Moving to Remote Work and using CRM for your business
The coronavirus has affected life as we know it in every perceivable way, more so in the way we work. As the pandemic swept across the world, it paved the way for the most extensive work from home experiment yet. Some of the early adopters of remote work have been technology companies. However, the trend gradually spills over to other industries, including customer service, administration, and finance.
Businesses need to consider some of the practicalities of the change to work from home (WFH) and remote work for their employees’ work.
Health and safety, data security and even the appliances used by companies must be considered.
This blog will examine some practicalities to consider, the importance of communicating new policies for employees and how CRM and other systems may benefit your business.
Understanding Remote Work
There is no standard definition of remote work; however, a few commonalities stand for most people. Remote work may mean working from your home office, café, or a ‘smart’ space offered by a company like We Work.
It refers to collaborating cohesively with people from your office or external stakeholders through a collaborative system like Microsoft Teams or Slack. The importance of these tools and their demand has seen a sharp increase, with Slack, for instance, soaring over 80% in share value in 2020.
What to consider for your remote business?
If your business has moved to a permanent remote state, it is important to develop policies and guidelines to which your employees must adhere. Just as codes of conduct work in an office, it’s important to these same structures exist for your remote teams.
GDPR guidelines, how your employee secure data and communicate to one another while not in the office must be updated and effectively transmitted to your workforce.
Practicalities of Remote work & how a CRM could help
Bridging the Gap
Communicating remotely is a checked box, but how do you manage more complex aspects of a business such as sales, customers, and suppliers? How do you track the stages of a business deal from your home and continue to deliver even in the middle of a pandemic?
The short answer:Contact Relationship Management or CRM. A CRM is a powerful tool that companies use to maintain contact databases in several ways.
- Contact information – customers, staff, vendors, suppliers
- Collaborative Tools – Shared calendars, notifications, meetings.
- Reports – dashboards, integrated reports (daily, weekly, monthly)
- Resources and Files – Shared materials, paid services.
Remote work has been proposed as the future of work. For many businesses, it is the only viable way to stay in business. So, the question is not whether a business needs a CRM;but which CRM do I need? And how do I maximize its potential?
A few pointers should suffice:
- Managing Your Teams Remotely
A business may have its employees spread out across the country and in some cases, outside. Lack of physical contact may be an obstacle to collaborative work in this case. So, managing teams from their respective locations is crucial.Communication is one of the best ways to keep remote teams focused. By scheduling meetings at regular intervals, colleagues can catch up on project stages and interact virtually as they would in an office setting. Most CRM systems have meetings as a tool that you can take advantage of to boost productivity.
Another powerful tool you can leverage in a CRM is custom access. Ideally, every member of an organization should be onboarded on the CRM. However, there are sensitive bits that may require limited access. With a CRM system,you can dedicate certain functions to a few personnel who have full access. This ensures communication is on a need-to-know basis and that the confidentiality of client information is top-notch.
- Upgrade Staff Skills
Rolling out a new system may sometimes expose a knowledge gap among staff. While this may slow down the implementation process in the beginning, it can also be an opportunity to assess which skills staff members need. Equipping your staff with skills by introducing better workplace tools makes the upskilling process a double-edged sword, improved productivity, and more competent staff.
- Your Options
Understanding CRM solutions and how your business stands to benefit in a remote sense is half the battle. Determining which CRM is the best fit for your business is where the rubber hits the road. Several factors are important to consider before making a choice. This may include the size of your staff,the nature of customers you deal with, and budget constraints. A good CRM should be simple to set up,straightforward to use, and be within the cost provisions.
Remote work started on a large scale as a response to an unexpected business environment. The coronavirus rages on, and in many ways, the initial response by companies to make work remote is likely to live on after the pandemic. As such, businesses should make remote work a success to thrive; CRM systems contribute to this goal by mimicking the real world as much as possible.
Communicating changes to your employees in an effective way is pivotal to your businesses success in remaining remote should this be your plan.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you with implementing a CRM solution. We provide free consultation, free demonstration, and free 30-day trial.