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Select the right web conference tool

After hundreds of virtual sales meetings, and many different tools tested we present you our top 3 picks for virtual sales meetings.

1. Microsoft Teams

Teams has taken over Skype (for business) and it’s predessor Lync. It comes as a default in Microsoft 365 package, so for most businesses there are no extra costs involved. Teams is not just a web conference tool, it’s a communication platform for sharing thoughts, ideas and documents.

For web meetings, Teams is pretty straightforward and easy-to-use. It works great on Windows, Mac and iOS. And it has a screen sharing feature that works on all platforms. Teams seems to be much more stable than it’s predecessors Skype and Lync were. Teams has it’s own document management tools, but those are not designed for presenting in meetings or sharing content with your customers. Teams comes with a 250 participant limit by default. Overall experience of Teams can be somewhat confusing, as it is much more than just a web conference tool. Users might sometimes get lost, especially if they don’t use Teams on daily basis and are not trained well.

For whom: We recommend Teams meetings for companies who already use Microsoft 365 as it’s comes with the package. Teams works well for most use. It’s also our choice of tool if you have lots of meetings with people outside your organisation as it is rarely blocked and most business people already have it installed as it comes with other Microsoft tools.

Capterra review score: 4.4/5 (see review)

Visit: teams.microsoft.com

Pros:

  • More stable and better than Skype (and Lync)
  • Rich in features (e.g. record meetings, chat)
  • Seldom blocked by IT (Good for external meetings)
  • Broad meeting hardware support

Cons:

  • Designed more for internal than external meetings
  • Starting ad-hoc meetings (meet now) is cumbersome
  • Complicated and confusing UI
  • Complex administration (users, permissions, rules, security)
  • MS account needed
  • Audio conferences (by phone) cost extra and pricing is complex

2. Google Hangouts Meet

Google Hangouts Meet is Google’s video conferencing service for businesses and is provided as part of G Suite. It’s often the first choice for companies who already are part of Google’s ecosystem and use Gmail, Google Calendar and other G Suite tools. It’s easy-to-use and offers solid call and video quality. There is no free version for businesses, but the cheapest option, Basic, costs only $6 per month per user. More expensive plans, Business and Enterprise offer more features and higher number of participants. Business plan has a 150 participant limit and Enterprise can handle up-to 250 participants. Meetings can be started ad-hoc or scheduled using Google Calendar.

For whom: We recommend Google Hangouts Meet for companies who already use G Suite as it’s comes with the package, is easy-to-use and offers solid quality and performance. However if you’re planning to have lots of meetings with external people, be prepared that sometimes IT-department have blocked it.

Capterra review score: 4.5/5 (see review)

Visit: hangouts.google.com

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Rich in features, especially if you are using the whole G Suite package
  • Join meeting by phone (available in most countries) is free (regular call charges apply)
  • Seamless integration with other Google apps
  • Broad meeting hardware support
  • Low cost

Cons:

  • G Suite needed
  • Only one person can share screen at a time
  • Sometimes blocked by IT (when you connect with someone outside your organisation)
  • Random problems with lost audio and screen sharing not working
  • Record meetings only available in enterprise edition

3. Zoom

By Zoom’s reputation is strong and users love it according to reviews. It has the highest Capterra review score of three and it is seen as stable and well-performing choice for web conferencing and a good alternative to “old” tools. Of course stability is something that is not that easily compared to other video conferencing systems, but it’s the foundation of Zoom. Zoom has quickly found it’s place in the market and loyal customers and advocates.

Basically Zoom has a feature set that includes, HD video and audio and the ability to get typed transcripts of calls that you record as videos. It considers the needs of people who join calls only occasionally as well as remote teams who connect daily.

Anyone can use Zoom Meeting for free. Small businesses can buy a Pro plan for $14.99 per month per host. Higher priced business (min 10 hosts) and enterprise plans (min. 50 hosts) get plenty of features and add-ons, including company branding and custom url, single-sign-on and support for higher number of participants.

Down sides of Zoom are the recent claims that it has given Facebook info about the video conferences kept with Zoom.

For whom: for any size of company who wants a well-performing, branded web conference tool with lots of features and add-ons. But prepare to pay extra if you already have e.g. Microsoft 365 package which includes Teams or G Suite which includes Google Hangouts Meet. If you’re planning to have lots of meetings with external people, be prepared that sometimes IT-department might have blocked it.

Capterra review score: 4.6/5 (see review)

Visit: www.zoom.us

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Branding options
  • Lots of features, e.g. polls, whiteboard etc.
  • Even more features with 3rd party apps (Apps Marketplace)
  • Record meetings
  • Webinars with registration
  • Breakout rooms
  • Broad meeting hardware support
  • Out-of-the box integrations with e.g. Salesforce, Microsoft 365 and G Suite
  • Join meeting by phone, international toll-free numbers (70+ countries)

Cons:

  • Sometimes blocked by IT (when you connect with someone outside your organisation)
  • Controversial reputation when it comes to security
  • Time limits for the free plan
  • Expensive for those who already have Microsoft 365 or G Suite in place

What else is out there

If you want to have a look at the other options out there, there are plenty to choose from:

Master remote selling with Showell

No matter which web conference tool you’re using, you take your virtual meetings to a whole new level with Showell. Each tool allows you to smoothly share the screen to show any presentations, documents and pictures you have in your Showell account. After the meeting, you can share personalized and relevant set of content with your customer – and even track when they read it.

Remote selling hub

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