The way teams work and collaborate is changing. And it's even more challenging when the COVID-19 is forcing us to work remotely. That's why its good to improve your remote meetings to make them as productive as possible.
Consulting, remote workforces, and outsourcing are all on the rise. Even if you operate a team that is technically based in the same physical office, it’s becoming more and more common that your clients prefer to communicate in a virtual manner instead of in person due to time constraints.
One of the biggest issues that have surfaced around remote work is how to handle meetings. How do you communicate effectively when the meeting is with teams that are several hundred or thousands of miles away instead of face-to-face in a conference room? How do you ensure that your employees are a part of the meeting, instead of just following directions?
How to Improve your virtual meetings?
Below are seven strategies and techniques that will make your next virtual meeting just as effective as its in-person counterpart. After incorporating these tips, you may actually find that you prefer remote meetings, too — even if the other party is accessible in person:
Sharing your computer screen in real-time allows your employees to effectively “look over your shoulder” as you are talking. Your employees will be able to see your screen as you see it. You can also change the presenter, so you’ll be able to see the employee’s computer. Screenshare technology is the closest you can get to a physical meeting, and in many cases is actually more productive. Examples of services that you can use include Microsoft Teams, Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, and Join.me.
Schedule a specific time.
One of the issues with remote meetings is that it’s more difficult to chase down the other party if they aren’t physically present. Always have a specific time scheduled, and confirmed, for all remote meetings. On that note, don’t forget to account for time zones when scheduling meetings.
Personalize the meeting with video technology.
Remote meetings can lack the personal feel of a face-to-face meeting, but you can change this with video conferencing. Compared to just a few short years ago, this technology is now much more stable and reliable (with a decent Internet connection). Video conferencing is especially effective in virtual sales meetings. Skype, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts all offer quick solutions.
Engage attendees by assigning talking points.
Having at least one talking point on everyone’s agenda gives them a purpose for being at the meeting beyond hearing what everyone else is saying. It also confirms that they are part of the team and are spending their time in a valuable way. They’ll prepare for the meeting in a much more positive way if they have to present.
Assign responsibilities and follow-ups.
Assign each participant at the meeting a responsibility during the meeting as well as at least one follow-up item. Don’t be afraid to assign someone to take notes and someone to track time. By doing this, your team will remain engaged and learn more during the meeting. Finally, after the meeting, there should be someplace for everyone to post their follow-up items for review (a wiki-style product usually works well for this).
Don’t allow muting!
Many conference calls and meeting services will have a muting option. By disallowing attendees to go on mute, you are taking away the ability for someone to be typing or multitasking in the background.
Limit the number of participants
. Having a remote meeting with more than around five participants is difficult because of distractions and sound quality (one noisy background or poor connection can ruin the meeting for all). It’s a good idea to encourage frequent meetings with fewer participants. Not only does it improve meeting quality for everyone, but meeting with two or three people is much more engaging for your employees — and creates a better culture in your organization overall.
For those of you who’ve run remote meetings (either successfully or not), what else would you add to this list?
Tools for improving your performance
If you want to improve your sales team’s productivity, numbers and focus on the necessary tasks, you need to provide them with the tools to accomplish their tasks and goals.
Using tools like CRM’s, sales commission tracking software and communication tools can increase productivity and help them save time and increase the productivity numbers.
Blitz is the best sales commission tracking software in the market. It goes beyond simple automation of the commission tracking process through dashboards and reports about your sales team’s goal achievement, all in real-time. Blitz adapts as your sales commission plan changes and your company evolves.
Make sure to follow these tips so you can see an increment in your sales team’s productivity.