How to manage a distributed phone banking team

July 13, 2018 - 6 minutes read

You’ve been managing phone banking teams for years now, guiding them to do their best.

Now, you’re keen on embracing distributed campaigns and find it challenging to manage phone bankers in various locations.

Although managing a distributed team is way different when compared to an in-house team it’s not an impossible task.

You need to create a trusting environment to have your volunteers put in their best. We have put together a few tips to get you started.

How to keep your distributed teams moving?

There are two things you need to do to keep things moving:

Stay aligned: Pay attention to what’s happening, that is, progress, priorities and addressing challenges.

Stay in touch: Your phone banking team can function efficiently even without their physical presence at a campaign office. Keep in touch to ensure that they stay connected. Schedule team conferences or connect with team leaders to evaluate progress.

Communicate Clearly

Unlike the standard team, you cannot have face-to-face interactions with your distributed teams. Volunteers are spread across the country and are busy making phone calls. For things to run smoothly, you need to create a set of guidelines and standard operating procedures. Make sure your volunteers know what you expect from them and what the end goal is.

Once they are clear on their objective, you need to keep a clear line of communication with everyone involved. You can do this by grouping them into teams. You can create a team for every location and ask volunteers to join it through web forms.

Tips to create a culture of clear communication:

  • Keep yourself free during office hours to help solve the issues your volunteers encounter. Offer solutions to their issues.
  • Schedule regular online team meetings to discuss progress. Keep the time difference in mind while scheduling a meeting.

Set Goals and targets

While managing a distributed team it’s important to set goals and targets for the phone bank. Doing so, you have something to measure success against and your volunteers know what is expected of them.

Setting clear goals and targets with your distributed team helps you keep your volunteers motivated, focused, reduces frustration and makes way for benchmarking.

For example, while running a large campaign you need to be on the move and make several calls a day. So your goal must be to set a certain number of calls per person. Now, as managers, you have something to measure success.

You can track these goals with the help of a scoreboard. A scoreboard will displace top volunteers and the number of calls made by each. This encourages friendly competition, makes calling fun and keep your volunteers motivated to achieve higher targets.

Celebrate milestones

Your distributed team has to be motivated constantly. Weekly updates and emails are not enough to keep up the momentum. In the absence of visual cues and body language, your team members feel disconnected and their effort decreases in the long run. To avoid such situations celebrate achievements of short-term goals or on reaching milestones.

It’s hard to celebrate a win with a distributed group, but you can send tokens of appreciation or gift cards.

Celebrating milestones is important to boost your team’s morale and keep them productive. You can do this by using a leaderboard. The leaderboard will display your best volunteers and help promote healthy competition among volunteers.

Have the right tools

Even if you have top-notch volunteers, excellent phone bankers, or good team leaders, poor technology can set you back. The right tools will help you efficiently manage your resources and your distributed team.

A list of tool you can use:

  • For conference calls, you can use Skype or UberConference. You can stay connected with your team members and communicate effectively.
  • To brainstorm or text your team you can use Slack and also share files and documents.
  • You can use CallHub’s Teams to manage your distributed volunteers. You can group volunteers and assign calling campaigns to teams instead of individual volunteers.
  • Use Sub-accounts to delegate your phone banking efforts. Sub-accounts are attached to a single parent account (controlled by the campaign manager) which controls access to voter data and campaign funds.
  • Voters are not keen on taking out-of-state calls. So use a software that allows you to make calls from anywhere but has a caller ID that matches the location of your voter.

Managing a distributed team takes extra effort in the beginning. But have the right tools and following the aforementioned tips will make it easier. If you are interested in implementing sub-accounts or teams for your distributed phone banking campaign hit us up at [email protected] .

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