So you begrudgingly got used to Zoom. You managed to work with Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts/Meet no longer terrify you the way that they used to. Well, that’s good. But for many of you, you’re hoping that the other side of Covid-19 means a return to face to face meetings and an abandonment of “virtual happy-hours.”
I wish I had better news for you. The truth is that a survey conducted by TechCrunch stated that 82% of business leaders intend to maintain remote work options after the threats of Covid-19 have passed.
This means that if you haven’t mastered the Zoom call, especially for sales and marketing, your business will be vulnerable.
Nobody can tell you what the future of business and in particular the future of business marketing and sales will look like in 2022 and beyond; however, it would be naive to expect corporations to abandon the efficiencies, reduced costs and productivity gains that they experienced with this forced remote work experiment.
Companies that have managed to survive in their traditional models hope that the changes in buying patterns and communications will recede along with the infection rates after vaccine proliferation. There is no evidence that this will occur.
We can expect increasing certainty that sales efforts and marketing will continue to rely more on digital channels. Travel will continue to be difficult as nations decide on how to treat entry requirements and vaccines. Airlines are projecting 2025 before capacity reaches its pre-covid levels.
So, as a result of these facts, we have created a list of skills that even the most reluctant tech adopters should focus on during Q1 of 2021.
You simply don’t have a choice. You have to pick one web-based communication tool and the market has essentially already chosen for you. It’s Zoom. And it is more critical than ever that you get familiar with the world’s top choice for online video conferencing.
Zoom benefits from several key factors that hold back more established players like Google, Microsoft and Apple.
Zoom works with little issue across multiple devices and platforms. Apple’s FaceTime although a great tool is very much bound (like all Apple products) to the Apple Ecosystem. Zoom’s apps are regularly updated, their phone connections are good (make sure you are dialling the right number, by default it will be the US connection, which can cost big bucks).
Zoom webinar is a premium add-on from zoom but for the $65.00 (approx) you’ll pay per month you get a very robust and easy-to-use system.
The platform takes a little bit of time to get used to, but if you have gotten used to booking a meeting, creating a webinar is only slightly more complex.
With the initial offering allowing for up to 100 registrants and a panel, live streaming functionality and recording, I cannot think of a business that couldn’t use this system at least once a quarter.
This is a short one. If you don’t have a website, get one yesterday!
But you might say, “Sandenn, my customers can’t buy my products online. Why invest time and money?”
To which I reply, somewhere out there, your competitor is doing exactly that.
In an earlier job, I was tasked with developing a web strategy for a world-leading motor company. These motors can have price tags in the 100’s of thousands of dollars, some even tipping over the million mark. The use, selection and maintenance of these motors was not something comparable to buying peanut butter on Amazon, but in 2014 my strategy was to take the process as far as it could go online. We created a website that allowed users to filter through the immense product catalogue to pursue the particular piece of equipment they required. This process would end with the right product being identified and a slick call to action to move the process to a live sales agent.
I developed this strategy in 2014. This company makes billions of dollars and has not updated or redeveloped the website, which tells me that it works. So, for your business, figure out what part of the user journey can be completed independently and online and enjoy the flood of fully qualified customers.
Not a task that I am particularly great at, but one that I would recommend spending at least a little bit of time and money trying to develop.
The first thing you need to consider is your Audio Visual resources. A lot of webcams in laptops can be perfectly good, but if you find that despite having a good internet connection your motions on-screen are blocky you might need to invest in a new camera or an HDMI Capture card for a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
It’s amazing what a $90.00 dollar camera and a few cheap lightboxes can accomplish. As for microphones, avoid the temptation to use your Bluetooth headphones, it can get very echoey. I recommend the Rode Micro, at the moment online vendors are gauging for this versatile little plug and play mic, but find it from a reputable source and it should only cost a bit over 100 bucks.
The European Journal of Social Psychology notes that it takes anywhere from 18-254 days for a habit to entrench itself inside someone’s behaviour. This means virtual communications, sales, customer fulfillment and overall experience are now the norm.
Regardless of your sector, your geographic location (within reason), or your previous means of doing business, your customers are now hard-wired to search for the product or service you deliver online. And if you were hoping to break them of this habit on the other side of the Pandemic, I’ll remind you that the Smoking Cessation industry (getting people to kick a habit that kills them) is a 24-billion dollar a year industry.
So make the shift now and avoid the disappointment later on.