Screen sharing and its cousin the remote control software has been around for many years, where it has been particularly useful in PC support roles. User calls up the IT help desk and need to reset some application or operating system parameter, so instead of talking the user (blindly) through the changes, a process which is fraught with frustration and confusion, the IT support professional can just make the change for the user remotely. If you’ve ever had to explain to your mother how to select her new printer over the phone, you can appreciate how wonderful remote control software can be.
Screen sharing or application sharing is usually integrated into the web conferencing service, where it has developed into a powerful software sales tool. Doing product demonstrations used to be in-person affairs, but now can happen far more efficiently, over the Internet with multiple participants in different locations.
Here are 5 Best Practices for web conferencing in product demonstrations. For a more complete list, visit www.brockmann.com.
- Keep Pre-Sales Sessions to One Customer at a Time:
The temptation is to use Internet technology to gather all the prospects together in one session and show them all at once. This is not recommended because each user has unique needs and questions about the product, which the sales team needs to get out of the customer as a sign of commitment to the product and its potential sale. When there are other prospects in the same session they may not be willing to share sensitive corporate details and don’t participate as they might in a one-on-one meeting.
- Clean Up The Desktop:
Create a folder called ‘desktop’ and load it up with all the files and folders that normally clutter the presenter’s desktop so afterwards you can just drag them back to the desktop. Put only the application shortcut and presentation shortcut on the desktop.
- Log out of Instant Messaging:
Application sharing and desktop sharing features of web conferencing services allow remote users to receive the same screen display within the web conferencing window. IM popups that so-and-so is online are distractions that ought to be avoided during web conferences. The idea is to remove distractions so that the customer and the sales engineer can concentrate on the product and its potential fit for the customer.
- Say it in an Hour:
Even if you have technical difficulties that consume the first 15 minutes, cut out charts. Complete the meeting promptly.
- Use a Short Presentation to Set the Stage:
Goals of the meeting, key customers cases and demonstration architecture are all the charts necessary to set the tone and context of the web conferencing session.
Peter Brockmann is a consultant and analyst in communications technologies. He can be reached at www.brockmann.com.