Stress-Free Steps To Choose The Right Virtual Conference Software For Your Business
Where do you even begin your search for the best virtual conference software for enterprise business? How can you qualify vendors and get personalized estimates when you’re racing the clock? Choosing a top-notch tool for your telecommuters is all about organization and planning. You need to know what to look for and how to establish social proof. Simply put, if you have a clear schedule and research data, everything else falls into place, especially when you know all the steps involved to keep your implementation timeline on track.
7 Key Steps To Decide On Business Video Conferencing Software
1. Identify Your Business Needs And Budget
The right virtual conferencing tool for your business addresses crucial pain points so that you can boost team productivity and the health of your bottom line. It serves a variety of niche purposes within your organization, from helping your L&D team develop more relevant content to giving employees a peer coaching platform. Thus, you must first identify what those needs are and how much you can spend on new software. Evaluate LMS metrics, business reports, and employee feedback data. Then calculate all expenses involved and set a limit so that you don’t have to borrow from other business operations.
2. Get Employee Buy-In
Software selection should never be done in isolation. Sure, your purchasing manager makes the final decision, but that requires employee buy-in. What do your staffers expect from the tool? Which features do they need to collaborate with remote peers? What are their tech preferences? You must get input from your workforce before moving forward. In fact, they should be involved in every step of the process, including needs analysis and tool trials or demos. Keep in mind that they’re, ultimately, the ones who use the software to develop skills and talents. You may use it for other aspects of the business, such as hosting client meetings. But the primary goal should be to find video conferencing software that lives up to their expectations.
3. Use A Directory To Compile Your Shortlist
An online directory that specializes in business video conferencing is one of the most effective ways to qualify vendors. Or, at least, springboard your search so that you know which providers have all the essential features and pricing options. For example, you can filter results by deployment type, pricing model, and customer type, as well as see what other users have to say about their CX and usefulness.
4. Establish Social Proof
Ratings and reviews help you find vendors that are already tried and tested. However, there are other ways to establish social proof, such as social media sites where they interact with customers. For instance, they have a Facebook page with thousands of followers or a YouTube channel that’s packed with helpful demo videos and troubleshooting clips. You should also pay close attention to how they engage with customers, particularly those who critique their product. Do they try to fix the problem and provide resource links? Or do they lash out at anyone who has negative comments instead of maintaining their professionalism?
5. Evaluate Vendor Support Services
Vendors offer varying levels of support. While some go that extra mile and provide phone, email, and live chat at no extra charge, others are limited to FAQs and a few online training resources. The key is to determine how much support your large business needs to get the most from your software investment. For example, your team is already experienced with video conferencing tools. They pretty much know how to tackle any challenge that comes their way. Thus, more basic support services may be sufficient, especially if it lowers costs. Then again, it’s always best to have a little safety net, just in case they run across any new problems that FAQs don’t address.
6. Sign Up For Free Trials
The most efficient way to compare your top choices and decide on the best software for your business is through free trials. Some vendors have online demos instead or even live demo events that allow you to ask questions and address your concerns on the spot. Take advantage of these free test drives so that you can evaluate the tool’s functionality; namely, whether it will help you achieve your L&D objectives and bridge gaps. You can also schedule a meeting or consultation with providers after the fact.
7. Submit RFPs
A request for proposal (RFP) is the final step, excluding contract negotiations. Think of an RFP as your open invitation to vendors. It features all your buying needs and spending limits so that they can respond with proposals mapping out tech specs, support, and pricing plans. It’s typically reserved for your top choices since you need time to review each proposal. For example, you send out 15 RFPs and get 12 responses. That’s a lot of information to go over with your team. Some businesses even save the free trial step for the end after they receive vendor proposals. It’s a matter of personal preference. For instance, test drives might help you determine which vendors earn an RFP.
Follow these steps to decide on the best virtual conference software for large enterprises without going over budget. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do internal housekeeping and analysis beforehand, as it helps you identify your must-have features and support services to maximize software functionality. Make it a team effort so that everyone can provide input and make recommendations.