Remote work has been on the rise for years, with companies across industries letting their staff work from home or from the road for varying amounts of time. This year, though, many companies that previously resisted any substantial implementation of remote work have been forced to adapt. Essentially anywhere remote work is possible has made the switch, but the process is more challenging for some teams than for others, with sales teams facing particular pressure to meet goals and maintain client connections. If they’re going to do this successfully though, they need the right tools.
For sales teams trying to keep the pipelines moving, one of the most useful tools available is intranet, the in-house communication system that lets team members share critical information. What many businesses don’t realize, though, is that today’s intranet is a far cry from the programs of just a few years ago. No, modern intranet not only helps staff members feel connected to other team members, but it also supports everything from training to collaboration and company culture. At a time when workers are feeling uncertain and isolated, intranet can increase team engagement, driving productivity, and engagement during these challenging times and beyond.
Intranet Basics – What Is It?
If your business doesn’t yet use an intranet program, you might be a bit confused about the idea. After all, doesn’t the internet allow for all the communication your business could need? Yes and no. Many online chat platforms end up being more distracting than helpful, while email becomes backlogged and clogged. Within the internal network of a company intranet, team members can perform all major collaborative tasks, allowing sales teams to connect with other departments, review past communications, and more.
Employee Engagement – A Pressing Issue
Even prior to the shift to remote work, employee engagement was a huge business issue, and a core reason for low productivity and employee turnover. According to a Gallop Poll, 51% of employees feel disengaged from their work and company culture. Under normal circumstances, remote work can actually help with this problem by giving workers more opportunities for self-direction and flexibility and demonstrating that they’re considered trusted team members. With sales teams forced into remote roles now, though, that advantage has disappeared. Remote work may have seemed nice for a few days, or even a few weeks, but now it’s just part of a larger web of anxiety and uncertainty.
So, how does intranet resolve this problem? At its core, the answer is one of relationships and mutual support. A strong intranet will modernize your company’s communications. It allows information to be more effectively clustered based on projects, while also supporting functions like text and video chat, file exchange, and screen sharing, plus task management all in one place. Normally that would require multiple platforms, but as we all know, the more platforms, the more confusion, miscommunication, and opportunities for security problems. Why encourage that kind of disorganization?
From Communication to Collaboration
Better communication via intranet can reduce staff turnover by improving engagement, but communication alone doesn’t close sales and pay the bills. Luckily, the intranet isn’t just a collection of tools. Rather, by providing a wide array of tools plus integration with existing applications, it enables sales team members to collaborate with each other no matter where they’re located.
How does intranet-based collaboration support sales teams, in particular? The key is that it supports collaboration across departments; intranet allows sales team members to look at the full arc of a client across the entire lifecycle, starting with their first interactions with company marketing to the completed purchase and follow-up support. It also allows them to determine when to pitch additional purchases based on past sales history and to share information about clients with other teams for better continuity – which leads to the next key benefit of intranet adoption.
Seeing the Big Picture – Content Management and Continuity
Collaboration and continuity go side by side, but often the finer details of any clients’ story, the key information that makes any sales team successful, is often buried in piles of documents and history. What’s more, collaboration ends the minute someone leaves the company, but continuity can’t. But because intranets provide critical knowledge sharing and document management tools, all the information about a client’s history with your company is ready to move on to the next person. Ideally, continuity is a human function, but when it can’t be, intranet is a valuable and detailed back-up.
Looking Ahead – The Future of the Split Office
Intranets may have gotten a boost because of recent events, but they’re also going to be critical to what comes next. Right now, many companies are envisioning a split office in which only half the team is onsite at any given time, but with the rest of the team working synchronously from remote locations. Even with some team members offsite, though, intranets allow them to coordinate as though they’re in the same office. What’s more, we can expect that the split office, and the increased use of intranets, will make way for great globalization within individual businesses.
A Strong Intranet – The Secret to Success
Whether your company had no intranet prior to today’s current events or the sort of rudimentary in-house network used by a lot of businesses, it’s time to upgrade, and fast. That’s because, even if your business has found strategies for operating around your workforce’s dispersal, the overall situation isn’t about to change any time soon. Remote work, at least in some partial capacity, is certain to continue for the next several years, and many speculate the nature of work will change entirely in the course of the coming economic recovery. The current nature of remote work is just the start.
Don’t let your company stagnate out of misplaced loyalty to your old communication and collaboration platforms, when intranet can carry your business into its next iteration. Businesses can’t stay the same when everything else is changing. Intranets have stayed current, changing with the times. You need tools that can handle up to the minute operational changes, and intranets are the gold standard.
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