The old days of being stuck at a desk, in a cubicle all day, are effectively over. As businesses realize that productivity increases when employees are given flexibility, the option to work outside of the office becomes more widely accepted. A BusinessWire article references a forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) stating that “the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020”. This means that, in less than 2 years, nearly 75% of all U.S. workers will be working remotely.
In the final entry of our 8-part branding series, we will discuss training and how to implement your new SharePoint environment in order to maximize user adoption. After all, you want to make sure that all of the time, energy and resources invested in building the site, don’t go to waste. The old “if you build it, they will come” adage doesn’t seem to apply in this case, unfortunately. Your users will need to be educated on the benefits and trained on how to use the site most effectively. Fortunately, this can be achieved with proper planning so you can maximize your user adoption.
So what does this newfound freedom and mobility mean for businesses? What is required to set your team up for success when they are not all sitting in the same room? These are important questions to ask as this shift affects the way your business operates. Not only do you need to ensure that communication channels are effective, your technology platforms need to be efficient and user-friendly. Rather than walk over to someone’s desk to get information, employees will need to share that data online. One group, in particular, can benefit from a streamlined sharing environment--your field sales reps.
Ways SharePoint Helps Your Field Reps:
While there are many ways that businesses take advantage of SharePoint, using it as an intranet portal is one of the most common. With a little effort from internal resources and/or third-party tools, you can customize your environment and provide employees with just about any resource that is needed. Everything is stored in one centralized location that acts as a centralized library and is accessible from any device. Examples of information commonly found in a company intranet are:
- Organizational announcements
- HR policies and procedures
- Paid time off (PTO) requests
- Training modules
- Expense reports
If you have a distributed sales team, an intranet portal is a highly efficient way to organize and deliver company information. By keeping things simple and smart, your team will be able to focus their energy on selling rather than searching.
Content management and collaboration
When field reps are seeing clients, they need the latest and greatest information. Imagine a medical device sales rep calling on a doctor to showcase a new product. They need to be aware of potential regulatory changes, any competitive updates and more. With SharePoint, a collaboration site can be developed that connects cross-functional team members. Those users can add real-time updates to the site, which then get shared to the rest of the team.
Let’s say your field rep is traveling out of state when a new report comes in showing Product B to be more effective than Product A. Your analytics team could add that report to the collaboration site and, rather than waiting to send emails or make phone calls, your field rep can access it immediately and be prepared before seeing the client.
If you are a business that sends your sales team out on client visits, this is a game-changer. No longer does your employee have to worry about downloading the right files, printing out the necessary forms or memorizing the latest schedule update. Instead, all of that data can be retrieved on the go, in one location, so they can focus on productivity.