5 Disadvantages of Managing Strategic Meetings With Spreadsheets

By Ravi Chalaka, August 5, 2019

In order to succeed, businesses must conduct strategic B2B meetings. While technology continues to grow, providing opportunities for businesses to connect with customers through calls, video chats and emails, 95 percent of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term relationships. Most of these strategic meetings take place with customers, prospects, vendors and other stakeholders at events, briefing centers and roadshows. For this reason, meetings are one of the most effective tools for B2B enterprises looking to accelerate growth.

However, as the process of strategic meeting management becomes more demanding, many meeting managers are recognizing that manual spreadsheets and emails to coordinate these meetings are outdated. Below you will find five pitfalls of using a spreadsheet-based meeting management system and how to avoid them.

Collaboration

With multiple parties involved, scheduling a meeting can be a long, drawn-out process. This is especially true when meeting managers are trying to convey changes and updates with other stakeholders. When using a spreadsheet-based meeting management system, there is no guarantee that all of the stakeholders involved are using the same version of the sheet, causing confusion and sometimes conflict.

Opportunity Cost

Errors are prone to happen, especially when an event manager is entering data on a spreadsheet. While these errors are understandable, any error could potentially end up costing a company millions of dollars. With other solutions available like meeting automation platforms that provide assistance to help meeting managers avoid manual data entry, errors can be extremely frustrating to come across.

Scheduling meetings

It’s important to understand that spreadsheets are useful. However, their main value comes from capturing large pools of static data in order to make calculations. Meeting/event managers cannot leverage spreadsheets to handle meeting invites. Not only that, they face a significant challenge when trying to manually track all meeting changes and details.

Seamless Experience

The sales process requires several platforms to record event registrations, capture data from badge screens, track meeting check-ins, etc. By utilizing a spreadsheet-based system, meeting managers create more problems than solutions. This is due, in part, to a spreadsheet-based systems inability to easily integrate with platforms to create a seamless experience. Without a seamless experience, teams are often left siloed and in the dark in the sales process.

Tracking ROI

Events, trade shows and briefing centers provide a multitude of information and insights for meeting managers. Data and insights like the number of meetings that took place, average deal size and number of meetings per deal closed help meeting managers show the success and ROI of a campaign to executives.

According to a Harvard Business Review report entitled “The Event Marketing Evolution: An Era of Data, Technology and Revenue Impact,” 55 % of marketers are unable to track event ROI. Due to the use of spreadsheets and emails, marketers do not have access to features that would capture this information and convert it into actionable data.

Creating experiences that are personalized, shorten the sales cycles and impact the overall business is a priority for B2B marketers. With so much at stake, those planning meetings and events need to leverage solutions that can provide the insights and data they need to drive results and impact sales. Consider solutions like a Meeting Automation Platform that have the ability to track meetings, integrate with CRM and other tools, and provide insights to help justify upcoming events. In doing so, teams can avoid mistakes, break down silos and avoid constant updates to a spreadsheet-based system.

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Author Bio: Ravi Chalaka is the CMO at Jifflenow. In his role, Ravi creates and executes business strategies, generating demand and raising brand/product awareness in competitive markets. As VP of marketing at both large and small technology companies, Ravi built strong teams and brands and enabled faster revenue growth for a wide range of solutions based on Big Data, SaaS, AI and IoT software, HCI, SAN, NAS. Ravi has MBA degrees in marketing and finance and is an expert industry spokesperson and presenter.

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