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What Is Workplace Productivity and How Can You Measure It?

workplace productivity

Improving workplace productivity is a concern that’s top of most managers’ minds.  But how can you improve on something when you cannot measure it? For the longest time, the calculation for workplace productivity has been:

Productivity = Output / Input

The resulting number from this calculation has long been treated as the most important productivity attribute.

However, managers have come to know that productivity is more nuanced than that. Since a team is a very dynamic unit, its output will always be just as dynamic, hence numerical measurement may not be practical in all cases. For instance, if you run a sales team, you know that although closing a sale is the coup de grace, this doesn’t mean that a day without revenue earned wasn’t productive. What about all the calls made, clients visited, presentations conducted, etcetera? All these tasks move a salesperson closer to their goals, whether or not you can quantify them.

By the way, just because you cannot quantify something doesn’t mean you cannot track it. We understand that sometimes teams can get sidetracked and achieve very little during calls and presentations. So next time your team has a meeting, ask them to use Aira. This AI-powered app will record everything said during the meeting. You can then sort through the recording or transcript by keywords to find out how much of what was discussed was relevant to your company’s goals. 

That said, let’s explore this topic a little more below.

What is workplace productivity and how can you measure it?

As we have pointed out above, the formula for productivity is: Productivity= output/input

The number yielded by this calculation will only tell you that a metric you set wasn’t achieved 100%. But as much happens between initial input and final output, such a number will not tell you what you need to do to get to 100%. It will not guide you to take the practical steps necessary to make any improvements.

Therefore, for any workplace productivity measurement to be meaningful, you need to have a solid grasp of exactly what changes to make to impact team output. Finding these changes requires a lot of analysis; it is a time-consuming and grueling task. But, as we’ve demonstrated, with tools like Aira, you can get the data you want to perform such an analysis. And when done right, such analysis will yield positive results.

How should you measure productivity?

measure productivity

You can measure your team’s productivity/output based on the number of accomplished tasks.

The rationale here is pretty simple. For instance, if your goal is to increase revenue, you may not get to that goal in one day. However, by accomplishing certain tasks per day, can incrementally move that needle and eventually achieve your goal. The more tasks you accomplish in a given day, the more likely you are to get to that goal faster.

Input is time spent on a task, such as a day, week, month, quarter. If you want to go really granular, you can measure input per hour.

Taken over a longer time such as a week, you start to get a clearer picture of how much time your team has spent on a task and how much output they generated within the same period. Weekly assessments of input are good because a week is long enough to give you a trend (good or bad), but short enough to not severely impact an ongoing project in case of ongoing unproductiveness.

How important is individual productivity, and should you measure it?

Just as with team productivity, time is the most important input when it comes to individual productivity. Individuals tend to waste a lot of time by spending it on distractions, routine tasks, or unimportant tasks.

Using the same method we identified above, (and yes, Aira is also quite useful here), you can identify instances of time wastage and then optimize how you spend it.

How to improve workplace productivity?

improve workplace productivity

If you need to improve team or individual productivity, here are some tips you can use:

1. Break projects into tasks and tasks into subtasks

This will make a large project seem less daunting. More so, completing one small action motivates people to complete another task because they can see progress.

In addition, when you approach a project in small bits, you can set shorter timelines instead of looking at the final deadline way into the future.

2. Prioritize tasks

Some tasks are more important than others. Discuss with your team the importance level of tasks and then prioritize which ones to tackle first.

3. Avoid multitasking

Contrary to what most people think, multi-tasking only causes you to work slower and perform poorly. This is because shifting attention from one task to another drains brain resources, causing fatigue to set in faster.  

It’s always best to finish one task, tick that one off, and then move on to another.

4. Encourage employees to work within set office hours

It’s okay to put in an extra hour or two on a project every now and then but forming a habit out of working overtime on a project can lead to overtiredness and stress.

To prevent this, encourage your team to work on tasks during set office hours. This may call for some time management training. But such training will be well worth it given the rewards that your team will reap.

5. Encourage teams to collaborate

Team collaboration begins with encouraging team members to understand and appreciate one another’s work. People tend to feel happy and positive when they feel understood and appreciated. This in turn creates a positive work environment where teammates are comfortable about interacting, sharing ideas and collaborating on projects.

6. You can also improve individual productivity by doing the following:

  1. Work on the most difficult task in the morning when you are fresh and full of energy. However, if a task gets too complicated, switch to a smaller task.
  2. Take breaks when working on an intense task
  3. Track task progress and tick off completed tasks to keep you motivated
  4. Avoid perfectionism. You will waste valuable time if all you focus on when working on a project is to deliver a perfect result every time.

Final words

Productivity is important. We get things done when we are productive. But as you have read above, improving workplace productivity takes a lot more than just understanding your output/input calculation. What counts is to first understand the metrics that matter to you, then implement changes that will motivate teams and individuals to start making their input count more.

Have a super productive day!

How To Efficiently Handle A Remote Sales Team When WFH

remote sales team

Remote working is the new norm, thanks to the global pandemic. Many businesses – especially those with no previous online presence – have found themselves grappling with this new reality. So we have a remote sales team whose main mode of selling was via face-to-face interaction.

Remote selling provides a unique opportunity to enhance the selling process while improving productivityBut how do you do ensure that your sales team is pulling their weight when working from home?

When managing a remote sales team, setting up operational efficiency can be a significant challenge. Therefore, you need an effective communication tool like Aira to collaborate more effectively with them. Read on to learn how you can lead your remote sales team from the comfort of your home.

The Pros and Cons of Remote Selling

Remote selling is also known as virtual selling. It refers to a buying cycle in which most sales conversations occur between buyers and sellers in various geographical locations. With a large part of the interactions being remote, remote selling entails virtual selling techniques.

A major benefit of working from home for you – and your team too -is increased flexibility. You can even choose where to work from and when to work.

With a remote sales team:

Pros:

  • It is cost-effective. Remote selling helps cut down on costs such as office rent, office supplies, mileage, and drastically reduces the time used on the work commute.
  • It enhances productivity. The use of digital communication tools and cloud-based software help make remote selling easier, thus boosts productivity. With no need to travel and meet clients, your sales team has more time to improve on sales pitches and selling strategies. This enables them to capture better leads, nurture prospects, and make more sales.
  • It widens the selling scope. By using the internet, your remote sales team can now reach out to a global audience. Results? More deals closed.
  • It makes the sales process more effective. With the right tools, you can grow your sales and scale your business. Remote selling provides you with a unique opportunity to use technology to organize internal and external communication, automate repetitive tasks, and manage your pipeline. 
  • It helps motivate your sales team. Remote selling empowers your sales reps and helps boost their morale. This is because they have the autonomy to run their activities, access to comprehensive resources, and the freedom to make independent judgments.
  • It helps reduce stress: The flexibility to set their schedule or choose their preferred workenvironment – within certain guidelines – also helps sales teams reduce work-related stress. Additionally, it fosters a positive attitude and helps them produce remarkable results.

Cons:

Remote selling has its downsides, such as:

  • Reduced work/life balance
  • It’s more challenging to train new sales reps
  • Increased distractions from kids and house chores
  • An increased sense of isolation due to reduced camaraderie with colleagues

Managing a Remote Sales Team Efficiently

remote sales team

Let’s now look at how, as a sales manager, you can efficiently and effectively handle your remote sales team from afar and meet your business goals.

1. Establish Clear Expectations – and Communicate Them

Set expectations that encourage your sales team to strive for higher performance. Clear sales targets set performance standards and outline specific tasks, enabling your team to feel engaged and motivates them to do their best.

They also make your team accountable, allowing you to provide relevant support and motivation. Come up with guidelines that spell out the sales objectives, systems and procedures, and effective time management tips. Such could entail:

  • How to look for leads
  • How to deal with objections
  • How and when to follow-up on prospects
  • How to close deals and onboard new customers


2. Build Trust

Building trusting relationships is a bit of a challenge with remote teams due to the lack of physical interactions. To make communication less challenging, you need to:

  • Avoid micro-managing your sales team
  • Schedule regular group calls to enable your team members to catch up, share success stories, address challenges, and brainstorm
  • Respond quickly when your team members have questions or are experiencing difficulties
  • Track your sales team’s activities and progress through a shared dashboard to ensure they complete assigned tasks and close deals


3. Avail Relevant Resources

Leverage shared resources like cloud-based storage systems to allow your team members to log in securely, share, and view data. Such systems make it possible for sales reps to access company data on the go from their mobile devices or at home. They can also update records in real-time from any location.

Make sure to use tools that provide secure access to company documents and resources and encourage the use of chat tools for regular check-ins. 


4. Simplify Sales Processes

Setting up clear and straightforward processes is vital to your remote sales team’s success. It also makes it easier for you to manage the team. Document sales processes to allow the team to work in a structured manner, know how to respond in specific situations, and minimize the need for constant support.

Final Words

While you don’t interact physically with your remote sales team, you can stay connected by keeping all communication channels open. Follow the above tips to support your remote team, keep them engaged, and you’ll reap the benefits of outstanding performance.

10 Things You Must Never Google At Work For Better Work Efficiency

The last two or three decades saw a lot of companies invest in information technology in a bid to improve productivity at work. At the same time however, certain advancements in technology, namely the internet, proved themselves to be a productivity bottleneck.

Ready access to the internet means that you can google anything whenever you want. This is a good thing. The downside though is that without strict boundaries at work, google can easily reduce your work efficiency. In this article, we have compiled 10 things you should never google at work if you want more work efficiency.

Don’t google these 10 things if you want to increase your efficiency at work

1. The history of google

While Google and other companies like Facebook, Amazon, Salesforce, Aira have such interesting foundation stories, you should probably only google them in your spare time.

The behemoth you know as google today actually started from a dorm room. Stories of such humble beginnings are always quite fascinating. We found this out the hard way when we stumbled upon Google’s “about page” while researching for this paper. 30 minutes later, we were way off track and still learning about google from back links in the original page.

2. Photos of cute animals

If you want to be sucked into an endless rabbit hole of whole-day googling, google photos of cute animals. The options that come up are… well, cute. Alongside the stock photos from pixabay, Shutterstock, etc., you will get a whole lot of cuteness to feast on from animal planet, bored panda, pinterest, among others.

On the results for this search for instance, bored panda had a list of “30 cute baby animals that will make you go Aww”. There is just something about cute animals that makes you want to see more cute animals, so after going through that post, all you’ll feel like doing is see more cute animals.

We recommend staying away from the videos tab if you are after better work efficiency.

3. Conspiracy theories

If you don’t know what a conspiracy theory is, here’s a definition from Oxford online dictionary, “a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event.” Wikipedia also adds, “…when other explanations are more probable.”

Wikipedia has a bunch of conspiracy theories on practically every industry and topic. My personal favorites are “Israel animal spying” and “flat earth” (yes, flat earth is a real discussion by real people in the 21st century).  

The thing is, even if other explanations are probable, you still get pulled into the web of implausible explanations surrounding whatever conspiracy topic you googled.

4. Crime/ Real Murder mysteries

You probably enjoy a good murder mystery: From criminal minds, featuring extremely scary psychopaths committing gory crimes, to Midsomer Murders where the regular gentle folk of Midsomer have devised a bunch of ways to solve their little problems by murdering each other.

These fictitious stories also happen in the real world. In Thailand, the island of Koh Tao (now aptly nick-named death island), experienced 9 tourist murders in a span of 4 years according to this NYTimes Report.

This and other similar stories will keep you riveted for hours, so only google them in your spare time.

5. Disease

Googling about disease can quickly develop into quite an addiction which is why we don’t recommend going down this route while at work.

For instance, google a symptom you have right now. You will realize that there’s a list of other likely diseases. If you click on those links, you will get more information but probably won’t learn enough to satisfy your curiosity. You’ll probably keep googling and only stop because your eyes are tired, or you realize you really aren’t getting anywhere.  

6. Productivity

Being productive is good because:

  • Results are tangible, e.g, you’ll make money, like a life of your dreams, etcetera
  • The sense of accomplishment boosts esteem

There are so many different “experts” in the field of productivity, all of whom recommend a bunch of creative ways for creating more efficiency at work. To find “the best method”, you have to explore the methods proposed by each of these gurus. In the end, you will realize that ironically, googling productivity results in an unproductive day. This is because it’s actually eating into the time you could be spending doing real work.

7. Diet, exercise and fitness

Like productivity, diet, exercise and fitness is one area where we all must just learn to “agree to disagree”.

Crossfit, Insanity, A-alert, Tabata, Warrior…the list of exercise regimens is endless. The same goes for diet and feeding schedules: Paleo, vegan, Dukan, HCG, low carb, no carb, calorie counting, intermittent fasting… another extra long list.

The point is, you simply cannot exhaust this subject. And quite honestly, trying to do so only further complicates your life.

If jogging has always worked for you, it wont stop just because there’s a new fancy workout regimen that is famed to work magic.

8. DIY anything

DIY means “DO IT YOURSELF”. Proponents of DIY maintain that it’s all about creating self-sufficiency while saving money.

It’s good to DIY. However, the reason why you shouldn’t google this at work is that there are so many ways to DIY any topic you choose. For instance, if you google “DIY hair growth”, you’ll get so many hair growth formulas, all promising to magically restore your receding hairline.

More so, we don’t recommend DIY googling at work because you’ll get the “DIY” bug. After your first successful DIY project, you’ll start googling how to DIY everything. Like how to tether a goat, how to build your own couch, paint your own walls, give your sofa a new look in a weekend.

9. Cooking/Recipes 

Here’s an exercise I did to prove why this is a bad idea.

I googled “vanilla cake recipe”. After a while, those cakes looked so boring, so I googled “best desserts to make”. I ended up at HuffPost’s 50 Of The Best Dessert Recipes Of All Time, and by the 7th recipe,

  • I had a long shopping list of dessert-making ingredients and no way to get them at that time,
  • I was too hungry and frustrated because all I wanted was cake.

What’s more, I still hadn’t decided on a single dessert recipe. So, in a sense, my cake-googling was unproductive, and so was my afternoon.

do not google recipes

10. Celebrity news

From fashion trends, to who’s marrying who, who’s divorcing who, who had a wardrobe malfunction, who wore what to the Grammys/Emmys/Oscars, who has a weird fetish, who has decided to ditch their makeup and go au naturelle, who’s interested in science and isn’t just a pretty face…the list of celebrity topics is as interesting as it is endless.

You can spend hours and hours on the internet and you’ll never get your fill of celebrity news, so the workplace is definitely not the place for googling such stuff. 

Last words

Now you know our list of things that you shouldn’t google at work if you want better work efficiency. Got anything to add to this list? Let us know.

What Is AIRA And Why Do You Need It?

what is aira

Meeting management, scheduling, note taking, minute taking are all tasks that until a few years ago, could only be carried out by a human being. Any time you needed to schedule a meeting, you or your PA had to do it. You also needed to assign someone to take minutes during the meeting.

The problem with this system was that meeting management and minute taking are very time consuming tasks. You could easily find your entire day consumed only by scheduling this meeting or that or taking copious amounts of meeting notes. In addition, there are operational challenges that come with conducting meetings manually. Some of them include:

  • Meetings can sometimes drag on forever if the agenda is not properly managed
  • During meetings, people can speak over each other, causing the note taker to miss important points. Even a person experienced at shorthand could find it difficult to keep up in such a situation.  

Today however, there is a solution to this problem. The development of AI as an industry has given rise to applications like Aira, an AI meeting assistant that automates all your meeting-related tasks. You will find that although Aira will help with meeting management and minute taking, it is, on the whole, helping you to improve time management.

What is Aira?

Automatic Meeting Transcriptions

Aira is many things in one: It is a:  

  • Meeting scheduler
  • Meeting management tool
  • Minute taking and note-taking tool
  • Voice recognition app. Aira is a highly accurate conversational AI as it is trained, through machine learning, to recognize human speech.
  • Recording and transcription tool
  • A storehouse for all your important business proceedings

Aira is an important addition to your martech stack as it can integrate to your CRM, email, etcetera. This ensures that anyone from your company can make meeting notes a part of their workflow.

Features of Aira

As mentioned above, Aira is many things in one. Its suite of features are what enable it to perform all these impressive tasks. Those features include:

1. Calendar syncing

When using aira, you don’t have to worry about having to use an additional mail client. This is because Aira will sync into your current email account.

What’s more, you don’t need to do any set up for your calendar to sync. Once you log into Aira for the first time, it will sync all your calendar details. All the meetings you have scheduled will automatically be uploaded to Aira and scheduled there. 

Once your calendar syncs into Aira:

  • You can join meetings without having to log into Aira
  • Meetings scheduled on, will automatically update on your calendar
  • Your teammates can see your availability. You can say goodbye to prolonged consultations about meetings times and questions like, “When is the best time for you to have a quick meeting on XYZ?”

2. Records meetings and shares notes

You will no longer need to drag your PA into every meeting just to have him or her take minutes. Aira will do that for you, as well as provide transcripts once you conclude the meeting.

Aira also generates keywords for every transcript. When you click on a keyword, it automatically highlights in the transcript. This gives you context and also allows for quick skimming in case you are pressed for time.

3. Join meetings virtually

You can autojoin Aira meetings from your calendar. As well, when on the move, you can simply join from your mobile phone or have the Aira attend the meeting for you.  

4. Action items

Aira scans meeting notes and generates a list of action items. You can make it easier for Aira to recognize action items by actually telling it to do so as the recording is going on.

Aira also automatically generates meeting minutes from the recordings.

In addition, with the auto mail function, you can also automatically email notes, minutes, and action items to all concerned parties.

5. Meeting analytics

You can make your meetings more efficient and productive in future by analyzing trends from your meetings.

6. Integrate into Zapier

Integration with CRM helps you to find and tap into new opportunities. It also allows your team members to execute their tasks with speed. For example, if a customer complains about slow customer service, a customer service rep can reach out with an apology or implement a speedier customer support system.

How your business will benefit from using Aira?

Introducing a conversational AI like Aira into your business has the following advantages:

  • You will save time

“67% of workers say spending too much time in meetings distracts them from doing their job” (Source: CNBC). If you are one of the many professionals who echo this sentiment, would you sign up for a demo with Aira if we told you that you can save up to 15% of the time you spend in meetings? I bet you would!

  • Collaborate better

CRM integration makes it easier for everyone to access account-relevant information from one platform.

As well, a shared archive for all meeting notes gives easy access to everyone.

  • 2X your Productivity

What happens when your attention is undivided during a meeting? You focus more, you pay more attention, and, ultimately, you increase your productivity.

  • Increase your sales

You can analyze the conversations from sales meetings and make better sales decisions. Aira promises up to 4x more sales.

  • Improve your ROI by up to 100 times more

When there’s 100% visibility into client data and when that data improves team collaboration and improves customer handling, you are bound to experience more revenue growth.

  • Have at your disposal a 100% accurate AI assistant 24/7.

If you need to confirm something, you don’t need to do any guess work or consult yours or teammates’ memories. Simply refer to past meetings. 

Bottom line: Who is Aira for?

As long as you need to schedule or conduct a meeting, you can use Aira regardless of your profession. For instance: 

  • Entrepreneurs running online businesses, small and medium-sized companies, can benefit from using conversational AI
  • HR companies can conduct online interviews and access those files later on.
  • Aira is also without a doubt a great addition for anyone in sales and IT, not to mention marketing and customer service. With Aira, you will get access to customer feedback, queries, and requests. You can use this information to tailor your offering to them.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Demo today and experience the transformation that comes with using conversational AI in your business!

Want To Be Productive? These 10 Traits Are Essential

traits of productive people

The more productive we are within any given day, the more success we will experience in our lives. Yet even armed with this knowledge, most of us still find it difficult to be productive on a continuous basis. Why is this?  Why is productivity so elusive?

You see, for most people, productivity is about working hard. It’s about staying busy and working way past your bedtime. Most people also create goals and then expecting that that simple act in itself will increase productivity.

While there’s nothing wrong with any of these things (for instance, you might need to put in extra hours from to time), achieving your daily work in this manner will only lead to burnout, hence unproductivity.

While a big part of productivity is about mastering your daily habits, it also helps if you are armed with the right technology. It is a fact, that technological advancements have helped people achieve more.

For example, there’s no need to put off meetings when you have Aira, an AI meeting platform that records meetings for you. This means that you can still attend to your daily tasks without needing to postpone any meetings.

That said, below are habits and traits of productive people that you need to develop to become more productive. Read on and learn.

10 traits of productive people you need to know:

1. Plan your day the night before

Here’s why:

  • You will eliminate decision fatigue. The very act of deciding what to work on consumes energy
  • You can sit down and immediately start working
  • There’s less likelihood of procrastination
  • You can better identify and eliminate distractions
  • You will eliminate last-minute surprises especially for activities such as meetings where people need to be notified in advance  

2. Personal organization

Personal organization is one of the most important traits of productive people possess.

From your desk to your desktop, your workspace, and even your home, being highly organized will spill over into your work. For instance, how you name your files and folders will determine how much time you spend trying to locate them. Make use of productivity software that can manage your tasks. On the other hand, if your folders and files are disorganized, you will waste time searching through your computer whenever you need them.

  • Name your files and folders properly
  • Stay organized with a calendar and reminders
  • Plan a to-do list for each day

3. Accept that some tasks are not so important

to do list

Have you spent the whole day working yet cannot account for what exactly you have accomplished?

This could be because you probably spent your day doing busy work. You might have many things on your to do list every day but not all those things are important.

To be productive, you need to figure out which tasks are important and which ones aren’t. If a task isn’t moving you towards your goal, it may very well be a trivial task.

  • Plan your tasks for each day (each task is a small part of your goal and should get you closer to your goal)
  • Set priorities for each day
  • Accomplish those priorities
  • Manage your time more efficiently (don’t waste time)

As you try on this approach, remember to “minimize”. A goal is big. On the other hand, a task is small. A subtask is even smaller. Stay focused on your tasks and subtasks and you will meet the goal.

4. Get back on track quickly when distracted

Things don’t always go as planned. A team member may need your assistance, a customer may make an impromptu visit, your boss might pull you into an unscheduled meeting, etcetera.

When such things happen, don’t allow them to derail your entire day. Instead, quickly attend to the distraction and then get back to work.

5. Delegate 

Remember the list of trivial things we mentioned above? Sometimes, a task that is not so important to you might be important to another team member.

If it makes more sense that a task should be performed by someone else, talk to that person so that you can spend your energy where it matters the most.

6. Become a problem solver

If you find yourself being unproductive, take a step back and do this:

  • Audit your day. What behaviors caused you to be unproductive? Did you for instance start your day late, or fail to plan your day, or get distracted?
  • Decide the steps to take to fix the behavior. For instance, go to bed an hour earlier so that you get enough sleep, or plan to do your most important tasks first thing in the morning when you are unlikely to get distracted

The last thing you want to do when you are unproductive is to beat yourself up about it. Shaming yourself into action will only cause you to feel a lot worse about yourself. Instead, take a problem-solving approach to unproductivity.

7. Accept when you aren’t well equipped

learn new things

Do you have all the traits of productive people? How good are those tools at doing what you need them to do? Does your workspace support productivity?

The same goes for people. Have you surrounded yourself with a team of people that are highly skilled and qualified to do their jobs?

Audit yourself to zero-in on the areas that need improvement.

Don’t be afraid of making changes. Instead of focusing on how much it might cost you, focus on the gains.

For instance, you might find that while hiring a virtual assistant will increase your overheads, the resulting revenue benefit (as a result of your increased productivity) justifies the spend.

8. Avoid perfectionism

You may walk away from a task you are working on, but there is no guarantee that you will feel like doing it later.

The most productive people stick to a task until they complete it. Perfectionism is one of the main factors behind an inability to complete tasks.

Instead of focusing on working everything to perfection all the time, focus instead on delivering the most viable product (MVP).

That is however not to say that you shouldn’t do your tasks to perfection. No. What we are saying is that if you find yourself experiencing performance paralysis, work on creating a draft first and then improving on it from there.

9. Be accountable

Productive people do not engage in blame games. Instead, they appreciate their own humanity and accept that they, just like others, can sometimes fail. They also adopt an “all’s not lost” attitude; just because something goes wrong doesn’t mean that nothing good happened.

Therefore, applaud yourself for doing well today and strive to do better tomorrow. If you fell short in some areas, take responsibility.

10. Invest in yourself

It’s always good to look back at the day you have had so as to objectively identify areas where you need to improve. Once you find those areas, invest accordingly in skills, tools, etcetera.

Investing might even mean taking some time off. Whatever you do, your investment should contribute to increased drive and motivation.

Conclusion

There you have it!

If you have been going through a period of unproductivity, honing these habits in yourself will give you great results in your work. You might even be surprised to find some of the benefits you experience at work trickling into your personal life. Try these 10 traits of productive people and let us know how they work out for you.

How To Surpass The 80/20 Sales Rule For More Sales Profit

80/20 sales rule

80/20 sales rule is one of the most rewarding principles of life, business, and time management. The Pareto Principle rule suggests that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your activities. The valuable principle is a challenge to goal setting, highlighting the need to reconsider priorities for success.

The 80/ 20 sales rule means that most of your sales, come from twenty percent of your customers, products, sales strategies, and salespeople. This leaves a massive room for improvement in lead generation, customer management, and sales team communication.

You can improve business profitability by leveraging the 80/20 rule to improve problem solving. By leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence-powered tools like Aira, your sales team can, for instance, hold highly productive meetings, increasing problem solving and idea generation.

Through robust customer management platforms, they can zero in on the most viable sales leads. This process minimizes time wasted on customers least likely to make a purchase and cuts down on expenses. Below are the ways that you can surpass the 80/20 sales rule for more profit in sales.


1. Improve problem solving and idea generation

The sales meeting is the nerve center of all sales operations. Unfortunately, like most meetings, they have become a necessary evil. These forums should be a source of motivation and inspiration for the sales team. They have instead become part of the eighty percent of efforts that bring in little or no reward at all.

Did you know that 71% of meetings are meaningless and are only held because “this is the way we do things”? Over 65% of senior managers say that meetings keep them from realizing their goals. 64% of them say that a meeting often stands in the way of deep thinking.

That said, 62% of senior managers realize that meetings hold massive potential for the sales team. To improve sales, hold a productive meeting that leads to collaboration and sales ideas generation. To achieve this goal, follow the tips below.

  • Ensure that your meeting is a necessity. Avoid redundancy by making sure that you only hold meetings for challenges that require upwards of ten minutes to solve. If you can answer a question, resolve a problem, or access information in a few minutes, hold a one-to-one chat instead with your salesperson. If your meeting is not helpful to the sale steam, then you are wasting precious time on the meaningless effort.
  • Plan and prepare an agenda for your sales meeting. Your sales meeting should focus on sales activities, data, and feedback. As part of your agenda, start the meeting by celebrating your successes. Are there new customers or accounts? Is there progress on your targets or improvement on your bottom line? Celebrate the wins and then get to uncovering obstacles or insights on prospects.
  • Study your data and that of your competition and optimize your sales strategies. Focus on quality leads and nurture them to turn them to loyal paying customers for higher customer lifetime value. Use virtual assistants such as Aira to take meeting notes and transcriptions. After the meeting, Aira will share all action items with the sales team to preserve accuracy, encourage collaboration and accountability.


2. Trim your costs

If the vast majority of your sales strategies and salespeople produce a fraction of your top performers’ efforts, then your business is not self-sustaining. Eventually, you will run out of good money to throw at bad. Your top performers produce eighty percent of your results because they have honed vital sales skills.

They know how to ask reflective questions that uncover pain points from customers. Second, winning salespeople are naturally good at it. Data shows that 55% of salespeople could excel in doing something else besides sales. More revealing research shows that another 25% of sales professionals can become top performers while selling a different product or service.

This means that at least half of your sales team comprises unfulfilled individuals who only got the offer because they excelled in an interview. Interviews provide useful subjective data, but you need objective information to get the right hires.

Have specialized sales assessments that pinpoint sales talent. If you have team members least suited to sales, shuffle them to areas in your business, where their talents can shine. If you do not have open alternative roles, encourage them to re-enter the job market with the newfound interests and talent knowledge so they can succeed in their careers.

These tests can also pinpoint areas that talented salespeople need to work on for success. Sieve your bloated sales team and cut down on the redundant eighty percent to minimize HR, sales, and space costs.


Conclusion

In 1895, the principle’s founder, Vilfredo Pareto, noted that society has a two-way division. On one side are the successful “vital few” and at the bottom of the pyramid are the “trivial many”. In time, Pareto noted that the wealth of his country was in the hands of the elite 20% of the population. Leverage the 80/20 sales rule to reap more from your workforce, budgets, and products using the tips above.

Image credits: Unsplash.com

How Remote Workers Can Work More Efficiently

work more efficiently

The ongoing global pandemic is a remote workers boom. Sharing workspaces with children home from school requires a tough balancing act. But, despite this shortcoming, 59% of workers say that would like to extend their work-from-home schedule.

86% of workers say that they are more productive working remotely since they experience fewer interruptions than they do when working centrally. That said, there is an immense need to extend remote work comfort levels via technology. Over 50.6% of remote workers have had their productivity challenged by factors such as virtual meeting snafus.

39.6% of these employees cite virtual meeting communication problems as a major pickle. Artificial intelligence meeting assistants like Aira, for instance, can make the unproductive zoom meeting dilemma a thing of the past. Below are some of the tips that will help you work more efficiently.


1. Hold regular productive meetings

One major drawback of working from home is the severed physical connection between workers. Over 70% of remote workers say that fostering healthy relationships with their peers is as important as their jobs are. The average employee spends over a third of their life at work. That means that relationships between co-workers are a vital component of well-being.

High levels of job satisfaction go hand in hand with relationships and engagement at work. Virtual meetings can help increase engagement and foster relationships amongst work from home workers. You should have regular check-ins and one-on-ones between supervisors and employees to iron out any differences and challenges.

These meetings can tackle problems head-on, encourage creativity, and boost the camaraderie on your team. A one-on-one chat between a manager and his employee is an excellent opportunity to check on the worker’s mental health in the absence of the physical wellness meeting.

Virtual meeting assistant tools such as Aira can simplify the meeting note-taking process by logging into your virtual meeting and taking notes. Aira will free every meeting participant, allowing them to focus on the matters at hand.

She will take meeting notes, transcribe the whole meeting session, and highlight the action items. After the meeting, this handy tool will upload all the notes and transcripts in a central location to encourage follow up, problem-solving, and collaboration.

2. Streamline collaboration channels

While contact is essential between remote workers, disorganized contact can be a distraction. In the office, workers spend a lot of time mulling over non-work issues, lowering productivity. Remote work lessens this form of distraction but opens a can of worms in collaboration.

Your employees could easily miss their tasks and remain out of sync with the business’s objectives because of a lack of feedback and collaboration channels. To keep your co-workers focused on the big issue, have an efficient project management platform in place. It will increase productivity on projects, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the team’s workload.

A robust project management tool will help assign and organize your worker’s projects and tasks. If there is a need to reshuffle the responsibilities, you can do it with the click of a mouse. Have the best platform at hand for seamless time tracking, invoicing, billing, and task list creation.

3. Take a break

A remote worker does not have to deal with exhausting commutes, to and from work. In the absence of the daily commute, the employee lifestyle becomes more flexible, allowing them to lead a healthier life. Unfortunately, the work from home arrangement can wreck the work-life balance of an employee.

While the remote worker is more productive working away from the office, they are also more stressed out. 29% of remote workers say their work-life balance is out of order, while 54% of them feel more stressed. In contrast, 23% of office workers struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance while 40% of them feel overly stressed.

To lessen the anxiety that accompanies the remote working experience, employees need to learn how to unwind by taking breaks. Data shows that workers that take brief breaks between tasks are less stressed out. Longer breaks will enhance output.

A remote worker should get up from their workstation and take a walk or grab a snack when they free most distracted or strained. Alternatively, they can meditate, or call a friend to ease the tension. Encourage your workers to try out the Pomodoro Technique to enhance productivity through its simple six-step method shown below:

  1. Select a task
  2. Focus on the task for 25 minutes
  3. Have a sheet of paper at hand and put a checkmark on it, after your 25 minutes are up
  4. Go on a five-minute break to wind up a Pomodoro sprint
  5. Repeat this process three more times
  6. Take a long break after four sprints for the rest of your working hours


Conclusion

 Employers are embracing the work from home setting and expect three times more work from home arrangements than they had before the COVID-19 pandemic. While news channels love to hype the narrative of struggling parents working from home, the reality supported by data is quite different. Working from home has its perks. The tips above can streamline remote work, increasing its productivity.

10 Benefits of Artificial Intelligence You Didn’t Know Before

benefits of artificial intelligence

AI refers to a computer system that is trained to perform tasks with human-like abilities, especially cognitive abilities. The training process includes repetitive exposure to the same elements until the computer can recognize and recall those elements in future. As the computer learns, it also acquires the ability to self-correct and reason. That’s a simple example of the benefits of artificial intelligence.

The AI market is still growing. Predictions show that by 2026, demand for AI will reach over $300 billion. According to a voice and speech recognition trends report from Grand view Research, a big driver of this growth is voice and speech recognition, which is expected to grow by 17.2% annually until 2025.

The growth of voice and speech recognition software is already evident in products such as Alexa (Amazon devices), Siri (Apple devices), Cortana (Microsoft) and Google Assistant (Android). There has also been a remarkable attempt by new brands to curve their space alongside these big players. A good example is Aira, an AI assistant that has transformed the online meeting space with its intuitive note taking and minute taking ability.  


What are the benefits of Artificial Intelligence?

The true benefits of Artificial Intelligence are realized when it can make human work easier or more efficient. For example, some AI can find insights in large bodies of data within mere minutes. Such a task would take a human being many hours, or even days to accomplish. In addition, in a factory, AI can automate repetitive tasks that usually take hours to complete.

Note that in a business, AI is not created to replace humans, but to support them in their daily functions. As a result, your company will notice these improvements:  

  • Reduced cost of business
  • Speedy and more efficient workflows
  • Higher sales conversions
  • Faster hiring processes
  • Highly accurate and improved recommender system
  • Better revenue and profits


Let’s expound on these and more benefits of artificial intelligence implementation below:

10 benefits of Artificial Intelligence you didn’t know about

1. Automating workflows

30% of activities in 60% of occupations can be automated. This is according to a 2017 study conducted by Mckinsey. Since AI can automate tasks, integrating a personal assistant into your business will help you streamline some of your activities.

With the market for workflow management systems expected to grow to $9.9 billion by 2021, AI will play a crucial part in realizing these predicted numbers, by driving more productivity in:

  • Main business functions such as sales, marketing, customer service, HR, production, supply chain management
  • Project management

2. Time management both at office and personal level

Top executives in a company usually have a personal assistant to handle administrative tasks for them. For other employees, the burden of having to worry about scheduling meetings, arranging travel, following up on client correspondence, etc., can get in the way of daily productivity.

AI can help businesses optimize their time by automating such tasks. With tools such as Cortana, Siri, Aira, among others, you can automate tasks such as:

  • Emailing 
  • Meeting management
  • Note taking
  • Planning business travel and accommodation

3. Meeting scheduling

Image credits: Pixabay.com

Meeting scheduling can take up a lot of an employee’s time. Done manually, scheduling a meeting takes a lot of coordination and planning. The back and forth emailing involved to make one meeting happen can overwhelm employees’ inboxes and also waste a lot of time.

This is yet another area that Aira excels in, as it takes the hustle out of meeting management by syncing calendars and automatically scheduling meetings based on team members’ availability.

4. Enterprise assistant

You have probably heard of Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant. What you may not know is that besides the core functionalities that are inbuilt into Cortana, Microsoft has a skills kit that can enable you to program Cortana to perform company-specific tasks.

The Cortana skills kit was released during a conference in 2018. Prior to its release, the team at Microsoft trained Cortana to create tickets for employees whose computers were experiencing system difficulties, and then file those tickets to a human assistant to assist. Although that is just one skill, it is a clear indication of the possibilities for trainable AI. You can train Cortana to assist you in your work, no matter the industry you work in. Cortana can for instance:

  • Send texts and emails
  • Find places and information
  • Send you reminders
  • Manage your lists and calendar
  • Open and run aps
  • Track orders and packages
  • Track flights

You can also use Alexa to perform most of these tasks.

5. Arrange travel

If you or your team constantly need to travel, an AI app that automates flight and hotel bookings is sure to be a time saver.

In addition to Cortana which we have mentioned above, Mezi is a great example of how AI can help you with travel arrangements. Such AI utilizes chatbots to automate mundane travel arrangement tasks, leaving you to handle only the most important transactions.

6. Improving sales  

AI for Sales
Image credits: Pexels.com

A study conducted by Gartner in 2018 found that by 2020, 30% of b2b companies will make use of AI to boost some of their sales processes. In addition, 25% of customer service processes will integrate chatbots or virtual assistants.

The benefits of Artificial Intelligence adoption in business functions are evident. Some of them include:

  • AI can boost lead conversion rate by 30% (Gartner)
  • AI use in sales results in 50% increase in leads, reduces costs by up to 60% and call times by up to 70% (Harvard Business Review )
  • 63% of a salesperson time is spent on non-selling activities. AI can positively improve sales by automating this time. (resourcefulSelling.com)

There are quite a number of AI assistants in the sales space such as Conversica, Exceed, Drift, Node, Sales Force’s Einstein, among others.

7. Handling the recruitment process

Companies spend an average of $4000 to recruit a new employee. In addition, you lose up to 33% of an employee’s annual pay whenever they leave. Given these high costs, you want to avoid hiring mistakes as much as possible.

However, the tasks involved in recruiting candidates can be quite involving. For instance, every application received has to be read and screened. As such, mistakes are bound to happen, resulting in wrong hires.

AI assistants such as Mya reduce recruitment friction by cross-referencing resumes against job descriptions to find the most suitable candidates. You can also use the AI app to schedule interviews, create interview questions and shortlist candidates.

8. Improve customer response time with chatbots

Chatbot
Image credits: Pexels.com

Customers value fast response time when dealing with a business. A sure way to guarantee this is by using chatbots. Chatbots

  • Keep business going after official working hours
  • They respond to simple queries that don’t need live staff
  • They manage expectations by acknowledging that a query has been noted and will receive attention

As with most technologies, chatbot adoption was a little slow at first; people just weren’t comfortable talking to a machine. More so, first generation chatbots were simple platforms.

Today’s chatbots however are more sophisticated, conversational AI that help to

  • Streamline enterprise activities,
  • Hence boost employee productivity, and
  • Improve customer engagement

Not only can you integrate chatbots into your website, but you can also use twitter’s and Facebook’s AI assistants to improve customer handling on those platforms.  Your developers can actually create AI chatbots on Facebook’s platform design kit  and twitter’s API platform, and personalize them to suit your brand.

9. Create opportunities for personalization

Marketers experience a 20% increase in sales performance when they offer a personalized experience. In the same vein, 40% of customers are likely to buy from a brand that sends them personalized content. (Source: Instapage)

To personalize, you need to understand your customers’ needs and then target them with offers that will resonate with their position in the buyer’s journey. This needs time, money and expertise, which may be challenging for a business operating on a small budget. AI can simplify this process by analyzing data from different touchpoints and

  • Segment your customers,
  • Predict customer intent, hence,
  • Target customers with the right content and offers.

10. Forecasting 

Forecasts are a normal part of an organization’s planning process. Companies use forecasting tools to make decisions regarding

  • Inventory levels
  • Product demand
  • New product development
  • Purchase of raw requirements
  • Economics such as profitability, inflation and interest

Forecasts are critical to the long term health of a business. The process therefore has to incorporate all key information sets. More so, forecasting must be conducted in a timely and efficient manner. That is where AI systems such as neural nets and Bayes networks come in.

With Neural nets for instance, you can look for relationships in data using human-like cognitive processes such as pattern recognition. Tasks such as forecasting employee turnover based on data parameters such as pay, education level, attendance, job level, use neural nets.


Conclusion

As you can see, the use cases for artificial intelligence in business are many, and the benefits of artificial intelligence are endless. As AI continues to develop, it will inevitably converge with other areas of life. As a business, you want to be at the forefront of this curve so that you harness the limitless technological possibilities that are sure to come with an AI-led business world.

How To Write Effective Board Meeting Minutes

board meeting minutes

The board meeting is an important business meeting, which brings together an organization’s directors. In their capacity as the overseers of a business entity, directors will come together in a board meeting with board meeting minutes for strategic deliberations.

This forum helps them to review the organization’s past performance. They will then endorse any new plan of action and issue guidelines for the support of various growth initiatives. The chairperson of the board presides over the board meeting while the secretary writes the minutes. So how can a secretary of the board write effective board meeting minutes?

Make adequate preparations for the meeting

First, you need to develop a meeting agenda and then distribute it to the directors. Artificial intelligence-powered meeting assistant tools such as Aira can ease sharing your meeting agenda with your directors.

Aira helps not only in the minute writing process but can transcribe your board meeting. It will automatically join your online meetings, listen in, and list all action items. It will then send your board meeting minutes to all your directors at the end of the meeting.

Why is the agenda so important? Most meetings cannot meet their objectives because of poor preparation. To ensure that the boardroom does not fall into chaos during a meeting, sufficient groundwork is vital. First, you need to understand that your directors are a “brain trust”.

They make some of the most challenging decisions for the best interest of your business. To meet this need, they have to have access to all information. They need to be in tune with the meeting’s agenda before D-day.

Prepare the agenda document early so you have enough time to share it with the stakeholders for feedback. The basics of an agenda should include:

  • The meeting starting and stopping time
  • The names of the participants
  • The location of the meeting
  • The objective of the meeting, the topics of discussion, and the outcomes that the directors should expect

The final agenda document should have topics in order of importance. All topics should have key points and allocate time for each discussion for time management. The agenda should also outline all the material that the participants need to review before the meeting kicks off.

Enlist their roles and responsibilities in the meeting to keep your minute writing task as smooth as possible.

meeting-preparation

Use the agenda to write the board meeting minutes

With your agenda at hand, writing effective board meeting minutes will be a walk in the park. You can use the meeting agenda as a template to make the process as straightforward as possible. The secretary should take the meeting minutes as per the format that the board approves.

To ensure that your method of taking notes is consistent with that of the board, review any past minutes for confirmation. One good tip to apply when writing board meeting minutes is the use of an objective voice. 

Avoid being caught up in contentious votes or controversies. Avoid arguments and debates that crop up by sticking to the facts. Follow the agenda’s principal topics and document their discussions as the meeting progresses.

Second, remember that board-meeting minutes are legal documents. They can act as official proof of a meeting and its deliberations. You should therefore note important details such as:

  • The time, date, and venue of the board meeting
  • All attendees in attendance, their titles, and rationale for being part of the forum
  • A write up of all motions and the seconds and the outcome
  • The director’s decisions and focus

Write meeting minutes that capture the meeting’s events to keep the organization safe from any liability that scant minutes can cause. To make board meeting minute writing more manageable use Aira. This AI meeting assistant is not only a powerful minute taking and transcription tool, but is great for scheduling too.

It will help in the setup of your meeting and share your meeting’s agenda before the meeting to ease the minute writing process for you.

Aira
Aira

Post-meeting analysis

After the meeting, go through the meeting minutes, reviewing the agenda. Using Aira’s records of the meeting, add any notes that can enhance clarification to the topic and agenda. Go through the director’s votes, motions and actions, and review the decisions noted down for clarity.

Make sure that the official record of the meeting is clear, to the point, and legible. Where possible, affix the documents and handouts that were part of the director’s discussions.

Sign, file, and share the minutes

The board meeting minutes are still not official documents of the organization until the board secretary has his signature on them. Some companies may also require the president’s signature on the minutes.

The best practice is to review your organization’s policies, protocols, and bylaws regarding signatures. Share the official board meeting minutes with all directors. A meeting assistant tool like Aira is best suited for sharing minutes and any action points.

Conclusion

The purpose of the board meeting minutes is to display the director’s intentions in a legal and official document. This makes the need to write effective board meeting notes a critical business need. Use the tips above to document the proceedings of the board. Enhance the minute writing process using the best artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.

How To Extract Minutes From Google Meet With AIRA

extract minutes from Google Meet

Zoom’s quick rise from obscurity to international stardom has been the talk of the year. A conspicuous move, it has caught the eye of rivals like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Consequently, all virtual meeting apps are responding to Zoom’s meteoritic rise in various ways.

Google is also cashing into the year’s vast online meeting, yoga classes, and birthday party needs. It is tapping into the online get-together space using Google Meet. An enterprise-only product, it is now free to all Google account owners.

This makes Google Meet a perfect meeting tool for businesses. Leverage the power of artificial intelligence meeting tools like Aira for productivity, and you have the perfect meeting setup. Unlike Zoom, Google Meet is free from privacy and security concerns. 

This app will support a free hour of meeting time for a minimum of 100 people. Its view displays sixteen meeting participants. To enhance security, your team members will need to log in to Google to join your meeting.

No Zoom like invite links. This way, the hosts have total control of the meeting’s privacy. Goodbye Zoombombing. Additionally, you can join a Meet meeting via a calendar invite. If you do not have one, the app will take you to a green room, until the host allows you in.

Google Online Meeting might soon become a more popular online meeting app for businesses. This begs the question; can you draw meeting minutes from the meeting platform?

How to extract minutes from Google Meet

Image credits: unsplash.com

Video conferencing tools have become a critical part of everyday life. For this reason, businesses need to make the content that their employees create within them easily accessible. Schools, on the other hand, have to ensure that students, teachers, parents, and the authorities can review these items at the drop of a hat.

Any person without a video or internet connection should access Meet’s transcriptions. You can put your Meet content in writing by allowing your app’s advanced features to record the meeting. The G Suite or Google Workspace members can record all meetings through the process below:

  1. Start the meeting and go to the screen’s right-hand side. You will see three vertical dots. Click on them.
  2. A few settings features will pop up. Choose “Record Meeting”
  3. The app will ask you to consent to the recording. Follow its instructions and accept.
  4. A “REC” red rectangle will appear on your screen’s top left. This is a sign the Meet is recording your app.
  5. When the meeting is over, go back to the right-hand side and click on the three dots.
  6. Select “Stop Recording” from the menu
  7. The app will save the recorded content to Google Drive
  8. Google Meet will inform all meeting members when a session is recording.
  9. To transcribe your meeting minutes, you can either listen in and type or pay for transcription services.
  10. To reproduce your recordings in writing, upload your files to a transcription app of choice
  11. Set up all the in-app parameters
  12. Check out and wind up the order
  13. Review and download your transcripts

Google Meet
Google Meet

Extract minutes from Google Meet with AIRA

Aira is an intelligent meeting assistant that will manage all your business’s web meeting needs. Powered by AI and machine learning algorithms, Aira will write meeting notes and capture action items. She can intelligently pick up a meeting’s keywords and can join a meeting automatically.

All she needs to arrive on time, every time, is access to your calendar app. Aira also records all the meetings she is in attendance. Need transcription services? No problem, leave it to Aira. She integrates with amongst other tools, Gmail.

Accessing meeting notes via third party transcription services is not a seamless process. Aira can make this process straightforward in both Google Meet and Zoom. Synchronize your Meet’s recordings to Aira and she will automatically extract meeting notes from them.

Aira
Aira

Why should you extract meeting minutes from Meets using Aira?

  • To enhance collaboration

If any of your meeting members misses the meeting, they will receive the meeting minutes to keep them up to date. They will not need to scroll through the whole recording for enlightenment.

  • To save time

Minutes are more digestible and allow their readers to quickly zone in on matters that concern them the most.

  • For multipurpose use

You can send the meeting minutes to all stakeholders to keep them up to date. The error-free notes can also work as training or educational content.

  • Accountability

Meeting minutes keeps every meeting member accountable. Aira intelligently highlights action items for review before and during the next meeting.

Conclusion

Google Meet is not a new kid on the block. It has been there for ages, under its old title; Hangouts Meet. In the past, Google only lets in educational and enterprise users. The American multinational tech firm has now made Google Meet free for Google account owners. Use it alongside intelligent meeting assistants to enhance productivity and collaboration.

Image credits: Unsplash.com

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