7 Ways to Do Security

7 Ways to Do Security

Security of your web conferenceIf security is a priority for your organization, you will want to ensure that your audio and web conferencing services and recordings are not being accessed by unauthorized individuals.   There are several things to keep in mind when thinking about security:

  • Physical Security
  • Network Security and Redundancy
  • Stored Data Security
  • Application Security
  • Role-based
  • Pre-meeting
  • During the meeting

Physical Security

Let’s talk a little bit about physical security, where your conferencing services are being hosted is very important.  Are they hosted in a state-of-the-art, certified data center that is monitored and staffed 24/7/365 with multiple levels of security including video surveillance, software monitoring and alerts?  If not, you probably want to ask your provider what level of security you can expect.

Network Security and Redundancy

Meeting services cross multiple data paths on the Internet, if your service isn’t using encrypted network paths to communicate with the central service, your messages may not be private or keep their integrity as users begin sessions.

Stored Data Security

Once a meeting or presentation has been completed and you recorded it, how do you know it’s not being accessed by unauthorized personnel?  It is critical to understand if the data has any type of encryption scheme so that you can be sure your sensitive data is being protected.

Application Security

There are several levels of application security – basic and secure.  The basic level is the default and states that all meeting participants that have the right meeting start time and proper access code can enter the conference without any additional authentication.  The secure level requires participants to enter an access code and an additional security code which can be changed for each conference if needed.


Security measures can also be put in place depending on the role a person is in the meeting.  Chairpersons could have several controls available to them such as they can set access levels, disconnect participants, lock conferences, set view mode and gather registration information.  A Co-presenter should have those same controls.  The participants should only see information presented to them through the web browser and not have the ability to record or share any information.

Pre-meeting and during the meeting

A few other security measures can be put in place pre-meeting and during the meeting.  Pre-meeting a chairperson could require participants to pre-register and/or could set a passcode.  Once the meeting is live, the chairperson should be able to control the participants’ view at all times, disconnect participants as needed or lock down the conference to prevent additional participants from entering, mute/unmute all participants and even place participants into a “Listen Only” mode.

Make sure your provider has the proper security measures in place and if you are not sure, ask them what they are doing to ensure your meetings are safe, that your content is secure, that you don’t have unwanted participants dialing into your meetings and unauthorized personnel downloading your recordings.

To learn more about how to ensure your online meetings and webinars are secure, please read the ReadyTalk Network Security Whitepaper.



It’s All About Velocity (part III)

This is the final post in a three-part series on funnel velocity.

As we talked about in my first post, velocity is a key measurement for marketing efficiency. In my second post, I talked about all the levers you could pull to increase velocity via a SLA between sales in marketing. In this post, I am going to give you some suggestions on how you might measure velocity in your organization.

Time stamps are critical to measuring funnel velocity. Most modern CRMs and marketing automation (MA) systems are capable of adding a time stamp when a field is updated. Within our organization, we date/time stamp our prospects as they flow through each step of our sales and marketing funnel. This can be done with a simple workflow rule and either your CRM or MA system is capable of accomplishing this feat.

Once you date stamp the transitions, you can then either export the data or use a fancy salesforce.com formula field to get the duration between the two date stamps. In excel, this is called a DAYS360 formula.

The DAYS360 formula is great for measuring large scale velocity changes in days or months. But, what if your SLA calls for a 1 hour response time on all inbound inquiries; how do you measure that? The process is generally the same but you will need to export the data and run one of the following formulas depending on how you want to splice the time.

=INT((B2-A2)*24) Total hours between two times (4)
=(B2-A2)*1440 Total minutes between two times (295)
=(B2-A2)*86400 Total seconds between two times (17700)
=HOUR(B2-A2) The difference in the hours unit between two times. This value cannot exceed 24 (4).
=MINUTE(B2-A2) The difference in the minutes unit between two times. This value cannot exceed 60 (55).
=SECOND(B2-A2) The difference in the seconds unit between two times. This value cannot exceed 60 (0).

If you wanted to get real fancy, you could set up an export of these date stamps on a periodic basis, do the calculations in excel and then schedule an import of the returned fields for dashboard reporting.

What are some of the ways you measure velocity within your organization?

It’s All About Velocity (part II)

As you read in yesterday's post on funnel velocity, you first need to identify all of the breakpoints in your lead process before you can start tweaking them. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do at each break point to improve velocity.  I have included the image in my previous post for reference.


First, the one document every organization needs in order to create an impact on velocity is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between marketing and sales. This SLA will contain a lot of things but one of the most important is putting time constraints around each transition. As a start, you could take your average sales cycle from inquiry to close (I use 80% of deals to weed out any outliers) and establish your SLA around that time. In the diagram, above the example organization has a sales cycle of around 23 days.  Once you have a framework of times to work towards, you can look at different tactical options to get you there. Below are a few things to consider including in your SLA to improve velocity:

  1. It’s essential to implement automation in order to have any effect on velocity. You can use automation to cut down the time to first contact with an auto response. You can also use automation to cut down the time to hand-off to sales rep as well by routing the lead immediately.
  2. A defined and efficient lead process for your qualification team. Make it easy for them to mark leads appropriately and hand them off.
  3. Another component of the SLA would be an established cadence. For example, how many phone calls and emails must be sent in a given time period. This can be tweaked as necessary to see how it affects velocity.

I would love to hear some more ways you can tweak velocity. 

In tomorrow's post, I will talk about some of the ways you can measure velocity.


It’s All About Velocity (part I)

This is the first post in a 3-part series about funnel velocity.

These days’ marketers are really good about measuring a lot of things. Most marketers could tell you their CPA (cost per acquisition) or CPL (cost per lead), their MQL (market qualified lead) conversion rate and a whole host of other metrics. However, very seldom do I hear about funnel velocity (how quickly you can turn an inquiry into a customer).

Velocity can have the greatest direct impact on closed deals. Consider the data reported in 2013 by Yahoo Small Business Advisor: t contacting a lead within five minutes yields a 78 percent close rate, compared with a 19 percent close rate when the response to a lead is within 5 to 30 minutes. Further, a pipeline moving 2x as fast can be 1/2 the value of a comparable pipeline. The essence is simple – move deals as fast as you can through the sales pipeline. Time is the enemy of every sale.

While understanding the average sales cycle is an important part of velocity, you cannot impact velocity without also understanding the break points that lead to your average sales cycle. Consider the basic lead flow:











As you can see there are 5 levers available that will impact velocity. I can tweak anyone of those breakpoints to increase my velocity. How many break points does your organization have? Further, by measuring these break points you can also see where your leads are getting hung up. Mapping out a process like the above is an important first step in understanding your organization's velocity.

In tomorrow's post, I will talk about some of the things you can do to increase velocity at each point.


Not more content, better content

Not more content, better content

A recap of Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes webinar presented on 11/13


ReadyTalk, Marketo, and several other sponsors were fortunate enough to host content marketing expert, Ann Handley, for a one-hour webinar. Ann’s freshly written a new book called Everybody Writes, a guide focused on attracting customers through good content.

In her webinar, Ann takes attendees through seven tips to help them along their journey for creating better content – focusing on how we need better content, not more of it. I’ve summarized each step below with my key takeaways from Ann’s presentation:

  1. Be strategic
    Like me, Ann studied Journalism. So she triggered some college flashbacks when she brought up the 5 W’s of journalism (Who? What? When? Where? Why?). These related to her number one rule of being strategic. Ann also made a good point, asking us as writers to consider, “Would your audience miss would miss your content if you stopped creating it?” It’s important to try and create content your customers will thank you for.
  2. Thanksgiving, not tapas
    Ann’s second point was illustrated with some help from LinkedIn’s Jason Miller. Instead of creating little content “bites” (tapas), you should give your audience the entire Thanksgiving spread. Content should be reimagined instead of recycled. Ann used an example, showing us how LinkedIn took one idea and used it to create many different pieces of content.

    (taken from Ann Handley’s presentation)

  3. Tell a different story 
    Next, Ann told us to be more innovative when it comes to content. It’s important to look at what’s working in other businesses, even unrelated ones. Once you’ve identified those successes, try to apply them to your own business. She pointed out a great example about a nonprofit creating a movie trailer to garner interest for their 2014 benchmarks study.
  4. Be useful
    For our content to be better, we must also make it useful. Ann used the website from an apartment community in Seattle to demonstrate her point. Their website catered to the end user, a potential renter, and included useful information like the apartments walking score and nearby photos of popular restaurants and bars. All of this content gave the reader context, allowing them to better imagine what it would be like to actually live in those apartments.
  5. Mind like water
    “There’s always a story to write, even if it’s not the one you expected to tell.” Content ideas are everywhere. Try to leverage Ann’s other tips to create something that’s useful, innovative, comprehensive, imaginative, and strategic. 
  6. Hone your skills
    Do you have the right skills in place to create better content? Ann clarifies the significance of focusing on the right skillsets in order to fulfil your content needs. She suggests we need to think less like Flat Stanley (one skilled) and more like Edward Scissorhands (many skills) – whereby we are good at many things, specifically social, content and writing, SEO, and analytics. 
  7. Be a better writer 
    Lastly, it’s important to focus on the actual task at hand – be a better writer! After all, better writers are better marketers. And writing is the heart of content marketing. It’s important to define your brand voice and create your culture through content. 


In conclusion 

Content really is king. But it’s not about creating more content just for the sake of it. It’s important to make content that is meaningful and offers a benefit to the end user. Ann’s webinar was packed full of great information to get you well on your way to creating better content. One of the main points that continues to resonate with me after listening to her presentation is, “Will people miss your content when you’re gone?” The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. So make sure you’re leaving your readers with content gifts, information they’ll be grateful you’ve shared with them.

If you missed the live webinar, don’t worry. Watch the on-demand version now.