In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, B2B SaaS Sales Coach and host Matt Wolach and Fathom’s founder and CEO, Richard White, talk about remote work, the importance of clear communication, and company growth.
Having managed his former company for 10 years, White learned valuable lessons that helped him start and successfully grow Fathom. Even before Zoom meetings became the norm, he had plenty of experience talking to clients online, which took him so much time in documentation. But today, he turned his experiences at UserVoice into a great platform that can help improve the quality of conversations and meetings internally and externally.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 217, “Advanced Remote Environment Tips – with Richard White”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Richard White, CEO at Fathom
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Make Sure You Have A Shared Context
Health concerns brought about by the pandemic forced most companies to shift to remote work. They had to alter their processes and find effective channels to help them communicate effectively. However, the shift is not easy. Before, having the team in one place allows you to check on their work on the spot. With this, you can easily get feedback on how the demo or the meeting with a client went—you have the awareness of what’s happening. But with the emergence of a remote work setup, there may be an absence of the shared context between teams.
Today’s work setup demands constant updates and a good channel of communication so that teams can work together effectively. Additionally, companies should also streamline workflows that allow teams to have shared context on their tasks.
As for Fathom, White shared that they have a lot of channels where they share files and recordings from their meetings. This allows them to watch and react to these clips that came straight from the real-time conversation. This can help them have a unified idea of how the meeting went so that other teams can act accordingly.
Question All Synchronous Communication
Meetings are important to discuss matters with the team. However, there are instances in that companies invite everyone to every meeting. And when it’s starting, the attendees will spend the first minutes having a shared context.
White said, “meetings are great when you want to discuss something once everyone has context. They’re terrible once it’s like we’re using the meeting to get context.” Because this way, the discussion is moving slowly as they only try to justify their jobs at first. It’s vital to assess matters first, whether it needs to be discussed in a meeting or an asynchronous channel will do.
This way, meetings can be kept productive. Also, you can hold internal and all-team meetings on different days so that the people involved are only needed. And when a department needs to be informed about what was previously discussed, a recording or transcription of that meeting will come in handy for easier review.
Record Your Meetings
Depending on the industry or nature of work, not every meeting is recorded. However, for many, it is normalized, especially in a sales conversation. Taking down notes on the conversation’s highlights is a must but some parts may not be covered. Although recording is becoming the norm, some still have a hard time asking the client or the interviewee if they can record the meeting.
A recording is highly recommended for meetings. Whether it is held within the team or with a client, both parties can benefit from the recording and its transcription. For you, these records can help document client pain points and the exact context of what they think about your product. You can share their genuine reaction and thoughts with the team.
On the other hand, you can also share this recording with your client to share with their team. Instead of letting them talk about you, the client can provide the team with a walkthrough of your process and your product. This way, there are higher chances that they will close.
Recording your meetings, especially your demos is a must. Having materials to review allows you to improve your process. Because during the conversation, your mind may be in a different space, which can make you forget the dynamic. But as you look back at the conversation, you can assess your performance and how the meeting went through so you can adjust it for next time.
Learning from Looking Back
White shared that back in the day, he had a hard time transcribing everything and even had to make a summary from scratch. But documentation is important, especially when conversing with a client. It is part of the reason why Fathom was created—to provide documentation so you can focus on the conversation. He said, “solve a problem that you have yourself that, you know, a large group of other people happens to have. Because it gives you a kind of conviction.”
However, it was not an easy process. White was able to build and grow the company by cultivating his experiences from UserVoice. He said, “I kind of described it as like playing an old video game again.” Because by the time he started the company, he knew the right steps to do. “It’s one part knowing where to go and where not to go,” White was able to look back on these experiences that led him to make better decisions for Fathom.
[11:53] “Meetings are great when you want to discuss something once everyone has context. They’re terrible once it’s like we’re using the meeting to get context through it.”
[04:42] “Necessity creates that invention and that creation.”
[15:45] “Part of my coaching is, to record your demos. And you can go back and watch. And if you are running a team, make sure your team is recording demos, so you can help them, you can coach them, you can see where the right and wrong is.”
To learn more about Richard White and Fathom, visit: https://fathom.video/pod.
You can also find Richard White on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rrwhite/.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.