Whether by personal choice or managerial mandate, much of corporate America is returning to the office after more than two years of uncertainty and remote work.
While the pandemic accelerated many trends that were already becoming mainstream, including remote work and virtual collaboration, recent data suggests that many companies are keen to see a return to in-office, on-premises work.
What does this mean for sales leaders?
Even as hybrid working arrangements that blend in-person and remote work become common, reaching out to prospects at their workplaces cannot be ignored – a trend that seems poised to continue as more people return to the office.
The ‘Great Rebalancing’?
Data published by WFH Research, a collaborative research organization funded by several major educational institutions including Stanford University and the University of Chicago, suggests that return-to-office (RTO) policies are becoming increasingly common across much of the American workforce.
As of January, WFH Research data indicated that the number of days worked fully remotely is stabilizing at less than 30% after two years of steady, gradual reductions.
Executives of several companies, such as Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, have consistently pushed for a return to in-office work, and their policies reflect that stance. In October 2022, Solomon said 65% of Goldman Sachs’ workforce had returned to the office full-time.
Such positions have proven divisive, with some workers refusing to comply with such orders over ongoing concerns about COVID infection and the newfound sense of balance many experienced while working remotely.
Regardless, WFH Research’s data suggests that RTO policies are indeed gaining traction. For sales leaders, this has been met with enthusiasm — sales teams thrive on the galvanizing energy of a vibrant sales floor.
And while many salespeople successfully adapted to a primarily virtual selling environment at the height of the pandemic, many find virtual selling significantly harder.
Data from Korn Ferry indicates that only one-third of salespeople are truly effective at selling remotely, which means many businesses are leaving significant sums of money on the table – creating opportunities for forward-thinking companies that are positioned to seize them.
Direct-Dial Numbers – Your Sales Team’s Secret Weapon
The data doesn’t just reveal how executives view remote work – it also proves that your sales team’s prospects are likely sitting at their desks, in the office, for a majority of the workweek.
WFH Research’s data shows that, since Q4 2022, more than 79% of workers on average who could do their jobs remotely are now either in-office full time (34%) or hybrid (45.5%). Of those workers who could work from home, which WFH Research defines as any worker who did so during the pandemic, full-time remote workers account for just 20.5% of the workforce.
Hybrid arrangements also appear to favor on-premises work. The average number of days worked at home among hybrid workers since is 2.3 — which means a roughly 50/50 split between in-office and remote work.
Between the third of workers who are back in the office full-time, and the nearly 46% of hybrid workers who spend roughly half their week on-premises, your sales team’s prospects are likely sitting at their desks for nearly 57% of any given workweek.
The bottom line? It’s crucial that sales leaders arm their teams with the best possible contact information, and that means having direct-dial office numbers in your sales team’s toolkit.
“There’s this idea floating around that the only way to tackle the work-from-home shift is by hitting people on their cell phones,” says Jo Zichterman, a data analyst at ZoomInfo. “However, in January 2023 we captured 56 million email signatures, and almost 50% of all the new signatures we captured still contained desk lines.
“Clearly, there’s a cultural change happening. But it doesn’t make any sense to count desk lines out of my sales process.”
Setting Your Sales Team Up for Success
Nobody can predict with any certainty what will happen in the markets over the coming months. There is, however, growing consensus that the current economic challenges facing companies of every size in every industry are likely to continue.
That means efficiency and effectiveness are once again at a premium — and direct-dial office numbers are immensely valuable to salespeople who want to prospect more effectively. Better data means better connect rates, less time wasted on low-priority prospects, more efficient salespeople, and ultimately, higher win rates and revenues.
As the data above shows, while RTO policies are clearly on the increase, hybrid and remote work are here to stay. For sales leaders, this means equipping their teams with the most accurate data possible, including professional mobile numbers.
On that score, ZoomInfo boasts a combination of scope and quality that competitors can’t touch. Our platform has over 65 million direct-dial numbers and more than 50 million contacts with mobile numbers — and we invest millions of dollars annually to ensure and enhance the quality of that data.
As we’ve seen in recent months, many companies are reevaluating how and where they invest in their businesses. And, as history teaches us, economic volatility can create immense opportunities for companies bold enough to pursue them.
It has never been more important for sales leaders to set their teams up for success by investing in quality data. ZoomInfo has helped thousands of companies in every industry improve and refine their GTM strategies, reach new heights of growth, and do what they do best – solve their customers’ problems.