3 Ways to Prepare for Virtual Meetings

Group at computer iStock_000008462068Large copyHave you ever hopped on a virtual call or meeting and thought it was a complete waste of your time? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. But it does pose a big problem for the productivity of your company’s workforce, even if only 25% of your virtual meetings are deemed unproductive.

To avoid unproductive virtual meetings, some upfront planning is required. Here are 3 ways to prepare for virtual meetings:

1. Set clear objectives for the call.
Why are you meeting in the first place? What do you want to accomplish? A lot of times, people schedule virtual calls or meetings to have conversations that might be too difficult to have via email. That’s fine, but you need to identify what you want to come of the virtual meeting so that it doesn’t just turn into an existential conversation that doesn’t resolve the original problem in the first place.

2. Share any questions or concerns you have before you meet.
If you have any specific questions or concerns, send those over in an email a couple of days before the meeting so the other parties can try to answer them before you meet. By providing as many questions or concerns as you can upfront, you can tackle more during the meeting. It might even shorten your meeting time, freeing up time for you to work on other things.

3. Create and share an agenda.
It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Agendas are simple but powerful ways to make sure your meetings stay on track. Share the agenda with the rest of the group a couple of days in advance so people can prepare or suggest changes if needed.

These simple tips will help you increase the productivity of your virtual meetings, leading to more effective conversations and collaboration with your team. Share these tips with other members of your team so they can host effective virtual meetings, too.

To learn more about hosting effective virtual meetings, check out our latest infographic, Best Practices for Working Remotely.

ReadyTalk WINS Silver STEVIE® AWARD IN 2015 STEVIE AWARDS FOR SALES & CUSTOMER SERVICE

Silver Stevie Award 2015ReadyTalk is built around a culture that values their customers and their experience with our product. We have a devoted U.S.-based customer care team that is available 24/7 to ensure that customers are getting the support they need and their questions answered. As a result of this, we produce happy customers.

This year, ReadyTalk was honored with a Silver Stevie Award for Customer Service- Department of the Year in the telecommunications category. It was humbling to be recognized by such a prestigious award and to be among all of the winners in this category.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, business development awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. The Stevie Awards organizes several of the world’s leading business awards shows including the prestigious American Business AwardsSM and International Business AwardsSM.

More than 1,900 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Entries were considered in 54 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/sales.

 

Webinar Prep Guide: When, How & What to Do to Sway & Sell with Webinars

Webinar-Prep-Guide-BlogWebinars are a sure-fire way to build rapport and drive qualified leads. In fact, no other format delivers the same audience engagement and conversion:

● 49% of surveyed marketers said 20 – 40% of their webinar registrants turn into qualified leads.
● 54% of surveyed B2B marketers identified webinars as their most effective lead nurture tactic.
● Webinars rank as the top content format in driving qualified leads.

However, to be successful, webinars must deliver massive value and be executed properly—but you already know that. What you may not know are the steps to take for a flawless delivery. We’ve all witnessed webinars that were fraught with technical problems or that bored us to tears. How can you make sure yours is memorable and valuable?

We’ve developed a step-by-step guide of what to do before, during, and after your webinar to ensure yours in perfect. Our recommendations are guided by what’s worked best for most of your peers, and we trust they will help make your webinar a success.

Learn what you need to do during each phase of webinar preparation by downloading our new eBook, “Webinar Prep Guide: When, How & What to Do to Sway & Sway with Webinars.” Hosting a webinar shouldn’t be rocket science; let us help you achieve webinar success.

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How Effective are Your Meetings?

meeting scheduleWhile communication is at the core of collaboration, meetings can be time-sucks and ultimately unproductive if they aren’t effective. Have you ever wondered how effective your meetings are? Have you ever found yourself frustrated because you feel like nothing is being accomplished in your meetings? Are you constantly sitting in meetings instead of focusing on what’s really important? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then it’s time to reevaluate how you collaborate.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself and your team to determine whether or not your meetings are productive:

• Do you attend more than 10 meetings per week?
• Do your employees actively participate in meetings?
• Do your meetings last 1 hour or more?
• Does your team usually look pumped at the start of your meetings?
• Do you spend more than 10% of your personal budget on meetings?
• Are the majority of your meetings done face-to-face?
• Are your meetings a snooze fest?
• Would you rather hold a meeting on a mountain top than in a stuffy conference room?
• Does your meeting technology (audio and web conferencing) work without embarrassing glitches?
• Does your team typically sprint to your meetings?
• Do your online meetings come with stellar, live customer support?
• Are there too many steps required to join your online meetings?
• Do you switch between applications during meetings?
• Are you able to start and join a meeting directly from your CRM system, inbox or mobile device?
• Have you lost a sale due to a demo with poor video performance or unreliable technology?

And here are some startling statistics that you should know about meeting productivity:

• Executives can spend the equivalent of 4 days per week in meetings. Yikes!
• 97% of workers need conditions that encourage collaboration to do their best work.
• The average meeting lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.
• Face-to-face meetings can result in a 60% productivity loss.
• Unproductive meetings translate into $37 billion in annual waste.
• 43% of people admit to dozing off during a meeting.

Want to find out if your meetings are really productive? View our How Effective Are Your Meetings? infographic to find out if you’re an evil meeting genius or if your meetings are in trouble.

Collaboration starts with communication, but it ends with a great audio and web conferencing software. While some meetings need to be face-to-face, the core of day-to-day meetings can be handled virtually, saving both time and money. If you need help with making your meetings more effective, download the Cost of Weak Online Conferencing Guide now.

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3 Webinar Software Integrations You Should Consider

top10-benefits-integrationsIn today’s digital workplace, we use a variety of applications and tools to make our lives easier. While these tools are helpful, it can also be a nightmare to log in to each application separately when they don’t speak to each other effectively. Luckily, the advent of the digital age has brought about multiple software integrations, which save you time and increase productivity.

Specifically, webinars are a great way to connect with prospects and webinar software makes this easy. But, all of the back and forth of trying to send information from your webinar software to other applications can take up a lot of time. That’s why you should consider integrating the following applications with your current webinar solution:

1. Marketing Automation Software
Webinar leads are highly engaged, and they could be doing research on your site before attending your webinar. By integrating your webinars with marketing automation tools, you could see significant improvement in your sales pipeline velocity. Consider integrating your current webinar solution with your marketing automation solution to significantly increase your sales and marketing productivity while reducing the amount of time spent managing, nurturing and scoring your webinar leads.

2. Salesforce
Most businesses today have CRMs to track their leads and contacts, and most of those businesses have implemented Salesforce to help them manage their sales pipeline. Consider integrating with your CRM to increase productivity and visibility into sales, webinar, and training activities. You can manage webinar leads more effectively from qualification to close by instantly updating lead information—webinar attendance, duration, polling responses, and post-event activity—directly into Salesforce.

3. PR Software
A large part of webinar success is promotion, and PR software can help amplify promotion and drive more people to the event. For example, a search-engine optimized press release about an upcoming webinar can generate a lot of traction while significantly boosting online awareness of the upcoming webinar. Consider integrating your webinar software with your PR software to increase your reach.

Companies rely on an increasingly large number of software programs and applications to manage business processes and it can be frustrating when these systems don’t talk to one another. ReadyTalk understands this and eliminates time-consuming manual processes by integrating conferencing and webinars with CRM, marketing automation, third-party registration and other critical systems. Learn more about ReadyTalk integrations by downloading our Top 10 Benefits of ReadyTalk Integrations data sheet now.

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