How video conferencing enables cost-effective collaboration
Business travel is a major expense for many SMBs. Data from expense management provider Concur has revealed that average SMB employees spend more on airfare, lodging, ground transportation, dining and car rentals than their counterparts at a large enterprise organization. For some SMBs, company-related travel constitutes more than 10% of their budgets, even though it’s not a value-added activity. More money on travel means less for everything else.
There is no shortage of tips and tricks for reducing travel costs, from trying to avoid checked luggage fees to booking cheaper flights with more elaborate connections. But perhaps the most effective is to simply do less travel overall. How can SMBs make this gain without sacrificing their all-important connections with customers, partners and remote teams? Video conferencing solutions provide a great starting point for more cost-effective collaboration.
Why video conferencing is perfect for budget-conscious SMBs
Not all forms of collaboration are equally rich and immersive. For example, a salesperson sending a prospect an email pitch is usually a good way to do introductions, provide a high-level overview and list out the next steps, but it’s hardly ideal for going much deeper than that. A call followed by an in-person meeting will be likely necessary to close the deal. That requires more spending on travel – unless video conferencing can fulfill the same role.
A video conferencing platform allows for in-depth interactions over high-definition (HD) video. In addition to being able to see everyone’s reactions in real-time, the sales team can also harness the power of features such as screen sharing – either of their whole screens or just a particular app or document – or use the video stream to walk through a live product demo. These video conferences also have the benefit of being more focused than an audio-only meeting, as there’s less chance of someone multitasking while on mute.
Moreover, by investing in a video conferencing system like Webex, SMBs can eliminate potentially thousands in business travel expense per year. Almost nine in ten (87%) of respondents to a Wainhouse Research survey cited reduced travel as a benefit of video solution deployment. At the same time, video conferencing saves money in other indirect ways, too. Let’s explore some of the additional benefits of video for SMBs and how they contribute to a more manageable budget and a more productive sales cycle.
Beyond travel: Video’s impact on productivity, decision-making, and more
With video conferencing in place, SMBs can do more than just immediately curtail their travel costs. They can also:
Improve employee productivity
Inefficient meetings are a major drain on the productivity of everyone in them, as well as a substantial opportunity cost for the company. After all, every minute spent in an unnecessary meeting is one that could have been spent on a different, more worthwhile task.
Video conferencing technology helps facilitate more effective meetings:
- Instead of wading through a complex process just to join a conference (long PINs, downloads, etc.), attendees can simply click or tap to join a Webex conference.
- They don’t even have to download a dedicated app if they don’t want to or can’t do so – the entire meeting can be experienced through the browser.
- Clear video keeps the meeting focused and on track. Everyone can be seen and names can be put to faces, so there’s less confusion.
- Meetings can also be easily recorded for later review by anyone who wasn’t there or who needs a refresher.
Support mobile and remote workers
Telecommuting has become more common since the early 2000s, thanks to changes in employee preferences and the emergence of technologies like smartphones and SaaS. There are risks to remote work, however.
The State of Remote Work 2018 report from Buffer found that loneliness and collaborating/communicating were the most cited challenges by remote workers. Video conferencing can address both of these problems.
HD video and crisp audio can make it feel like teams are in the same room with each other, no matter where they are. Paired with features for screen sharing, recording, and more, a video conferencing solution also provides a comprehensive way to collaborate and communicate.
Integrate with other tools and workflows
It’s easy to configure Webex and then integrate it into your SMB’s current workflow. Integrations are available with multiple popular applications, from Salesforce and Google Calendar to Slack and Microsoft Teams.
In other words, Webex can be easily shaped to your organization’s particular requirements and workflows. Whether you plan to use it to help close more sales, provide online trainings to staff or simply host regularly scheduled meetings, Webex can fit the occasion. Learn more by starting your free trial today.
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