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Meeting your targets
There are three main scenarios for online meetings: webinars, sales presentations and virtual meetings. This page explains what each involves, and provides pointers on how to make online meetings more effective.
For detailed information on meeting types, functionality scope, implementation scenarios and more besides, please check out our evaluation guide.
1. Online Training (Webinars)
Webinars save you time and money by enabling participants to stay where they are, instead of travelling to a single location. You can even train users on different continents at the same time.
The most effective way to train users in new software is with guided learning-by-doing. Webinar solutions that support mouse and keyboard control transfer are ideal for this: Online participants take turns at performing a specific task, and the instructor intervenes immediately to correct any mistakes. This ensures a steep learning curve for everyone.
Lower PC support costs
Since webinars enable you to train users thoroughly, they cut support costs too. If users do ever need remote assistance, your support people can simply initiate an online meeting and go straight to the user’s desktop. By taking control of the keyboard and mouse, they can then solve the issue as quickly as if they were in the same room.
2. Sales presentations
Warm up cold calls
Why settle for a cold call when you can show your contacts a carefully prepared presentation too? To invite people to an online meeting, you simply mail them an invitation containing a URL. One click takes them straight to your salesperson's desktop, where the presentation can be run – and paused – at any time during the call.
Get the facts straight
Given the delicate nature of cold calls, any confusion about your product’s value can kill the discussion - and the sale - immediately. By running a presentation during the call, you can make sure your contacts get the right facts - and the facts right. As a result, it’s much easier to engage their interest, get down to specifics, and close the deal.
Private chats between participants
A private chat function is invaluable for conducting delicate negotiations during web conferences. It enables participants from the same negotiating party to continuously coordinate and adapt their strategy - and boosts their chances of closing the deal on the terms they want.
3. Online meetings
Teamwork without travel
Online meetings are a fast, effective way to ease the load on project budgets and schedules. With costs at an all-time low, virtual meetings can now be used as routinely as the phone.
Set up virtual meetings in seconds
It takes next to no time to convene a web conference. The best tools let you email invitation links to your participants. Seconds later, they can arrive on the host's desktop.
Interactive collaboration on shared documents
Most web conferencing tools offer online collaboration. This means participants can not only share their desktop, but can also display documents and data, and can transfer mouse and keyboard control to their fellow users. Handy annotation tools enable participants to highlight or circle passages of text etc.
How efficient are online meetings?
Online meetings are nearly always more efficient than face-to-face meetings, since participants save time they would otherwise need for travel. That said, their effectiveness depends on the same factors that apply face-to-face, for example:
- Is there an agenda?
- Were the participants selected carefully?
- Are topics approached in a well-structured way?
Since online meetings lack the social controls of a physical meeting, these factors are even more important. Virtual participants might be checking their email or browsing the web on the side, and there is no way of knowing whether a participant is really ‘there’ or not. To help you address these concerns, we recommend you check out the application Meeting Efficiency® by the Parmenides Foundation.