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Working From Home, 2 of 3: Pets, Family & Co-Workers

Now that you have worked out where your office space will be at home, let’s work on tips to manage the relationships with your new and old co-workers. 

Co-workers: 

Keep social interactions as normal, just make them virtual. Ensure to find ways to still be social. WFH is extremely isolating so keep in contact with your co-workers just like you would in the office. Discuss last night’s TV shows, share a meme, etc. Check in on your co-workers via face to face video chat.  

Have team happy hours over face to face video (Microsoft Teams) calling – make each one a theme, wear your favorite hat or everyone introduces their pet. 

Pets: 

Shoo the pets from the room and close the door when you’re on calls. Even better, hang something on the doorknob telling the other people in your house to not open the door to avoid them barging in while you frantically wave at them to be quiet. Make it clear when they can pop in and say hello vs when you need quiet.    

Family: 

Have lunch with your family, this is a great opportunity to get some extra family time in. Why not take your lunch break and catch up with your kids? Everyone in your family will know between noon – 1:00pm mom or dad will be around. 

We hope these tips were helpful! Let us know in the comments below how you are staying in touch with your co-workers and adjusting to having new WFH co-workers. Keep an eye out for one more work from home blog-post regarding your routine. 

Working From Home: Tips and Tricks

Was working from home something you used to look forward to on the occasional Friday, but now it has turned into an everyday reoccurrence?  

The work world has shifted quite a bit over the past month with some states even issuing a mandatory order to work from home. We are here to give you some tips and tricks on how to seamlessly transition into a work from home atmosphere. Or as a lot of people refer to it as, WFH. We have tested out many of these tips and tricks as a lot of our employees worked from home quite often before it was mandatory.  

We split WFH into three parts, 1) Your Office Space, 2) Your Co-workers, and 3) Your Routine.    

Your Office Space (Part 1 of 3) 

  • Creating an at-home office space can be tricky, in an ideal world everyone would have an extra room in their house with a desk and a personal library. But that is just not reality. Try to get creative, is there an old playroom that isn’t used anymore or an extra nook in the upstairs hallway? Ideally, this office space would not be in your bedroom. It is too easy to carry the stress of the workday to bed if you are working and sleeping in the same room.   
  • If possible, in a room with a door you can shut, but only shut the door if you feel you really need to focus or are getting on a call. WFH can feel very lonely when the rest of your family is on the other side of a closed door.  
  • If you must work in a common area, like the kitchen table, clear one end off for your workspace every morning, don’t let the placemats, yesterday’s mail, the kids’ schoolwork, or the cat encroach into your workspace.  

We hope these tips on how to make your office space the most productive helped. Be on the lookout for two more work from home blog posts touching on co-workers and your routine. Comment below with any tips you have on how you’re adjusting to your new WFH workspace. 

Why Do Reps Need Analytics?

You’re probably using CRM. Hopefully, it’s CRM for manufacturers reps, so it’s easy to use and works how you work.  Your people are updating opportunities, your managing your commissions but what now? What do you do with all the data you’ve accumulated?  How can you use it to show your manufacturers what you’ve sold right down to the product level and what’s in the pipe?  Analytics will do all that and more. Take all your data and easily run visual reports showing trends and drop-offs, what products are doing well and who from your firm is selling the most. Techopedia explains Sales Analytics as “the process used to identify, model, understand and predict sales trends and sales results while helping in the understanding of these trends and finding improvement points. … Relevant data is mined and then analyzed in order to forecast future sales.” Learn more from Techopedia here. Sounds good right – but who has the time? Empowering Systems has taken the work out of analytics. As an add-on to AccountManager CRM Empowering Systems developed AccountReporter Analytics with pre-configured dashboards and filtering so you can skip over the work and start learning about your business trends right out of the box. 

Want to learn more – Contact April, aslepian@empoweringsystems.com or 800-321-1788 Ext. 720

Your team’s job is nothing like a direct salesperson’s—so why use the same CRM?

Unfortunately, most CRM systems aren’t designed for manufacturers’ reps. There are a lot of features your team doesn’t need, and many they do need are missing.  Sure, you can have it customized—but that costs money and time. There are a few systems designed specifically for our industry. Here are some features you should look out for when judging which will fit your workflow best.

Email Integration. Sales should only touch their email one time. Using CRM from their in-box is critical. Updating and adding opportunities, sales calls and more gets the job done with the first touch.

Mobile functionality. Outside sales reps would rather be on the road than in the office. Mobile capability lets them update anywhere–and cut down on time spent behind a desk.

Streamlined relationship tracking. Look for a robust system that lets your reps track dozens of product lines, territories, accounts, and activities with built-in sorting by manufacturer all in one place—without customization. This gives them an automatic edge in every sales meeting.

Security that works for a rep firm. The software should secure the right data. Don’t settle for a one size fits all and risk unwanted access to vital information.

Never forget a password again

In today’s digital world everything needs a password. Your passwords should be strong and changed on a regular basis. Who can remember every password by memory now that they must be secure?  A password of “password” is ancient history. The best way to manage all your passwords is with a ‘password manager’.  There are many available that are free (or almost free) and often will even help you create “strong” secure passwords. While we can’t recommend any one, here are a few of our favorites, check them out and give them a try: LastPassDashline1Password. Here is a great article on why, how, and what the top password managers are out there. “The best password managers for 2019
by David Gewirtz

Stop phishing emails in their tracks

Do you know when you’ve received a phishing or spoofing email? Your first line of defense against phishing emails is to have a 3rd party anti-virus solution between your email and the outside world. Even with having the additional anti-virus some of these malicious emails will get through.  Here are a few tips to identify if you’ve gotten a phishing email:1. Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking on links in emails. Even your friend or family members’ accounts could be hacked. Files and links can contain malware that can weaken your computer’s security.

2. Do your own typing. If a company or organization you know sends you a link or phone number, don’t click. Use your favorite search engine to look up the website or phone number yourself. Even though a link or phone number in an email may look like the real deal, scammers can hide the true destination.

3. Turn on two-factor authentication. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or a token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised.

See this great blog post, it’s older but is more relevant than ever: “10 Tips on How to Identify a Phishing or Spoofing Email” by Lauren Harris from Return Path to learn more.