Four Ways To Keep Your Remote Team Engaged During Meetings
Jazz up your virtual meetings with these tips to better engage your audiences online and see productivity and innovation increase.
The following is a guest post from Elevation Marketing, a B2B marketing agency.
During the recent period of social distancing and lock-downs, B2B marketers lost access to one of their most valuable selling channels – in-person events, which had traditionally been the best opportunity to engage with prospects. By and large, customers began working remotely en-masse and meeting virtually became the norm. Invigorating new client relationships and nurturing existing ones suddenly shifted to a purely online activity conducted via video conferencing calls with prospects, or through webinars. And as we all know well by now, video calls are hardly the most exciting medium for building close customer relationships.
Decision makers rely on information from sellers presented in webinars or in online meetings to make their next moves. Research is a huge part of the B2B purchasing process, and today, B2B companies must consider the type of information they present virtually, and plan how to keep prospects engaged during online meetings.
A great place to start inspiring teams is with your own internal meetings. After all, your internal meetings are the best place for your B2B sales team to rehearse and get better accustomed to engaging customers virtually. But if your own internal meetings lack engagement, how will you ever get your team up to speed and polished enough to close deals with prospects virtually?
Here are four tips to increase engagement during meetings and inspire your team to make successful virtual interactions with prospects and customers.
Embedding video is a key attention-grabbing element that can keep prospects and customers engaged directly on your site. It also improves the customer experience by keeping everything in one platform. Plus your colleagues will appreciate not having to jump through hoops to join their next meeting.
Brainstorm with virtual whiteboards
Inspiring collaboration during your meeting is so important. Everyone is familiar with a whiteboard and how useful it can be during meetings to help bounce ideas off each other. A quick jot on a whiteboard can instantly visualize what a team member wants to communicate. But how helpful is a whiteboard when your team is remote? They can't all draw on the same whiteboard. But they can on a digital whiteboard, and using an online whiteboard, like Miro, allows everyone to participate in real time regardless of location, creating a truly dynamic, creative and productive discussion. Make your whiteboard sessions effective with these pointers:
If your whiteboard session is focused on solving a particular problem, it's critical to stay focused. Write the main problem you are trying to solve at the top of the board, or better use a pre-made template to keep participants on topic.
The best digital whiteboards have an infinite canvas feature, giving unrestricted space for your team to work. Visualize all elements on a project by uploading images, videos and documents. This will give your team a great view of every aspect of the project, and all on one page.
Encourage everyone to turn their video cameras on. Collaboration works best with all team members on video because it gives the session a more personal feel and brings people together as a team.
Split into breakout groups
More than ever before, meetings, sales calls and networking events are happening online. So it's important to combine these often one-way meetings with smaller, more collaborative sessions. Breakout groups let you do just that, by enabling teams to split into smaller groups during meetings. As a meeting host, define a problem that can be solved quickly and assign people to groups of two or three. Give them a limited time frame to do a deep dive with their teammates, and then have everyone regroup to share their findings.
Personalize meeting rooms
Team members will feel a deeper connection with your organization with personalization instead of having to log in to a plain, dull corporate meeting room. Some online meeting tools allow you to personalize your virtual meeting room with custom names, URLs, photos and branding to be consistent with your company’s own branding. This can also be useful if you’re meeting with a prospective client and want to give them a sense of your brand image.
Improving team engagement takes commitment and investment, but the improvements in terms of increased productivity make it well worth your while. Take advantage of remote collaboration tools and technology to enable tighter connections between your team members and empower creativity and collaboration no matter where your team is located. Improving engagement on virtual meetings will also help you to build a strong company culture that will be the envy of your competitors, and will impress your customers and prospects.