Millennials & Workplace Texting: the sales force of the BYOD age
In 2013, Millennials didn’t make up 30% of our workforce like they do today. In fact, it wasn’t until the first quarter of 2015 that Millennials surpassed the now retiring Baby Boomers.
Although sales leaders at many companies have managed the communication between an enterprise’s outside sales force and inside sales force, workplace texting is largely unsupervised.
Increasingly, Chief Sales Officers must also answer to senior leaders’ questions about the security risks associated with the inside sales teams’ use of personal devices, coupled with the organization’s inability to reimburse its inside sales team for for their cell phone plans.
After reading the following, you will develop an “Aggressive Security Posture” for the inside sales teams’ use of their personal devices, and you will also learn how to tap into the company’s Wireless Expense Management Cost Structure for added value with the inside sales organization.
Inside sales should stay within a BYOD program
First thing, the rewards of a “Bring Your Own Device” policy implemented by the CIO of your company far outweigh the known “risk” of a security breach to the enterprise in 2013. Gartner and Cisco provided some indications of how many companies would make the option available to their employees and what our expectations should be for mobile devices in the workplace:
- 38% of companies expect to cease providing devices to workers by 2016. 2013 Gartner CIO Survey reported
- BYOD devices will soar by 105% between 2013 and 2016. Cisco IBSG 2013
In Elise Ackerman’s, Calculating The True Cost Of BYOD on Forbes, she took a very complex conversation happening in global companies, and boiled it down to one favorable measurement that created the flux that was needed by IT to shift the organization to a BYOD program. Elise’s research in a BYOD program uncovered a cost savings of as much as $3,150 per employee per year. Within the sales organization, determining who would become a part of the company’s BYOD program was very easy. In IT, sales roles in the organization are broken down into two buckets.
- Outside sales have predominantly been in the First Bucket, and they participate in the company’s cell phone program. Outside sales has been able to remain a part of the Wireless Expense Structure because they belong to what IT calls “field services”.
- Inside sales exists in the second bucket, and they do not participate in the company’s cell phone program. Inside sales has a desk phone and typically works in what IT calls the “Back Office”.
To participate in the company’s cell phone program, Outside sales is required to participates in what is known as a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Program. On each phone of an outside sales representative is a security protocol that protects the company when the phone is in use during email and electronic messaging.Things like email and other enterprise apps are governed and controlled on the devices to ensure that there are no security threats.
“Aggressive Security Posture” for Inside Sales
The Society for Human Resource Management published the recommended policy for enterprise BYOD programs. SHRM’s recommendation was to have all employees who use their own phones at work sign up for the company’s MDM program. By following SHRM’s recommendations as sales leaders, we should have been able to adopt a proven “Aggressive Security Posture” for our inside sales team by leveraging the MDM program. In 2013, this would have been the right answer for senior leaders who question the security risks of the inside sales teams’ use of their personal phones.
Considerations of the Millennial Generation
Asking Millennials to download an MDM on their phones so that you can secure their conversations is considered an invasion of privacy and, like everything else, it is under extreme scrutiny by this generation. Even if they agreed to download the MDM onto their personal devices, 12% of Millennials between the ages of 18 to 34 are participating in a family cellphone plan which is managed and paid for by their parents. So who are we really asking permission to take over the security protocol of the phone, the employee or their dad/mom?
“Capturing & Protecting” the benefits of sales texting
Doing a deep dive on security protocol as a sales leader is not, and should not, be a priority. We do, however, need to know the risks and have a plan in place that can help manage those risks. Killing texting between the reps in the field and in the office will ultimately kill the revenue gains we see from removing the latency of email, and we will also be killing those soft wins like:
- sharing relevant content between the sales reps in the field
- prepping meetings onsite with collaboration and tribal knowledge via sms
- time savings from removing admin and paper processes
- social selling strategies on Linkedin & Twitter
Secure messaging for outside sales and inside sales?
There are many applications that sales representatives are already using, such as messaging applications. As sales leaders we are looking for mobile-first applications that use encryption for its teams. Messaging applications like WhatsApp are already being used by sales reps. The issue here is that they are not secure and do not fit into the MDM model.
Lua is a leading messaging app that is also being used by sales representatives. Lua is the preferred messaging tool by MDM providers like VMware’s Airwatch and Citrix’s Xenmobile. Outside sales can use Lua on their devices through MDM providers. Inside sales can also leverage Lua in the app store, and because Lua is secure and already used by large sales forces, it is the easiest tool to get past a security review with senior leadership in IT.
Lua works without downloading the MDM tool onto phones. Lua is a also used on all devices, which means the inside sales team can message the outside sales team from their desktop computers in the back office.
The added benefit is that Lua already fits into the Outside Sales Teams Wireless Management Cost Structure. So when adding users, you are only looking at your own P&L.
You can read more about how Lua is “Capturing & Protecting” the benefits of sales texting on our website www.getlua.com!