How to Collaborate Effectively as a Remote Team
Remote work is here to stay. Whether we like it or not, it is something that we have to embrace to sustain in the long run. This new work culture has brought a paradigm shift and this has caused some good to companies and employees.
With lockdown restrictions coming to an end and the pandemic settling down, the future still holds good for the remote working environment. As per McKinsey & Company, hybrid work environments will persist long after the pandemic is over. As we’re slowly getting used to many aspects of this environment, communicating effectively while working as a remote team is something we are still improving on.
We invited Yaagneswhar, Director of Marketing at Avoma to speak with us and share his knowledge, experience, and anecdotes on how to build and run a remote team effectively.
Here are a few snippets from our How to Collaborate Effectively as a Remote Team webinar, tailored for you.
You can watch the full video here:
Democratizing Customer Intelligence
Customer intelligence is about gaining insights from your customer behavior. When customers interact with your team, their feedback, reviews, and overall communication tells you a lot about them. This is a goldmine for all the teams in the organization as they can leverage this to give a better customer experience.
Each day we parse through different data points about the users and customers. Not all of these data points are actionable for one team. It should be inferred and the inference should be shared with the right team to take actions. This should be transparent to avoid any duplication of content within teams.
Consider, a prospect and your salesperson are talking, and they answer many questions about the product and the use cases. The result of this conversation will be held between them, and the same is not shared to the team.
If you look into it, the marketing team can benefit a lot from this conversation. They will get to know the pain points of the user base directly, and they can curate content to benefit the same.
When you solve the problem for the specific user, it solves the problem for the similar customer cohort.
The product development team can benefit from the conversation by listening to the same and planning their product roadmap prioritizing on how the customer base wants first.
Democratizing customer intelligence will help align your entire team in the same direction.
Managing online communication — Synchronous vs Asynchronous
The remote work culture has brought the world closer. You are always a click away from your colleague who is connecting from the other end of the world. But with this, comes the problem of quick sync-ups.
Here’s what Yaagneshwaran had to say about online communication -
Working between different time zones often causes unusual delays. All of us at some point must have faced this problem while scheduling a meeting. The entire leadership team at Avoma resides in the US, and I’m no stranger to timezone management and its issues.
Asynchronous communication concept has helped us to move out of this. It has helped us reduce everyday calls such as daily stand-ups and scrum calls. By going asynchronous, the recorded videos and notes are shared across teams which brings everyone closer to each other's work.
For example, a salesperson writes about his customer call from the last day — a marketer can share a material related to it which might help the prospect. Similarly, a product manager can share feedback about the demo. This also applies in other scenarios such as learning, onboarding new customers or hires, etc.
Remote working is the future. It is here to stay and asynchronous communication modes have helped to add more clarity to conversations and make the end product more effective. Asynchronous communication does not eradicate synchronous communications, but it makes you more productive, and get things done faster.
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Time management is indeed a challenge. Especially after the pandemic, when most of us were forced to accept a new working atmosphere. There are so many distractions now, and it takes more time to focus on a task.
There are a few techniques which have helped Yaagneshwar to manage his time. So here are a few of them which you might find helpful too:
i) Prioritize the things you have to do in a day. If you are in a smaller setup, you have to decide what kind of value your activity adds to the overall goal of your organization or team. Based on this you have to do your activities.
ii) You will get a lot of ideas and you want to do a lot of things. Everything needs your time and effort. All of them boil down to prioritizing the activities.
iii) Most of the problems get solved after prioritizing the tasks. Don’t spend too much time in looking for multiple tips
iv) If the activity in your hand adds great value, and you have great clarity over it, then do it. However, if you have to spend time thinking over it, then don’t proceed with it.
v) A checklist is a great tool to put things in order. It guides you through the multiple steps in the process and ensures you don't miss out on any steps.
vi) Restrict yourself to limited tasks if not it can turn into a hindrance. Taking too many things at the same time will kill the quality of the output, and also lead to burnout.
Tools and Systems in place
Remote working has opened up a new channel for interacting with colleagues and co-workers. Earlier, a lot of interactions happened in person, but now we don’t have a choice. Tools are our savior. In this section, we asked Yaagneshwar about his favorite tools, and how it helps them
1) Slack is the first communication tool for us. For quick updates, feedback, questions, this is our go-to tool
2) Intercom is used for customer chats, and it also helps us in keeping track of conversations
3) Click-up is a great tool for streamlining everything in one tool. We use it for our daily productivity
4) Ahrefs and Avoma are the other two tools I use on a daily basis.
Yaag has promised that he will give Vmaker a shot. If you’re curious about Vmaker and looking to kick start your asynchronous journey, then we can’t wait to have you on board. Here’s the link to get started.
Onboarding new employees virtually to a remote team
Most of you reading this, Yaag and I were onboarded virtually during the pandemic. The hiring, onboarding happened online. This was the first time for me, and overall it was a new experience. But, I was curious to know what a recruiter has to say about building a team while working remotely.
Yaag shared some great points with us -
In a broader sense, you need to have clarity over what is expected out of the role. When you are working in a company, you will find a lot of water-cooler conversations that help you understand more about the company. While remote work has helped avoid many unnecessary conversations, automating a lot of manual tasks and prioritizing high-value tasks helps us a lot.
You need to create a knowledge base about the company, the product in the form of videos, and written content to speed up the onboarding. You can use an asynchronous tool like Avoma and Vmaker when a new employee is being added to the team and then listen to the feedback.
It will take some time to be good at this, but with the remote culture all set, we have to work on building a culture on remote onboarding.
Summing it up
Working and collaborating in a remote work environment is tough. There are many pain points that you have to tackle which is a challenge. To make things easy for you, we invited Yaagneshwar from the team of Avoma to share his ideas on the different challenges and opportunities for making remote working more conducive. From customer intelligence to onboarding new employees, the spectrum of insights shared by him will surely help you.
If you want to check out more such interesting webinars, then go ahead and register for our upcoming events on our webinar page. If you miss that, you can check our YouTube channel. We upload the recorded version the next day.
Few of our previous Webinars
If you like our webinars do check out our previous webinars summed up below as blog posts.
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Mastering Communication For Agile Teams In 2021
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How COVID Has Disrupted The Way Startups Operate
6 Proven Ways to Improve Sales Productivity in 2021
5 Proven Ways to Improve Customer Service in 2021