Introducing new tools or concepts to your team takes time, energy and patience. We’ve been using BuzzStream at Poki Playground for almost three years now, but when we first started using it, we had a couple of assumptions about how our team would use it and how quickly they would adapt. Turns out (as is often the case with assumptions), we weren’t quite right, and those assumptions impacted our success using BuzzStream as a team later down the line.
Our first assumption was that the newer marketers on our team would understand how important the tool is after a couple of days, without much guidance from us. The second was that our more traditional marketers would quickly catch on to using BuzzStream, not accounting for the fact they had been honing their spreadsheet skills for years and may need more time to transition to using BuzzStream’s CRM instead.
As our team started to grow and several team members started working on the same projects together, we began to discover that those assumptions weren’t as solid as we thought.
We started facing challenges such as:
- Two projects created for the same campaign
- Saving related information in different projects
- Teammates creating many tags that only make sense to them, or ignoring all tags
- Forgetting to save links or other information needed to measure and filter results
- Teammates not using BuzzStream because they didn’t know about certain features
These challenges kept re-appearing until we realized we could either spend an increasing amount of time trying to develop quick fixes, or invest time on the front end to train all of our team members on how Poki Playground uses BuzzStream, and why we use it the way we do.
Here are the five steps we followed to get organized and make cohesive team outreach easier:
1. Give your team time to discover BuzzStream
While the basics of BuzzStream are simple (prospect, send your outreach, then track and report on your conversations), we learned that it’s important to build-in time for our team to explore all of BuzzStream’s features. It’s easy to see how templates can help with outreach on a high level, but once you start writing the emails and using the dynamic fields, things can get more complex. If your team needs to build reports on other team member’s campaigns or filter based on many criteria, you’ll want to give them some time to learn the ins and outs of doing that in BuzzStream. Otherwise, if you focus on speed, you risk your team going back to their spreadsheets or hastily putting reports together in less-than-optimal ways.
I’d also recommend getting your team familiar with BuzzStream’s help resources. Ask your team to go through BuzzStream University, read some articles on the blog, and even attend a live training. Just to give an example: During a campaign where tweeting was an important aspect, we often had to ask each other if a contact had been tweeted at. It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t the most efficient way of doing things.
Little did we know, BuzzStream has a Twitter integration, and has had it for a while now. My team and I didn’t realize this feature was available until we had our most recent group training with BuzzStream’s customer support team. Had we known, we could’ve saved a lot of time and gotten our team to use BuzzStream in the right way, more consistently.
Note: If you’re in the same boat as we were and haven’t set up your Twitter tracking, see the gif below on where to find it.
2. Make sure your team is using the same features in the same way
From our very first week with BuzzStream, we started using our own personalized fields. Three years later, we’re still using them and we love working with them. Combined with the BuzzMarker, you can save a lot of time and improve the quality of your outreach with these customized fields. We use many of these fields as filters as well.
One of our personalized fields is “Where / Link Location” to explain in which section of a website we would like to suggest a link.
At first, this field seemed pretty self-explanatory. So imagine our surprise when part of the team decided to use this very same field to add URLs where they were suggesting a content update. Same field, but two very different types of information, thus forcing a manual update in a field we were trusting to automatically be correct.
The solution for us was to create a guide or an internal wiki to guarantee what type of information should be placed. That way, there’s no ambiguity as to how a field should be used.
3. Ask your team to deep dive into your data
If people don’t fully understand the why behind a task, there’s a good chance they won’t be consistent in doing it correctly. At the best, they will do it until something goes wrong, or worse, they’ll start doing something else entirely without notifying their team.
One way to keep your team engaged is to ask questions that will force them to dig into the features you would like for them to learn, such as:
- Which outreach message has worked better for [Campaign]?
- Could you follow up with everyone [Name] contacted last week on [Campaign]?
- How many mentions we got on [Country] last month?
This will help them better understand what’s happening in their campaigns, and how to measure success. Also, it can help everyone stay up to date, and increase the chance that someone will notice if something is amiss earlier on. If necessary, collect feedback from your team and adjust your questions so they address what’s most relevant and interesting to your team. One easy way for your team to visualize their data is using the new Reporting module.
If you haven’t had a chance to experiment with the Reporting module, I’d recommend checking out this quick overview video from Paul:
4. Decide who on your team will be the data protector
Because BuzzStream offers so many views, it’s expected that each team member will visualize and filter the data they see in different ways. But in many situations, certain standards are necessary.
That’s why we decided to have a designated “data protector” for every project. Each campaign now has a team member who will check for the completeness of data, and request any missing information from others if necessary.
Having our data protectors has been a great asset. A while ago, we needed to provide the developers at Color Switch the coverage their game had achieved. At first it seemed like we would just need to filter by “Link Achieved,” but then we realized we also needed to select only articles mentioning the iOS and Android app stores. Because the designated data protector was on top of the ball and had made sure none of our team members had neglected to add this information, extracting this data was done in a matter of seconds.
5. Measure your success
This final step is to assess the effectiveness of the four steps above. After completing them, ask yourself:
- Has workflow improved?
- Is everyone able to organize and filter the data they need?
- Has finding and analyzing data, both your own and your teammates’, become easier?
- Now that everyone is on the same page, do you or your teammates have any ideas on other ways you can use BuzzStream?
If your answers are yes, great! If not, identify which steps have proven trickier for your team, then revisit them.
What else do you do or would do in order to have a better workflow between your team when using BuzzStream?