Last week, I wrote about sales and the future of how sales should work. This post will dive deeper into my view of the digital workplace and I’ll discuss a huge benefit that few have experienced and that even fewer talk about.
Your salespeople should also be a crucial part of your digital workplace. Often, the CRM (customer relationship management) system that the sales staff work in and other digital systems are separated. So when marketing says that sales are crap at closing the leads and sales are saying that the leads from marketing are weak they're really saying that they don't understand each other. One way of solving that is to send them away for a bonding week of team building. These kinds of events could work, but we all know it lasts for a week and that's it.
Another way of solving it is to let your people work in the same digital tool. One really interesting thing when I worked at Podio was that the entire team used the tool Podio to do almost everything. From CRM (we recorded everything that was said and done between the people who used Podio and the team) to marketing (scheduling of marketing activities, blog posts written and discussed in Podio) to development (full Scrum process in Podio with user stories, dev tasks and daily meetings) to company information (all-hands meetings, Office FAQ, lunch menus) and HR (candidates, recruiting, interviews).
Yes, we kind of “had to” since we wanted to “dog food” (use) our own product, but it also brought some unexpected and huge benefits. By working in one digital tool, I understood a lot about development since I saw the dev team working their ass off every day. I understood the language of marketing since they too shared everything they did in a transparent way. I understood the HR department in dealing with a newly hired employee since I saw how hard they worked to get this person on board.
This made me a lot less irritated and frustrated, since I at all times knew what was going on with the projects, customers, candidates or blog posts that I was involved in. By being less irritated and more understanding of the work that your colleagues are doing, you contribute to creating a great place to work.
Being a practical person, I know that not all companies can do this but everyone should really try to get as close to one digital workplace as they can. Try to do it through integrations between product APIs or maybe use a tool like Slack as the comms channel that brings all tools together.
I can’t stress enough how big of a benefit this is. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not done because you choose “a tool” or build a new “social intranet”. A company who wants the digital workplace should be re-working and improving all their processes all the time, since they’re never “done” but always “work in progress”.