We are currently seeing an unprecedented global scenario as governments, institutions, and businesses are encouraging entire populations to isolate themselves in response to the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus 2019). While for most businesses, the short-term uncertainty is unnerving, many leaders are viewing this as a litmus test to analyze their remote workforce productivity and effectiveness.
Thanks to advances in technology like video-enabled web conferencing and lightning-fast internet speeds, working from remote locations has grown increasingly popular for companies with larger workforces. B2B organizations that employ “knowledge workers” tend to have more lenient practices and more flexible work arrangements—from flextime to remote accommodations.
Examples include: software programmers, physicians, pharmacists, architects, engineers, scientists, marketers, sales professionals, design thinkers, accountants, lawyers, and academics.
These employees are often displaced from their managers, working in various departments and timezones, from remote sites such as home offices or traveling weekly to be in the field with customers and prospects.
While work from home culture is a growing trend, few businesses are prepared to deploy their full workforce into this unknown. This new reality is causing a number of questions to rise to the surface as managers prepare for a more virtual workforce;
- How can we ensure maximum productivity of each employee?
- How can we increase remote collaboration?
- What tools are needed?
- Can we increase visibility into where employees are spending time?
- How can we better measure visibility into customer and new business relationships?
For most companies, there will be a dramatic increase in disparate workforce as offices close and mandated quarantines go into effect. With employees working remotely and meetings canceled, it can feel as though your team could lose momentum and experience a drop off in engagement between internal teams and customers. Teams may be required to login via VPNs or remote desktops, causing interruptions to tech access and altering workflows.
Further, the more remote the workforce, the harder it can be to get a view of what interactions have taken place already and where your pipeline now sits. As managers, it can be worrying to feel you have diminishing access to insights into what your team is doing and working on. And without good insight, managers can’t effectively coach or optimize.
How AI Technology Increases Data Access and Team Activity Tracking
With the help of AI-powered relationship intelligence and CRM data automation, managers can deploy a suite of solutions that improve visibility into employee productivity and performance. In addition, these solutions eliminate a great deal of unproductive time traditionally spent managing manual data entry. How, you might ask?
Here are four ways AI can help your business more effectively manage an ever-increasing mobile workforce:
1. No contact data left behind
A recent Salesforce State of Sales Research Report discovered that, on average 70% of contact data never makes it into CRM. That’s a big challenge for sales and marketing teams who rely on that data to do their jobs effectively.
Introhive is working with some of the most well known brands across a wide range of industries, including Accounting, Financial Services, High Tech, Telecommunications, Commercial Real Estate, Legal Services and Management Consulting, to automate activity- and contact-sync technology for their larger employee bases.. This sync technology automates the process of capturing activities, new contacts, tasks, and meeting notes on behalf of busy employees ensuring key business data makes it into CRM from employee email inboxes.
CRM sync technology not only ensures 100% of the relevant business data that should be getting sent to CRM does, in fact, make it there but it is also a proven way to free up an average of 5.5 hours of a professional’s time per week. That is time that could be spent doing more strategic prospecting or working directly with a customer on something important to the growth of the relationship. As a result, data accuracy and relevancy in CRM goes up, while manual data entry goes down, increasing remote workforce productivity. Win, win.
Nadia Rashid, Vice President of Enterprise & Commercial Sales at Seismic explains, “Introhive is the best sales intelligence and AI solution in the market. Introhive is helping boost my sales team productivity, discovering new relationships and revenue potential, and improve our Salesforce CRM data quality.”
2. Put all employee activities in CRM, automatically
Even when all your employees are in the office, it isn’t always easy for a manager to have visibility into the activities and meetings happening with customers and prospects. Data automation can take the guesswork out of what’s happening and where or with whom by automatically syncing activities such as emails, e-meetings, and new contacts into your organization’s CRM.
For managers, this means you can quickly gain insight into your team’s efforts and recognize accounts that may need special attention simply by viewing Introhive relationship and activity data in CRM. On-demand access to this data helps keep your business moving forward even when the rest of the world seems to have come to a standstill. Another output of automated data collection is the time savings realized by remote employees.
Introhive customer, Neven Bradasevic, CRM Manager at Colliers International Canada explains, “Introhive’s automation capabilities alone have saved over 78,000 hours of admin time across our 300 active advisors this year. Without Introhive, advisors would have fewer insights into client accounts and would be required to manage more manual processes, which would further hurt our adoption of CRM.”
3. Increase relationship-centric collaboration with colleagues
Many customers turn to Introhive post merger and acquisition to help bridge the relationship gaps between the two business networks. For example, Wilson Legal Solutions formally merged with Stanton Allen in 2019, uniting both software solutions and a business development consulting practice.
Michael Warren, Vice President of the firm’s CRM practice explains, “Introhive has helped in identifying relationships that exist in other practices of the business without the need to ask “who knows who”. Specifically, it’s helped with a cross-selling initiative for the CRM Practice into existing clients in other practices areas of the business.”
With limited to no access to meet with customers and prospects face to face, it has never been more important to have visibility into the relationships across you business and an index of how strong those relationships really are. Relationship Intelligence makes the process of mapping connections across your employees, partner channel, prospects and customers automatic. And it is done natively inside of CRM.
“Technology like Introhive enables our firm to focus on the future and collaborate with clients to explore creative ways to break new ground, advance our service offerings, and deliver more value to our clients,” says Colleen Moorehead, Chief Client Officer at law firm Osler Hoskin & Harcourt.
With all contact communications being measured and analyzed based on recency and frequency of interaction, insights in CRM become actionable for teams. Employees can navigate to an account and see every employee that has a relationship with that customer. Introhive even displays the strengths of those relationships based on historical communication.
This data is presented back natively in account, contact and opportunity records in CRM, so managers, sales executives and marketing professionals can quickly map who knows who and how well. With a detailed map of relationship strength and in-workflow collaboration tools, employees can easily map next steps to grow and maintain relationships.
“What we like best about Introhive is the visualization of the relationships our company has with the outside world. Many times we don’t even know who we know or who different colleagues speak to. Introhive uncovers these hidden relations and conversations for us,” says Johannes Metzler, Advisor Strategy and Projects at Edge Technologies.
4. Empower managers with data driven insights for coaching employees
The Introhive platform is browser-based and provides insights to any remote employee that has a cell connection or access to WiFi. This means you can quickly capture a high-level view of where things stand within your organization no matter where you are, in real-time; including active progress in deal cycles, activity trends of your highest performing reps, trending patterns in customer communications and engagement.
For managers, you can stay apprised of what communications are taking place across your sales, business development, and marketing teams to understand where you are within the sales funnel, what connections are being made, and when accounts need attention. This insight gives you a balanced assessment on remote working performance and the tools to coach your entire team on best practices.
Deliver Results Within 30 Days
At the end of the day, AI technology, combined with your existing tech stack, can make all the difference to help your business weather the current challenges presented by the spread of COVID-19. Customers of Introhive report seeing increased collaboration, time savings from mundane data entry and increases in CRM data quality within the first 30 days of go-live.