As uncertainty regarding the global health crisis, COVID-19, looms over the heads of capital markets firms globally, there has been a lot of speculation about the state of the market, but little has been said about the actual impact the pandemic will have on deal professionals. Especially now that most organizations have implemented work from home, travel ban, self-quarantine, and other policies, leadership teams and key decision-makers have found it challenging to predict how productive and effective their teams will be.
We’ve heard from technology managers and people managers alike, and the concerns are the same: Are my people actually working? Can they work together effectively? Can they start, continue with, and ultimately execute on tasks? Are they able to provide high-quality service to our clients, LPs, or other stakeholders?
While the questions are plentiful, the answers seem hard to find. In this article, we expose five actionable ways that team managers and individuals alike can not only navigate this unexpected period of remote work, but come out on top after it’s over. While some have already resigned themselves to see this time at a loss, we view it as the perfect time to drive firm-wide value with the help of technology.
Quantify and measure activity by team and individual
Regardless of if your team has experience working remotely and/or from the road, or if COVID-19 has forced the issue, it’s top-of-mind for every manager that their teams may not be as active in their day-to-day work effort as they would be in the office. To properly maintain oversight and visibility on these matters, team managers can create (if they don’t exist already) dashboards which track the number of emails, phone calls, and other activities deal professionals are logging.
If you have a quota for calls or emails, managers can even use our large data widget to display the activity volume status as red, yellow, or green, which quickly communicates productivity or a lack there-of across the organization. These types of dashboards are also helpful for the team members themselves so they can benchmark their own activity against that of their peers.
To learn more about configuring team activity and output dashboards, click here.
Create business development opportunities around canceled conferences, trade shows, and meetings
Unfortunately, many conferences and events have been cancelled due to COVID-19. While many business development leaders and other deal professionals tend to rely on these in-person interactions to drum up new opportunities, the inability to meet in person doesn’t mean that the opportunities don’t exist. In fact, being pro-active in your outreach during this time can set you and your firm apart from others who see this as a slow time.
We suggest rounding up all of the attendee lists from the conferences, trade shows, and meetings you intended to attend. Comb through those contacts and make sure that all are loaded into your firm’s centralized technology platform.
Categorize them based on the type of message you want to send. For example: if you know the firm well, and simply want to check in, craft that message accordingly. On the other hand, if the contact is net-new to the firm, the message should be more introductory in nature. Once you’ve segmented the contacts, we recommend emailing en masse through an email marketing technology, such as DealCloud’s Dispatch tool. This will allow you to track open and clicks amongst your contacts, and easily set up phone calls with the key contacts you aren’t able to meet in person.
Don’t assume that digital marketing efforts and day-to-day communications can’t win you business – they can! To learn more about creating and sending Dispatch campaigns, click here.
Maintain/create a firm-wide calendars to track high-priority initiatives
Another way to easily maintain visibility on the firm’s activities is to create a firm-wide calendar. This can help deal professionals track major deadlines and initiatives, as well as all the day-to-day milestones and events. It’s wise to clarify what qualifies as “important” or “critical” enough for it being added to the firm-wide calendar, but once the guidelines are in place, the technology will help managers increase their understanding of the firm-wide business development and relationship management efforts going on.
To learn more about configuring calendars in your instance of DealCloud, click here.
Create deal pipeline and due diligence alerts
From key deals in the pipeline, to due diligence checklist items being cleared, there are surely a vast number of high-priority items that your team is used to talking through at Monday morning meetings. These are the key items that are often best discussed in-person, around the water cooler, or in the company kitchen. Since those simple interactions will happen less frequently over the next few weeks, we suggest creating a notification system that alerts leadership team members to key activities and/or deal movements. These notifications are easy to set up in DealCloud, and only require a few clicks to enable. To learn more about configuring notifications, click here.
When calls replace meetings, ensure note-capture is maintained across all employees
Last and certainly not least, we encourage firms of all shapes and sizes to simply communicate with their teams the importance of leveraging technology during this time. Our clients are deriving value from their technology investments, and in this time of uncertainty, it’s clear that actionable data, user-driven insights, and collaborative work environments will be necessary to limit the effects of business disruption. By re-establishing the importance of simply logging calls, and by reiterating the importance of taking copious notes on calls, and logging those notes in your instance of DealCloud, team members are more likely to be compliant. At the very least, employees need to hear the message that their activity and productivity will be measured, and that while working remotely enables them to be safe in this unsafe environment, their contributions towards the firm’s goals are greatly appreciated.
To learn more about DealCloud’s deal and relationship management platform that provides over 800 firms across the globe with the productivity tools they need to stay competitive in a remote work environment, click here.
To access DealCloud University, our on-demand self-learning portal, click here. For other questions, please contact your DealCloud account manager.