Web Conferencing: A Vital Tool For Most Small Businesses

Are you a small business proprietor considering whether to implement web conferencing solutions in your line of work? Then consider this: a study released in 2006 has shown that small and mid-size companies consider web conferences more vital than in-person meetings for driving revenue and conducting business. The small businesses found that web conferences produced a more immediate impact on sales and marketing than traditional face-to-face meetings.

The study was conducted by Wainhouse Research and sponsored by Citrix Online, a leading provider of easy-to-use on-demand solutions for web conferencing, such as Citrix GoToMeeting and Citrix GoToWebinar. It included over 1,500 respondents, about 75% of whom worked at companies that had fewer than 500 employees.

According to Alan Greenberg, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research, “The majority of companies polled indicated they are increasing their use of Web conferencing, and are enjoying a high to very high return in value. Though companies of all sizes use Web conferencing to drive business processes, SMBs are much more aggressive in using online presentations and demonstrations to drive marketing and close sales by facilitating meetings with customers and prospects.”

The small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) reported that they used web conferencing to hold business meetings more often than any other method–more than in-person meetings or phone calls. For these SMBs, web conferencing was considered as the favored means for driving revenue and conducting business. According to the SMBs, they valued web conferencing for its benefits of efficiency and reach. Web conferencing allowed them the capacity to quickly scale sales and marketing, and to connect with international audiences on demand. In the survey of the respondents, a number of them emphasized that they considered web conferencing to be so vital to business that they found it impossible to conduct business-as-usual without the technology.

The study produced the following observations about what SMBs thought about web conferencing:

“Outbound” web conferencing solutions that involve customers and prospects were deemed as most important by SMBs.

75% of the SMBs stated that the ability to connect with more people and save travel costs and time are the main reasons to use web conferencing. 59% of the SMBs say that web conferencing allows for more productive meetings.

55% of SMBs said that in addition to the other ways that it is expected to improve their business, web conferencing lets them solve problems they could not solve before. 44% of large businesses echoed this response.

69% of all respondents, large and small, said that they use web conferencing to hold meetings that could not be held in any other way due to cost constraints, timing and other issues.