Finally, 2020 is in hindsight. Although it played out like a test match, it changed the world forever. Who would have thought of a world where everyone will get to work from home for months at a stretch and come to dislike it?
There are a lot of things we can expect from a year that is not 2020 anymore. For the first article of the year, I intend to look at some activities/practices that will be the highlight of this successor of 2020.
A Hybrid Working Model
Work-from-office then work-from-home to working-from-home and office.
This is the new reality. Although the world faces the challenge of COVID 2.0 (or COVID 2.1) with the new variants, there is no denying that it is Business As Usual everywhere. Companies are looking at a permanent mix of work-from-home and work-from-office. The likes of Google, Facebook and Tata Consultancy Services have announced major work-from-home regimes in the months ahead. Salestors are being given extended work-from-home since their profiles demand lesser presence at their own work place than their clients'. Similar is the case with lawyers, financers and some administrative profiles.
While the world was wondering what the future held, some companies introduced and pioneered the concept of Hybrid workplace before mid-2020 hit. Kissflow, a digital workplace service provider, based out of Chennai, announced Remote+ hybrid workplace model for their workforce. As per the program, the management gave two options to their teams: a hybrid or an in-office working model.
In the hybrid model, the employees were expected to report to work for one week every month. The company pays for the accommodation for outstation employees. Team building is taken care of through monthly and quarterly team building exercises.
Sales Automation at the Helm of Affairs
Surprisingly, a major chunk of companies in India relied on manual CRM tools like MS Excel for daily entries until the pandemic struck. Sales force in such companies ended up spending more time on data management and analysis than on customers. However, 2020 changed a lot of it and gave birth to a truly digital era, especially in a country like India that was years away from becoming a wholesome digital economy.
Sales enablement took an altogether different meaning and paved way for complete sales automation. 2021 is going to strengthen this new scenario. While Salesforce retains its position as the global leader in CRM tools, a lot of alternatives have come up like Freshworks and Zoho that are gaining mileage rapidly.
It is a fairly old concept now, but a year like 2020 brought it to the fore front since humanity was under siege.
Social selling uses social media to build relationships for selling. Focus is on people, their preferences, their needs and social media plays an important role here. Cold calling has been half-dead for quite some time now and gives no way to forge the relationship you want to with your client. 90% of top decision makers don’t respond to cold calls anymore, but utilise social media for professional networking all the time. Pitching on social media gives you a larger targeted audience with a higher probability of generating warm leads rather than cold ones.
A quick view of benefits of Social Selling:
Quicker contact search
Higher number of warm leads
Quality relationships with clients
Shorter Sales Cycle
Government Formalising WFH
Indian government is on its way to recognising working from home as a formal organisational structure. This yet to be passed law is going to be a game changer for the way India recruits and handles its manpower. Clearly, this is bound to have long-standing effects on the salary structures, insurance policies, cyber security policies and administrative policies of organisations.
2021 is going to witness a lot of game changing scenarios. Many practices that we did not pay heed to earlier have become indispensable now. The world is thriving digitally and physical distances are a misnomer. No one can afford to be offline now.
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