The Ultimate Guide to Running an Effective Board Meeting

Effective Board Meeting

A Board of Directors meeting is an excellent opportunity to make sure that key stakeholders are on the same page.
To hold an effective board meeting, you need to understand the functions of the board, the goals of the meeting, and conduct necessary board communication before and after the meeting.
Board meetings must be focused, effective and efficient to ensure the highest level of collaboration among stakeholders, who are there to make big decisions regarding the company’s future.
This article will outline everything you need to know in order to run a productive board meeting. We’ve even included some templates so keep an eye out for those!

What is a Board Meeting?

A board meeting is a formal meeting of the board of directors of a company and any invited parties, where they come together to discuss policy issues, any outstanding problems, business strategy and review performance of the company. These meetings are important because they provide an opportunity to define and discuss the company’s development trajectory.
Board meetings take place at different intervals, often quarterly or twice annually. The frequency of these meetings depends on what the board considers to be necessary.
Aside from the board meetings described above, there are 2 additional types of meetings where the board of directors comes together:
The first is an Annual General Meeting, which is used to keep board members up to date on the organization’s performance, provide insights for the upcoming year and elect, or announce the election of new board members.
The other type of board meeting is the Extraordinary General Meeting. This kind of meeting is only held when important decisions need to be made by the board of directors.
With some strategic planning, board meetings can be productive and efficient. This blog post will outline our top suggestions so that you can get the most out of your next board meeting.

How to prepare for a board meeting

Directors of companies are busy people so it is crucial to have a plan in place to ensure board meetings are productive and effective decisions are made on how to continue making the business thrive and succeed.
While there is no specific, set-in stone process for preparing for a board meeting, here are some things we consider to be crucial steps:
1) Start Planning in Advance. Block out time slots in your calendar every week to prepare for the next board meeting. Ideally preparation for an upcoming meeting should start almost immediately after the last meeting ended. Planning ahead of time ensures there is no panic and last minute scrambling, trying to figure out details.
2) Work with the main stakeholders to ensure all important discussion topics are included in the agenda. Take time to send out relevant documents to participants ahead of time, so that they have a reasonable amount of time to go over them and prepare.
3) Confirm attendance and start arranging the meeting location. It is possible that not everyone will be able to join the meeting in person so ensure that all the technology is in place for them to easily attend the meeting via video call. For those who will be travelling in from out of town, make sure travel arrangements are taken care of. Once you know the number of participants, you can make catering arrangements and any other additional services that will be needed during the meeting.
4) Build a proper agenda – This is our favourite thing to talk about! We always mention the importance of having a well structured agenda to make your meetings run smoother. The best kinds of agendas are ones that are structured but also allow flexibility. A useful trick is to use the previous board meeting’s agenda as a starting point and guide for writing the new one. Consider the expected number of attendees, project assignments, expected time for each discussion point, strategies to encourage discussion, and ways to record the meeting itself (more on this later!).
5) Prepare relevant documents and materials. Distribute all board meeting materials including financial reports, previous meeting minutes and other important documents ahead of time. As mentioned above, the meeting participants will need sufficient time to review them and if needed, request edits and additional points to be added.
6) Prepare a meeting minute template. Chances are, if you’ve already attended or organised a board meeting in the past, you will have access to a template. This will include sections such as time, date and location. Don’t forget to add sections for the major items of the agenda and leave enough room for note-taking.
Board Meeting
7) Final preparations – If any directors did not submit their reports, contact them and determine a method of distributing these materials to all attendees. The day before the meeting, make sure to check the meeting space to ensure that seating requirements are met, the catering arrives on time, and that all computers, screens and microphones are connected.

How to conduct a board meeting

As with anything, preparation is key!
There are certain common procedures that always have to happen at board meetings, such as:

  • Calling the meeting to order,
  • Reviewing and approving an agenda,
  • Ensuring there is a recorder and having minutes taken,
  • Reviewing and approving minutes from previous meeting,
  • Calling for motions and voting on items when appropriate,
  • Adjournment.

There are several other key steps to running an efficient board meeting. Follow these easy tips to make sure your board meeting runs smoothly!

Share Documents and Agenda in Advance

After the agenda is finalized, make sure to contact the directors and chairpersons of the committees that need to send in reports. Set a deadline for submitting these reports and follow up as needed. Then distribute the agenda to the board of directors and allow time for directors to request corrections or supplements before the board meeting.

Clarify Everyone’s Role in the Meeting​​

Knowing what you want to get out of the meeting is the first step to knowing who to invite to it.
There must be a quorum at a board meeting. A quorum refers to a minimum acceptable number of directors needed to make the proceedings of a meeting valid under the company bylaws. This clause ensures that there is sufficient representation at meetings before any changes can be made by a board. The quorum for a board meeting must be 1/3rd of the total number of directors or 2 directors, whichever is the higher number.
In addition to the board of directors, some other individuals may be asked to attend. These include:
1) The Board Secretary, who must be present to take and present the meeting minutes. Typically, the Secretary is also the Chief Financial Officer;
2) Anyone who is an Officer of the company. These are senior managers, perhaps founders, who have a deep understanding of the company and a desire to attend meetings;
3) And other C-level executives. At a meeting where management submits quarterly reports to the board of directors, other C-level executives must submit reports in their respective areas.
Everyone who attends the board meeting should have a good reason to be there and be able to contribute to the discussion. Assigning each board member with a role to play can help to increase engagement and productivity during the meeting.

Prepare the Main Issues to Discuss

There are 5 main topics that will need to be covered in a board meeting:
1) Company Performance – This is arguably the most important topic of the meeting. Make a list of goals for the company to see if you are on the right track to accomplishing them. If the company has been around for a while, look back on completed targets and goals the company has already achieved. The main objective of this topic is to find solutions to potential roadblocks and plan future goals.
2) Future Strategies – Take this time to talk about the goals that have been successfully achieved and how a particular strategy works well. Highlight future growth plans and the action plans you will take to accomplish them.
3) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – The next topic of discussion is KPIs, which will be used to measure the effectiveness of the proposed strategies and future plans. Examples of these indicators include market share, employee turnover, product sales, customer satisfaction, and the number of customers.
4) Problems, Risks and Opportunities – In business, there are always going to be hurdles. You should highlight these obstacles at your board meeting and participate in discussions to find solutions to them.
5) Fundraising – Finally, you will discuss how to raise funds to expand operations and continue to grow the company. The board meeting may be the right time to discuss your options and start thinking on how to develop a pitch deck and connect with investors.
Where appropriate, other topics from the agenda will be discussed. This is why it is crucial to have an effective agenda in place and send it out in advance to the meeting participants.

Board meeting agenda sample

Effective board meeting agenda templates vary from board to board, but the focus should always be on creating an agenda that adds value and works for the organization.
Board meeting agenda



There are thousands of templates out there for you to choose from but we found one we like from Owl Labs, which is number 6 on this list. Just download it and start planning!
Alternatively, you can use Notiv to create an agenda and send it out to everyone who will be in attendance! To find out more about how Notiv can help you with your meetings, click here.
One more thing – if you’d like to learn how to write an effective meeting agenda that you will actually stick to, we wrote a blog post all about it so feel free to check that out by clicking here.

Board meeting minutes template

Someone should be appointed to take meeting minutes. The purpose of keeping the minutes is to “provide a memorialized chronology of key information such as board actions, elections of officers or directors, and certain reports from committees and staff”. Taking meeting minutes, especially at such an important meeting, can be a difficult task. Make sure you appoint a secretary or someone with experience in note-taking. To help the person record the minutes accurately, provide the note-taker with a list of things that should normally be included in the minutes of the meeting.
You could, however, use an AI Notetaker such as Notiv to help you take meeting minutes. Notiv records and transcribes meetings without any disturbance to the meeting itself. After the meeting is finished, you can send the participants the recording, along with a summary that highlights decisions, action points and highlights. To find out more about Notiv and how it works, click here.
We’ve done our research and put together a meeting minutes template ready for you to use. No need to scour the internet – it’s right here at your fingertips!
Notice of Board Meeting: [Company name] calls a meeting of the Board of Directors on [Date] at [Time] at [Venue]

1.) Call to order

2.) Review and revision of agenda, if required

3.) Approval of Consent Agenda

  1. List of items included in consent agenda (e.g., previous meeting minutes, sub-committee reports)

4.) Decision items for board review and approval

  1. List of items, phrased as questions, if appropriate, on which the outcome will be a Board decision and/or actions. Time allocations indicated, if necessary

5.) Discussion items

  1. List of items for the Board’s discussion. This could include strategic review and counsel.

6.) Information items

  1. List of items for the Board’s information

7.) Other business

8.) Meeting adjournment (and review)


Conclusion

With the right planning, board meetings can be engaging and informative and can dramatically improve the strategic outlook of your company.
This article covered some of the key elements to pay attention to when planning and launching a board meeting for your company. Keep in mind that certain formats and details may vary from business to business.
Having a proper understanding of the rules and principles of board meetings will help you make the most out of your time and set achievable goals for the company. Take advantage of different perspectives and ideas from participants. Good luck with your board meeting!

To find out more about how you can record Teams, Zoom, Google Meet or any other online meeting for free, check out our previous blog post!

Everything You Should be Doing to Successfully Close More Deals

Closing deals is the finish line of the marathon of sales. Yet, it is possible to make mistakes before you cross it. Or to be sabotaged by earlier mistakes in the sale process.

You’ve probably had a few calls with a prospect, and you’ve probably got a good grasp of the prospect’s needs and know how your product or service can help them. This may be unfamiliar territory, and one you are least prepared to deal with. So, how to close the deal?

We provide a list of tips, techniques, and questions to ask to ensure that you succeed at closing sales.

Tips for successful sales

successful sales

Here are some tips that you should consider when aiming to close the sale. Now, while most of these are important in the final closing call, some require some work earlier in the sales process, or at least setting up. Remember, not all advice should be left to the closing call, but rather, be part of the entire sales process, in order for the final call to be easier and more efficient. Ideally, the final call should be about ironing out the details, and you should both be as informed as possible going in. 

  • Make sure they are interested

There is not enough time to waste. Ensure that your prospect has the capacity to make the purchase, and is genuinely interested in the product, as soon as possible in the sales process. You need to find out from them what needs to be done for the sale, who can make the sale, and if it is in their budget. 

This ideally should be done earlier in the process, such as in the sales appointment or discovery call. If you get to the end of the closing call, expecting to make a sale, and find out “Well we cannot implement this until two years time” or “I don’t know if this will work for us” then you have wasted everyone’s time. 

  • Get the prospect to explain, and see, their problems

The prospect needs to explain to you everything you may need to make the sale. But a vital tip is to get them to recognize their problems. They may only come to understand this when you ask them what issues they face, or you explain how your solution can help.

Closing deals

 If they realize that their lives would be much easier with your provided service, they will be inclined to agree to the sales deal. Even if they don’t make this recognition themselves, by understanding their problems, you can suit your pitch to close the sale to them specifically, and they will feel it is a perfect match. Ideally, you should do this not in the closing call, but in the discovery call, and this will put you in a better position to finalize the sale. 

  • Create a roadmap

You need to know the steps of the sale, and how to get there. Before you make the first call, you should have a list of the key information to make sure the prospect is in a position to buy, how to make them buy, and what to avoid.  Such a roadmap should be related to your meeting agenda, which you should prepare before the first meeting you have. 

  • Find what the prospect needs

You must know what they need to learn to close the deal. You can ask this in the process (more on that in a bit) and get them to explain the steps. If you find out what is important for them, you can use this to tailor your calls and get that sale, by providing the ways your product or service fits their needs, and how to adjust the pitch. Maybe budget isn’t as important as results, or maybe they are more interested in customer reviews. Be flexible, always! Again, this should be done in the discovery call process. 

Additionally, get the prospect to share who they need to communicate with to make the sale, how long things will take, and to be realistic, how likely is this sale (remember the first tip, don’t waste time on dead ends!). 

  • Get the prospect to ask questions

After the cold call, you need to start having more two-way conversations with the prospect. This ensures you can align, find out what you need about the prospect, and generally tailor the pitches. 

However, the closing call requires a good deal of questions from the prospect. The most successful closing calls, according to a study by Gong, have a higher volume of prospect led questions. This shows interest, and that the prospect wants to find out the final details before you can make the sale. This doesn’t mean don’t ask questions, but letting the prospect speak is essential to close the deal. 

How to close the deal: the best sales techniques 

How to close the deal

Now we provide a specific list of successful sales techniques to close the sale, which will take place at the very end of the call, so they are the very final aspect before you can breathe easy. Closing deals can be done in a variety of ways, with some more firm, and others giving space for the prospect to think and reflect more. What approach will work best depends on the prospect and previous interactions, and may be combined appropriately, in order to better close sales

 These closure techniques are a mix of traditional and more modern, as it is best these days to avoid being too “salesy”, rather, focus on discovery of the prospect’s needs and showing them how you can help their lives.

  • Summarizing 

This is a more traditional sales technique, but it can still be useful. The summarizing approach looks like this:

“So we have agreed to provide our standard package, which includes ______, and additionally, we will provide, at a discounted price, ______” 

This is a way to get the prospect to visualize what they have ordered, and feel happy about what it will add to their lives. They will most likely agree to that. It may be worth adding a question.

“When will we deliver this?” 

“Is there anything else you would like to add?”

“What dates can this be implemented on?” 

These sorts of questions show a final element to the interaction, and get the prospect to focus on the next final steps beyond the agreement. 

  • Close with questions

Asking questions to finish the sale is a good way to alleviate the prospect’s concern’s and give you the chance to show what you can provide. We will get to specific questions shortly, but questions such as “Is there any reason you can think for us not proceeding with implementation?” gives them a chance to say any more concerns, and if not, they will see no reason to not close the deal! 

  • Assumptive closing

Assumptive closing is when the rep believes the prospect is ready to make the deal and moves on to the final details to close up the sale with this assumption. It’s a good way to keep a positive and confident mindset when you are in the calls. Focus on the benefits of your solution, ask if this will help, and move on to the finalization. 

“So you can see how our product can benefit you, correct? I think it is a good choice, in order to improve productivity and save you lots of time, so, when can we start implementation?” 

Here we see a question, the summary of the benefits, and then the closing via a final question, assuming the sale has been agreed to. 

Assumptive closing is good if you are sure the prospect is on board entirely. To do this, make sure questions are asked to gauge their interest beforehand.  

  • Soft closing

This approach takes the assumptive close but inverts it. Rather than assuming the sale is done, which may be risky and seen as pushy, it asks a simple question to progress the sales process, which gives a bit more room for the prospect to agree overall. Again, the benefits need to be stated of the solution, however, the question is considerably different. 

For example: “So if our product can help boost your efficiency and increase profits as a result, would you be interested in choosing from our website?” 

Or “would you be interested to learn a bit more?” 

This sort of request takes the pressure off, and directs the agreement elsewhere. Purchases do not necessarily have to be agreed on the phone, what can happen instead, is as they have the information, they can make the final decision, and you can chase the prospect up with an email to confirm. Or perhaps they will then need a final call. This is best if the prospect ticks the boxes of interest, but they may be hesitant about rushing into a decision. 

  • Hard closing

This is when you ask a question to the prospect to move the sale along a bit harder. It doesn’t mean hassling the prospect, or rushing the sale, but unlike the soft close, it puts a question to the prospect that will ideally get them to agree to the sale. Often hard selling is seen as a bad practice, and if done badly, it is. However, you can ask questions which help move the sale along, in a more direct way, which can be useful. 

For example, asking questions such as:

“Are you ready for the final step?”

“Can we get started on finalizing the details?” 

“When will we be ready to get started?”

These are directly asking the prospect if they are ready, and may be useful if you feel confident in the prospect’s desire, but haven’t heard a specific answer yet. Using these sorts of questions along with others may be a good way to soften the pushiness associated with hard selling. 

10 Closing Questions Examples

If you use the following questions, you will be much more likely to close more deals. They help the prospect realize how you can help them, make their lives easier, help you get that yes, and ensure that you have successful closing calls. These are a variety of questions depending on the nature of the closing technique you are working with, and this will depend on your previous interactions. So choose accordingly

  1. Do you see how our solution can make a difference? 
  2. Are there any other problems we can solve? 
  3. Is there anything stopping us from implementing our solution? 
  4. So, have I explained everything you need to know before we get started?
  5. Does our solution we are offering fix your problem?
  6. Is there anything we haven’t covered so far that you want to talk about?
  7. When will you be ready for us to start implementing?
  8. If everything is good for you, shall we talk about when to get started?
  9. If you had everything you need, would we move forward?
  10.  When will you have the final decision? 

Closing Questions

Remember, to know your prospect and what approach will work best, it is good to constantly keep meeting notes to hand, and record and transcribe your meetings, so you can access your prospect information with ease, summarize meetings, and send them to anyone who requires them. This for example can be done with Notiv.

 With these tips, we hope that you know more on how to close the deal. Being informed about the prospect, letting them voice their concerns, asking the right questions, these are the key things you need to consider. If you or your team are struggling with sales outputs, consider learning more about how to evaluate your teams.

Top 12 Questions To Ask a Sales Prospect During Discovery Meeting

discovery call

You’ve nailed the first call. You have the interest of a sales prospect. So what’s next? It’s a very important step in the sales journey, the discovery call. 

Discovery calls are essential to establist a good relationship with a client and know how your product or service can help them develop rapport and better understand the prospect’s needs. It’s all about asking the right questions, but what questions do you need to ask?  In this article, we will explain what exactly a discovery call is, how to prepare, and what discovery questions you need to ask them. This will help you to have the best possible discovery session. 

What is a discovery call?

discovery questions

A discovery call involves a conversation between the client and the sales representative, which involves a lot of questions. It helps bring the client around to recognizing some key problems they face, and understanding the rep offers a viable solution for them. 

It’s not like the first sales call, where the rep needs to pique the interest of the client in the product and explain what it is, but rather an exploration of the client’s specific needs and to check that they are fully informed, on the same page, and confirming how the service or product on offer can help them.

It’s vital to ask the right questions during discovery meetings, to get the information to then show to the client how exactly you can help provide a solution to the problems they are currently facing or a way to improve their business in some way. 

How to prepare for a discovery meeting?

 discovery call

So, how do reps prepare for this discovery call? Nailing these calls requires work before the call. Here is a list of tips to help you prepare

Research

You don’t want to waste time asking questions you can find the answers to in a few clicks. Research as much as you can about the client, their company, what they offer and what sort of problems companies in their particular market are facing. Use this to save time, look knowledgeable, and also establish rapport. For example, if you know where your client is based, you can start with some good small talk with this information. 

Prepare a discovery meeting agenda

Meeting agendas are essential in any meeting, and the discovery call is no exception. Have an agenda, a structure, and a plan. This will ensure you don’t miss some important steps in the call process. Now, unlike the earlier sales calls, the client needs to do a lot of talking. Evidence, in a study by Gong,  shows that callers with more of a two-way conversation succeed in discovery calls. Listening is very, very important in these discovery calls.

discovery session

 So, when planning your agenda, you need to be a bit more flexible. However, have a plan of what to speak about, and what goals you want. So how do we do that? That brings us to the next tip. 

Have a checklist

sales prospect

A checklist is a great way to keep focused on the goals of the conversation. This isn’t a checklist of specific questions, rather a way to achieve the goals in a holistic way. But what should be on the checklist?

You can consider the buyer’s journey for this as “awareness, consideration, decision”. Awareness is about being aware of their needs, and the service on offer. Consideration is when the client wants to know how to solve their problems, and the decision is choosing to make the purchase. For example “My company has disorganized communication” is awareness, consideration would be “How can we fix this to have more streamlined communication?” and the decision is “we will purchase a software to put all communication in one place”. Use this approach to plan your checklist. Remember, the discovery call is all about awareness and consideration, the sale will take place later on. 

We will get to the questions in a moment, as these should also be prepared in advance, but the checklist should focus on the big picture and the structure.  For example

“Establish the service in more details”

“Understand the client’s pains”

“Make the client aware of their pains”

“Propose a solution to the pains”

“Arrange next call” 

These are good goals, as they are not too specific, so you can establish both an awareness in the client of the problems they face, and show how your product or service can alleviate these issues. 

Have questions prepared

Now, as we have said, when it comes to sales, questions are essential. Ask the right questions, let the conversation go back and forth, but consider what you need to find out, and what you need to share with the client. This doesn’t mean you should read off everything like a list, that is a bad approach. Rather, use it yourself to ensure you are getting everything you need from the conversation. It also serves as a great tool to evaluate your meeting after, and how successful it was. Have the key questions written in advance, when you’re in the conversation listen to the client and ask them at the right time, it’s vital that the client gets to speak plenty, and for you to learn from them. 

Top discovery questions to ask in a call

discovery questions

Now we will give you a list of questions you should consider for your next discovery call. The sales prospect will hopefully answer them with plenty of details, and maybe some questions to you. This is a vital way to improve sales performance. Remember, to let the client speak and for you to listen. This is all about learning! 

Here are our top 11 sales discovery questions for you:

  1. Describe to me your role day-to-day at your company
  2. Can you tell me more about your company?
  3. What are you responsible for?
  4. Let me know about your particular goals, of any kind?
  5. What problems are you trying to solve?
  6. Are you experiencing any difficulties in (choose a relevant area)?
  7. What is the root cause of this problem?
  8. Do you think it’s sufficiently prioritized?
  9. Can you think of a potential solution?
  10. Do you think our service can help with this problem?
  11. Do you see how your life could be made easier?
  12. Is there anyone else who will need to make any decisions on this topic?

Sales discovery process tips

sales discovery questions

There are some other things you should consider in relation to the sales discovery process. Ultimately, the goal of this process is to learn about your client. We’ve talked about aspects of this already, in that you should consider the buyer journey, what to ask, and what to listen for. However, here are some extra things you should think about to understand how to have the best discovery calls

Understand the customer’s needs

Primarily, you are trying to understand the customer’s situation. This may seem obvious at this point, but this part of the process allows you to tailor your sales pitch to fix their specific needs. This part of the sales process isn’t to sell, it isn’t to wow, it is to listen, understand and bring the client to recognize the benefits you can provide. This is why you have to listen as much as possible, get them to share, and identify their specific problems. Questions asking what issues the client’s faces, and general information about their company, helps identify these. 

Unearth and intensify pain

This may sound a bit odd or cruel even. We mentioned the buyer’s journey, in which they have an issue, they need to be aware of it and willing to fix it. When you identify their problems, they may not even be aware of them, or at least how bad it is. So not only do you need to guide them to this realization, but you need to show how serious it is as a problem, so they will consider fixing it with your solution. For example, ask them about what issues have resulted from the things they described, and repeat back to them “so it sounds like your company is struggling as a result of this disorganization”. It highlights to them what the problem is

Visualize a solution

Make the client understand what you offer, and see how your product or service will make their lives immeasurably better. You are offering a vision to them of a much easier life, so make sure you focus on this. Later in the call, ask the questions which make them understand what your solution offers, how they see their work improved, and picture their day to day with your solution in place. 

Find out your competitors

Your client may not just be talking to you. They may be considering your rivals. This is a good chance for you to understand who, what and why. Ask them if they are considering other options. Then use this information when appropriate to highlight your strengths. Are you more affordable? Do you have some aspect of your service which they don’t? Use this.

Learn about budgeting

Your client will have a chosen budget for implementing the solution you offer. You must find this out from the client. It is also important to understand any responsibilities and anyone else who will have to be involved with this discussion. You may need to have further calls with additional members of their company. 

Record your discovery calls

These calls contain a lot of vital information. When you are speaking, you may miss something. While you should always take meeting notes, when you’re in a lengthy conversation you don’t want to be distracted by such a task. This is where software, such as Notiv, can help you record, transcribe and generate automatic reports of the meetings, identifying the key information. This can then be shared with relevant parties. This keeps a record of interactions for future calls and means nothing is lost, and you can focus on the conversation. Notiv is ideal for fast growing sales teams, as it keeps all information about clients in one place as a valuable record, and saves a lot of time. 

 

Conclusion

discovery calls

We provided a guide to help you with understanding discovery calls, knowing how to prepare and nail them. Remember their goal, to learn from the sales prospect! This means lots of listening, engaging conversations, and asking the right discovery questions, and we gave you some suggestions for your next discovery call. 

Consider further how recording your meetings can result in effective business outcomes, as these technologies can help with meeting notes, communicating, and generally boosting the effectiveness of your calls of any kind!

A Step-By-Step Guide To Strategic Planning Meetings (3 Tools to Try)

strategic planning meeting

How often do you say the following: “Let’s have a meeting about this”, “Meeting in five minutes”, “Do you have time for a meeting?” but hear a negative reaction? Or maybe you dread going to a long day of meetings? In this article, we are going to discuss a particular meeting type, which is vital for any business, and how to get them productive, and no longer seen as a chore: the strategic planning meeting. We will discuss how to implement a strategic planning agenda, in a much more effective way. 

Meetings are often seen as a waste of time, as they are unproductive and interrupt the flow of the working day. One study by the Harvard Business Review found that one company spends 300,000 hours preparing for meetings. That is a lot of time, and it can be wasted. 

Yet, this does not have to be the case, meetings, when done right, are essential for any business.  We will explain what the strategic planning meeting is, and provide steps for before, during, and after the meeting, as well as some useful tools you can use to get the most from your meetings. 

What is strategic planning and what is its purpose?

A strategic planning meeting, or review, or strategy session, is a type of meeting that particularly focuses on how to improve certain prioritised areas within a business, using data. It’s in the name: strategy. 

They are or should be, relatively regular and with a specific goal in mind.

  • Are you meeting your KPIs? 
  • Are you getting the right amount of new clients? 
  • What market trends have affected your company’s profits? 
  • How will you adapt and improve? 

These are the sort of topics you will be dealing with. They are longer usually than other meetings, but this is due to their importance.  

The Goal of a Strategic Planning Meeting 

strategic planning meeting

The purpose of these meetings is to know what to do, based on the current evidence and data, in order to better improve key areas and targets. Without these meetings, companies will struggle to better achieve their goals, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and get stuck in a rut. The opposite of what you want, which is to grow, change, and adapt to better achieve your goals. 

Why You Need Strategy Planning

If management in your company is struggling to set agendas, meet goals, spend little time interacting and coordinating, and more time is spent fixing problems, than arranging strategy, then you really need to improve your strategic planning and have some regular reviews. Effectively, it is preparing the whole company for the future, and looking at the bigger picture, in order to better synchronize the company. 

Steps of organizing strategic planning meetings

Now you know what a strategic planning meeting is. What do you need to do to make them work well? Most of the success of your meetings come down to planning and preparation. No one wants a waste of a meeting, especially if it’s a long one, and having poor planning is one of the main causes of a bad meeting. Here are three key steps you should follow before the meeting

Steps of organizing strategic planning meetings

Organize in advance

The date should be known in advance, and people should receive regular updates. Obviously no one wants to be spammed by messages, as they are likely to ignore them, but a clear date, and a few well-timed reminders, is essential. In addition, the agenda should be in advance, so people know what to discuss and what the point of the meeting is. 

Get the data ready that you need to analyze, and make sure it is accessible to those who need to see it. No time should be wasted, and people should enter the meeting informed and with opinions and ideas of what needs to be improved, and what has been working. While of course, data will need to be explained in the meeting to a degree, it would be beneficial if less time was spent on this when it can be done beforehand, and more time can be spent on discussing what needs to be done going forward. 

Have a clear strategic meeting agenda

An agenda is everything for a meeting, and you really need a clear strategy meeting agenda.  People need to know what to expect, what the goal of the meeting is, and this will make them more likely to attend. Meeting burnout is a real problem.  

The purpose of this meeting is not to discuss minor details, it is not about general business operations, nor is it to be a discussion, rather it is about making key decisions based on the current data about your organization’s goals. Spell this out beforehand and make sure people are equipped to do this. 

Have the key players

Not everyone needs to be there, but choose the right people and make sure they come. If senior members do not attend, it sets a bad message that strategy isn’t important, but this is one of the most important meetings you can have. 

Make attendance compulsory for who you need to be there, and communicate this well in advance, as this meeting really requires a certain range of people to be effective.

Choose the correct people who need to be present. Think who is informed enough to make the key decisions, who has the authority and knowledge to implement the changes, who can view the bigger picture.

Make sure all departments are represented, and the top executives are present, in order to synchronize and share the goals and knowledge of how to achieve them. If such people are in the dark, then these meetings are ineffective. 

How to facilitate a strategic planning session

There are further tips to make these meetings even better when you’re in the meetings.  These meetings require an effective strategy meeting facilitator, to organize the meeting and ensure the agenda is kept to, and that people warm up and get to know each other. Work is required to get these meetings off the ground and to make them productive, but facilitating the meeting and organizing it well, can better help them achieve their goals. Make sure you pay attention to the following tips:  

01. Break the Ice: Get people engaged and cooperating 02, Explain the purpose: Make the meeting goals and significance clear to the participants 03, Stay on Track: Make sure that the meeting stays focused, 04, Take Notes: Don’t lose any important meeting points 05 Send action items: Communicate what needs to be done immediately

Break the ice

Introduce each other, quickly, and use some ice breakers if necessary to get the team relaxed, focused, and in a collaborative spirit. 

Explain the strategy planning meeting purpose

At the start of the strategic planning meeting, especially if this is the first, explain why you are having this meeting. This will better motivate people to return and leave it with a better feeling. The purpose of the meeting is to make decisions, and to examine the data, so ensure this is known. 

You may need in the first meeting to explain some key terms, some other areas of the meeting topic, and how to understand the data, and this will get easier in future meetings. Nonetheless, focus on the decision-making aspect and the need for collaboration. The strategic meeting agenda should be run through briefly so people know what to expect. 

Take Pauses to stay on track

Meetings going off topic was said to be the number one cause of a bad meeting in one set of statistics. If a conversation seems to have gone on too long, or of topic, try to focus on the meeting again. Ask if something requires addressing elsewhere instead, to keep the meeting on track so people don’t get bored. 

On the topic of pauses, with such a lengthy meeting ensure plenty of breaks. People’s attention spans are pretty short, with one study by Microsoft saying people can focus on one task for 12 minutes, then 8 seconds. People will be watching the clock to get out of the meeting if it’s hours upon hours of presentations and speeches. Have sufficient pauses, and you will have a much more engaged range of participants, and in the future, they won’t see it as a waste of time or a boring session they’d rather avoid. 

Take Notes

It is absolutely vital that the key information of the meeting, the agenda, the action items, and what was achieved are taken down. If nothing is logged, if nothing is remembered, then the meeting was a waste of time.  Someone, with the help of useful software, needs to take notes for the meeting, so nothing is lost. Read more about meeting note-taking here

Automate transcription, detail, and share actionable items

After the meeting, the meeting notes along with action items should be sent out to the relevant parties. It is very much recommended to record meetings, and then to get this recording transcribed.  Again, software can help with this, so that the key information is transcribed and extracted, to not overwhelm attendants with a whole script, but they see what needs to be done next.

Making sure that the action items are clearly understood and sent out, will mean that the team will know exactly what is to be done next, and why the meeting was held, leading to further productive meetings. 

So to summarise, there are three stages, the proper organization before the meeting, the facilitation within the meeting, and then sending out key action items and transcriptions after the meeting. If you can follow these steps, then you will be having much much more effective strategy meetings in the future. 

Strategy meeting agenda template

Strategy meeting agenda template

We’ve mentioned the agenda a few times, so it would be fair of us to give you an example of a good strategic meeting review agenda template. This strategy meeting agenda is in mind of having a full day review, but of course it can be modified. Usually, as this isn’t a meeting you would hold every week, it requires a lot of time to make the most of it. Ideally, the more effective you are, the quicker they can be, or the less frequent they will need to be. 

Time

Objective

9:00-9:15 Welcome- Overview of the meeting

Icebreakers

09.15-09.30

 

09.30-10.15

10.15-10.45

10.45-11.00 

11.00-12.00

12.00-13.00

13.00-13.30

13.30-14.00

The purpose of these meetings/this meeting

Explanation of key terms (first meeting)

Reviewing data: What has been achieved so far

What’s not on track

Coffee Break

What is to be improved

Lunch

Market Trends

KPIs- are they fit for purpose?

14.00-14.15

14.15-15.00

15.00-15.15

15.15-15.30

Coffee Break

Moving Forward

Any other matters to discuss

Review of meeting and Action Items

Note this agenda has everything we discussed. Introduction and icebreaker, regular breaks, and time to explain key terms in the first session. Ideally, they could be streamlined as you host more of them, and you can modify them to suit your own business strategy goals. 

3 Tools for running effective strategic planning session

You know what a strategy meeting is, you know some tips to make them run well, and have an idea of the sort of agenda you should follow. Now it is worth considering some key tools for meetings to make your meetings much more productive. Most of these will be particularly useful if you are having virtual strategy meetings, as they integrate with meeting software and help work with online meetings. 

 

Calendly

tools for meeting

https://calendly.com/features 

This software is a hub that can synchronize with all other calendars and other work applications such as slack, zoom, and others. It allows you to arrange meetings with people, and by pulling all software together, it can make sure everyone is available and all can attend. Getting people to attend is a vital step to having an effective strategy meeting, so you can ensure this with this type of software.

Hypercontext 

virtual strategy session

https://hypercontext.com/?noredirect 

 

This application is useful to create meeting agendas, setting goals, and generally organizing the meeting. It can integrate with many various meeting software and work applications, and it even has a free version, to see if it’s useful for you. An effective tool to save a lot of time and clearly communicate the meeting agenda. 

Notiv

tools for meeting

https://www.notiv.com/blog/free-tools-to-record-meetings-and-be-productive/ 

Notiv allows you to record and transcribe meetings, but not only this, it extracts the key information that you can then communicate to the rest of the team immediately after the meeting. This way action items are known and understood and any meeting is made more productive and useful. 

Conclusion

We hope this guide has given you some useful advice to have more productive strategic planning meetings. These meetings are very important for you to achieve better results, and knowing how to run them will help you with the next one. Remember to create, and stick to, a clear and actionable strategic meeting agenda, communicate before and after, and get the right people in the meeting.  Consider the useful tools that can help you get the most out of the meetings. To learn more about recording meetings, go to this article.

How to turn Brainstorm Meetings into Meaningful Results

brainstorm meeting

Introduction

When you’re faced with the task of coming up with the next big idea at work, it may seem like the logical next step to organize a brainstorm meeting to get some help from your colleagues.
However, brainstorm meetings can sometimes be stressful because a lot of different ideas get thrown around, someone ends up dominating the conversation, while others just remain silent. But if done properly, brainstorm meetings can be an effective way of gathering input from lots of people from varying perspectives.
But brainstorm meetings don’t have to be stressful! Follow our tried and tested tips to hosting a successful brainstorm meeting that is sure to bring you effective results.

1) Come Prepared

Like any successful meeting, your brainstorm meeting should start with an agenda. Participants should be able to understand the purpose of the meeting and what they’re aiming to accomplish so they can come prepared and be ready to jump in when the time comes.
Before bringing everyone together, send out an agenda ahead of time so that people can get familiar with the topic and definitions, and have some time to think before the brainstorm meeting starts.
Additionally, having an agenda will allow the meeting facilitator to make sure you are staying on track and that all topics and discussion points are getting covered. We will talk more about facilitators later!
Check out our previous blog post that outlines the many benefits to having an agenda, and how you can create a meeting agenda that you will actually stick to!

2) Define the Problem

At times, we go into problem solving mode without fully understanding what the problem actually is. The first step in an effective brainstorm meeting is to outline the problem you are trying to overcome. The question should be clear and easy to understand. Lay out the context and any definitions that may come up. The more information you can give about the problem, the more likely you are to come up with a great solution.
Like we mentioned in the first point, sending out contextual information and reading materials ahead of time will allow participants to have a better understanding of the problem before the meeting even begins.

3) Have a Facilitator

In a room full of people throwing around ideas, it is important to have someone in charge to maintain order and make sure conversations don’t get sidetracked. The role of a facilitator is to keep everyone on topic and make sure that time is being spent productively in the meeting.
When picking a moderator, pick someone who is impartial and will not be afraid to redirect the conversation if needed. They should also make sure everyone has had the chance to speak their mind and that no single person is dominating the conversation as this can be both distracting and discouraging to others.

In the brainstorming session, there will definitely be a lot of innovative suggestions that may not be related to the topic. The arbiter may acknowledge these ideas but put them aside for future consideration so as not to stray from the main agenda. There’s no need to forget about them entirely, but rather, set them aside to come back to at a later date.
The facilitator should be encouraged to keep track of the conversation and take notes of all the points being discussed. Without a record, it’s easy for the ideas to get lost and forgotten. What’s the best way to do this? By using Notiv, of course!

Use Notiv’s AI Notetaker to record, transcribe and summarize your brainstorm meeting in just minutes! 

meaningful results

Notiv will take down everything that was said, word for word, so there is no room for confusion about outcomes and deadlines after the meeting. To learn more about how you can convert your conversations into meaningful outcomes, click here.

4) Encourage Participation

It can be intimidating to let go of your worries and come up with ideas in front of a group of people, at the risk of saying the wrong thing or your idea not being well received.

brainstorm meetingIt is important to remember that everyone who is at the brainstorm meeting is there for a reason, and so they should all have a chance to voice their opinions and ideas. Encourage participants to speak up by letting them know that all ideas are welcome.
People come from different backgrounds and have different experiences so they will all have different solutions to the same problem, which is why it is important that everyone has had the chance to speak their mind. This is why a diverse group of participants is key!
In our opinion, the best combination is a group of people with different perspectives and skills big picture, details, process, etc to be able to get the most varied set of ideas in your brainstorm meeting.

5) Quantity over Quality

Yes, you read that right! It may seem like you should be zooming in on a couple of great ideas instead of spending time coming up with loads of different ones, but this is actually not the case.
We recommend setting a 5-10 minute timer and having each participant write down as many ideas as possible, to then discuss afterwards. Note down your suggestions, no matter how crazy or out of the box they sound. You’d be surprised but there will most likely be someone at your brainstorm meeting who has thought of the same crazy idea as you.
After that’s done, you can focus on the best ideas and build on them. Most likely you will find that patterns begin to merge and there will be similarities between ideas.
This is why teamwork is important in brainstorm meetings – it allows us to take ideas and make them stronger. When everyone has the opportunity to contribute, it is easier to work together to find a solution. Additionally, people are more receptive to the ideas they helped develop.

6) Get Out the Bad Ideas First

As mentioned earlier, people often feel afraid to say the wrong thing in front of a group of people but it is important that they feel comfortable enough to speak their mind openly and really say what they’re thinking.
At some point during the brainstorm session, participants will look to each other for approval. This is only natural. However, you should put an end to this as soon as possible. If participants feel they are being judged, they will stop sharing their best and most unusual ideas. A word of caution: there’s a very fine line between saying “no” to bad ideas and making people feel discouraged from contributing, so be cautious!
By getting out the bad ideas first, you’re encouraging people to get creative and to think outside the box. This creates a more comfortable environment where people feel more relaxed and willing to participate.

7) Keep an Open Mind

This ties in to our previous point about bad ideas. Keep an open mind to other people’s ideas, even if they sound unusual at first.

new ideasBe receptive to other participants’ thoughts and try to build on them. Not only is this good manners, it is also going to make you look like a team player. Many good ideas are inspired by other people, so let your teammates draw suggestions from one another to bring more ideas to the table.
Remember, brainstorming is not a time to get into specific and “ideal” solutions. If you try to perfect ideas prematurely, you may turn the brainstorming meeting into a meeting focused on a specific idea. Instead, encourage everyone to continue to come up with their strange and creative ideas.

8) Follow Up

Usually, brainstorm meetings don’t just end there, there is a process that comes afterwards on how to implement the ideas that were discussed. You will most likely need to meet again at some point to talk about the details of putting one or more ideas into action, and to review the ideas that are not high on the priority list.
Make a habit of following up after all of your meetings, not just brainstorm ones specifically. Send an email after your gathering to share the documents you discussed, agree on action items and outline each participant’s responsibilities.
One way to do this effectively is to use Notiv. Remember we mentioned earlier that Notiv can record and transcribe your meetings? Share the recording with your team members so they can refer back to what was discussed at the meeting in detail – from action points, to highlights, to deliverables. To learn more about how Notiv can help you, click here.

Types of Brainstorming Tactics

Now that we’ve covered our main tips for a successful brainstorm meeting, it’s time to outline specific techniques that will allow you to conduct a productive brainstorming session. There are many methods out there, but we will focus on the ones we think produce the most effective results.

 1) Brain Writing

Brain writing is simple – it’s when participants take a few minutes to write down ideas that come to their head about a specific problem or topic. After a few minutes, you pass the piece of paper to the person next to you and they add on to it. This process repeats several times.
Brain writing is particularly great when there are people in the group who might be too anxious for traditional brainstorming and would find it more comfortable to work together in a group.

2) Rapid Ideation

We briefly touched on this already. When using this technique, the meeting leader provides information on topics, budgets, deadlines, etc. or the context of the problem in advance. Then a time limit is set and the individuals have to write down as many thoughts or ideas as possible on the topic. This is not the time to narrow in on specific ideas, this is the time to  get creative and let your mind roam free.

3) The Stepladder Technique

This type of brainstorming encourages team members to contribute individually before sharing their ideas. The session begins when the host shares the topic or question with the entire team. Once the topic is shared, everyone leaves the room, except two team members. Then the two colleagues will discuss the topic and their thoughts on it. After that, an additional team member is added to the group. This new member will contribute their ideas before the other two discuss their ideas. This process is repeated until everyone from the original group is back in the room again.
This technique is useful because it allows participants to share their thoughts without being influenced by others’ opinions. This technique should ideally be used by groups of 15 people or less, as when the group gets too big, the process can take a lot longer and be less productive.

Conclusion

Brainstorm meetings don’t have to be a painful experience if they’re done properly. You shouldn’t expect to make any big decisions during your meeting, but rather see it as the first step to an ongoing process.
Give your colleagues some time to let their ideas and meeting discussions settle for a few days before moving onto the next steps. Putting the ideas into action will come at a later time, which is why it is important to draw a series of conclusions that are clear to all participants at the end of the brainstorming session. Make sure everyone is in line for the next steps and add some milestones to the development of ideas that arise during the problem-solving process.
Don’t forget this helpful tip – keep your brainstorm meetings organized by having an agenda and a facilitator to keep everyone on track and let the ideas flow!
Are you planning on hosting a brainstorm meeting soon? Why not sign up for our 14 day free trial and let Notiv take your meeting notes for you!

How To Make A Sales Call: Tips To Win Big In 2021 (with examples)

sales call guide

How to make a good sales call? It’s a big question, and one you should always think about. 

The sales call is a core component of business, but cracking them is not easy. 

You or your team may be nailing the cold calls, and generating interest from potential clients with your solutions, but you’re maybe still struggling to get many people to the next step and actually wanting to buy or trial your product. Even if you do not have this problem, you should always want to brush up your skills, and make sure you are doing all you can to achieve the goals you have set. Regardless of how things are going for you, we can help.

Whether for you, or your team, we have a list of tips, tricks, and tools which can guide you from before to after the sales call, to get the best results. 

Prepare for the Sales Call

sales call tips

Getting the most from your calls, you need to prepare in advance, which may require some time.The more you prepare however, the easier it will be in future calls.  Have a sales call plan and follow the next few tips, and you will achieve a lot more:

Schedule well

sales tricks

Did you know that calls that take place too early in the mornings are generally less effective?  Or too late in the evening? If calls are being arranged by you or your team, make sure it’s picked at a good time. The best time to make sales calls is around 4pm in the afternoon. Failing that, around 10/11am.

If you are dealing with clients in different time zones, it is important to keep track of the time difference. Tools such as the time zone converter can show the time in two different countries, so you can ensure your clients, no matter where they are, are being contacted at the best possible time. 

Have your research ready

Sales calls are generally scheduled rather than a cold call, and therefore, the sales rep should try to be as prepared as possible with the details of your client. Have all the relevant information ready, and ensure they have any useful information in advance, so they don’t have to be overloaded with information, rather have a conversation. 

This information you can use about the client may be from your previous conversations, but also check out:

  • Linkedin 
  • Your CRM and marketing system
  • PR releases
  • Customer reviews 

Know your goal

best time to make sales calls

What is the purpose of the call? This is the focus of your interaction with this client, and should help you plan what you will say, what information you need to give them, and what answer you want from them. This can also help in any future calls with the client, to know what has been done and what needs to be done next. 

Here’s some things to consider: 

  • Is your goal to get them to understand what you offer?
  • Is your goal to get them to demo the solution?
  • Do you want them to have another meeting after considering your solution? 

Most likely, you are not expecting them to buy today, as it’s generally better to give more time. However, what you want exactly will determine the call, and will change the questions you will ask them (more on that in a bit).

Have a script, but be flexible

Sales reps need a script, but they should never read, rather be adaptable and present in the conversation. No one wants to hear a robotic voice listing off information, so it should be treated as a guide to convey key information, while allowing communication to sound like it’s from a normal human being!

How to start a sales call 

The moment has arrived, and the call needs to be made. So, how can calls get started to make sure the client doesn’t hang up or say no straight away? There are some sales call tips that should be followed: 

1. Start with friendly small talk

“I know you’re based in Austin, I actually used to live there myself, how’s the weather?”

“What’s it like at your office today? Ours is pretty crazy”

“How do you like working from home? I enjoy it, but I miss social interactions”

“I saw you studied in Chicago, so did I, how did you find it?” 

This sort of opener, which of course should be adopted to the relevant and true information, can help establish some natural rapport. This could be information about their company, talking about some recent work the company has done, or any info that can help establish some simple bond between the rep and the client. 

Small talk is the best way to start any sales call. People say they often hate it, but when it’s done right, it’s a vital way to build a relationship, ease into the conversation, and learn about the client. 

2. Explain the call

“I just want to explain what is on the agenda for us today. How does that sound?” 

“So today I’m going to give you the chance to tell me a bit about your company’s challenges, and we will let you know how we can help. Does that work for you?”

“We are going to give you a chance to speak, and we will explain how we can help working from home be more productive for you. Is this alright with you?”

Explain what the call will be about so they know what they are listening for, and what they should expect. This way, they feel secure in the call and that you will not be tricking them with anything at the end.

Also, ask if the goal of the call is okay for them, because this makes them feel more involved in the conversation. This isn’t like a cold call, the sales call should have a conversation here between two people as it gives the rep the ability to learn more, and the client will feel more engaged. By having the interactivity the conversation will facilitate better and a sale is much more likely. 

3. Be upfront 

sales call reporting

“What i want today is to know if you’re interested in having a further conversation about using our product and what we can arrange to help you”

“I’m hoping that by the end of this call, we can arrange something to help you with those problems you mentioned before”

“We want to be able to conduct another meeting later after today, based on what we discuss, and talk about having a free trial”

Don’t wait until the end to get the yes or no, get them thinking about it at the start, and they will listen more attentively, rather than wait just to give an answer. It makes them more comfortable knowing what to expect, and doesn’t put too much pressure on them. Honesty is a very effective thing and allows for reps to be more confident. 

During the sales call

1. Speak the correct amount

In cold calls, reps will generally speak more and get a better rate of success, and reps need to communicate and convince them to keep listening. In a sales call, reps need more interaction. Give them the chance to speak, explain their thoughts, and have a more interactive conversation, and reps will get a more positive response. 

sales call reporting

2. Use the right language to be persuasive

The sales rep in this conversation needs to lead the conversation not follow it. If they are positive, the client will be more likely to be enthusiastic about going forward. Here are some sales call tricks to be more persuasive when speaking. 

Try to use “I” more when building a personal relationship, but use “we” to build credibility. 

“We have been working with (a competitor) lately and they had a lot of results. We were wondering if you would be interested in such a service?”

This gives a sense of professionalism, and shows the rep as part of a bigger whole. “We” will be more effective at the start of the conversation, to represent the company, but then switch towards “I” later on. 

“But I am hoping that you will want to talk to me about this further”

This builds a connection between the rep, not the company, and the client. This can help foster better communication. It’s all about knowing when to use the right language.

Some other tips: control speech so as not to mimic the client, as this gives a sense of authoritativeness, and use downward intonation to sound more confident, otherwise everything will sound like a question! The client may not see the rep, so the voice  is a vital tool to utilize well.  Generally, using these kinds of things in speech will lead to greater results. 

3. Get the most from objections (and rejection)

When hearing an objection, the client should be able to voice their concern, and have it repeated back to them in a different way. The rep needs to show some understanding and sympathize with the client, so they can build that rapport again. 

“Do I understand that for you, it’s important to make sure this is worth the expenses?”

And use this opportunity to ask questions back. Keeping the flow of the conversation

“Why do you think this solution isn’t useful for you?”

Remember, if the client has an objection, this means they were paying attention.

If flatly rejected this should be used as an opportunity to learn. The rep should try to find out why they don’t think you can help them, and you and your team can use this in the future to improve. 

4. Get your questions right

how to make a sales call

Questions are a vital tool in business. A call needs to have both the right amount of questions and the right type of questions.  Around 11-14 questions is optimal per sales call, too many are overwhelming and annoying, too few fail to get enough information and don’t facilitate conversation sufficiently. Remember, this is a conversation not a monologue. 

But what sort of questions? The rep needs to find out:

  • what problems the client are having
  • what the client as a person thinks can be improved for them, their company, their work etc.
  • what they think about your company
  • their short term and long goals
  • what support they need from your company

and then finally, when the next call will be! 

How to ask these questions? Start with phrases such as 

  • “Can you help me understand”
  • “Can you explain to me”
  • “Lead me through”

These types of phrasing will make the client go into much more detail in their answers, so the rep will find out the most information. 

So putting this all together, consider these type of questions:

“Can you help me understand, what issues are you facing with productivity at the moment?”

“Walk me through a day at the office, what challenges do you face for example?”

“Can you explain to me what your current long and short term goals are?”

“Lead me through your thoughts on what needs improving at your company”

How to close the sales call 

1. Verify that the client understood the call

“So today, I asked you what you think about the challenges you’re facing, and you told me sometimes there’s problems with communication between management. And I explained how I think we can help you?”

“So, just to recap today, you explained how sometimes your customers are complaining a lot about service. Do you agree this is a problem? And you see how we can help you?”

Use the final moments to check if the client understands how your solution can help solve their problems, and why these problems need to be addressed. This will help them reflect on the conversation and see the necessity of what the rep is offering to help them reach their goals. Summarization is very important in the customer experience, and will help keep things clear and focused. 

2. Explain the next steps

how to start a sales call

“So next, we will arrange a further call, and we will talk about how trialing our service will work for you”

“After today, based on your feedback, we will go ahead and provide you with more information, and then we can have another call talk about implementation”

Once the call has been summarized, the rep then needs to spend some time explaining to them the next steps. Outline each step from here on, and ask when it is good for them to have another call. Among reps who spend more time explaining what’s next, you will find a higher rate of success in these calls, than by those who rush to the end or try to nail the sale then and there.  

Post Meeting

It is worth recording your meetings, and keeping everything logged properly. This process doesn’t need to be complicated, or slow, you can use software to automate this process. 

Ideally you will be able to review all the information, and go forward with confidence with the knowledge of the key takeaways of the meeting. Review notes, make a plan for the next step, and keep an eye out for how calls can be improved in the future. 

Sales call reporting (How to do it effectively in 2021)

Without a record of your important decisions and action items, you, your team, and your client can leave the meeting with different expectations and misalignment on next steps, causing confusion and disputes. 

This is why you should record your interactions, transcribe them, and keep track of all the key information. This can then help in any future meetings with the client, and you can confirm with them prior to any meetings any important information, to make sure you’re all on the same page. Also, digital records are a great way to check your sales team performance and progress. 

Notiv solves this issue, ensuring clarity with a meeting summary that can be shared with your client and team members. 

Notiv also turns your meetings into searchable digital notes that can be quickly reviewed to get the full context behind a decision. By recording, transcribing, and identifying the key extracts and action items from meetings, every meeting is now immeasurably more useful, and nothing is lost. 

sales call tips

Conclusion 

This guide provided steps for before, during and after sales calls, so you and/or your team can get better results. In addition to knowing how to conduct the calls, ensure the conversation is recorded, so that nothing is lost, and there is no misunderstanding between the rep and the client. Notiv can help with this. For those who want to know more about how Notiv works read more here. 

Ready to try the tool now? Start a 14-Day Free Trial.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette Rules That You Should Know

Virtual Meeting Etiquette

We’ve all been to a bad business meeting. Whether it be one without a purpose, one that drags on forever or one where nothing seems to be accomplished.

Adhering to proper business etiquette will not only prevent meetings like this from occurring, but it will also build respect among meeting participants, help the meeting start and end on time, and create an atmosphere of cooperation.
We’ve compiled a list of our best netiquette tips for your next Zoom meeting, to help you work productively and impress your colleagues in the process!

What is Meeting Etiquette and Why is it Important?

Good manners never go unnoticed! How you conduct yourself might leave a lasting impression on others. That’s why online meeting etiquette is just as important as it is in person.

With an increase in remote work, a lot of our meetings have been moved online. Working from home may sometimes lead to professional standards slipping. Virtual business etiquette is important because it can create an atmosphere of professionalism and mutual respect and improve communication, helping the workplace become a more efficient place. When people feel respected, they feel better about their work, which translates into better customer relationships.

Online meetings have a different set of etiquette rules than in person meetings due to their remote nature. Certain things, like the smell of food, do not translate through the screen, but the level of distraction it causes remains the same.

Show your peers that you value them by conducting yourself professionally and courteously, even when you’re working from a more relaxed environment, like home.

Virtual Meeting Etiquette for Participants

Meeting participants and hosts have different roles and responsibilities in a meeting, meaning that different rules will apply to them. As a meeting participant, you want to show that you’re being proactive, contribute to the discussion and know what is expected from you going forward. Set an example to your fellow attendees by following these rules.

Dress Appropriately

One of the best things about working from home is not having to adhere to a strict office dress code. However, dressing appropriately for an occasion is an important rule of proper etiquette.

Maintaining your routine of getting ready puts you in the right headspace to be productive.

While you may be wearing sweatpants, ensure that the upper part of your body, most likely the part visible to other meeting participants, is appropriately dressed in accordance with the kind of meeting you are attending.

This will show the other meeting participants that even though you’re working remotely, you are still adhering to professional standards.

Punctuality is Key

One of the most important rules of proper etiquette, whether online or in person, is respecting other peoples’ time by being punctual. You can never be sure whether potential customers and colleagues will strictly follow the schedule, so it is best to arrive as early as possible when attending business meetings.

By arriving early, you can solve any problems with meeting tools, such as testing video, audio, and background. You can even check your presentation to make sure there are no glitches or errors.

Pay Attention!

There is nothing more unprofessional than being asked about your job and being unable to answer questions about it. Understand your responsibilities and be ready for any questions that people might ask. Compile a list of possible questions ahead of the meeting and be prepared to answer them.

By being proactive and paying proper attention, you will make your colleagues feel valued for the work they’re doing. It is easy to lose interest in meetings and let your mind wander, but it is important to listen to what is happening, as this will prevent things from having to be repeated and will therefore make the meeting run more efficiently. You will be more productive in meetings and provide support to your colleagues in the process.

Remove Distractions

Removing distractions is vital to helping you stay on track and be productive during your online meeting.

Silence your notifications, put your phone on vibrate, turn off any distracting websites or apps. Let the people in your household know when you will be unavailable and put measures in place to make sure there are no interruptions, such as locking the door or leaving a note letting them know. This way, people are unlikely to disturb you!

Remove Distractions Image

Mute Yourself by Default

There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing the background noise of a cafe or cars driving past, from conflicting microphones. Unless you live alone, even households can produce a lot of noise due to pets, family and room-mates.

Mute Yourself by Default ImageKeeping your microphone on mute when not speaking gives other participants the chance to speak and share their thoughts without distraction or frustration. Prevent an awkward situation from happening where someone else will mute you due to your background noise by doing it yourself and minimizing noise levels.

Don’t Interrupt Others

This may seem like an obvious rule but people sometimes get caught up in the moment during a heated discussion and speak without letting another person finish their train of thought.

Everyone in attendance at the meeting has a reason for being there, so make sure that everyone has a say and no one dominates the conversation, limiting the enthusiasm and creativity of others.

Virtual Meeting Image 2

No Eating or Drinking

If you missed lunch, it may seem tempting to snack on something during your meeting. However, unless you are attending a dedicated lunch meeting, eating while participating in a meeting will likely be deemed unprofessional. Not only will it be distracting, but it will also make other members of the team hungry, thereby disrupting the flow of the meeting.

If the meeting is scheduled to be a long one, the organizer will likely arrange to have a break. Have a snack during the break but during the actual meeting, it is best to stick to water or coffee.

Resist the Urge to Multitask

At some point during the meeting you will feel the urge to check your emails, messages and perhaps catch up on some other work. Working on something else during a virtual meeting means that you will not focus on either and both will be affected negatively.

Avoid looking unprofessional by managing your time wisely and getting work done ahead of time when you know you have a meeting coming up. If you work during your lunch break or stay just 30 minutes later than usual the day before, you may complete some tasks without feeling too far behind when you have a meeting to attend.

If you truly have something more important that needs your attention, decline the meeting invitation and give that task your undivided attention.

Ask Questions at the Right Time

Don’t save all your questions for the end. If possible, come to the meeting with questions ready, and ask them as the related topics arise. By asking your question while a topic is still being discussed, you will make things more efficient. If you wait until the meeting is over, everyone’s mind will shift to other topics. This keeps the participants on track and allows the meeting to progress faster than re-discussing multiple topics at the end.

Additionally, this will be a sign that the host is about to change the subject and people can take this opportunity to speak.

Online Meeting Etiquette Rules for Hosts

It is the meeting host’s responsibility to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and productively, and therefore a different set of etiquette rules applies to them. Be the perfect host by following these rules.

Invite Relevant Parties Only

Meetings have a bad reputation for being time wasters. Don’t contribute to this and only invite people that truly have to be there. Unless someone plays an integral part to what is being discussed, there is no need to invite them – you can just include them in a follow up email after the meeting.

Prepare and Distribute an Agenda Beforehand

Time is money, and wasting time on unproductive virtual meetings is a waste of resources for everyone.

As a host, you want to make sure everyone comes prepared, knowing the purpose and plan of the meeting ahead of time. It is your responsibility to prepare and distribute a meeting agenda to all attendees in advance so that everyone knows what to expect from the meeting.

It would be prudent to send this out a few days in advance so that meeting attendees have time to look through it.

Sticking to an agenda during the call will ensure that participants stay on topic and will help the overall flow of the meeting.

Make Introductions

Just as at an in person meeting, you wouldn’t initiate a conversation between two people who haven’t met before without introducing them first.

Do not assume that everyone knows all of the other participants. Especially in these times, with so many of us working remotely, some people may not have had a chance to meet one another before.

Be sure to introduce all parties to create a welcoming environment and inspire teamwork. Proper etiquette rules state that you should do this by starting with the person of the highest rank first.

Use a Note Taking Tool

Preparing concise and organized meeting notes is a real skill. It is difficult to listen, take notes, and participate in meetings at the same time. Usually a person would be assigned to take notes. However, with Notiv, this is a thing of the past!

Notiv uses AI technology to turn your conversations into meaningful outcomes by automatically sliding into your meetings to record, transcribe and summarize your meeting minutes with decisions, highlights and action points. You can also search for a specific word or phrase when looking for something, avoiding having to listen to the whole recording again when trying to remember a detail.
Be courteous and share your meeting notes with the other attendees so they can refer back to what was said at the meeting, word for word.

Weekly Team Meeting Image

Leave Time for Questions

While some questions may be answered in the context of the conversation, leave extra time at the end of the meeting for any additional questions that people may have. As your virtual meeting nears the end, you should make sure that everyone’s had a chance to be heard, leaving no room for confusion or misunderstanding.

End on Time

Just like starting on time, ending on time shows that you respect other peoples’ time and resources and acknowledge that they have other tasks and meetings waiting for them.

There is a theory called Parkinson’s law that states “work will expand to fill the time available for its completion”. Depending on the time constraint you set for something to be done, that is how long it will take. This applies to meetings! If a group of people know they are not obligated to complete the meeting on time, they usually delay the meeting and eventually reach the same conclusion. If people know that the meeting will end on time, they are more likely to concentrate on making a decision.

Follow Up with Deliverables

A consistent follow up is key to the success of any project. Many great ideas were discussed at the meeting. Make sure nothing is lost due to lack of follow-up.

Email the attendees a summary of your meeting, including the meeting recording and transcript, as mentioned above. The best practice is to do so shortly after the meeting, while it is still fresh on everyone’s minds. Remind attendees of what the deliverables are, the desired outcome and who is responsible for what.

Share any relevant documents and let people know they can contact you with any follow up questions they may have.

Stick Around

A general rule of thumb for meeting hosts: Wait until everyone else has left the meeting before hanging up, so participants can leave at their own pace and finish their thoughts before disconnecting. If the original host exits first, Zoom will assign an alternate host, and this won’t look good.

Tips for Online Meetings

We’ve outlined netiquette rules, a lot of which go hand in hand with tips for meeting productivity. Here is a rundown of some additional online meeting tips that will help you Meet Better.

1) Break the Ice
We’ve covered the importance of introductions but that doesn’t automatically make people feel comfortable with one another. Engaging the attendees in an icebreaker game ensures that everyone has had the chance to speak and it is definitely going to make everyone feel more at ease.

2) Keep Your Video On
Non-verbal communication and body language speaks for itself. Of course, what you say is important, but how you say it is also valuable. Keeping your video on helps build rapport, puts a face to name and humanizes the people you’re working with.

3) Use Screen Annotation and Whiteboard
When sharing your screen, not everyone will be able to immediately understand where you are pointing and follow what you are saying. Enable on screen annotation or whiteboard to better present your ideas and thoughts.

Screen Annotation and Whiteboard Image

Conclusion

Like most things, digitization has changed the face of meetings. The appropriate online meeting etiquette for participants is constantly evolving and changes every day. The virtual meeting etiquette exists to make the digital experience run smoothly so that everyone can get the most out of the meeting. Proper online meeting etiquette may not seem like it is important but it is what draws the line between impressing your team and damaging your professional reputation.


To learn more about mastering your note-taking skills in meetings, check out our previous blog.

Virtual Meetings Guide 2021: Best Meeting Management Tools (Free & Paid)

virtual meeting image

A recent survey by Attentiv reveals that Americans attend on average around 1 million meetings every working day. Many of these meetings are virtual meetings, which bring a particular range of challenges. Planning, organizing and tweaking meeting room technology can take between 30-45 mins. 

Despite what many think or experience, a virtual meeting does not have to be ineffective. This article will give you some essential tips for virtual meetings and how to make them far more productive, by following some tactics and using free and affordable meeting management tools.

We first explain some basics about meetings, and give advice on virtual meetings, equipping you with virtual meeting etiquette. Then we have prepared a list of meeting management tools needed for virtual team meetings, before discussing how to effectively take notes and digitally store vital meeting information. 

Complete guide to virtual meetings in 2021

How does a virtual meeting work?

First things first, you need to know how to make a meeting that is virtual, before you can make it successful. What is meeting virtually like? 

A virtual meeting takes place online and allows the participants to communicate and collaborate via video or audio. There is a range of meeting options now, which will get into later on, but generally, it involves real-time communication where the participants call via the internet. There may be features such as screen sharing, to show presentations and other documents.

What are the key types of virtual meetings?

virtual meeting image

There are generally three types of virtual meetings, and then some variations within these categories:

  • Teleconferencing/Audio calls;
  • Video conferencing;
  • Web conferencing.

There is firstly teleconferencing, which is less popular these days due to modern technologies, where participants are present on a shared call line. A more modern version of this would be audio-only calls. 

Then there is video conferencing, which is like Zoom or Skype calls, where participants call via video and communicate remotely. 

Thirdly, is web conferencing, which as well as allowing for the sharing of video, allows the use of presentations, interactive features, one-way streaming or other methods. This may or may not be more like a lecture, where participants can only see one screen and not be seen themselves, combined with pre-recorded videos, or it can be more like a typical video call with all participants visible, but encouraging interactivity. 

How do you start a virtual meeting?

You know now what a virtual meeting is and what key types of online meeting exist, but how to get things started? No matter what software you use (more on that later), whether it’s MS teams or Zoom, meeting tips universally still apply. A silent meeting, with no one taking the initiative, can be disastrous and waste time, rendering the meeting pointless. A good start is the cornerstone of good virtual meetings.  

First of all, what is the meeting idea? The goal determines everything. Importantly, do have an organized plan for the meeting. Make sure it starts correctly and properly and the participants know what to expect. Layout any rules initially, such as cameras on, sound off unless speaking, and any other rules you wish. 

Virtual icebreakers

After starting the meeting, establishing the order and the rules, you need to get people loose, engaged, and happy to be there. This is where ice breakers come in. Having organized virtual meetings doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for fun. So here are some fun ways to start a meeting:

  • Guess who: using information gathered before, such as answers to questions from meeting members, participants are described with various fun facts and the rest have to guess who it is describing. Whoever correctly guesses, proceeds to describe another colleague with the information passed on to them. 
  • Would you rather: ask the group questions where they have to choose between two options. This is great to facilitate discussion and getting the team to know each other better. 
  • Informal coffee breaks: Tell everyone to bring a coffee (or other hot beverage) and attempt to facilitate the small talk we often miss in online environments. This will recreate the essential bonding between the team members of offline work.

The advantages and disadvantages of virtual meetings

Virtual meetings bring a range of benefits with difficulties. The main challenges are as follows:

  • Ineffective and unnecessary meetings

Meetings that have no goals, are not logged or don’t achieve anything waste everyone’s time. When you have online meetings, unfortunately, this can happen, as no one is paying attention, and nothing is remembered after, leading to further pointless meetings. 

  • Miscommunication

Humans rely a lot on body language. When meetings take place online, it is quite common for information to be lost. In addition to the aforementioned tech problems, and that people may just be waiting till they can close their laptop, lots can be lost in virtual meetings.

  • Technological problems 

By relying on software and hardware, which can be prone to going wrong, or using overly complex, incompatible, or user-unfriendly software, meetings can take forever to get started or get interrupted, and time is wasted. 

Despite these problems, when you use proper tools and software, virtual meetings can have the following benefits, overcoming many of the challenges of virtual meetings:

  • Meeting management tools can optimize remote collaborative work and help teams

Using software can make collaborative work happen with ease so that communications are focused, collaboration can get started without lots of unnecessary meetings, and the teams can get on with their tasks. 

  • Eliminate back and forth emails and schedule meetings faster

Good tools, such as Google Calendar, Slack, and many others, can allow for speedy scheduling and communications. You need to ensure Slack integration and other app integration for example with web conferencing tools, so that information about meetings and within them can be easily shared and written. No information is lost, meeting invitations are not buried, and they can be set up easily. Compare this to organizing meetings around an office just using emails, and you can get a sense of the improvement. 

  • Avoid prolonged meeting sessions (share screenshots and videos to communicate)

Long meetings are ineffective meetings. Virtual meetings, with proper software which allow for the sharing of screens and videos, ensured that information is readily displayed, skipping the need for lengthy discussions and making sure people take proper note of the information. 

  • Facilitate unified communication and collaboration

Make sure you integrate any other apps, such as Slack, and use software that puts as much as possible under one roof, this way collaboration is easy to do and communication is logged and clear.  This allows for one place for all work to be done with nothing lost. 

  • Improve productivity

If you streamline the meetings, focus them, communicate outside of meetings and collaborate, you will have productive sessions, and then have fewer meetings as a result, allowing for further productivity. 

  • Store data such as meeting minutes and discussions, and share files

While many programs such as MS Teams and Zoom have recording options, storing in one place can be risky, and also they often simply record, requiring you to sit and rewatch. Also if any meetings took place on a different platform, then this can be lost.  Using recording software, such as Notiv, info from all virtual meetings can easily be kept at hand for you, with key elements extracted and in word form, and stored safely. This information will allow you to readily go back to any meeting, so nothing is missed, as it often is, especially compared to face to face meetings. By storing this information and keeping it accessible, you automate a lengthy process and save immeasurable time in the future. 

  • Organize remote meetings without any technical issues

Remote meetings can be complicated at first, with people losing passcodes, not having the right app and poor internet connections. However, utilizing proper software and programs, and rolling it out for your team, will help overcome these issues, making it simple and quick. 

  • Take meeting notes digitally, disseminating the information quickly, and following up on actions

Meeting notes are easily lost, ignored, and forgotten about. Yet if you take digital notes and store them, this information will be accessible, so, just as with the minutes and dates, nothing is missed that you will need in the future. In addition, with the right software, teams can collaborate with meeting notes, before and after, so that there is consensus on what meetings are about, what was achieved, and therefore meetings are extra productive.

We discussed what virtual meetings are, and the benefits they can bring. Now you can learn how to make your meetings a success!

Tips to take virtual meetings to the next level

Running a good online meeting requires a bit of planning in advance, but it will be worth it. Here’s some tips for your next meetings:

Goals and Agenda

When a meeting has a clear goal, it can be resolved quicker, people will want to engage, and afterwards it will be understood why it took place. No one wants to come to unimportant meetings they don’t remember, or ones which fail to achieve anything. Set a goal before the meeting, and communicate this. The agenda of the meeting should also be laid out, so everyone knows what to expect and the correct amount of time is spent on each area. 

Rules and Moderation

Set rules for how the meeting will work. Make sure people are muted unless speaking, set time limits for speakers and each item of the agenda, to ensure time is not wasted. Have a moderator of the meeting who will lay out the agenda, control participants, and introduce any other presenters of the meeting. 

Share and Collaborate on Notes

Summarize all the progress of the meeting, any unresolved items, and what was achieved after. This should be shared in a chat such as on Slack, so that nothing is lost, people can check what happened, and there is a log of the meeting. 

Top 12 meeting management tools for productive meetings (Features Overview)

Now you know how to help run your meetings. Here’s some different software that will help you get the most out of your virtual meetings, and descriptions of the various platforms to host your meetings on, so you can decide what is best for you and your team. 

Microsoft Teams

Virtual Meeting Screenshot

**Microsoft has announced that it is retiring Skype for Business on 31 July 2021 and replacing it with Microsoft Teams. 

Microsoft Teams is a practical and comprehensive meeting management platform for online discussions, file transfer and storage, with an instant messaging function. It is integrated into the Microsoft Office 365 suite but there is also a free version available.

During 2020, Teams added around 95 million users, making it one of the fastest growing tools. Its growth rate has already surpassed Zoom, according to a recent report from the digital experience management company, Aternity.

Microsoft has integrated Teams and made it a productivity and collaboration hub to help virtual teams achieve more. It has been adding several features recently, such as Multi-Window meetings and calling experiences, live reactions, offline file access, and PowerPoint Live, making it an all-in-one strategic meeting management software for enterprises of all sizes.

Features:

  • Real-time collaboration between virtual teams;
  • Free with Microsoft365 and Office365;
  • Unlimited integration with business applications and services such as Adobe, Evernote and Trello;
  • File sharing, personal and team file storage, and personalized screen sharing.

Advantages:

  • Integration with the Office 365 suite and Microsoft tools, to share and modify Excel, PowerPoint and Word files;
  • Availability of a free version with unlimited conversations, audio and video calls for individual and group meetings; 
  • iOS and Android platform compatibility;
  • Full telephone via Microsoft 365 Business Voice (requires additional licensing);
  • Hosting for large numbers of internal and external users.

Disadvantages:

  • Users without an Office 365 subscription need to download the software to their computer or mobile device;
  • Management of files is a bit complicated, as everything is stored in the channel root folder;
  • No meeting reminder and agenda template features;
  • Channel limits   a user is restricted to 30 private channels and 200 public channels.

Pricing:

  • There are free and paid plans. Prices start at $5.00 per user per month for the Business Basic plan, along with a trial version.

Zoom Meetings

Zoom meeting tips

Zoom is one of the most popular meeting management software in the world. The cloud-based tool offers quality video conferencing sessions with messaging and real-time content sharing and promotes internal and external communication within the company. 

Zoom comes with a variety of useful features such as integrated HD video and audio, recording and transcriptions (English only), and audio-only call capability. It also seamlessly syncs with your calendar so you can manage your schedules easily from any location and device. Zoom’s screen sharing and annotation feature keep team members in the loop during a group discussion.  

Zoom’s usage has ballooned recently, from 10 million users in December 2019 to a massive 300 million participants in March 2020. However, there have been some big problems with its increasing popularity. Zoom was sharing its data with Facebook, and engaging in unfair practices involving fake end-to-end encryption issues. In a few countries such as Canada and Taiwan, organizations like NASA and SpaceX, along with school boards banned its use.

Features:

  • HD video, audio, collaboration & messaging;
  • Fully-featured video webinars;
  • Rooms and Workspaces;
  • Screen sharing and annotation functions;
  • Templates to help schedule future meetings;
  • Meeting recordings with auto-generated transcription feature (English only);
  • Workplace Bot, and integrations with several apps and services;
  • Customizable background picture;
  • Participants engagement features such as voting that supports Firefox, on-demand hand raising and polls.

Advantages:

  • The free version offers unlimited conversations between two participants and up to 45 minutes when you have 3 to 100 participants;
  • Webinars and meetings can be streamed on Facebook;
  • The desktop client and mobile app offers more features than the online version;
  • You can record the conference to make it available for replay;
  • When using the chat feature, you can choose to send your message to everyone or just to the host. 
  • Users can synchronize their conferences with their calendar (Google Calendar etc).
  • There is support for large audiences.
  • Many apps support Zoom integration

Disadvantages:

  • The free version has a 40-minute limit per meeting;
  • A software download is required for use;
  • Sessions are arbitrarily closed when the internet connection is unstable.

Pricing:

  • There are free and paid plans. Prices start at $14.99 per month per license (Pro Package for small teams);
  • Optional Add-on plans include Cloud storage (starting at $40 per month), Premier support, and Large meetings (starting at $50 per month).

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting virtual meeting

ClickMeeting is among the most versatile meeting management tools, assisting business discussions, webinars and multi-channel exchanges. A browser-based software, it does not require installation and works with all the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, FireFox, Edge, Opera, and Yandex. 

ClickMeeting meets the needs of business managers as well as Marketing and Sales professionals, HR managers, educators, coaches, and motivators due to scalable features (in paid versions) such as desktop sharing, webinar on-demand set up, a whiteboard, polling and voting tools, and real-time chat translation.

Users can personalize their meeting rooms/webinars by adding specific colors, their logo, images, to strengthen their brand image. It also supports integration with Google Analytics and similar apps to collect webinar statistics to analyze and improve the performance of webinars.

Users can benefit from several automation-webinar scenarios such as auto-streaming on Youtube or Facebook, auto-publishing of the webinar recording on YouTube or the webinar profile page and automated invites for future webinars. 

Features:

  • Private and group chats;
  • Breakout rooms;
  • Webinar recording and storage;
  • Diverse operating system functionality;
  • Webinar rooms and web conferences;
  • Branding features;
  • Screen sharing;
  • Webinar statistics;
  • Call-to-action;
  • Social media sharing;
  • Tests and surveys to collect audience opinion, comments.

Advantages:

  • Flexible rates, depending on the number of participants;
  • Presentation mode that shows documents/slides to engage the audience;
  • 30-day trial version (up to 25 attendees);
  • Meetings of up to 1000 participants;
  • 20% discount for  annual subscriptions;
  • Live and on-demand webinar;
  • Integration with several external apps and software;
  • Recurrent meeting scheduling feature;
  • Breakout rooms.

Disadvantages:

  • Relatively expensive;
  • Glitches have been reported – screen freezing, loss of audio/video etc.

Pricing:

  • 30 days trial;
  • Pricing depends on the number of attendees, and are charged on a monthly or yearly basis;
  • Plans start from $25 per month billed annually for 10 attendees. 

x.ai

x.ai virtual meeting

x.ai is an intuitive meeting management tool powered by AI to schedule meetings and appointments. Instead of scheduling meetings yourself, you can delegate this task to the tool’s meeting assistants Amy and Andrew who will coordinate with others to find the best time for a meet-up. Just cc or Slack the assistant, and they will take care of the rest.

You can organize all types of meetings with x.ai- private meeting/individual slots, coffee catch-ups, product demos, interviews, and group meetings.

x.ai can integrate with Google Calendar, Outlook, and Office 365. When a user initiates a meeting with x.ai users, the assistants automatically reviews everyone’s calendar to analyze the availability and preferences of all, and schedule meetings accordingly.

The guests only need to enter basic details (name, email, optional notes), and the tool will add the event to everyone’s calendars. Besides, it also offers a copy time option – choose and copy any three days from your calendar, and paste and share them with others via email. 

Features:

  • Automated scheduling;
  • Meeting tracking;
  • Calendar management;
  • Integration with several third-party applications such as WordPress, Stripe, Zapier, Slack, Google Analytics, Zoom, Teams and Notiv;
  • Group scheduling;
  • Branding feature;
  • Conference room booking;
  • Auto-response;
  • Integration with Outlook and Google calendars;
  • Multi-location (coffee shops, work, home, etc.);

Advantages:

  • Automated management of meeting arrangements, reminders, emails;
  • Metrics and reporting features;
  • Task delegation to Amy and Andrew- x.ai AI-based personal assistants;
  • Opportunity tracking (the AI assistants keep in touch with the contacts to set up meetings at the most opportune time);
  • Enterprise-level security;
  • iOS and Android compatibility.

Disadvantages:

  • People may mistake the bot for a human;
  • The automatic scheduling can be problematic if a person is traveling or does not update the calendar regularly.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $8 per user per month with a 14-day trial.

Doodle

Doodle virtual meeting

Doodle is a professional cloud-based meeting management software making scheduling appointments easier through consensus on the best time slot and dates.

Doodle easily synchronizes with your calendars (Google Calendar, Outlook, iCal, Yahoo), to check for available time slots and avoid meeting clashes. 

It also offers several settings such as limiting the number of votes per proposal and number of participants authorized to attend the event, restricting participants to a single vote (in case of only one choice), and an interesting hidden poll feature that hides the name, comments and votes of participants if needed.

Additionally, it simplifies meeting scheduling and allows participants to indicate their preference by selecting Yes/No. You can also establish a voting deadline. 

The Doodle planning template can be customized with a logo, colors, and even a personalized URL (premium feature). You can also request all participants fill in mandatory fields such as email, phone number and address.

Doodle can be integrated with several external apps such as Zoom, Slack, Teams, Google Meet and Zapier to facilitate networking.

Features:

  • Calendar sync;
  • Auto reminders;
  • Meeting invite tracking;
  • Participant visibility;
  • Customized branding and personalized URL;
  • Doodle bot for Slack;
  • Integrations with external apps including calendars to facilitate meeting;
  • Yes/No polling system to avoid scheduling hassles.

Advantages:

  • Eliminates the hassle of sending back and forth emails;
  • Tracks all poll activities from one dashboard;
  • Polling, which makes it easier to decide group meetings;
  • Reporting features;
  • Android and iOS apps.

Disadvantages:

  • Most features are only available with the paid plans;
  • It can be difficult to find an event with too many polls;
  • Does not support audio and video calls.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $6.95 per user per month along with a trial version.

TeamViewer

TeamViewer virtual meeting

TeamViewer is a remote access and tele-assistance tool that you can use to take control of a device temporarily. It is mostly used for computer troubleshooting or installing software while having to travel or make a phone call. Apart from this, TeamViewer is a meeting management tool with useful features such as virtual whiteboard, group chat, audio and video conferences, and file sharing via a secure cloud. 

Its virtual whiteboard feature enables teams and departments to collaborate on joint projects to save time and increase productivity. You can also use TeamViewer’s screen capture feature to take a screenshot of the board. 

The TeamViewer instant messaging and video chat function allows users to connect and communicate with team members and outside users in real-time. All chats within TeamViewer are end-to-end encrypted, and any message, document, or data shared on these chats will be delivered to the intended recipient.   

You can also use TeamViewer to connect to multiple systems and invite team members to work on a project simultaneously. You can even change the viewing direction during a session. 

TeamViewer saves your recent connections to let you reconnect with contacts and devices quickly and saves the time you would have spent on searching for them in your list. 

Features:

  • Encryption for secure file sharing;
  • Control the device from anywhere (requires tools to be installed on both devices);
  • Supports all operating systems, Windows, MAC OS, Android, Chrome OS, iOS, Linux;
  • Flexible settings to reduce latency– enhanced image quality at the expense of speed and vice versa;
  • Video calls;
  • Remote printing;
  • Detailed reporting log that captures all sessions’ activities;

Advantages:

  • Supports remote connection even if devices are running different OS;
  • Offers video and audio conferencing;
  • Virtual whiteboard.

Disadvantages:

  • The free version does not allow multiple sessions to run concurrently from one account.

Pricing:

  • A free version for private and non-commercial use;
  • Pricing starts at $23.90 per user per month with a 14-day trial.

HubSpot Meeting  

HubSpot Meeting  

Hubspot is strategic meeting management software that offers a lot of useful and well-integrated tools, including email marketing and tracking, lead management, social media and sales email automation. All of these tools are included within a single subscription, making HubSpot a full-suite of software supporting the collaboration between marketing, sales, service, and operations teams. 

In this article, we presented various scheduler tools that can be connected to your inbox, but this meeting management tool is different. HubSpot’s free meeting scheduling software is already available in all HubSpot CRM versions (including the free plan), and integrates with your Google or Office 365 calendar to set up meetings with prospects, clients, and leads. 

You can personalize the booking link and share it through email and invite prospects to schedule a meeting. When a meeting is booked, the tool adds it to your calendar and the CRM automatically. 

The calendar link can be easily embedded on your website or included in the email to schedule meetings conveniently. 

Features:

  • Group meeting links;
  • Round-robin meeting link that shows individual availability of selected employees to schedule a meeting with the available rep;
  • Syncing with Office 365 and Google calendars;
  • Transfer meeting ownership to another employee;

Advantages:

  • A free to use meeting scheduling tool included in the HubSpot CRM;
  • Option to customize the meeting link to reflect your branding;
  • Multiple meeting types;
  • Timezone and language customization;
  • Ability to add video conference links with Zoom, Google Meet, or UberConference (if a video conference integration is already set up in HubSpot);
  • A call-in link can be added to the invite;
  • Automated confirmation email sent to attendees.

Disadvantages:

  • Unavailable as stand-alone software.

Pricing: 

  • Included in the HubSpot CRM.                                                        

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex virtual meeting

Webex is an enterprise meeting management tool and part of the Cisco Webex online collaboration platform packaged as a complete meeting solution for businesses of all sizes. It supports all operating systems and virtual meeting platforms.

There is no need to install this video conferencing tool; invitees receive a meeting link in an email and participate through their browsers. Webex allows us to control video conferences by voice command via Google Assistant or Siri.

Webex offers various productivity tools and features such as file sharing to exchange information and documents, digital whiteboards for interactive teamwork, and calendar integration (Google, Outlook). Webex Meetings can also be integrated with external interfaces such as Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Webex lets you schedule meetings with options tailored to your needs – quick scheduling when you are short on time or advanced scheduling to set up future meetings. You can also create email or call reminders to notify the attendees about the meeting. 

Features:

  • Conferencing tools – video and audio conferencing and live chat;
  • Presenter tools – live preview, switch presenter;
  • Share documents or confidential conversations and record meetings for future consultation with a secure password;
  • Cross-platform support;
  • Collaboration tools – whiteboard, participants controls, survey tools, screen sharing 

Advantages:

  • Integration with Facebook live;
  • Transfer and edit documents during the meeting;
  • Cloud recording option;
  • Send meeting invites via email, phone call, and SMS;
  • Integrations with tools such as Slack, Salesforce, Microsoft Teams.

Disadvantages:

  • Meeting points or action items can’t be converted to tasks or projects;
  • No option to set up an agenda of meeting plans;
  • Transfer of only limited file types up to a certain size is supported.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $13.50 per host per month with a trial version.

Join.me

Join.me meeting

Join.me is a suitable meeting tool for startups and small businesses because it allows them to set up a customized background and personalized meetings with a unique URL and send automated invites via email. 

Features:

  • Screen sharing;
  • File transfers;
  • Internet calls;
  • Control sharing;
  • Unlimited audio with international conference lines (for Pro users);
  • Recording and cloud storage of meetings;
  • Meeting tools – annotation, presenter exchange;
  • Meeting planner with Outlook plug-in and Google Calendar plug-in;
  • Personalization features – personal URL;
  • Time zone tracking;
  • Enterprise authentication with an easy sign-in option;
  • Stand-alone audio.

Advantages:

  • Swap presenters;
  • Supports 10 video streams at once;
  • Reporting feature;
  • No need to install the software or register an account;
  • Integrates well with other messaging and content management systems;
  • Can accommodate a large number of attendees in a single meeting.

Disadvantages:

  • Screen freezing;
  • Difficult to share the screen if the software is not installed.

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $10 per user per month with a trial version.

Magic Minutes

Magic Minutes

Magic Minutes lets you set up meeting agendas, create and share the minutes, and schedule meetings. Its centralized dashboard offers several features such as the ability to review and accept (or reject) requests to join settings and send invites. Users can set up time limits, manage agendas, rearrange sequence, and assign tasks to attendees via the same interface.

The tool allows you to predefine sentences of your choice to be used during the meeting, and these phrases can be shared with other attendees with a single click.

The meeting admins can use the pre-populating fields and descriptions to quickly create agendas for future or follow-up sessions. They can also use the search and filter feature to find details about the earlier meetings from the stored history.

Magic Minutes connects with third-party apps and services via Zapier integration. After the meeting ends, the minutes are downloadable as a single file containing all relevant details such as the agenda and actions to be taken.

Features:

  • Track action items;
  • Agenda, minutes and participant management tools (including post-meeting tools);
  • Task assignment;
  • Automated circulation of minutes;
  • Storage minutes and other documents securely for regulatory compliance;
  • Cloud-based deployment.

Advantages:

  • Puts together all the information before the meetings;
  • Helps document decisions and conversations quickly via the meeting template;
  • Meeting progress feature to keep discussions on track;
  • Import reports through stored history.

Disadvantages:

  • Does not support iOS or Mac OS;
  • Does not support video conferencing;

Pricing:

  • Free and paid plans. Pricing starts at £12 per user per month with a trial version.

Vyte

Vyte meeting

Vyte is a tool to organize meetings according to team members’ preferences as well as according to the organizer’s availability, with easy sharing via an associated link.

Creating a meeting is simple: add a meeting subject, indicate the emails of attendees, and propose different dates and time slots according to your availability, along with a descriptive note. Each attendee will be able to choose the meeting date according to their preferences.

Organizers can group their appointments and statuses through a dashboard (to be confirmed/confirmed) either as a list or calendar view type.

Features:

  • Set up a unique Vyte page for attendees to access with a simple link;
  • Link its Vyte page with external calendars such as Google Calendar, Office 365, Microsoft Exchange, iCloud, CalDAV;
  • Prohibit appointments of a minimum duration;
  • Apply a margin between two meeting sessions;
  • Customize the appointment page via a personal link;
  • Various features for group meetings such as controlling the notifications participants receive, prohibiting attendees from suggesting another time.

Advantages:

  • Syncs with multiple calendars;
  • Allows attendees to propose dates and time slot(s);
  • Automatic coordination across time zones;
  • Book meetings online at a convenient time;
  • Supports group and 1-on-1 meetings.

Disadvantages:

  • No audio/video recording;
  • No video conferencing feature;
  • No screen sharing;
  • Only supports Web, iOS app, mobile website (no Android app support).

Pricing:

  • Free and paid plans. The Pro plan starts at $8 per month with a trial version.

Notiv Notetaker

Notiv virtual meeting

Notiv is more than just a meeting transcription software, it is an AI meeting assistant which makes your meetings extremely productive. It transcribes statements made during a video/audio call, creates bite-sized highlights from important discussions, and lets you circulate the meeting highlights with a single click.

Whether it is an internal team discussion or a sales call, Notiv lets you record, transcribe, and highlight important points through key insights. Its smart AI recognizes action items, important phrases, or follow-up points soon after the meeting is finished. 

Notiv seamlessly integrates with web conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and more! Notiv’s calendar syncing feature means it will auto-join every meeting, hassle-free.

Features:

  • AI-generated topics, agendas, action items, highlights;
  • Accurate and live transcription of videos and phone calls;
  • Meeting recording;
  • Workflow optimization;
  • Integrates with a lot of external apps and services;
  • Sends meeting highlights directly via emails.

Advantages:

  • Easily handles accents, abbreviations, and slang;
  • Auto punctuation;
  • Auto-joins meetings and transcribes them;
  • Allows the adding or editing of key details directly from the meeting notes;
  • Imports/exports video and audio files quickly;
  • Links meeting action items with tasks.

Disadvantages:

  • Currently only supports English. 

Pricing:

  • Free and paid versions. Pricing starts at $19 per user per month with a 14-day trial.

How to take meeting notes the smart way?

While we are talking about Notiv, and transcribing meetings, it is worth digging deeper into note-taking. Note-taking is a tricky task, however, in our blog, we’ve described some good tips to follow regarding how to take meeting notes

Generally, good advice is to keep a focus on the important information, don’t write down each and everything. Use visual techniques, such as mind mapping, prepare your notes before the meeting, and use tools like Notiv to type and store the information after. Notiv allows you to store important meeting notes, so you can come back at another time, a major way to improve virtual meetings’ usefulness.

How to record and transcribe a meeting

Taking notes is one thing, but you may want to consider getting the software to record and transcribe meeting notes. Various software can help with recording meetings. Zoom meetings, and meetings from other virtual meeting apps, can be recorded by Notiv, for example, allowing for you to revisit past meetings at any time. Then, you can use software to transcribe meeting minutes and notes. This can be useful to save the considerable time of transcribing. 

However, unlike other apps, rather than a full transcription, Notiv can both record and extract useful information, saving time and effort to find what you need. It can also then send the information to any employee chat, as it can integrate with Slack

Conclusion

There are many benefits and drawbacks to virtual meetings, but with the proper preparation, software and techniques, you can not only overcome the disadvantages but make virtual meetings better than offline ones. This page has hopefully helped you learn how to make these meetings more effective. 

The conferencing, planning, and meeting management tools reviewed in this article have strong and weak points, but they all serve a common purpose – to help conduct a productive virtual meeting.

These strategic meeting management software with pre-built features and simple UI save you a lot of time, with Notiv being our top pick. With Notiv, virtual meetings have fewer issues and are immensely more effective.

How To Record Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, Or Any Online Meeting (For Free)

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Sales representatives devote lots of time to meetings, with discussions about team coaching, performance, developing sales strategies and pipelines, resolving disputes, and sharing industry trends. Sales is an input-based activity, and the meeting host must disseminate the meeting minutes quickly in order to get the sales executives primed to sell. 

If sales reps spend the bulk of their time making notes, then they are going to be distracted from the main task – building relationships with theirs prospects and closing deals. Knowing how to record a team meeting means sales reps can easily keep track of relevant conversations. 

This article will discuss the various free ways to record meetings and enhance the effectiveness of internal meetings for sales leaders. 

Option 1: Using the Built-in Recording Function

Video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, Go To Meetings and others have built-in record meeting options. These software allow you to record audio and video from your screen without any watermarks or limits. 

Cisco Webex

Record meeting

When you join a Webex meeting, you will see an option to record a Webex meeting at the bottom of the screen. When recording your meeting, you can also change the default destination path, so your finished recording can be found in any document folder that you wish.

Zoom, Google Meet and other video conferencing software have similar recording options: 

Zoom

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Google Meet

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In addition to basic recording capabilities and file size customization features, you can also edit the videos and share them with other attendees. Lastly, you can save the recorded videos in multiple formats.

If you are an attendee and wondering how to record a team meeting without host permission, you can try the following free methods.

Option 2: Best Free Alternatives to Record Team Meetings

ShareX

ShareX is a free and open source video recording tool to capture and record screens. It also offers useful features such as file sharing options for recording conversations. This tool saves, downloads and exports recorded videos in various output formats like MP4, MOV, and AVI without any watermarks. There are no time restrictions and ShareX also offers the possibility to save recordings in GIF format, instead of video. It can be easily integrated with various social media platforms for the sharing of webinar or training videos.

The downside is that ShareX’s interface is not very intuitive. Users receive an interesting set of features, but may need some time to get used to them.

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Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

Open Broadcaster Software is another free and open source tool to capture your meetings. It offers many features such as audio mixing, customizations in capture quality, and of course, recording a meeting and broadcasting it live simultaneously. 

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OBS lets you record your screen, voice, and computer sound at the same time. You can also connect this tool with video streaming platforms like YouTube or Twitch if you are streaming a Webinar or live event. Additionally, no watermark is included in the videos, and you can capture video conversations of any length.

Its layout is a bit overwhelming for beginners, and users may encounter problems like low quality of recording, high CPU usage (as it takes a lot of memory space) and overheating. 

4VideoSoft Free Online Screen Capture

This freeware lets you record your screen with external and internal audio (such as your voice via microphone) and save or share the recording files with your team. This screen recording software lets you capture your desktop activity either from a specific window or an entire screen. 

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Edit in real-time while recording your meetings, and perform a scheduled timer recording. You can easily share your recordings (demo, webinars) on streaming sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

The meetings recorded via this software have no watermarks or time restrictions, but this software offers limited free features. To use the video conversion or video enhancement features, you need to upgrade to a paid version.

Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder

Apowersoft offers a free screen recording feature to capture all meetings and make changes in real time during screen recording. This smart tool is web-based, so simply open the recorder in your browser and record your meetings, training, demos, or webinars. There are no recording time and watermark limitations, and you can also insert your webcam with the screen recording simultaneously to create an instructional video. You can also record your meetings and pair it with audio (your voice or computer sound).

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This software is pretty basic and you will need to upgrade to its paid version, “Screen Recorder Pro”, to use advanced features.

Option 3: Use Notiv to Conduct Meetings in a Smart Way 

We explained how you can use the built-in recording functions of your video conferencing software, or use alternate methods for free. Even though this is an improvement, you still need to go manually through the entire video, or fast forward it to refer to important moments. Transcribing the recording and quickly referring to specific parts is desirable, allowing for greater efficiency. 

Notiv is an AI-based meeting management tool that not only records your meetings on Zoom, Google Meet, Webex and more, but also transcribes them, so you can get to the important stuff quicker. The tool adapts to your needs – it can integrate with your calendar and automatically join your meeting, or record scheduled meetings even if you are not attending.

The free meeting recording options let you capture dialogues from any video conferencing tool, but Notiv goes one step further. Besides note-taking, it helps you derive actionable data, as it automatically creates meeting summaries, highlights important phrases in the conversation, and creates action items and tasks for attendees. 

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When you transcribe your meetings with Notiv, you can quickly benefit from useful insights, extracted automatically!

The Bottom Line

When considering how to record a team meeting, Notiv is definitely the top choice. An efficient and productive meeting recording tool, it also integrates with many external apps. 

Visit the Notiv integrations page to see how you can simply synchronize Notiv with your work apps and use the insights from your weekly meetings to facilitate your sales strategy.

4 Best Video To Text Converter Apps In 2021 (Overview of Key Features)

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For any team or client meeting, taking notes is an important task; however, it is challenging to record important points quickly as someone speaks. When it comes to meeting notes, many companies prefer to record proceedings to minimize the time and multiple attempts it takes to refine minutes, as well as making sure that exact information can be shared quickly.

While video recordings are engaging, transcription results in better comprehension even when the video is watched in silent mode. An article by Digiday highlights that around 85% of Facebook videos are being viewed in silent mode as people consume them when traveling or at work. 

This article reviews top video to text converter apps to help you transcribe your meeting, or any other recordings. These apps also offer a web-based platform for those who want to use their laptops or desktops to convert mp4 to text.

Say goodbye to manual transcriptions

Transcribing videos is a time-consuming process. Use these video-to-text converters with robust speech recognition capabilities and avoid going through the process yourself, turning your video files into text documents in a few minutes. 

Transcribe your videos for free via YouTube

You have probably seen this audio-captions as you were watching a video, but YouTube also converts video to text in the form of a transcript. The result may not be word-perfect, but it can easily be edited in your preferred text editor.

You can use iOS or Android to open YouTube (via your Chrome browser) and navigate to the three dots (…) under the video to choose more options.

Click on the three dots and this will allow you to open the video transcript, complete with timestamps.

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Unfortunately, you cannot download the transcript, but you can copy and paste to Google Docs, MS Word or your preferred text editor, as mentioned above.

Key Features

  1. Offers editable transcription with timestamps;
  2. Supports several languages;
  3. Allows you to copy the transcription;
  4. Supports read-along tracking.

Though YouTube is a free video to text converter tool, it may not be the best option if you are looking for accuracy or ease of use. Once you have transcribed a YouTube video to text, you need to format it, which can take considerable time. 

Top 4 video to text converter apps

TranscribeMe

TranscribeMe is a recording and transcription app that allows you to record and convert your videos to text. It offers data annotation, transcription, translation, AI Datasets, and speech recognition services. One of the key features of this app is that it integrates with other apps such as Facebook, Dropbox, and Voice Memos that have stored the recordings for conversion in text formats.

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Key Features:

  1. Uses human transcribers and speech recognition technology to create near perfect transcriptions;
  2. Supports multiple text exporting formats – HTML, Nvivo, PDF, and Word doc;
  3. Transcripts are delivered via email as well, and are available on the customer portal and the app; 
  4. Timestamps;
  5. Speaker identification;
  6. Offers customized pricing plans.

Temi Recorder and Transcriber

With Temi, a transcription service affiliated with Rev, you can convert audio and video files into meaningful texts within a few minutes (depending on the length of the file). The process to submit your transcription order is straightforward – use the Tami iOS or Android app to record your meeting, review it, and submit it. You can also use the web application to import recordings or paste URLs from Vimeo, DropBox, Youtube and Facebook.

After the transcription is completed, you can view it directly from the app, export it in .docx, .pdf, .txt, .srt, and .vtt formats and send/share these docs as email attachments.

Key Features:

  1. Built-in text editor to refine the script;
  2. Offers read-along tracking;
  3. Supports various video and audio file formats;
  4. Relatively affordable (around 25¢ per minute of transcription);
  5. Acceptable accuracy and grammar for video and audio transcription
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Trint

Trint is a web-based transcription platform, also available as an iOS app, which allows users to translate video to text , transcribe recorded phone calls, and create captioned videos. One of the key features of Trint is that its text editor syncs with your audio or video player, letting you search, verify, or edit the transcript. You can also highlight any sentence from the transcript to see the precise time and even length of the selection. To skip an unnecessary sentence or section from the text, you can make use of its strikeout feature. 

Trint also offers video and audio editing features, and supports live recording.

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Key Features:

  1. Processes files quickly;
  2. Creates editable, shareable and searchable text;
  3. Captions video recordings;
  4. Adds time periods for text tracking;
  5. Integrates with Zoom;
  6. Uses AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), and NLP (natural language processing) to convert video to text;
  7. Exports text to multiple formats such as Word, SRT (SubRip Subtitle file);
  8. Offers features such as highlight and strike features that you can use with the text.

Try Notiv Notetaker

When you have a large number of meeting recordings to be translated into text, you have three options:

  1. Record your meetings and assign this task to some of your employees who would spend hours transcribing it;
  2. Record every meeting and use one of the above apps;
  3. Work in a smarter way by using a tool such as Notiv  an AI driven meeting assistant that integrates with your calendars, joins your meetings, and converts conversations into quality text automatically. You can also upload video files, which Notiv will transcribe with ease.

Notiv is much more than a simple video to text converter application; after it transcribes your meetings, it automatically creates a meeting summary, agenda, notes, and actions with editing options. This is in addition to the freedom it gives you to create your own notes, highlight key moments, and mark decisions. 

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Notiv is exceptionally interactive and enhances employee productivity – you can classify a note as a Question, Pin, Highlight or Action. It also saves you the hassle of keeping track of all the final details in the meeting notes by letting you add team members to collaborate with, through quick access to any meeting recording, transcript, or set of notes.

The tool also offers the option to import any recording from your device or record audio directly from your browser (requires microphone permission).

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Notiv can join your meetings as an attendee – simply send a calendar invite at [email protected], and it will join and record them.  

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You can also set-up auto-join rules by changing your “Calendar Settings” in the “Settings” tab, and specify which meeting to attend automatically.

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Notiv integrates with various video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Webex and many more, with instant sharing capabilities via Slack or email.

After your meetings, you can share the meeting recording, transcript, action items, notes, or decisions directly from your Notiv account. 

Key Features:

  1. Generates summary, highlights, agenda, and action items automatically;
  2. Handles accents and offers near perfect transcription;
  3. Links action items to tasks;
  4. Joins meetings automatically once you set it up in your calendar;
  5. Supports various video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Google Meet;
  6. Record phone conversations for transcription;
  7. Stores all recordings for future reference;
  8. Sends meetings updates daily via email;
  9. Recognizes voice commands and triggers.

Conclusion

Compared to human transcriptionists who will take at least a day to deliver text conversion, the apps listed above offer a quick turnaround time. You can also use these apps to transcribe audio to text automatically within a few minutes.

If you are looking for more than a video to text converter app, consider Notiv as your AI assistant. Primarily a meeting tool, it offers an expansion set of features for any occasion, meaning you can use it to convert video to text easily and with a high degree of accuracy. Notiv also ensures that all team members are clear about their tasks and next steps after the meeting.

Want to experience how Notiv helps in creating useful meeting records, sign up for a free trial.