Virtual teams are here to stay—and that means finding the right balance between live and asynchronous sales communication.
As companies around the world return to the office, we’re not going back to our familiar routines. The adaptations that businesses put into place during the pandemic—hybrid situations, smaller office footprints, and more flexible work-from-home policies—are likely to continue. But while these are convenient, they’ll make collaboration more complex than ever before.
Synchronous: Communication that happens in real-time
Asynchronous: Communication that is not simultaneous or time bound
This creates a new and unique challenge: Many of us are working with distributed teams and we may not return to in-person work anytime soon.
In this “new normal,” teams that weren’t remote are now working across time zones and geographies. Remote work adds a layer of complexity to our daily lives. There are many new barriers to productivity including canceled meetings and travel restrictions, a lack of face time with reps and prospects, difficulty collaborating with colleagues, and more.
Balancing Live and Asynchronous Communication
How are hybrid sales teams adapting to learn and collaborate successfully? The answer lies in the right balance of live and asynchronous communication that doesn’t require an immediate response.
We all know that real-time sales communication is vital for driving sales team alignment and collaboration. But these conversations also live and die in the moment, largely forgotten and lost to time once they’ve ended. And in a world where reps are frequently dispersed and working on different schedules, live video calls and infrequent in-person meetings aren’t sufficient for keeping teams on track.
Remote work during the pandemic has pushed most employee conversations onto email, Zoom meetings, texts, chat, and other communication platforms where they can be captured, logged, curated, and shared. This has created benefits both for employees and the businesses they serve.
We recently took a look at the value of asynchronous sales communication with new, independent research: The Asynchronous Advantage. We surveyed B2B leaders and their teams and found that having tools and processes to capture and share employee conversations asynchronously can help companies overcome the challenges of adapting to a hybrid environment.
In fact, 77% of our survey respondents who were forced to work asynchronously because of the pandemic say they prefer to work that way even when they are allowed to return to the office.
Virtual Teams Must Tap the Power Of Asynchronous Communication
Our research findings offer a fresh take on the current state of asynchronous communication. Among our key insights are about the value of information that is shared live but not captured or shared.
- 79% of leaders say there is probably a “game changing” idea for their business that has been discussed amongst employees but never captured or acted on.
- 83% of leaders say they would be more effective if they had a record of previous employee conversations to offer guidance on current tasks.
- Leaders say that If companies could document the knowledge locked in the minds of employees, they could increase revenue by nearly 6x.
- 80% of leaders say that if they could somehow have a searchable database of every employee work conversation, it would become one of its most valuable assets.
Asynchronous Sales Communication Correlates With Growth
We also found that growing companies are more likely to have tools and processes for leveraging asynchronous communication.
- Growing companies are nearly 4x more likely than stagnant companies to provide tech tools for asynchronous communication.
- Growing companies are nearly 2x more likely than stagnant companies to have a process for capturing institutional knowledge from asynchronous conversations.
Tactics to Leverage Asynchronous Sales Communication
Asynchronous video is a robust method for sales managers to develop, coach, and improve productivity without requiring a team to be on the same schedule. It’s an approach that can be used to enhance or replace both traditional onboarding and in-field collaboration.
Today’s advanced learning and sales enablement platforms offer mobile access and video-based technology that extends your reach and maximizes your time. From your home or office, you can accomplish as much as you could in a live, in-person meeting.
Here are tactical recommendations for leveraging asynchronous sales communication to improve virtual learning and foster collaboration.
1. Capture Institutional Knowledge
Harvesting the institutional knowledge of top performers and subject matter experts (SMEs) is an efficient way to retain valuable information that’s lost each time an employee changes positions, leaves the company, or retires.
Preserving it allows you to share it with current salespeople and pass it onto those who join the company in the future. This creates a massive savings for training and enables new hires to model their behavior on the best practices of current stars.
2. Replace Live Meetings with Asynchronous Collaboration
Instead of moving every meeting to a live conference call, share a video. Recording and sharing project updates, feedback, presentations, or segments of training courses instead of simply live-streaming meetings or training sessions is a tactic many companies are using successfully. Making these videos available on-demand means teams can access information when and where it’s convenient for them.
3. Build a Library of Just-In-Time Training
Asynchronous video converts easily to multi-purpose training content. With the right platform, once you’ve recorded a presentation or training session, you can break it up into smaller segments, add chapter markers or interactive elements, and allow people to access it on their own time.
A video library that reps can access between sales calls provides an on-demand source of anything from product features to regulatory information. Other valuable videos include best practices, insights from the field, tips on objection handling, and customer stories.
If you support a distributed sales organization that can’t meet in person, consider using asynchronous sales communication to keep your team on track.
Download our new research report The Asynchronous Advantage: How to Keep Hybrid Sales Teams on Track to learn how to leverage asynchronous sales communication for team success.
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