If you are a sales leader in a consumer-facing business in India, you are a Kohli everyday.
1.3 billion people spread across 6 Lakh villages, 7 thousand towns and over 300 cities in India. And they consume everyday. Imagine how complex distribution sales could get.
Sales Leaders rise to this challenge, every morning. Communication tools are powerful enablers in dealing with some challenges around team management.
Social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter have also made inroads. Whether it is communication, prospecting, record-keeping, order requests or customer support.
But no other tool seems to have penetrated sales teams the way WhatsApp has. Sales leaders across organizations report the usage of WhatsApp for internal communication and discussions. In most cases, it is through a dedicated WhatsApp group.
Is WhatsApp the dominant tool in all your internal sales team communication?
If yes, we bring to you some ideas how you can put WhatsApp to good use and maybe grow revenues. Are you ready?
Take Communication to the next level
For any communication to be meaningful, structure is critical. It is also vital to keep the unstructured out. Ironically, WhatsApp thrives on unstructured messages.
Establish clear rules for WhatsApp communication. Here, you could distinguish between Groups and ‘private messages’.
- Structure: Monitoring conversations in groups is tough. While you can build your own structure, you can start with the simple. Participants, before beginning a conversation that solicits response, could use codes. e.g. formal/distributor-related/schemes or informal/birthday/ and so on. This will keep the conversations tight around the topic.
- No 1-1 conversation in Groups
- Chats: Distributed teams across geographies, have unanswered questions on strategy, tactics and operational challenges. It is time to leverage the power of the group. Dedicated 30 minute chats on these questions at a scheduled time could animate distributed sales teams.
- Encourage Calling: Not all conversations need text. Flagging off conversations that are best addressed by calling, will educate group participants accordingly.
Private Messages – It is best to use email instead of WhatsApp for all official messages. It will save you the pain of searching for it, when needed. For shorter conversations, direct calling is best.
Some conversations need official documentation. Thankfully, WhatsApp provides for it, in a roundabout manner.
There is no dearth of productivity tips when it comes to WhatsApp tricks.
While we recommend you to keep some of these as a ‘switched on’ but a few can be ‘switched off’ to boost productivity.
- Image, Document and Audio Sharing – Whatsapp does give you the convenience with the option of sharing files but in most office matters email is recommended.
- Add dates to your Calendar (iOS Only) – Reducing the effort of creating events in calendar. Android users are still devoid of the feature. Lucky iOS guys !!!
- See when your messages are delivered and read – Keep a track of message delivery and when it was read. I am sure you know you about the ‘blue ticks’ and the not so blue ticks.
- Starred Messages* – Revisit important messages in a jiffy. Everyone knows how long a WhatsApp conversation can be.
- Broadcast – Personalisation at Scale. Send messages in mass and get them delivered individually to everyone. This will be useful if you want to send messages only to a few, even though they may be in a group.
- Conversation Shortcut – Create a conversation shortcut on your homepage to visit it in a click anytime. This could be kept for the family or …
- Notifications – We don’t recommend this but you can actually mute conversations and groups. Only for those who get distracted by the notifications.
These are some pointers to get your teams going on WhatsApp with the objective of achieving business goals. I am sure you have also found some innovative ways of utilizing WhatsApp. Would you like to share? Looking forward to your comments.