Increasing employee accountability in customer-facing teams is something most sales leaders struggle with.
Making the frontline more responsible is not just about installing a bunch of employee performance management tools and asking for answers when the KPIs are not met. Instead, it’s about coaching employees in such a way that they are better aligned with the organization’s long-term goals. Additionally, it’s also about empowering them with the right channels and flexible tools that help them be successful at their jobs and perform more efficiently.
Most frontline tools and systems used by sales teams leave them with little to no room for creativity, limited scope for decision making, and a whole lot of administrative work. This makes their lives so much harder and leads to a lack of motivation, increased churn, and reduced productivity.
One of the best channels to use if you are struggling to hold your frontline accountable to engaging your customers is business text messaging.
Here’s why –
- Let’s you monitor the quality as well as the quantity of outreach
- Provides the ability to coach and train in real-time during text marketing campaigns
- It’s a medium the millennial workforce is most comfortable with
- Shows quick results that can motivate frontline sales teams to work harder
- Easy to scale across teams, geographies, and time zones
At Statflo, we pride ourselves on providing a personalized business texting platform that helps large enterprises empower their frontline to communicate with their customers. Tens of thousands of customer-facing teams have turned to Statflo to help them engage their customers in a more authentic and secure manner – here’s what one of our customers has to say about us:
“With Statflo, we now not only know if the outreach is getting done, we also know how it’s getting done. The visibility into the rep activity, not just in terms of the quantity but also the quality of the outreach, helps us to coach them better. That’s helped us to not just get the outreach done but also to improve upon it." - Brad Wedel, Director of Sales and Operations, Cell Plus
Now without any further ado, let’s dive into the specifics of how business text messaging can make your frontline more accountable:
Monitor the quality as well as the quantity of outreach
Without detailed and reliable insight into frontline activity, proactive customer outreach becomes a check-the-box activity that sales leaders have to blindly trust. There’s no way to monitor outreach progress and accountability just comes down to your word versus theirs.
With the right business text messaging platform, it’s possible to hold your employees accountable to the quality as well as the quantity of the customer outreach. Going beyond how many texts are sent per day, you need to delve deeper into what kind of messages were sent and the response they elicited.
When KPIs are not solely on the end-results, but the efforts taken during the process, employees feel more rewarded and motivated. Evaluating metrics like increased customer engagement (as measured in NPS, CSI, CSAT, or some other customer satisfaction metric), repeat business from existing customers, and response rates of customers to the text message campaigns gives a more holistic overview of the frontline team’s efforts and makes them more responsible.
Coach and train in real-time during text marketing campaigns
It’s a simple equation – the better you prepare your frontline sales teams for their job, the more accountability you’ll get in return. Sadly, most sales leaders and frontline managers don’t understand the importance of a regular hands-on coaching ritual. They spend only 10 to 40 percent of their time actually managing frontline employees by, for example, coaching them directly.
That’s where texting presents a great advantage – unlike a phone call, frontline sales employees aren’t under the pressure of providing the best solution to the customer right away. They can ask their managers for advice while doing the outreach activity. As sales leaders, you can be actively involved in coaching them on how to build those relationships via text conversations that are underway because everything happens behind the scenes. There are no customers in front of you to observe the proceedings.
As it’s very easy to measure the quality of outreach done via business text messaging, sales leaders can modify their strategy on the go and provide the frontline staff with hands-on guidance of how to make the customer conversations better. By including best practices for text messaging management in their training sessions, sales leaders can provide frontline teams a better context on things like how quickly customers expect a response and phrases that lead to miscommunication.
They can also be coached on important aspects like adhering to brand and legal guidelines while doing outreach through text messages. This can also be done by using a compliant business text messaging tool like Statflo’s TextKit. TextKit is equipped with intelligent filtering that ensures blocking of undesirable content before it gets sent or received. Taking care of such controllable factors from your end will make the lives of your frontline employees a lot easier which will, in return, lead to more accountability.
A medium your millennial workforce is most comfortable with
It goes without saying that the millennial workforce is the present and the future of any business. Empowering your workforce with the right kind of tech will ensure that your millennial employees are happy working for you and happy selling to your millennial customers. And what other technology do millennials feel more at-ease with than texting? In fact, 95% of millennials send and receive text messages every day, making it their preferred medium of communication.
For them, customer outreach through channels like phone calls, in-person conversations, and emails is an uphill task – something that they would rather skip or find excuses to not do. Instead, if you give them the option of building warm relationships with customers over a non-intrusive medium like business text messaging, they will happily get to work. This will lead to higher accountability and increased motivation levels among the frontline employees.
Quick results that can motivate frontline teams to work harder
There’s nothing more discouraging than working with dedication and not being able to see the results of that hard work. Frontline sales teams rigorously doing their customer outreach exercise often face a similar situation. Either the communication channels they use take too long to show any tangible results or else the tools they use aren’t adequately equipped with a reporting function that shows them quantifiable outcomes of their efforts.
Business text messaging can right both these wrongs and show quick results of what works and what doesn’t. It also gives sales leaders an opportunity to turn high-performing sales employees into champions for the rest of the team. By highlighting the outstanding conversations with customers and the approach taken to build that relationship, leaders can make sure that the success is replicated throughout the company. This facilitates a collaborative approach to learning and development for the entire frontline personnel.
Easy to scale across teams, geographies, and time zones
When frontline sales teams are presented with an outreach solution that’s complex to adopt, rigid to integrate, and difficult to scale, they are bound to lose interest in the exercise. Providing them with a flexible and scalable channel like personalized business texting is the key to unlocking their fullest outreach potential.
Statflo’s TextKit helps sales leaders in this regard by providing a flexible platform that hooks into popular sales and marketing tools to import campaign data. With specific Chat Starter templates tied to specific campaigns, it makes outreach a matter of a few clicks for your team. Using the existing contact strategy, sales leaders can optimize customer outreach and organize customer conversations for small and large teams alike.