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!

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 .

At UberConference, we’re constantly looking for ways to integrate with the way you work. One of our most popular requests has been to provide a tool for our customers who use Microsoft Office for their primary work communication.

Our team is pleased to announce the brand new Add-In for Outlook. Adding to our existing suite of integrations, now Microsoft Outlook users are able to organize, schedule and create calls from within the Outlook application.

“UberConference for Outlook Add-In has made organizing meetings a breeze with the new one click to add option. This simple frictionless user experience makes a huge difference when scheduling multiple conference calls in a week,” says Ken Snyder, Practice Lead-Collaboration at CDW. “It just works — and that makes all the difference.”

Simply download the Outlook plugin, login to UberConference from within Outlook, and easily set up your conferences.  Structure and organize your calls from the calendar, a new email, or the UberConference client.

This integration works with Outlook for Windows 7+, 2013, or 2010.


Monday, May 5th, 2014 .


Congratulations to UberConference for winning two Communicator Awards. The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), a 600+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Our mobile apps and our “Everything You Love About Conference Calls” video were featured with the award.


Friday, December 21st, 2012 .

UberCast with UberConference’s own Creative Director, Alex Cornell

How does one overcome creative block? Our Creative Director and cofounder here at UberConference, Alex Cornell went and asked the most creative and inspiring people he knew and wrote a book about it called Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination.

On top of being a new author, this Duke grad is also a musician, aridiculously talented videographer, maker of the Plancast penguin, and many other beautiful things on the web. Alex is a creative force! He’s also responsible for pretty much everything you see out of UberConference from our website design, logo, recently launched iPhone and Android apps and too many other things to list here. All from his creative mind! So he definitely knows a bit about creativity and block and how to overcome it. Here are a few tips he’s pocketed along the way:

1. Working in a fast-paced environment helps you eliminate unnecessary distractions or hurdles. We’re on fire over here at UberConference and this dude does quality work fast!

2. Make the stakes high. Alex recommends going somewhere, getting an expensive hotel and holing up for the weekend to just push through and do the work. You’ll be spending some money so you’re going to make it count.

3. If you find yourself stuck, let it go and come back to it later. Sometimes hurdles resolve themselves after a while.

4. Take a break. Walk around and clear your mind. It’s important to just step back a bit when needed.

5. Putting random sentences together in a book can help you come up with creative visualizations for campaigns or writing. Very effective at reworking the mind (there’s an example of how one does this exactly in the podcast).

Links mentioned:

ISO50 Blog

Get Alex’s new book “Breakthrough” on Amazon

*Also available at Barnes and Noble, Urban Outfitters and various independent bookstores.

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 .

A couple of weeks ago, we announced with Google that our teleconferencing product, UberConference, was now integrated with Google Hangouts.  The response we got from that announcement was almost overwhelming.  Our biggest day of new customer signups-ever.

Which is great for us, and we couldn’t be happier or prouder.  But let’s step back a moment and answer the question: why is this a big deal for you?

Well, first of all, UberConference and Google Hangouts are just about perfect matches for one another.  Google Hangouts is a wonderful tool for video conferencing- it’s easy to use, and it works great, provided everyone is sitting in front of a computer that has a video camera, and your internet connection is solid.

But that’s not often the case with real life business calls.  Many times you have callers who are on the road, riding in the back of a cab to the airport, stuck in a hotel room with a bad internet connection or don’t have a webcam immediately available.  Or, frankly, don’t really want to be seen and are in no mood to get dressed at 5 a.m. in Los Angeles for an 8 a.m. conference call with New York.

Enter UberConference.  When you use UberConference with Google Hangouts, you can take the conference call out of the confines of the office and out into the real world where you, your coworkers and your customers are living and working and doing business.
Plus, UberConference allows you to join a Google Hangout without a webcam.  Or at least without turning on your webcam.

Then there’s the size of your conference calls.  Google Hangouts is limited to 15 participants.  By integrating with UberConference, that conference call can now add in another 100 participants.

The UberConference integration with Google Hangouts, however, was only part of the announcement.  At the same time Google also announced its Google Chromebox for meetings.

For small to medium-sized businesses, what’s not to love about this product?  Up until now, if your company did regular video conferencing, you were spending at least $10,000 on hardware for a video conferencing system.

What’s your investment cost with Google Chromebox for meetings?  About $1,500.  The Chromebox hardware package, which includes UberConference, is just under $1,000.  Buy yourself an HD TV for another $500, and you’re set.  You’ve got a complete video conferencing system for a fraction of the cost of existing systems.

And this is just the beginning of innovative, low-cost products we’re going to be rolling out for you.  Stay tuned.