There’s been a dramatic increase in telecommuting professionals, namely 43 percent of Americans stating they had spent at least some time working off-site according to a 2017 survey of 15,000 adults released by Gallup. The same study highlighted findings from The Society of Human Resource Management and discussed an increase of three times the number of companies offering work-from-home options between 1996 and 2016.
With remote work becoming one of the most sought-after benefits an employer can offer, more and more of today’s workforce is yearning for the freedom to work wherever they want—and sometimes whenever they want–with increasing demands for hourly flexibility on the rise. In order for companies to remain competitive and attract the best talent, they acquiesce to these requests and in doing so, have gained return to their bottom line by drawing from the best talent pools in neighboring cities, states and even countries. It’s a lifestyle symbiosis that’s win-win for both the employer and the employee.
The evolution toward this new paradigm has made managing the success of remote teams a bit of a puzzle for some.
Luckily, there’s been a trend running parallel to the work-from-home saga that alleviates telecommuting team tensions: Technology, an increased use in CRM solutions like Salesforce.
With over 150,000 companies using Salesforce that range from small businesses to fortune 500 companies, remote teams that have the opportunity to take advantage of CRM are able to adapt quickly and pivot toward improved communication, collaboration and connection.
Here are four ways Salesforce can better a remote team’s experience:
Some job holders argue that maintaining relationships with fellow colleagues is just as important as their actual day-to-day output. That’s because cross-collaboration, for the majority of people, is an integral part of achieving high performance. Intro Salesforce Chatter. It’s a free social collaboration tool that makes it seamless for users to work together securely at work while establishing different groups, sharing files and status updates.
Not only can employees ask other employees questions without having to write in a formal, long-form email format, employees can also have quick, casual conversation with customers or partners external to the organization. The beauty in this? All customer or partner-facing dialogue is recorded in real-time right on the opportunity, account or lead level so that it can be easily referenced in the future.
Question: what is difficult about managing accounts remotely? Answer: if you’re a sales person who’s new to leaning into Salesforce solutions, the real challenge can be learning all of the manual nuances of updating account records, opportunities and leads. But that’s only if your company hasn’t configured the platform correctly. If your company has worked with an implementation partner to automate an account-updating process, like recording all 1:1 email activity through a Salesforce Outlook or Gmail connector sync, then all your inbox communication gets logged onto the account record, again in real-time. This helps sales reps avoid unnecessary follow-up and sales managers a window into the way you manage your relationships.
One of the best ways to measure a remote team’s performance is by setting specified criteria for productivity and efficiency benchmarks and translating those goals into a Salesforce dashboard. If you have yet to get with a consulting partner on defining these operational goals, check out how you can maximize your Salesforce implementation ROI by setting them right out the gate.
By granting leadership access to these numbers, they have a transparent, 360-degree view of which sales reps are following up on phone calls and emails, completing statements of work in a timely manner, building prospect pipeline and hitting monthly quota. It’s bidirectional in that it holds remote sales squads accountable in their day-to-day, and it also places the onus on leadership to identify processes that might be throwing a wrench into a team’s productivity levels. If you think your remote operations are hurting you (and not helping you), check to see if the state of your workflows match up with these four indicators that qualify your business for operational review.
Accelerating internal knowledge sharing capabilities can be a great way for remote teams to rally around proactive planning as opposed to reactive problem-solving around various marketplace initiatives. Salesforce Community Cloud gives teams the digital interactions they need through an internal feed that keeps employees informed of critical project deadlines while also acting as the melting pot for casual, cross-departmental team building. Community Cloud serves up all types of cross-collaborative initiatives, including sales opportunities, service cases and marketing campaigns. All of this elevates Community Cloud’s role as a project management tool (when configured correctly) for remote teams that need a way to answer their own questions quickly while still keeping project collaboration organized.
Communication and connectedness are the common thread to maintaining a high-achieving remote workforce. Are you exploring ways to make your workforce more remote-friendly to your employees? Connect with us here.
Lindsay Pascoe is an Account Executive at Canpango. Having worked in a sales capacity for Salesforce itself, Lindsay leverages her vast understanding of the CRM along with her seasoned set of relationship-building skills to help clients across a span of industries identify Salesforce solutions that meet their unique business needs.
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