Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 .

imageDo you have international conference calls? Now people from all over the world can dial into your conferences with their phones.

Today, we’re happy to announce conference call international access numbers in over 40 countries across Europe, Asia and South America. Participants in ÜberConference calls can use these in-country local numbers to avoid expensive international calling rates when calling a US conference number. Additional country codes will be added in February.

We recently launched a feature that lets participants join an ÜberConference from their computer from anywhere in the world. Now people can also easily dial in from their phone with our international access numbers. After dialing the access number, they just punch in the conference call number, then PIN, and get connected.

This new international access number feature is available and included automatically at no extra charge for all ÜberConference Pro and Business accounts.  ÜberConference Free accounts can upgrade to Pro for just $10 a month to get a local number ($20 for toll free) and several other premium features such as larger conference sizes, recurring conferences, outbound dialing and more.

Check out the full list of countries with international access numbers, and our FAQs if you have questions on how they work.

Friday, March 21st, 2014 .

“The jungle is dark, but it is full of diamonds, Willy.”

-from ‘The Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller

And that is the problem salespeople have had for years and years and years: the jungle is dark but it is full of diamonds.  There are sales out there to be made.  People, businesses, organizations, families — they need the things salesmen sell.  The problem is the jungle was dark, and finding the customers who need or want to buy what you are selling is time-consuming, wasteful and exasperating.

My first job straight out of college I was in sales. I sold dictation equipment for Lanier.  It was a grind.  I’d walk the streets of San Francisco — my territory was from the point where Market Street and California Street meet and extended as a triangle all the way to Van Ness.  This was old-fashioned knocking on doors selling.  I had virtually no information about any prospect and would try to find a picture on a desk or trophy on the wall to find something we had in common.  It rarely worked.  How great would it have been to have the LinkedIn profile of the guy I was pitching?  Where he went to school, where he used to work, etc?  Or what connections we had in common!

When I’d stay in the office to cold call, that was it…COLD.  Blindly dialing businesses.  Ouch.

Everyone who has ever worked in sales immediately recognizes this scene from “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

That was sales preparation in those days: here are the leads, now go out there and make some calls and close some sales.

It was a remarkably frustrating and inefficient system.  All I knew about these “leads” was a name, a business and a phone number.

This has begun to change dramatically in recent years.  A number of cloud-based software packages have emerged that significantly increase the amount of data a salesperson can access from almost anywhere about customers and potentials customers.

Knowing more about my leads, as I do today…boom!  Success.  And I don’t need to be in the office tied to some proprietary database to do this…it’s all in the cloud.  I’d rather do it from home in my pajamas anyway, and now I can.

Salesmen are now armed with enormous amounts of information.  They have access to prior purchases with the company (great for upsells, renewals, etc), complaints from the customers (Zendesk), and basically every interaction anybody in the company has ever had with a prospect or existing customer (Salesforce).

They also have the ability to work from anywhere, 24/7, and appear as professional as if they were sitting in their office, thanks to all the cloud-based information and tools.

My frustrating experiences in sales informed a lot of the product decisions we made early on in designing our company’s teleconferencing product: UberConference. UberConference makes great sales calls possible in four ways:

1. We make it easy for a potential customer to get on a call (no PINs).  The easiest way to lose a potential customer is to provide them with even the smallest barrier to communicating with me.  PINs are a potential barrier.  That’s why I insisted we not require them in UberConference.
2. You won’t waste everybody’s first 15 minutes figuring out who just joined the call (visual).  We provide on-screen updates so you know who is there as soon as they sign on.  No need to reintroduce yourself each time a new caller signs on.
3. You know who’s talking at any point: is it the IT guy or the finance guy? That may not only be helpful to know, it could be critical in closing a sale.
4. You get a rich UberProfile on each caller.  You can see their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ accounts and get an idea of who the person is to whom you are speaking.  This could prove to be crucial in the trust-building phase of a sales relationship.  The more you know and understand about your customer, the better you can serve them… and sell to them.

I lasted only one year in sales.  I realized it was too hard for me so I went back to school to get my MBA and then to law school to hide for a longer time.   Had I had these tools I may have stayed in sales.  Thank God they didn’t have them back then!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 .

Leadership development consultant John Baldoni conducted a series of experiments over a decade to determine how best to keep everyone’s attention in conference calls. He found there is only one sure meeting killer and that is not involving your participants.

At least 95% of all meeting participants tune out at some point. It’s even easier on a conference call.  So if you want to not only captivate, but motivate your team, coworkers or important business contacts on your next UberConference, here are 5 great ways to pump them up for their best meeting ever:

  1. Have an agenda. No one likes having meetings just to have a meeting. If you are just touching base that is one thing, but a regularly assigned meeting for meeting’s sake is irritating to most people and can be a complete waste of time and productivity. Have a focus for the meeting before you go into it. This will help everyone get the most out of the meeting.
  2. Let everyone have a say. Even if you are in charge of the meeting, and even if you have an agenda in mind, just going on and on and not letting others have a word is just asking them to tune you out. You may also be tuning out some great insights that could help push your idea to the next level. Letting others participate in the conversation is key to keeping their attention.
  3. Give participants something to prepare before the meeting.One sure way to involve people and make them feel important is to have them look into something before the meeting. This helps them feel included and gives them something to add to the conversation.
  4. Resist the temptation to multi-task. Do not surf the net, read emails or do other things while on the conference call. People can tell, even over the phone, if you are not really paying attention. If you are not present for your own meeting no one else will be either.
  5. Drive consensus and decisions. After making sure people have been heard, formulate a plan of action while you are in the meeting. Speak back the important points covered and make sure everyone is on the same page with the next steps. Wrap up with a plan of action. People like to feel like the meeting was productive and their next moves are clear. This will help everyone feel the meeting went well.

Friday, July 18th, 2014 .

Like most people in the age of planes and the internet, UberConference and its users live international lives (UberConference is available on every continent [OK, maybe all except Antarctica]).

Sometimes, though, you need to meet in person, which means you have to hop on a plane and travel. Here are some of our favorite Google Chrome Store apps for traveling.

Duolingo

We’ve found that before you head to a new country, learning the language helps you communicate better with the people who live there. The Wall Street Journal said that Duolingo is “Far and away the best free language-learning app.” Duolingo gamifies learning another language, giving you lives and points, like your favorite gaming app. The effect is that Duolingo feels less like a class and more like Candy Crush. Buona Fortuna, amici.

Duolingo_logo

TouristEye Planner

True, you are getting on that plane for business, but what’s a business trip without a little sightseeing? It’s pretty brutal. TouristEye Planner syncs all of your travel arrangements to help you plan your itinerary, letting you know what is nearby. There are also tours and itineraries created by experts and other users: one-day itineraries, shopping tours, tours to bike, gastronomic tours, best cheap eats, etc. One of the coolest features is the ability to synchronize your trip with your Android or iPhone to have your itinerary 100% offline, maps included! That means no getting lost because your carrier has a dark spot in Kiev.

Tourist-Eye-Planner3

Expensify

Undoubtedly, one of the worst parts of business travel is filling out your expense report. With Expensify, all you have to do is take a picture and smartscan uploads your receipts and corresponding information. Your office manager and you will thank Expensify after every trip.

logo.stacked

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 .

Hold the phone! …or maybe that should be hold the browser! Now you can make a phone call  with your computer. New WebRTC technology lets you call anyone with just a click in your Google Chrome browser.  It’s simple, high quality audio and it’s free! This is great for allowing international participants to join your conference calls without calling a U.S. phone number. It also means you can use ÜberConference from anywhere in the world by calling in through the web.

Wait, what’s WebRTC? It means Web Real Time Communications. ÜberConference is one of the earliest adopters of this new technology that allows you to call anyone, anywhere in the world right from your computer instead of your phone.

Here’s how to join an ÜberConference call using WebRTC technology straight from Chrome:

1) Schedule a conference right now or in the future by clicking the “New Conference” button. Add participants for the conference and any advanced settings and click “Create Conference”.

2) When entering the conference page (either directly taken there if the conference is now, or when the conference starts) a popup will display your connection options. From here you can choose to connect from your computer by selecting the option and hitting ok.

3) Chrome will then ask if you want to allow ÜberConference to use your microphone, from here if you have multiple microphones you can select the one you want to use.

4) Sit back and let ÜberConference connect you to your conference.

That’s it! Now you can have conference calls with anyone, anywhere in the world right from your Chrome browser using ÜberConference.

Note – The other conference call participants in your call are able to connect via their computer as well, when they receive the notification about the conference they can navigate to the URL given to them and choose to connect the same way you did.

Both CEO Craig Walker and Head of Telephony T.R. Missner will be speaking at the WebRTC Conference and Expo, November 27-29, in South San Francisco. If you are thinking of going, you can get a 25% discount with this link.