • If you choose to send attendees to a custom survey link, the option to include a post-meeting survey link in the post-meeting email is automatically disabled and no longer available.


Edit Post-Meeting Survey Page

 

 

Edit Post-Meeting Email to Attendees

It’s that easy! What are other ways that you get feedback from your participants before, during, and after your webinar?

 

 

 

 

Beth is a Product Marketing Manager and works with our customers to understand their needs as they relate to Event Services and ReadyTalk’s Conference Center, which is used to setup the details of our clients' upcoming meetings. Outside of the office, Beth loves to spend time with family and friends, cook, and hit the slopes.