Tuesday, 26. November 2019 | by: Laura Nickolay | Exhibit Team
Our world of work is changing from an industrial to a knowledge society. There are many reasons for this, including digitalisation, globalisation and demographic change. As a result, new forms of work are emerging, also known as "new work". These new ways of working are also intended to satisfy employee ́s demand for more flexibility. The term covers some trends that are increasingly attracting attention, such as the 4-day week, the 6-hour day and job-sharing models. Part of this movement is also the tendency towards agile work, which is currently on everyone's lips and is intended to offer the company more flexibility.
Speed and adaptability
One of the most common explanations of agile work may be associated with this first two aspects. Agility therefore means being able to react quickly to changes and adapt them. In detail, this includes that the company can make decisions quickly and implement them promptly.
Another aspect is the customer satisfaction, which results in some way from the upper points. Customer satisfaction increases through faster decisions and shorter distances, because customer wishes can be responded to more quickly. In addition, fewer iterations mean that innovations are implemented in a shorter time and the customers' actual problems can be solved more quickly. The innovation teams can be made up of various disciplines and can even work together with customers to achieve a high level of customer orientation.
The last aspect is the agile attitude or an agile mindset of the participants. This is understood to mean a respectful interaction with each other, the transfer of responsibility from managers as well as openness and transparency. The employees who work agile are therefore open to new types of work and see the advantages in teamwork and reduced hierarchies. This condition must be given or at least develop, so that agile working becomes a success. Because agile work demands a high degree of self-organization and self-management from the employees.
Especially in large companies, a transformation to agility can be difficult due to rigid hierarchies, structures and processes. Adapting to new circumstances can take a lot of time. But also corporations can become agile. As expected, Google serves as a good example here. At Google, there are as many as 450 employees who encourage the development of innovation by considering strategies to create a creative work environment. But not only pioneers like Google have been agile. Traditional companies like Villeroy & Boch are also more flexible. For example, the company cooperates with many other companies to develop innovations together. In coperation with an electronics company, it has engineered a loudspeaker housing made of ceramic.
Agility, however, poses a challenge for many companies, since existing structures have to be changed. One might ask oneself whether it is worth the effort or whether agility is just a trend that will soon flatten out again. If there weren't this many good reasons.
"To be successful today, you have to be adaptable and constantly rethink, revive, respond and reinvent."
This is also shown in a study by goetzpartners. The most agile companies in an industry are 2.7 times as successful as their competitors. This shows that agility offers a great competitive advantage in a changing business environment. The right question is therefore not whether a company should become agile, but how it can achieve this.
However, it should be noted that agility does not make sense in all business areas. In production, fixed work processes and responsibilities are appropriate in order not to sink into chaos and ultimately not to be put at a competitive disadvantage. In management, marketing or development this is something different, because agility can lead to more creative solutions. In general, there is not one approach that works for all companies, but each company should find its own solution.
Reduced development time
Another advantage is that agile companies can react more quickly to changing competitive conditions. Interdisciplinary teams enable solutions to be found more quickly and the small hierarchies mean that decisions can be made in less time. This reduces wasted time and development times can be shortened.
Therefore agile companies can be ahead of the competition in product development.
Increased customer satisfaction
As already explained in the description of agility, agility can lead to greater customer satisfaction, since customer wishes can be responded to more quickly. Especially the cooperation with the customers brings a big advantage, which should be used. HILTI, for example, has done this and, together with its end customers, has further developed the product portfolio and created new products. This also results in a higher acceptance of the solutions, as agile teams work closer to the customer and therefore better understand customer requirements.
Stronger sense of team spirit
In addition, through increased teamwork and the assumption of responsibility by the entire group, a greater sense of togetherness can develop. By working towards a tangible common goal, employees also need to reflect more on themselves, growing personally and showing greater commitment.
Even if it doesn't seem to fit into today's times in terms of personal contact, trade fairs still have clear advantages that will qualify them as a useful marketing instrument in the future. But now the question arises, how can trade fairs become more agile?
Cooperation between sales and marketing in trade fair planning
There is quite a lot of cooperation between the marketing and sales departments when it comes to holding trade fairs. In preparation, the marketing department arranges the arrival and departure, which materials are needed on site and designs the stand for the trade fair. The input of the sales department is very helpful, especially when designing the stand and creating information material, because it is always in contact with the customers and can best assess what is expected. So why don't you organize the next trade fair in an agile team of marketing and sales people and talk to one or two regular customers about meaningful content?
Cooperation between sales and marketing during the fair
Members of both departments will be present during the fair. A division of labour that flexibly adapts to the respective customer interests can make sense. For example, the marketing department can hold a pre-qualification session to find out which topics are of interest to the lead. Then the right sales
representative who is most familiar with the topic is assigned. Alternatively, an assignment can take place, according to customer size, so that the key account manager, for example, can take over the large and promising customers.
Faster trade fair follow-up
Follow-up to the trade fair also has the potential to become more agile. In many companies, post-processing is a long, relatively rigid process, since paper-based lead capture requires the leads to be digitized first. This process can take up to two weeks and that's how long it takes for the sales team to process the contacts. As a result, the sales team lacks a great deal of flexibility in post-processing. If, however, a digital tool is used for the recording, the post-processing can be more agile, depending on the customer's wishes. The sales employee is then flexible in deciding which customers are to be addressed and when, so he does not have to follow the completed process of the marketing department. In the sense of agility, it is useful to adapt the Follow Up Mail to the customer's request and to send a personalized Follow Up. Fanomena Leads is a provider that combines both digital capturing and personalized Follow Up. The follow-up can be created by the marketing department in collaboration with the sales department before the fair and the sales department can start the follow-up on the day of the fair. As a rule, the follow-up is recommended to take place within the first 24 hours, as the relevance for the customer decreases with time.
Article from Fanomena Leads
About Laura Nickolay
Laura Nickolay is Content Manager at Fanomena Leads since October 2019. Here she is responsible for the company blog, which deals with all aspects of trade fair presence and lead management. The solution of Fanomena Leads simplifies the lead entry at trade fairs and accelerates the individual trade fair follow-up.
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