Esurance Powers Up for World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour
March 25, 2009 @ 02:46 PM | By Cambria Vaccaro

2009-03-25-esurance-earth-h Here at InterCall, we love all of our customers. But, we have a special place in our heart for those who share our commitment to saving resources and making a difference. Later this week, one of our favorite customers, Esurance, will be powering down for the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour. The event urges individuals and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about the connections between energy use and our environment. This year’s event will take place Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 PM in every time zone across the world.

Earth Hour is a global initiative of WWF in which millions of people around the world will cast a vote in favor of action on climate change by turning off their lights for one hour on March 28, 2009, at 8:30 PM local time. By voting with their light switches, Earth Hour participants will send a powerful, visual message to their leaders demanding immediate action on climate change. Now in its third year, Earth Hour seeks to reach a billion people in over 1000 cities worldwide. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Nashville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco are this year’s flagship U.S. cities.

As a special limited time promotion for Earth Hour, Esurance plans to offset the carbon emissions from vehicles insured by the auto insurance company, at no cost to policy holders. The high-quality carbon offsets purchased from NativeEnergy support a wind energy project in St. Leon, Manitoba, Canada, which feeds clean power to the Midwest grid, providing energy to eight American states.

To do our part, we will be encouraging our employees to volunteer their time at local Earth Day events like they did last year. Our sales teams will minimize travel to show customers how conferencing can reduce their carbon emissions by conducting their normally held face-to-face meetings with audio and/or web conferencing. What are you doing for Earth Day this year?

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

Huddle Case Study
March 17, 2009 @ 04:00 AM | By Cambria Vaccaro

At InterCall, we are committed to helping you conduct more effective meetings and ensuring your success begins well before the first participant joins the conference. Our recent partnership with Huddle is just one example of how we seek out solution providers that not only enrich your meeting experience, but provide you with additional communication tools to make you more productive.

Around the world, organizations are using Huddle to work better together and conduct meetings more efficiently. One example is London-based brand and communications agency, Rufus Leonard, who implemented Huddle as a fully branded client extranet, connecting all relevant teams, files and discussions internally and externally. They delivered their work without wasting time or effort sending large files via email. Control and ease-of-use were key requirements for an extranet and Huddle was able to provide everything they needed and more. They were able to get all their internal staff and clients trained and using Huddle within two weeks from launch and were instantly proving the benefits of working more efficiently and professionally.

Hear more about what Huddle does for Rufus Leonard by clicking below.

Rufus Leonard case study from Zuzanna Pasierbinska on Vimeo.

Cam_blog Cambria Vaccaro is the Senior Director, Marketing Communications and our “Industry News” blogger.  Cambria has been in the conferencing industry for nearly fifteen years, and has seen it evolve from a traditional video bridging service to include cool web features and remote communication services.  She is an avid runner, cook, wife and mother of two gorgeous girls.

Training on a Budget
March 10, 2009 @ 08:41 AM | By Nicole Scheel


It seems that no matter who you talk to these days, the conversation turns to the poor economy. Budgets are being cut, travel is being reduced, people are getting laid off and yet the need for training and education never diminishes. As training professionals, we’re asked to keep the same volume of classes and produce high quality training, but with fewer resources. For some, this can prove to be a challenge, while others get creative in their pursuit of keeping up with the same standards.

Those same standards typically include on-site training, which can be very expensive. Let’s look at the numbers: For a one week on-site training class, typical expenses you can expect to incur, per student, include:

$700 hotel + $400 airfare + $300 food + 100 transportation = $1500 cost for 1 business trip

After $1500, you’ve got the person geared up with what you need them to know. Now, factor in your costs for supplies, room, projector rental and group activities such as dinners and drinks, etc. For a ten person, one week, on-site class you’re looking at almost $20,000. Depending on the frequency of the class, and the location, your budget dollars start to rapidly dwindle.  Keep in mind that you’ll also need to account for the time lost to travel, which most likely amounts to a full day.

Let’s take that same example and, instead of being at an on-site meeting, plug in using audio and web conferencing. Depending on your usage and the platform you prefer for your conference call and web meeting, they rate you pay for the combined services will differ. In this case, let’s use something on the higher end and say that combined you’d be spending $0.60 per minute per participant. With a few breaks and lunch, you’re probably figuring that you would be online for six hours per day.


360 minutes x 4 days = 1440 minutes of conferencing per participant
10 students x 1440 minutes of conferencing = 14,400 weekly conferencing minutes
14,400 x $0.60 = $8640 total cost of online training

That’s an overall savings of $11,360 per class! Offer that class once each  month and you save $136,320 on your yearly budget! That doesn’t even include those “extra costs” that we tend to forget about—binders, printing costs, pens, flip charts, etc.—that aren’t needed with online classes. ALL of these extras are already built into our web conferencing platforms.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog postings, 95% of the training we do here at InterCall is online. That word online can mean different things to different people. In this case, I mean that we have a “live” class that is facilitated by an instructor using real-time audio and web conferencing.

Now I realize that I work for a conferencing company, so I’m a bit biased as to the ease of use and the ability to transform classroom led training into virtual training; however, I would encourage any of you to try it out, even if it is just for one call. To show you just how easy it is, I invite you to register for one of our FREE (another budget friendly option) training sessions.

If you have any of your own budget-friendly training tips, I’d love to hear them, so please comment below. Also if there are any questions or comments please leave them and I’ll make sure to follow up. Thanks for reading!


Nicole Scheel is the Director of Training, and the “Tips & Training Blogger”. Nicole has been in training with InterCall for nine years and currently manages our internal and customer training departments, also known as InterCall University. When she's not training someone, you can find Nicole volunteering in her community or finishing her Masters in Training & Development at Roosevelt University.

Sales Success in 2009
March 6, 2009 @ 12:18 PM | By Guest Blogger

3keys2009_300x250 On March 19, InterCall will host a free webinar with Mark Sellers who will discuss ways to ensure sales success in 2009.  When you pair InterCall’s conferencing services with Mark’s insights, you’ll be able to boost your revenue numbers by improving communication, collaboration, customer relationships and lead generation programs.

Below, Mark shares some sales tips he gleaned from the Sales 2.0 Conference he attended in November of 2008, sponsored by Selling Power.

1) The customer will continue to dictate how they want sellers to collaborate with them and how they want to buy from sellers.

One of my favorite quotes was from Barton Goldenberg, futurist and founder of ISM, Inc.  He said that, “Customers will dictate how they want to collaborate with you (sellers).” This is especially prevalent and only getting stronger in this age of the Internet, mobility, instant business and ‘constant connection’. This statement asks, “How are you adapting to selling to customers who dictate how they wish to buy from you?”

2) The funnel will continue to play a key role in the business process of selling.

We’ve always known the funnel to be an excellent metaphor—in sales 1.0 it was about ‘the sales process’. But this seller-centric approach has become outdated and nearly useless. Funnels that are designed this way serve very little 2.0 purpose. The new standard in funnel design is one that follows the customer’s buying process , a design that chronicles the journey a lead takes from discovery to close. When this buying process is the central theme of the way you sell, you can leverage all of the technologies for lead generation, customer engagement, lead conversion and funnel analytics. The buying process funnel also provides the best indicator of your ability to cross the finish line at the end of the year with a quota achieving smile on your face. It’s simply a smarter, evolving way to run your business.

3) Sellers have never had more tools and resources available to them than they do now!

I try not to use too many exclamation points, but this one is too tempting to pass up. It’s utterly ridiculous the depth and breadth of quality tools available to a seller. From gaining access to key decision makers to getting on-demand business search and intelligence  or quickly compiling company information, sellers have little choice but to be supremely prepared. One attendee, an executive vice president of sales put it well when he said, “If you don’t know how your prospect makes money don’t bother to pick up the phone.”

One telecom company streamlined proposals for literally thousands of salespeople, each one with his or her own proposal approach. The results were a dramatic, bottom line improvement in efficiency and effectiveness. As you might expect at any sales conference, compensation was a hot topic. One of the Sales 2.0 objectives mentioned was the need to give salespeople real-time status of how any given sale would impact their compensation. This isn’t just some courtesy to the rep; it’s a motivator, an incentive and a time saver for the head of sales.

4) Creating a culture of measurement and analytics is part of Sales 2.0 DNA.

Jim Dickie, of CSO Insights, reminded everyone that measuring the cause and effects of our marketing and selling efforts is a requirement in Sales 2.0. One VP of sales described how Lucidera’s on-demand analytics help him to be certain about his company’s pipeline velocity, information he then converts to action and execution. Better understanding of funnel health through analytics leads to better action plans territory by territory. That’s a path toward achieving quota if I ever saw one. Another company found themselves rocketing to the 2.0 world when they engaged with Landslide Technologies to automate their sales process. This was already a very successful company selling large compressors to the industrial market, but they had the foresight to change the way they ran their business. Landslide gives them more than simply visibility; it provides insight to the data that management can proactively act on and coach to.

It was so refreshing to ‘check’ the doom and gloom of the economy at the Sales 2.0 Conference door and instead be surrounded the entire day by fantastic technology, inspired leaders, collaborative people and actual users of the technology. Sellers are facing new challenges at every step of the buying process. On the other hand, sellers have never had so many technologies and resources to sell. It can be confusing and even overwhelming. But somewhere in the chaos is order. Isn’t that what makes all of this fun? No one said it would be easy, it just ‘is’. At the end of the day, Barry Trailer put it well when he said, “It’s still just people buying from people selling.”

Marksellers Mark Sellers is the CEO and founder of Breakthrough Sales Performance, a sales consulting company focused on helping clients use the sales funnel to achieve quota
and dramatically increase productivity. He is the author of the book The Funnel Principle, available at

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