UCaaS Trial by Fire

Gabrielle Weaver wears a lot of hats, and a no-nonsense headset. Starting as a member of the customer care team, she now manages ReadyTalk Hosted Voice with excitement only her dog ‘Avery’ can match. Her four-year history at ReadyTalk has been shaped by an objectively first-hand view of our services. Partly from her time working in a customer facing role, but mostly because of a last-minute relocation to Washington D.C. We like to use the expression “we eat our own dog food” at ReadyTalk. Meaning, we actively use the software that we sell on a daily basis. Here’s how Gabi puts her money where her mouth is — remotely working over 1,500 miles away.  

Q: What do you miss about working in the Denver office?

A: I do miss the physical presence of my colleagues and camaraderie you develop with people over time. That mostly applies to the moments at work where you’re catching up or doing anything but working. However, given the face-to-face interactions I experience in meetings (from a television screen) there’s still enough of a personal touch I get with my team.   

Q: What limitations have you found with working remotely?

A: Seriously, there is nothing that I haven’t been able to successfully accomplish. I can do everything I used to be able to do as if I were in the office. I’m in a different time zone, so that means I need mobile access to communications. If it’s 6 p.m. in D.C but only 4 p.m. in Denver I’m still readily available even if I’ve left my home office. And that’s another advantage to using Hosted Voice — there was no extensive setup with our IT department. It was lightweight enough for me to install, but sophisticated enough for 24/7 usage. There were no barriers to entry and the learning curve was very short, thankfully.   

Q: How do you think working in customer care has helped your decisions as a product manager?

A: Coming from that side of the business I think I have a unique understanding about customer pain points. That means balancing the needs and asks of thousands of ReadyTalk users. Their preferences and requirements are all different and specific to each individual. Working in customer care taught me to distill their hopes and dreams into one product that solves as many problems as possible. How we build products, structure them, change them, price them — all of these decisions were made looking through the lens of the customer. But I also think that my current experience working remotely has put me at an advantage as a product manager. I’m literally our target customer. So as a product team we don’t operate under the assumption that we know what’s best all the time. Instead, I’ve depended on our Hosted Voice application as a means to work everyday. That has definitely kept us honest in customer conversations.

Q: What are your passions outside of work?

A: I love to travel. I’m a certified scuba diver and did some great cave dives in Mexico a couple years ago. Also, I’m very good at brunch on Denver patios.

How personal web conferencing can support your CRM strategy

A central tenant of CRM is to put people first. Simple advice on the surface, but the frenzy of modern business and the rush to meet sales goals often makes client relationships fragmented and frazzled. 

One way to rise above the noise and put the focus back on keeping your clients happy is by using personal web conferencing technology. With this tool, you can easily reach your clients anytime, anywhere. 

Here are some ways that personal web conferencing can support your CRM strategy:

Get face time with clients, wherever you are 

The classic image of CRM is an account manager wining and dining a client at a fancy restaurant. Hilarious anecdotes are told, laughs are shared and both parties walk away with their relationship strengthened at the end of the evening. This still takes place, of course, but business has gone mobile, and it's a different world CRM operates in today. Personal web conferencing enables you to get some valuable face time with your clients, wherever you are. This face-to-face interaction is much more rewarding and meaningful than a regular phone call or – even more disheartening to the client – an out-of-office message. Whether you need to walk the client through some troubleshooting and answer some burning questions they have, personal web conferencing enables easy and intuitive communication on the spot. 

Make more engaging sales pitches 

A single PowerPoint presentation does not a persuasive sales pitch make. In a world where people are bombarded with content and companies vying for their attention daily, your sales pitches need to stand out. Personal web conferencing is the perfect vehicle for a unforgettable sales pitch because you can present a variety of multimedia content, from engaging videos to snazzy sales decks. With a slew of digital materials at your fingertips, your web-conference sales pitches can wow. 

Do product demos remotely 

Client purchased your new product? Nice work. But now they need to know how to use. Traveling to do product demos has a lot of overhead, and reading through manuals or clicking through clunky virtual trainings can be a hassle when you're trying to familiarize yourself with a new product. The solution is to perform product demos remotely via personal web conferences. It's easier for the client, easier for you, and provides the personal attention needed to keep your relationship going strong. 

With the competitive markets many companies are competing in, outstanding CRM is the name of the game. Personal web conferencing can help you overcome barriers of time, distance and cost to connect with your clients when they need you most, and ultimately strengthen your CRM strategy.  

ReadyTalk Webinar Named Market ‘Leader’ in New Report

In the fourth quarter of 2017 ReadyTalk Webinar was named a ‘market leader’ by InFlow Analysis, a technological consulting group. This insightful report entitled, The InFlow Analysis Market Compass for Webinar Providers, 2017: Shifting to Conversational Experiences, highlights industry trends that reflect the demands of various buyer types and use cases. Given the competitive business of technology, SMB and enterprise customers are challenged with purchasing decisions between disruptors, niche providers, and legacy webinar vendors.

After scoring all webinar services providers, the InFlow report created this list of takeaways meant to help buyers choose the webinar service most suited for their needs:

 

  • When making webinar procurement decisions, business planners have to map critical capabilities to the right use cases to avoid the pitfalls of focusing too much on features.
  • Knowing your target audience will help guide technology decisions, especially around scale and bandwidth needs. Also, focus on conversational experiences with your audience.
  • While webinar decisions tend to be departmental and team based mostly, take care to ensure broader integration with business applications such as marketing automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
  • Reporting and analytics is a critical component and will provide useful data that can guide engagement activities after the webinar event. AI and machine learning are becoming integral parts of this phase for accurate insights.
  • Plan carefully for webinars and understand beforehand requirements for professional services and live support during larger and more critical events.

 

Within the leadership category, ReadyTalk was also mentioned for its excellence in branding and marketing functionality:

“There are customized branding capabilities, recording, integrated audio and integration into business applications and platforms, such as Salesforce, Marketo and a majority of CRM and marketing automation platforms respectively. Integration into critical business applications and processes speaks to support for pre, during and post webinar management, which covers the entire webinar workflow. For marketing professionals, the ReadyTalk webinar service provides event promotion tools for social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The service includes broadcast video webcasts and simulive events, which allows producers to replay recorded webinars with live Q&A and interactivity. Webinar planners and producers also get post-webinar reporting capabilities.”

Click below for the full report by InFlow Analysis! Cheers and happy hosting on your next event.

3 collaboration trends for 2018

 

Collaboration is no longer a buzzword: It’s a way of life for most organization around the country. Employers and employees alike are pushing for more collaborative platforms and work processes than ever before. So what trends are forecast for 2018? Here are three areas in which industry experts are predicting a lot of growth over the next year:

1. Remote workers will become regular workers
Working from home isn’t a novel trend that will disappear anytime soon. On the contrary, most industry experts predict that remote workers will become an even more normalized factor of the modern workplace over the next few years. Instead of offices only relying on a few virtual employees, employers may soon be relying on an entirely remote workforce. To maintain productivity and internal collaboration, employees will leverage more team-centered solutions, such as audio and video conferencing tools.

After all, the happiest offices are the ones where employers let their employees work from home occasionally or reach out to the best workers around the world. Innovative, new technology is making it easier than ever before to have meaningful interactions with coworkers, regardless of their physical proximity. In all likelihood, 2018 will demonstrate a further decline of the demand for “in-office” workers.

2. Collaboration-focused management styles
Long gone are the days where employees kept to themselves all day in their small cubicles. Now, offices are promoting collaboration-centered management styles to boost productivity and employee morale levels. From open floor plans to the adoption of collaborative video conferencing tools, there are plenty of ways companies will increase their collaboration efforts over the next year, according to a few industry experts.

3. Rise of real-time, interactive webinars
Forget about boring webinar videos that are just posted to a company’s YouTube channel a few days after they launch. This year will see a rise of real-time, interactive webinars, where audience members can actively participate, as if they were in the crowd. It’s time offices got a little more creative with their webinars!

Don’t let your office fall behind in relation to these 2018 collaboration trends. Increase your office’s spirit of connectedness with a unified communication strategy!