Tag Archives: audio conferencing

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!

CloudTalk: SaaS Sales in the Value Rep Business

Patrick Wiley has made his rounds at ReadyTalk for nearly a decade. Starting with the company as an account executive, he’s worked every stage of the buying cycle and continues building partnerships across the U.S. Now Director of Carrier Sales and Business Development, Patrick refers to himself as a “humble expert” in the SaaS and Unified Communications marketplace. Between training for ultramarathons and Ironman races, he loves improving his industry knowledge and building value in the ReadyTalk brand every day in order to win.

Q: Would you say there’s a high degree of problem solving with your job?

A: We work in an incredibly competitive business landscape and every situation is different. Saying that, I must keep my knowledge sharpened to provide the best solutions for our customers and partners. That means that I need to know about other companies’ products and services and figure out the best ways to position our solutions. I’m constantly researching and asking questions. Having a consultative sales approach not only provides a deeper level of trust, but also concludes with the customer buying the right solution to fit their company’s needs.

Q: Who are your primary business partners?

A: I work with over 40 account directors and account managers at the enterprise level. They’re responsible for selling our suite of solutions including a multitude of our competitors’ products. But that’s the great part about my job — I have to know when our product(s) are going to be the best fit for their needs. That’s when it’s very important for me to know every granular detail about our functionality and our competitors. We have four major lines of business, each with their own set of base features. But with every one of our products, there are unlimited combinations of à la carte options suited for each individual buyer. That’s the beauty of our products, they can accommodate so many different users and situations.

Q: Why do you refer to yourself as a “humble expert?”  

A: First off it means I am self aware enough that I don’t know everything. But, I am smart enough to tap into the many incredibly intelligent forward-thinking people I’m surrounded by at ReadyTalk. When I’m brought into a sales discussion I’m there representing more than one company. I speak for the carrier and the representative first, however I do my best to deliver the message with the ReadyTalk ethos which is the “wow” factor. That creates an interesting dynamic because I need to be thoughtful about what all parties can deliver, and even what they can’t. I’m the voice for the carrier team, so giving a measured account of our services is critical to everyone involved. The good news there — ReadyTalk has ALWAYS been customer centric. We tend to act this way naturally.

CloudTalk: Meet Your Web Event Concierge

Time for a little Q&A with one of our ReadyTalkers! Meet Jeff Sheldon, Event Production Manager with four years under his belt in our lovely LoDo Denver office! For a little background, the events management team is responsible for any webcast or webinar customer that wants a little extra treatment before, during, or after their live presentation. The amount of involvement varies from customer to customer — from help with scheduling, to a dry run, to full event moderation.

 

Q: What types of businesses do you work with most often?

A: We spend a lot of time with marketing and sales teams. Often folks that are performing either a product launch or some type of sales webinar. Sometimes they prefer the “white gloves” if they aren’t in a position to conduct the event on their own. Planning and scheduling are big for us. Say the customer doesn’t have time to plan or schedule every detail of an upcoming event. That’s where we come in. We send out links, provision speakers, work with them up until the dry run, and stick around for post-event reporting.

 

Q: Not all days are perfect. Can you think of a time where you had major challenges walking a customer through an event?

A: It’s more about helping them establish a higher level of comfort. That applies to the software itself or just getting over the pre-event jitters so they’re ready to address the crowd. We try and put ourselves in their shoes and it’s surprising how much can change through the course of a call. Part of our job is to walk them through the components of our user interface, but it’s also about calming their nerves in case it’s their first time. Everyone is different, but they often sign up for managed events if webinars are brand new to them.  

 

Q: What’s a great day for you?

A: Being able to work with a new customer that doesn’t know a ton about the controls or using our services. It’s rewarding to watch them go from totally blind and unfamiliar to ready to rock and host a great event. Just today we had someone that was like, “OK I have an event next week and I’m not sure what I’m doing.” Then by the end of our session they were super comfortable. That’s a good feeling because we try and be the “warm blanket.” Haha. I do enjoy getting to know their style of learning, and having them get to know my style of teaching. If the takeaway is a good experience overall — regarding the customer support AND their webinar presentation — it’s a win for everyone. Word of mouth goes a long way.

Want assistance with your next event? Say ‘hi’ to Jeff and our crew with concierge services!

3 Big Issues Facing Law Firms and Ways to Overcome Them

In addition to doing all the hard work it takes to be a lawyer, people have outrageous expectations of what a lawyer does today. They have to be great communicators. Lawyers need to be experts in the law — very probably in more than one type — with diverse peer groups to pass off specialty requests. They need to be available at the drop of a hat and instantly provide counsel when it’s most needed.

Those challenges are enough, but the new lawyer has to also exceed in items probably not in the average law firm’s wheelhouse.conferenceroom_medium

Your clients want your firm to be a fast food restaurant — easy access, price and billing.

According to the BusinessofLawBlog, clients want to be in the driver’s seat. They want upfront pricing with information about what they get for that consulting. It’s almost as if they expect a menu of options with a price tag attached to each one. They expect it to be clear and understandable without even talking to you, too.

With new websites like Legalzoom and self-service legal advice around everything from starting a business to creating a will, you may need to think creatively about how you compete. Estimated pricing based on your billable hours usually helps. But some law firms and lawyers are considering value-based pricing instead of hourly. This has factored in how much time you think it’ll take to complete work and what your billable hours is ahead of time. There are definitely pros and cons and you and your law firm should weigh which one is right for you and your organization.

Technology

Many big law firms have IT employees devoted to keeping up with servers and systems as well as manage the risk around them. Smaller companies rely on outsourcing and may not be as equipped to handle technology.

And yet in this digital age, not only do you have to understand much of how to store documents, but also how to pick audio conferencing services. That’s a wide variance! If you bill by the hour,  selecting an audio conferencing vendor is easy as there aren’t that many options. Flat-fee, value-based pricing structures enable more variety.

Probably like how you recommend other law firms or companies for related guidance, think about the companies you want to work with who can provide expertise and counsel when you need them.

Marketing

Although there was never the Perry Mason word-of-mouth marketing in law, competition wasn’t as cut-throat back then as it is today. Differentiating your law firm, other than by specialty, is hard. (And sometimes even by specialty can be a challenge.) How do you explain to your clients that you are better at customer service than a competitor, which is why you charge more? Or how do you provide your firm’s combined expertise so they understand the years of law behind your partners? What if you or your firm is new, how do you provide information about what kind of counsel you provide people.

Enter the traditional marketer who’s looking at your value proposition and ways you stand out, figuring out your core audience, and determining the best ways to sell to them. Again, if you’re not from a megalaw company, you may be wearing a marketing hat, too.

Webinars and webcasts are easy ways to provide advice to potential clients, especially related to your expertise. For example, if you’re firm specializes in intellectual property, providing a high-level overview about the dos and don’ts could lead to the type of clients you want.

Hang in there

Being a lawyer is hard and getting harder daily. But with expertise and counsel available to you, you’ll overcome some of the bigger challenges you face even if you’re not biglaw. And if you are, you can still embrace agility to compete with newer firms.