With at the half way mark of the first phase of the wellbeing trial we have started to see an overview of our KPIs and performance on a weekly basis.
In addition to this, University of Essex are starting to get a picture of the wellbeing of the team during a usual week. Still nothing has changed in terms of our operating hours, however we are moving towards a position that will allow us and the University to be able to accurately measure any changes during the wellbeing trial phase two.
Our last update looked to consider the implications and challenges of the trial for our operations team. In this blog, we will briefly look at the sales team and how we are looking to ensure strong sales figures and continued customer satisfaction.
When it comes to sales, a huge concern for any company is to be able to fully service its customers. Another one is to ensure that the monthly sales figure doesn’t drop.
The trial holds the opportunity to create numerous issues which could directly impact the company’s reputation and sales. As with the operations, it was critical that the employees and teams thoroughly discussed and contemplated the way in which we do business and how we can ensure we offer the greatest service while operating under compressed working hours trial.
If we look at the operations department, the sales team’s hours remain pretty consistent with regards to customer engagement which would happen between the usual business hours. However, often quotes are put together after work for customers to receive these promptly.
The primary concern was to look to see if we can maintain enough cover during the critical periods to adequately service the needs of our customers, attend appointments and cover the phones while ensuring quotes are provided as quickly as possible.
Similar to how we went about establishing the compressed working hours for the operations team, we looked to establish the key operating hours and minimum staffing levels in order to remain effective and productive during the wellbeing trial.
In addition to this, we had to ensure managers of the sales and operations team had sufficient overlap to ensure the smooth transition from sales through to the installation of the products.
To do this, we sat down with the sales team and asked for their personal preferences and how they operate on a daily basis. This formed the basis on how we balanced the desires of the employee versus best practises for the business growth in order to ensure little or no disruption occurred while optimising the benefits to the employee.
The following were the main points from our discussions with the sales team:
· Maximum contact with the operations team is necessary to ensure customer servicing and satisfaction remains high across both disciplines
· The vast majority of sales and exchanges with customers are during usual business hours (9-5)
· The need for sufficient cover for the phones during these periods
· Enough cover was needed to be able to cover for anyone out on appointments
As a result, it was established that by having at least part of the sales team in at the start of day, along with the operations team, would provide enough time for necessary catch ups and briefings for the day. This would also allow the sharing of vital information to assist with ensuring greater customer service. Consequently, it was agreed at least one part of the team would need to start by 8.30am latest.
It is vital for the company to ensure suitable sales capacity for customers between usual business hours. However, it was felt that there is no concern with staggering start times in the sales team as their work is often individual unless it concerns training, meetings or information sharing. This is particularly the case seeing as all quotes on the system can be accessed at any time by anyone when required.
During our discussions with the team it was prominent that some preferred to work less hours 5 days a week and others preferred working usual hours but do a 4 days week. So we spent time looking at how to make this work to our advantage.
The result culminated in some employees starting at 8am, some at 9.30am and others 11am during the wellbeing trial. Consequently, the office will now be manned from 8.30-6 five days a week as opposed to 9-5.30 which is the current situation.
In addition to this, we also needed to ensure there was enough cover for the phones and any one going on appointments. By staggering start times means that during the core times of the business we will have enough staff to cover this, while still allowing suitable overlap between the sales team members to allow for meetings and training.
By having worked with the team to analyse how this will work best we are confident that we have given the greatest chance of this being successful and benefiting the staff without risking our sales figures going down or jeopardising our high customer service standard.
In order to be able to understand and measure whether compressed hours affect the productivity levels, we are using current KPIs and some additional indicators. These include:
· Quotes per week
· Quoted amount for the week
· Invoices per week
· Invoices amount for the week
We hope that these will provide suitable information to be able to adequately reflect the key areas of performance and allow objective analysis on the success of the trial for the sales team.
We hope that these measures allow not only the sales team to remain effective and productive (with the office open for longer) but to allow the necessary collaboration with the operations department.
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