INCREASED TELEWORK CREATES NEED FOR VIRTUAL SALES ABILITY
What if they re-opened the office and nobody came? While things may not yet be that extreme, it is becoming more and more obvious that widespread telework is here to stay. With it comes the need for contractors to be able to master on-line teleconference and webinar platforms in order to market and sell effectively. Comments from two federal Chief Information Officers show that their workers are at least as productive when working at home vs. the office. Agriculture CIO Gary Washington was quoted in Federal Times recently saying, “We are preparing for a different kind of work environment. “We will see what that is, but we have proven that it is possible to support” telework on a larger scale.Contractor workforces will have to become similarly productive. Being able to deliver the same message and sense of urgency in a virtual setting that has been delivered in person is essential. Contractors should consider changing training and education plans now to incorporate “virtual selling”. This not only means increased use of and expertise with collaboration tools, but ensuring that a contractor’s own workforce remains productive when teleworking. It is way too premature to say that we will be in a virtual work world in perpetuity. People still need to interact in physical spaces and some work cannot be done remotely. Still, making sure that you can reach your federal customer wherever they are working is essential. Contractors should be thinking about such approaches now as part of their strategic, and not just tactical, planning.