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Motivate Inside Sales Teams with Desktop Communications

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Background

The SnapComms solution was implemented by the Communications Program Manager at a large technology company based in the US.

The company’s current Sales and Customer Service facility was established in 2010 with the objective of developing best-in-class customer contact centers, optimizing call center operations and leveraging workforce skills and capabilities across the business. It employs inside sales and customer service staff and comprises a number of different business units.

The Communications Program Manager manages employee communications, activities and programs across the entire site, and is also aligned to the inside sales team. This includes responsibility for the SnapComms desktop communications channels that are used to communicate with and motivate inside sales staff.

The company implemented the SnapComms Desktop Alert Video Messages, Pop-up Staff Quiz and Desktop News Feeds in August 2011. They had been looking for a way to communicate with employees as a large audience and wanted an alternative to email communication and a vehicle that would be effective in engaging employees and getting more “mind share”.

Prior to using SnapComms email was the main internal communication channel, but it had proven to be limited in functionality and did not allow for “pulse checks” or reporting, and was often ignored.

Situation

 

Communications objectives

  • Engage and motivate inside sales staff

  • Ensure the flow of information to inside sales staff is timely and consistent

  • Evaluate levels of product knowledge

Positive reaction to contact center communications

There has been positive feedback about the SnapComms communication tools and the way they have been used..

“The reps know if they see that pop-up this is going to be something pertaining to Impact. Where if it were in an e-mail it could be ignored or misplaced or overlooked. But the pop-up, the quizzes, they know, I need to look at this."
Communications Program Manager.

There was concern that if the SnapComms tools were overused they would end up creating the same issues experienced with email. Information overload with too many messages being delivered, so the important messages were not getting the cut through required.

“And I've had to really push back and say, no, because if we do it's going to go the same way as e-mail and our reps are going to shut it off and find a way to un-install it and then it's not going to be seen as an important message coming through to them like we have made it during Impact.”
Communications Program Manager.

Easy for employees and administrators to use —The ability to import Active Directory groups was a “lifesaver” as it meant administrators didn’t need to manually update, remove and add users to existing distribution lists (PDL groups).

“When I found out that we could import PDLs as a group... It automatically imports our active directory group that I have saved as a group to contribute to. So that is a huge time saver.”

Communications Program Manager.

Scheduled delivery of inside sales messagese —Given that Impact occurs on certain days, one of the valuable features of the video alerts and quiz tool is the ability to restrict delivery of messages and information to certain days and timeframes only. This is easy to set up, can be done on a case-by-case basis and it means that inside sales reps not present at the time the message needs to be read or actioned won’t receive superfluous or unnecessary information.

scheduled-delivery-of-inside-sales-messages

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“The product is great but the people are great too. To me that’s just a hundred percent of it right there.”

Communications Program Manager.

The Inside Sales Impact

No email required —Every month the inside sales team has an event called Impact; this is a dedicated day where it strives to meet specific goals that have been set by the executive team. These are usually focused on a particular product or customer group and defined by sales made or call volumes.

Executive team members travel to Impact headquarters to motivate the inside sales team by getting personally involved and this is where the SnapComms video alerts are so effective in informing, motivating and engaging the inside sales reps.

“There's a real high energy around that day to get the inside sale reps to be really pumped up and do a good job. Because it’s really a go, go, go kind of day. So the SnapComms tool is what we use for that day to communicate to the reps any important information during the day.”

Communications Program Manager.

The executive team will record quick videos as the day is progressing, giving an update or maybe putting challenges out there and push those out to the floor, using SnapComms desktop alerts. On average 10 desktop alert video messages would be sent out to around 500 staff — inside sales reps, managers and executive team members — keeping them informed of how they're going and how close to the targets they are.

“So SnapComms really allow us to get the messaging to them immediately and it's right then, right now and it keeps everybody on the same page for the day.”

Communications Program Manager.

Better option than email in a call center environment —During Impact contact center managers encourage their inside sales teams to turn off email during the day and only open it at certain times, so that their teams are not distracted and they have complete focus on the objectives for that particular sales campaign. Individual managers within the call center have also adopted this approach on regular non-Impact days..

“Email as you know, it can really bog you down because it just seems like that it's never ending and it just keeps pending. A lot of the managers during these Impact days and also during regular days make the reps close their email out. So they aren't getting those constant incoming messages, and they have certain times during their day that they're actually just scheduled to check their e-mail.”
Communications Program Manager.

The desktop communications have enabled the company to reinforce content that might possibly have been lost or overlooked in email. When setting up the Desktop Alert Video Messages she can choose to retain the default option for recipients to be able to continue to access video messages through their message history window even after they have seen the content for the first time.

 

motivate-inside-sales-team

 

Reinforcing and measuring product knowledge for inside sales teams —When a new product is launched, the inside sales team receives training and then their knowledge is verified before the Impact day for that product by using SnapComms’ Staff Quiz tool.

This serves various purposes. It gives the reps a knowledge check because their scores can be published to them as they take the quiz. They also get practice in recalling key product information and the important details that they're going to have to know when they're having a customer conversation. Managers and trainers can also easily ascertain how much of the training was absorbed and if there's anything that they need to go back and refocus on.

The quizzes are scheduled in advance so that on Impact day reps' attention remains completely focused on their targets for the day.

Engaging and motivating inside sales teams

While the Impact days are all about hard work, focus and achieving targets, the Communications Manager and the management team have ensured they balance this with having some fun at the same time.

For example, the pop-up staff quiz has been used as way for staff to win gift cards, by being among the first to submit their answers or getting all the questions correct. While this is personally rewarding for employees, management finds it an effective way to gauge the reps’ product knowledge.

On the day of the Impact the executive team loves to get involved and through the desktop alert messages they will organize mini competitions such as dart throws and prizes for the first rep to reach a certain milestone.

“So, one thing one of our executive loves to do is say, ‘The first rep that brings a purchase order to me, gets all the money in my wallet.’ So we push that out and you never know what's in his wallet — he's traveling and who knows!”
Communications Program Manager.

The fun activities that the SnapComms tools allow incentivize the reps and make it a new and different way of communicating.

“It's been beneficial because we are able to motivate inside sales teams in a way that they're receptive to and it's been a fun way for the reps to be communicated to.”

Communications Program Manager.

The pop-up video messages have also paid dividends in terms of greater visibility of the visiting Executive team. It’s not always practical or possible for them to get to walk around to all of the reps' desks and speak to them individually. Conversely the reps themselves may not be able to interact with the executives because they are so busy on the phone. Using the video alerts to communicate in this way has given the inside sales team a sense of context and purpose through the executives’ tangible interest and involvement in their work.

The inside sales team have also gained a greater sense of recognition through the ability of being able to share their achievements and business wins.

“If they have a story about a customer that they were able to help and they bring that in and they can talk with the executives on camera and we will push that out to the floor, so it's a success story but it allows the reps to have that recognition and also to get that accolade from the executives and then they get the recognition out on the floor from their peers. So it's a fun way to be a star on the floor for the day.”
Communications Program Manager.

Key benefits of SnapComms

  • Guaranteed delivery and cut-through of important inside sales messages
  • Easy to implement and set up and straightforward for inside sales staff to use
  • Promotes greater interaction and visibility of executive team
  • Enables recognition of inside sales reps’ success
  • Can be used in fun and highly visual ways

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