The office. Your companies’ home, the birthplace of every great idea since the industrial revolution. Over the average working life span, we will spend up to 35% of our waking hours in the office – so it stands to reason that where it is, what we experience there and how it makes us feel is important.
Our journey so far
The modern office has evolved over the last twenty years, from department offices segmented into smaller groupings to larger offices divided by cubicles to the open-plan, open-door style. Today we have moved beyond that to a work environment more remote than the other side of the building to one that could involve your co-worker being on the other side of the world.
The global pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote working. We all found ourselves hurriedly packing our office supplies and setting up on our kitchen tables. Now we have seen the realities of remote working, would a return to the morning traffic, water cooler chit-chat and lunchtimes skimming through social media be a good or a bad thing?
Many cannot wait to re-establish a clear divide between home and work to maintain a sense of professional persona and protect a vital out of hours sanctuary, but does this mean a return to all of our previous ways of working?
The next evolution for the office
For many businesses, remote working has been an unexpected success. According to The McKinsey Global Institute, more than 20% of the global workforce could continue to work in non-office environments indefinitely and maintain productivity.
With the adoption of cloud-based software platforms and video conferencing, the reliance on the traditional office as the hub for all resources has been massively reduced. This will see a shift in perception from the office being the place where work is done to a having a more valuable purpose for creativity conversation and development. As Dropbox founder and chief executive, Drew Houston, recently said: “This is a permanent shift.”
The Cloud office
It hasn’t just been covid driving this change. An ever-increasing number of cloud-based apps are coming to market to replace systems and tasks often done manually by employees in an office environment. These range from simple data updates to CRM systems to detailed but laborious data analysis. These time and resource burning tasks many of which can be completed remotely thanks to cloud-based software, like sales-i, and it’s not that software can just do it faster, but often more accurately and insightfully, whilst delivering increased ROI.
Your day reimagined with sales-i:
1. Digital CRM
There is no need to rifle through reams of paper-based notes, diaries and archive folders to refresh your memory about a customer pre-visit. Details of previous conversations with every customer can be accessed in sales-i. Details include topics mentioned previously, follow-up points and exchanges with fellow salespeople, giving you the full picture of each customer's interactions with your company.
Plus, save hours each week deciphering your hurried meeting notes and update the CRM fast with inbuilt voice-to-text technology after every sales conversation to avoid end-of-day admin. A cycle of meet, discuss, record, will leave you free to concentrate on your next task or clock off on time for a healthier work/life balance.
2. Fast reporting
The data required to run detailed customer reports is available within sales-i. This means salespeople can create and review reports without delays usually experienced due to siloed data and high workloads on the few with access to paper documents or in-house excel-based CRM systems.
By streamlining processes, you can deliver outstanding service to your customers whilst reducing the demands on your office-based team.
3. Presentation creation
As with sales-i's fast reporting features, our software can generate customer-facing reports with data visualisation (charts and graphs) just as quickly. These can be used to start conversations about topics like cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, promotions and bulk purchasing, to secure a larger percentage of each customer’s total spend.
4. Document sharing
Customer-facing documents can be shared with customers straight from the mobile app without needing to export, attach and send via email. Items that are shared will be recorded in the CRM automatically to inform your future actions.
You can also share your CRM meeting notes with your customers (and wider internal teams) before and after meetings to drive clearer and more profitable sales conversations.
5. Efficient route planning
sales-i’s feature, Autopilot, does all the heavy lifting when it comes to route planning your day or week of customer meetings. Our mobile technology can quickly adjust routes, rearrange meeting order and add additional calls according to how your day evolves.
Your 10 am has cancelled? No problem. Let sales-i find you a suitable customer nearby or shortlist contacts you are scheduled to catch up with to fill your free time.
Not only does this make you more efficient and reduces your reliance on office-based teams to fill your diary. It also saves you time and fuel. It’s always good to do our bit for the environment.
6. Remote, contactless, and hardware light
With sales-i all you need is a smart phone – download the app and you’re on your way to knowing how to sell smart every day. This means no additional hardware, installation or lengthy setup times that rely on internal IT teams or service providers. This simple set up removes the ‘middle-man’ to slow down access to the data you need.
Forget having to start and end your day at your office desk - no matter where you are, even without a WIFI signal, you have all the data you need via the sales-i app.
7. Team reporting
Remote working can present challenges to team leaders who are required to monitor, review and develop their sales team. sales-i’s CRM Reporting functionality quickly creates reports on your team’s customer interactions, saving both managers and salespeople from excessive meetings and constant catchups.
“Your reps can beat the competition, but only if you provide them with the tools.”
The more sales time your team have, the more deals they should close. The more time managers have to review processes used across your sales efforts, the more they can do to focus on successful sales tactics and commit to developing team members.
A new work/life balance?
With the devastating impact of the pandemic still in full effect, the full impacts of mass remote working on the future of the office will take some time to become clear.
Factors driving employees to dream of being at their desks such as homeschooling and months quarantined or furloughed will pass and the kitchen table may become a happier place to work. The shift in the perceived value of time with friends and family vs co-workers and a regular commute, will no doubt be re-evaluated after such a traumatic period with people opting to work remotely or change career to better balance their time.
One thing is for sure, our reliance on technology to work, live and maintain community has never been stronger. The Cloud was our silver lining in 2020.
Want to find out more about how sales-i can help your business take control in 2021?
Contact our team.
Already have sales-i and want to work smarter from home – check out our course: Working remotely with sales-i