Motivating Inside Sales Teams To Excel With Powerful Desktop Communications

technology-company-sales-team

Our Customer

Technology company

Location

United States

Background

The Sales and Customer Service department at a large US-based technology company comprises inside sales and customer service staff from several different business units. Its objective was developing best-in-class customer contact centers, optimizing call center operations and leveraging workforce skills and capabilities across the business.
The Communications Program Manager oversees employee communications, activities and programs across the entire site, and is also aligned to the inside sales team. They are responsible for the channels that are used to communicate with and motivate inside sales staff.

Key Challenges

Email was the main internal communication channel used by the department, but it had proven to be limited in functionality, was often ignored and did not allow for “pulse checks” or reporting.
With only this tool available to them, the Communications team were finding it difficult to achieve their objectives of engaging and motivating inside sales staff, ensuring information flows were timely and consistent, and evaluating levels of product knowledge amongst staff.

Solution

The company needed an alternative to email communication for engaging staff and getting more “mind share”. As such, the company implemented SnapComms desktop video alerts, desktop tickers and staff quizzes in August 2011.

Desktop alerts deliver high impact messages to get employee attention immediately. Video alerts convey both information and emotion in appealing video formats, direct to all devices.

Desktop tickers are newsfeed-style scrolling text, offering high visibility but low intrusion for short, punchy pieces of information.

A staff quiz can test understanding of important business topics in a non-threatening format.

Application

Video engages and inspires

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.

Executive team members travel to Impact headquarters to motivate the inside sales team by getting personally involved. This is where the SnapComms video alerts have been particularly effective.

“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,” reported the Communications Program Manager.

The executive team record quick videos as the day is progressing, giving an update or issuing challenges via desktop video alerts. On average, 10 video messages would be sent out to around 500 inside sales reps, managers and executive team members, keeping them informed of how they're going and how close to the targets they are.

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

During Impact, contact center managers encourage their inside sales teams to turn off email and only open it at certain times, so that they aren't distracted and have complete focus on their objectives.

The Communications Program Manager explains, “Email can really bog you down because it just seems like it's never-ending and it just keeps pending. A lot of the managers during these Impact days, and 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.”

Product launches

When a new product is launched, after the inside sales team has received training their product knowledge is verified before the Impact day 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 they’ll need to know when 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.

Competition and gamification

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 staff quiz has been used as a 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 Impact, the executive team gets involved by sending desktop alert messages to organize competitions such as prizes for the first rep to reach a certain milestone.

“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!” the Communications Program Manager said.

Improving executive communications

The pop-up video messages have also paid dividends in terms of greater visibility of the visiting Executive team. It’s not always possible for them to speak to each rep individually; conversely the reps themselves may be too 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 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 can talk with the executives on camera about it, we will push that out as a success story,” says the Communications Program Manager. “It allows the reps to have recognition and also to get that accolade from the executives and on the floor from their peers. So it's a fun way to be a star on the floor for the day.”

Communication features

Features of the SnapComms platform make communication management easier for everyone. 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 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, so that is a huge time saver,” said the Communications Program Manager.

Given that Impact occurs on certain days, one of the most valuable features is the ability to schedule delivery of messages to certain days and timeframes only.

This is easy to set up, can be done on a case-by-case basis and 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.

Results

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,” agrees the Communications Program Manager. “Where if it were in an email it could be ignored or misplaced or overlooked. But the pop-up, the quizzes, they know ‘I need to look at this’."
The flexibility of formats of the SnapComms tools make it easy to incentivize and inspire the sales reps in a new and different way. “It's been beneficial because we are able to motivate inside sales teams in a way that they're receptive to.”

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 
Technology company

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