Category Archives: ReadyTalk for Collaboration

How to optimize productivity in meetings with remote workers

Having remote workers enables you to get the best talent on your team, no matter where it's located. But for telecommuting arrangements to actually be an advantage for your business, you need effective connectivity and collaboration with your remote employees. 

Many managers already struggle to hold meetings that engage in-office workers, let alone those located on the other side of the country or world. But don't sweat it; with the easy productivity practices below, you can make sure meetings with remote workers are worthwhile. 

Use video instead of audio-only meetings 

Video meetings and web conferences are the way to go when it comes to connecting with your remote workforce. They enable face-to-face communication, which helps remote workers feel like they're in the loop and part of the team. These tools improve understanding because you're able to see facial cues and not just hear someone's voice. And as organizational effectiveness consultant Shani Magosky noted in a post for InsideOut Development, these types of remote meetings reduce the chance that employees multitask while in the meeting – so no worries that they're answering emails or working on other projects while you talk.

Keep it action-oriented 

When you have remote workers scattered around the world, with each one potentially following a unique schedule, it's important that meetings bring your company closer to its goals in tangible ways. Make sure every meeting has a clear goal and purpose; for example, find a solution to a workflow issue, de-bug a tech problem or decide on next steps for a project. Even more "abstract" activities like brainstorming can have concrete objectives drawn from them, such as aiming to come up with X number of product ideas to present to upper-level management. Participants should go into the meeting knowing exactly what they need to do and come out knowing their next steps. 

Share materials seamlessly 

Remote workers shouldn't feel far away, and with video conferencing tools that enable you to seamlessly share relevant materials, they won't. Share online content, presentations, sales pitches, product demos and more during video meetings with remote workers to take collaboration and productivity to the next level. 

With the innovative platforms available today, remote workers are closer than ever. Use these tips to boost productivity in meetings with your telecommuters. 

CloudTalk: Hotel Boiler Room and Customer Comedy

Meet Chelsea Langen, a ReadyTalk Account Executive with stories even Wes Anderson couldn’t write. For over a year Chelsea has created relationships with a variety of customers — some with traditional conferencing needs and some that were a real bugger. When she’s not camping or playing with her Golden Doodle, you’ll find her problem solving and coming up with the best ways to help her customers. Here’s Chelsea’s first-hand recap of her most memorable experiences on the sales team.

 

Q: What’s the most creative use for a web meeting that you’ve encountered?

A: Not long ago we had a bug exterminator that wanted to use our video sharing platform with his clients. For real. Basically, he wanted to be able to diagnose bug problems in a customer’s house over video. To each their own, go for it.

 

Q: Why do you love working at ReadyTalk?

A: I really think my coworkers are an awesome group of individuals. It’s a talented team of friendly and outgoing people. In a given week, you often spend just as much time at work as you do at home so it’s great to be around fun people.

 

Q: What was your best day at ReadyTalk?

A: I’ll tell you about the best (read: most random) deal I ever closed. On New Year’s Eve last winter I was driving back to Colorado from Michigan and stayed for a night in a cheap hotel room. Middle of nowhere in Nebraska and snowing. I had a deadline and needed to close the account before the end of the year. So, in spite of my surroundings — dark room, shag carpeting — I was able to find my customer the webinar package that they wanted. ON NEW YEAR’S EVE. Apparently I like cutting it close. Haha.   

 

Q: What are the most common products that you sell to any given customer?

A: Across the board. I’ve worked with new and existing accounts on all of our lines of business. I guess the majority would be webinars and our collaborative services. I’m also super excited to be working with clients on our unified communications product.

 

Q: What do you like most about your job?

A: Being able to create unique solutions for customers, especially those who have struggled with competitor products in the past. I really do love that. If they’ve used someone else’s webinar or web conferencing platform but had a bad experience, I truly enjoy providing excellent customer support. Thankfully, our customers are easy to work with!

Here’s what one of our customers has to say about working with the ReadyTalk team!

5 reasons to integrate webinars with CRMs

At ReadyTalk, we're are all about making webinars exciting, five-star productions – we recently wrote about how it's time to shake things up. And part of shaking things up involves pushing customer engagement to center stage. 

No matter where customers are in the sales funnel, they want to be captivated. A webinar of someone dryly listing off company stats and selling points? Snooze. When crafting webinars for your company this year, you should be presenting only the most valuable information in the most engaging context.

A helpful tip is to think about the webinar Maximus in "Gladiator" would create if he was a marketer. He'd most definitely ask, "Are you not entertained – and informed!?"

But to really pack your webinars with a one-two punch that will slay in the arena of corporate messaging, pair engaging webinar content with CRM system integration. It gives you the most bang for your buck.

Here are five reasons why:

1. Things get easier

Unless you're looking to break a sweat running back and forth between your webinar and your CRM platform, trying to piece together the data and insights, the CRM-webinar combo is the way to go. By integrating the two, all your sales and marketing data is gathered in one place – no headaches, no stress, no frantic opening and closing of tabs while you question your career choices. 

2. You'll gain analytics that matter

Hosting a webinar can be fun, but if you have no way to assess whether it was meaningful for your company, your efforts may go to waste. By integrating webinars with your CRM, you can see a clear, detailed picture of their effectiveness. In goes metrics like link clicks and session time, and out comes reports on audience engagement. 

3. It helps you view results over time

No one can run from the past – and when you're a marketer, you really shouldn't want to. Through CRM integration, you can conduct post-meeting surveys, automatically generate follow-up emails and track the success of your webinar marketing efforts over time. It's an information gold mine.

4. You can cash in on an ROI boost

Want that sweet, sweet return on investment? Then integrate your webinars with your CRM system. The detailed insights you gain through reporting functions help you see the value of webinars in terms of your company's bottom line. 

5. You'll make more engaging webinars  

As we talked about, webinars are now in the era of engagement. By integrating them with your CRM platform, you can pinpoint which elements of the events resonate with audience members best and which need a little work. 

With this engagement-focused and data-informed approach, webinars may be coming soon to a theater near you. 

5 Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Move to the cloudCloud computing will continue to grow over the next few years. If your business is done with handling bulky, expensive on-premises IT systems, consider moving to the cloud today. It’ll free up IT resources, streamline and add to your productivity, enable your remote workers, provide business recovery benefits and more.

If you’re like most people, though, you have fears of moving to the cloud — from talking with employees about which data moves to security. Address those fears and get the most out of your move. Here are five tips on how to start:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

You don’t have to be fully on-premises or in the cloud. Many companies benefit from a hybrid IT environment. If you don’t believe you can move all your operations to the cloud, choose the ones that you can and keep the rest in-house.

2. Create goals

You need to develop a mix of short- and long-term goals for what you want to accomplish through moving to the cloud. This way, you’ll know you’ll be on track for reaching your main objective — a successful cloud migration.

3. Improve communication channels

Everyone should be in the loop during a major IT system restructuring like this. Take time to keep everyone informed and give periodic updates or hold Q&A sessions to give employees a chance to respond. This involves bringing them into the process before decisions are made. This will increase buy-in and ensure a higher adoption rate.

4. Address security concerns

Due to many high-profile data breaches in recent years, your clients and personnel may be concerned about the security risks from a cloud migration. Despite these worries, many companies actually boost their security abilities by switching to a cloud storage provider. Address their concerns to alleviate fears.

5. Use this time to consolidate and reorder data

Like spring cleaning, moving to a cloud-based data center is a great time to consolidate and get rid of excessive data or structures that are no longer relevant or needed. Again, you don’t have to do all or nothing.

Need more tips?

Get more information in our ebook (PDF), Move to the Cloud. You can even start small and move your communications system to the cloud.

Go Cloud Communications

4 Things to Know About Conferencing and Collaboration

You’ve probably been hearing about conferencing solutions since the mid-90s when they first rose in popularity. While this communication method has been around for a while, rapid advancements in broadband technology, online security and other innovative features have propelled web conferencing into the 21st century in full force. Now, web conferencing allows you to hold real-time meetings with hundreds of participants over the internet easily.

Conferencing and collaborationWhether your business needs a way to instantly connect with 1,000 participants or wants to have interactive polling for a smaller audience, web conferencing is your best choice. If you’re still unsure about whether your company would benefit from using this technology, here are four reasons why this powerful tool is right for you:

1. Manage meetings with ease

Managing a meeting effectively is never without its own set of unique challenges. However, with conferencing tools, you may find it easier than ever before to kick off and manage your meetings successfully. With web conferencing, you can send out automatic reminder emails to participants ahead of time, record meetings and present anything from slides to pre-recorded videos. You will also be able to grant control to any participant and even use voice over IP audio.

2. Share and collaborate with participants

Solid communication is the key to running a impactful meeting. With an online conference, you can quickly and easily share documents, promote your message over social media, conduct interactive polls and even enable audience members to raise their hands and participate. If you have a staff of remote workers or have offices on the other side of the country, web conferencing will give you the ease of collaboration you desire.

Recording and archiving options also make it simple. With the right product, you’ll be able to easily record, edit and share your recordings.

3. Quickly measure your progress

How do you know if your meeting is running well? Or if your message is being clearly conveyed? With web conferencing, you can send out post-meeting surveys, track attendance and use polls to see what you’re doing right and what you might need to improve.

4. Customer service

Here’s what sets many conferencing tools apart: customer service. Some providers never, ever pick up their phone. In fact, you’re lucky if you hear from your provider at all. At ReadyTalk, customer service is part of the package and we have award-winning customer service. We also have account managers who provide proactive information to our customers. Even if you’re not a customer, you can receive ideas and best practices.

Get more details

Find out why ReadyTalk’s conferencing and collaboration platform is better than our competitors.

Sources:
https://www.readytalk.com/products-services/web-conferencing
https://www.readytalk.com/products-services/web-conferencing/web-conferencing-all-tools-you-need
https://www.readytalk.com/sites/default/files/docs/support-training/How%20Web%20Conferencing%20Can%20Help%20Your%20Company%20Grow%20v2.pdf