Most likely you already know about built-in telephony that Bitrix24 comes with. Many of our clients use Bitrix24 as their virtual call center but even more couldn’t, because we did not support local telephony in their countries.
That changed yesterday. We’ve just expanded the list of countries where you can rent a local phone number and call at local rates from 4 to 43. We’ve also dropped the price for renting a phone number from $25 to $6 a month ($11 in some locations).
What is the number one problem for communications inside companies in your experience?
MA: The number one communication problem within companies is the sheer volume of it. There are so many channels of communication (phone, text, email, conference calls, chats, etc) that people are inundated with messages. Prioritizing and acting on this communication is hectic, sporadic, and at the worst, chaotic.
Many customers, rooted in their own favorite methods or solutions, struggle to be open to new or different ideas. Take heart; fear isn't the end of the story. Use these techniques to overcome that initial resistance so your customers see the potential in those new ideas.
General or Specific Resistance Your first challenge is to discover - without being pushy or condescending - if the resistance is general or specific. A generic resistance of the unfamiliar needs a gentle approach. You don't dismantle generalized fear by criticizing it, but by making the unknown more familiar. However, if there are specific questions creating resistance, you need to take a more direct approach. Dig those questions out and address them directly, though not aggressively, to remove the reasons for fear.
As you know, Bitrix24 is the cheapest telemarketing and unified communications software in the world (it’s hard to beat free software that charges you only for outgoing calls, phone number rental or connector to your own PBX). When we added ability to make phone calls from browsers over a year ago, one of the reasons was to give you a way to forego a necessity of buying VoIP phone sets, which tend to be quite pricey, typically $100-$300 per set.
But old habits die hard, and many of you seasonal sales professionals seem to attached to those physical phone sets sitting on your desks. Due to popular requests we’ve added SIP phone support and you can now use them when making and receiving calls to/from Bitrix24.
To make it clear, you will still have access to all Bitrix24 telephony and CRM features when you use SIP phones. You’ll see your client or prospect information on your computer screen when talking to them, all calls will be logged, recorded (if you’ve enabled the option) and attached to CRM records, you’ll be able to transfer phone calls and use internal extensions.
Today we are happy to announce that the much-requested option to share your screen during video calls is now out of beta. In order to enable screen sharing, you need to make sure that you have the latest version of the desktop app installed. Please note that currently you can show your desktop only during 1-on-1 video calls, but we do plan to add this option to video conferences with more than two participants later.
What is the number one problem for communications inside companies in your experience?
EB: Absence of constructive criticism. People who manage by fear are often abusive in their application of criticism. In adversarial management, criticism is a tool for bullying. The cooperative manager uses constructive criticism: criticism that encourages you to correct the mistake without insulting or offending. Sometimes criticism is called for, but if it is delivered in an objective, affirming, and kind way, it will make the employee want to do better in the future, not feel shame about his mistakes.
We've added an ability to upload documents to Bitrix24 from external drives, such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and Google Drive (more on the way). To do that, simply choose “Download from external drive”:
To build a strong team, there are three key ingredients that can inspire unity and increase creativity and productivity.
Recognition is one of the simplest, easiest ways to encourage your employees. And employee encouragement is essential. People want to know that they are appreciated and that their work matters. You can give them that encouragement with a few well-chosen words or a sincere compliment.
You can also build more formal ways to recognize employees. Upon project completion, recognize individual and team contributions. Or set up regular (monthly or quarterly) achievement awards, work rewards, and levels for employees to reach individually or as a team. It's the daily gamification of your workplace, and it increases individual engagement as well as team motivation .
If you don't have regular recognition built into your leadership style, you're getting much less from your team than you could be. Start with simply speaking - out loud - the times when you notice effort, creativity, a good idea, initiative, or any other behavior you want to encourage. Then begin building recognition systematically with scheduled one-on-one meetings, team achievement awards, and gamification programs that make recognizing good work a regular part of the way you do business.
Larry Mersereau is a nationally-known business growth expert, author and keynote speaker.
You wrote ‘Shoestring Marketing’ back in 1995, before Twitter, Facebook or even Adwords. Which techniques still works and which new ones do you recommend to your clients who are bootstrapping their business?
Heck, back in 1995 almost nobody had a web site yet! Some things in marketing never change. It’s still important to clearly define who your target customer is, then focus all of your efforts on talking to them in the places they’re most likely to hang out about things that are most important to them. The choice of social media depends entirely on where your target customer is. What you post there depends entirely on what your target customer is interested in. Valuable content that will help them solve the problem or fulfill the desire of the day is the only thing that will make them stop and pay attention.
Engaged employees are one of the major factors in successful businesses. If employees are engaged , they feel connected to their work and do their work with passion. That passion and sense of connection helps engaged employees to do better work: they go the extra mile, see (and implement) ways to innovate, and improve your business with their enthusiasm and insight.
However, only about half of employees feel engaged. The rest feel either not engaged (neutral) or actively disengaged (unhappy) at work.
To increase employee engagement in your business, start with this list of proven ways to help employees connect, work with passion, and love what they do.
1. Recognize your high performers. A little praise goes a long way. Like all of us, your employees appreciate having their efforts and work noticed. But noticing doesn't increase engagement unless you also let them know that you've noticed. Simple verbal praise, alone or in a group, can be very effective . Consider instituting - and giving - regular awards or rewards. Make them meaningful to your business, and more specific than the generic "employee of the month."
Harry Paul is a speaker and co-author of six books that have sold over 8 million copies including the internationally bestselling business book FISH! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. He helps organizations increase productivity by engaging and energizing employees to be and do their best while helping the company reach its goals. He shows employees how to enjoy what they are doing and get excited about coming to work and working hard.
How about we start by you sharing your favorite work place joke?
This is from a design firm in California. One of the engineers went on vacation, while he was away his fellow engineers decided to play a practical joke on him. They went to his office and removed the door and door jamb. They brought in drywall and drywalled the doorway in and then painted it. His office didn’t exist when he returned.A great joke for sure that became folklore at the firm. But there is an important lesson here—know your audience—or make sure there are boundaries in place for play.
It’s not about joking, it’s about playing at work. My book FISH! showcases the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington. They are very effective at creating fun ways of doing their work, such as throwing fish and shouting out the orders. It is a most efficient way for them to do their work and build unique customer experiences. Fun at work also increases the level energy, passion and enthusiasm for what you are doing.
Remember that old, linear sales funnel? It was a good idea, but it doesn't work for the way customers do business now.
Instead of funneling your customers, focus on building a healthy lifecycle in your business.
Funnel vs. Lifecycle
The customer lifecycle is customer-centric, rather than sales-centric. It is based on the fact that customer relationships with companies are not static; customers continue to research, learn, explore options, and change opinions about products, services, and the businesses behind them.
Bill Benjamin is a training and performance expert at the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP), which just launched the New York Times best-selling book Performing Under Pressure. Bill is a highly sought-after presenter on the topics of emotional intelligence and performing under pressure. He works with leading corporations (including Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs), Olympic athletes, Navy SEALS and others, helping people maximize their success in pressure situations.
1. Why is emotional intelligence an important concept for business?
There are many research studies that show that IQ and technical skills are threshold competencies – you need a certain amount of them to do any job, but they don’t differentiate performance once you are over the threshold. A Harvard Business School study showed that Emotional Intelligence counts for twice as much as IQ and technical skills combined in determining who will be successful in business – and in the personal lives!