How To Use An Online Directory For Virtual Conferencing Solutions
Choosing the right virtual conferencing solutions for large enterprises is usually the task that everyone dreads, as it involves so much online research, vendor vetting, and tool test drives. And that’s after you get all the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and budgeting out of the way. However, there is a way to simplify the process and make it more manageable. An exclusive online directory can help you evaluate options so that it’s easier to create a vendor shortlist; namely, RFP-worthy providers that are in your price range and offer the necessary support.
7 Tips To Use Business Video Conferencing Directories
1. Filter results to speed up your search
Top-notch directories have built-in filters so that you don’t have to sift through all the listings. For example, you can immediately see which vendors cater to large enterprises or weed out solutions that don’t offer your essential features. It’s a great way to quickly identify providers that meet all your requirements. Filters also allow you to zero in on platforms with the right pricing model and deployment types; Then, you check out the listing to learn more about their selling points and support options.
2. Start With The Company Overview
Each listing features a company overview first, which includes customer type, platforms, and browsers. You can also evaluate deployment options and customer training resources the vendor provides. Some companies even add a detailed explanation of their platform and its real-world benefits. They may also include screenshots and demo videos that give you a behind-the-scenes look at the software, such as its user interface, extensions, and reporting functions.
3. Dive Into Product Features
The next section of the directory listing highlights all the software features. It’s even broken into categories so that it’s easier to compare to your shopping list. For instance, you can analyze the conference management, customization, or interactive features separately. In fact, this feature overview can help you create vendor evaluation criteria. Review the list and decide which functions address your L&D pain points. As an example, you need breakout rooms to host small-scale events for teams or peer coaching groups. Or maybe you’re looking for multi-language support tools because you have a global workforce.
4. Scope Out Pricing Options
Requests for proposals (RFPs) are the most direct way to get custom quotes from vendors. However, you can use business video conferencing listings to see if they’re even in your price range. Every product page has a detailed pricing overview. You can evaluate the vendor’s pricing model, starting price, and licensing type, as well as determine which software offers a free trial or demo. Software companies also have the option to outline pricing terms or considerations. For example, they might include bulk pricing or contact info so that you can ask about user limits, subscriptions, etc.
5. Evaluate ratings and reviews
Listings with ratings and reviews give you the chance to establish the vendor’s track record. What did users like best and least about the tool? Would they recommend it? What is their overall satisfaction score? How did they rate the usability and customer experience? All these metrics help you choose the best tool for your team. Start with the performance overview, which features the cumulative star ratings, then move on to the reviews. Focus on users with similar use; for instance, those in the same industry or number of employees, as they’re more likely to have L&D challenges or requirements that align with yours. Another thing to consider is the date. If older reviews are less favorable but more recent ones give them high marks, that’s a sign of improvement. It shows that vendors care about customer service and take feedback into consideration.
6. Compare Your Top Three Solutions
Many online directories stop at listings. Thus, you have to do side-by-side comparisons on your own to find the best software for your large enterprise. However, standout directories include a comparison tool that allows you to choose up to three solutions. You can then assess their features, ratings, and support services at a glance. You should still create a scoring system or checklist of your own, which comes in handy during the RFP review process. However, this built-in comparison tool makes it easier to narrow your options since you probably don’t have the time to send RFPs to every provider on the list and evaluate all their proposals.
7. Visit Vendor Sites
Visit the vendor’s website after you check out their directory listing for more details about pricing and features. They may even have customer success stories or additional screenshots and demo videos. This is also the place to verify their contact information so that you know where to send your RFP or even set up a meeting to discuss your software requirements and budget in advance. Another reason to click through to their site is to request a consultation. Many service providers offer one-on-one chats to help you choose the ideal pricing plan and add-ons for your large business.
The benefit of using a directory to find virtual conferencing solutions for large enterprises is that some of the vetting has been done for you, as vendors must create an account and have their listings manually reviewed before going live. Reviews are also pre-screened to ensure that they’re authentic, which helps you make the best buying decision. The secret is to look for enterprise video conference directories with an established track record. For instance, they’ve been trusted by eLearning pros for years, and they offer tie-in resources such as eBooks, articles, and tip sheets.