Group chats have increasingly become part of our lives over the past few years.
Rather than time-sucking chain emails where everybody confuses each other, or meetings that didn’t need to be a meeting, we can now simply pop something onto a chat and get a rapid response.
This has rewired how we work and changed our expectations around response times. Life as a sales rep on the road can be lonely at times, as you are physically disconnected from your team.
A group chat is a great way to keep sales reps engaged and feeling part of the team, and aware of what is happening even while they’re away from base and each other.
It provides an outlet for the team to share updates, major changes or learnings, and wins and challenges they are experiencing.
Group Chats help to keep teams motivated too, as team members like to share wins and good news stories with their peers, encouraging everyone to lift their game. Think about how much this could move the needle with KPI’s and leaderboards if the chat was a daily thing!
As we mentioned in How to use a live-data stream to empower your sales team, how much you commit to the chat in the beginning and the vibe you post with from day one will impact the culture of it forever. If you want reps to be fully engaged rather than using it out of “obligation” or “to keep the company happy”, if you want them to make it a true tool to get inspired and pumped up, then start with the end in mind.
3 tips to consider before you get started:
1) Create a group chat for your sales team, using an app like WhatsApp or Microsoft teams. If you find the team is too big, you may want to split it by campaigns or territories or something. Try to use a platform some of your reps are either already familiar with or keen to try, so that there are at least some reps using it fluently from day 1 for the other reps to watch and learn from.
2) Communicate the intent to your team, and what the purpose of the chat is. E.g. for sharing wins, important updates etc. Discuss options to maximise its efficiency, such as whether to have set times for checking in with wins or whether the team is small enough to post at any time of day. Even if you end up changing approach later, it means that something that doesn’t work well for the team or an individual is just written off as a first attempt, rather than a reason for giving up on the group chat altogether. Reps are almost proud of their ability to quit a CRM or other communication software before they’ve even tried it, so you want this to be something they experiment with until it suits them best, and the best way to achieve that is to get their input and buy-in from the beginning.
3) Start posting content to the chat. Make this a daily task to keep interacting with the chat and posting. React to comments posted by your team, and encourage collaboration. You will notice some reps are more active than others. That doesn’t mean the quiet ones aren’t still being inspired by it, so don’t panic - rather, just ask them privately how they are finding the chat in case there is something that can be adjusted to increase their contribution.