Learn how you can conduct an inspiring and effective remote sales meeting in this new virtual world of COVID-19 and beyond.
In what seems like an eternity ago, one of the biggest complaints in the world of office work was “the meeting.” They’d last forever. They took away time from your “real” work. And yet, some exceptional speakers could hold a meeting that people clamored to attend. Vibrant, emotive speakers could keep an audience engaged and excited. Then everything changed.
One of the most notable differences between now and the days before COVID-19 is that we don’t have as many in-person interactions. This is a massive shift that has required businesses to respond with virtual solutions. But how do you make, say, a remote sales meeting, motivational, inspiring, and productive without the intimacy and interaction you get out of in-person meetings?
The question isn’t actually new in COVID times. Many companies have been shifting to remote practices for years now, ever since the advent of quality virtual technology that allows employees to be at least as productive—if not more so—working from home. Even a few years ago, before a pandemic threatened the world, Owl Labs suggested that “remote work is the way of the future.” Little did they know how genuinely prophetic the statement would be. Some research indicates that even after the COVID crisis, we will see a 25-30% increase in remote workers.
With so much change forced upon the work world, it’s hard to know exactly how to navigate a remote sales meeting or other virtual business interactions. The good news is that businesses were already getting a handle on remote meetings before, and most of them have only gotten better since the crisis. Here are some things you can do to make your remote sales meeting a success without compromising quality or efficiency.
Make your client calls as productive as your in-house meetings with Call Logic. Learn more about all the great features we offer by scheduling a free demo today!
5 Ways to turn your remote sales meeting into an exciting, engaging experience
1. Behave like you would in the office
When working remotely, it’s tempting to let lose a little bit, dress casually, invite pets to virtual meetings, and manage children while trying to get things done. One of the essential components of a useful remote sales meeting is to act like you’re in the office. Even if employees can’t remove every distraction, ask them to dress for the occasion. They may be at home, but that doesn’t change the nature of the business.
Behavior is especially important when a client is part of the virtual call. Being real is okay, but ask your team to keep backgrounds as neutral as possible. This will naturally flow into meetings, which will make them more engaging.
2. Prohibit filters
Many virtual conferencing platforms now interface with camera filter software, which in some cases can make virtual meetings more entertaining by setting a beach background or having a cat sit on your head. While these filters are amusing in their own right, they don’t do anything for motivation during a remote sales meeting. In fact, they impede motivation the same way that unprofessional behavior does: By distracting from the business at hand.
That’s not to say that filters should never be allowed. Perhaps during one-to-ones or all-staff meetings, there’s a place for such goofiness. But when there are clients to help and quotas to reach, filters are just a stumbling block to getting everyone on the same page.
3. Promote strong communication
Just like when you’re making a call on the phone, strong communication during a virtual meeting is essential to motivation and productivity. Go into your remote sales meeting with a schedule that’s been shared with everyone and stick to it. Ask participants to put questions into the chat section of the virtual meeting, so you don’t have people talking over each other, and so you can keep track of inquiries. Then leave time at the end for a Q&A.
One way to enhance communication is to make the meeting as interactive as possible. Prepare a deck that can be shared with everyone and ask your employees questions along the way. Lectures can be difficult enough for people to sit through in-person, but virtual meetings compound the likelihood that someone will become distracted. Minimize this risk by engaging employees with relevant content and discussion. Give everyone a seat at the table, no matter how junior or senior, and get them thinking instead of merely listening.
4. Cameras on
It’s tempting for a lot of people to turn off their video cameras during remote meetings. However, some studies have shown that 55% of communication is body language. While a live video stream is no substitute for in-person interactions, it stands to reason that if the numbers are accurate, a significant portion of effective communication can be lost when live people aren’t visible during meetings. Streaming video can help curb this impediment to communication. You have the opportunity to at least read your employees’ facial expressions and general movements associated with whatever they’re trying to communicate. This brings a human element back to something that is otherwise being replaced with technology.
Active cameras can also help you tell if you’re running an engaging meeting or not. If people are glancing away or seem to be preoccupied with other things, it may be an indicator that the pace, tone, content, or presentation of the meeting may need to be altered. You can also gauge immediate reactions to whatever is being presented and have some idea who’s listening and whose mind is somewhere else.
5. Use technology that works
Just as you wouldn’t want a faulty auto-dialer when making phone calls, there’s nothing worse than virtual meeting technology that lags or breaks up. Be selective when choosing your technology tools, and be sure to ask your employees to be near reliable internet connection and to minimize the use of other software during meetings to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
In all cases, whether a remote sales meeting or something else, remember that technology is your friend, not just during the COVID crisis, but afterward as well. Invest in smart tools that will enhance communication in this remote era and actively find ways to engage employees on those platforms until using them becomes not only second-nature, but also enjoyable.
Invest in technology that works for your business. Contact us today to see how Call Logic can help to make your business a success!