Sales leaders have been placed in a position where they need to coach and manage their sales team from afar every day. With COVID-19 still impacting the daily lives of everyone and the growing number of people wanting to remain remotely, there is an immense indication that remote sales team management will endure for quite some time.
While remote sales teams have become beneficial in keeping organizations in operation, the inability to develop in-person relationships with potential clients or collaborate face-to-face during team meetings at the office has changed the way organizations are operating. The days where the office space was filled with phone calls happening all over the sales floor is slowly declining. No longer are sales reps able to casually walk up to their team members and ask a quick question about the sales process or methodology.
Sales now require even more effort, intentions, reinforcement, and documentation than ever before. Sales managers need to show empathy for their sales reps. They are dealing with these new changes and are experiencing burnout without understanding the reason behind it. Trying to manage a group of remote sales reps doesn’t come naturally for most people. That’s why for this post, we are going to share with you some tips for running your remote sales team.
Revenue is the ultimate goal of any sales team out there. It’s a process that can be streamlined and optimized over time. It’s something that can be worked upon by sales teams regardless of where they are working from. However, trying to impose the sales process with a remote sales team can be challenging. There’s a sizable amount of information that needs to be communicated through video conferencing tools like Zoom. Furthermore, other processes need to be dealt with, such as frameworks and documentation that need to be shared as part of the remote sales processes. So, what can sales leaders do to encourage adoption and champion change management while remote?
Particularly in times when teams are all working from home, it becomes even more vital to set up clear expectations and make sure the process is followed. In the case of operations teams, the need to communicate constantly and early. They need to also follow up with an internal revenue team and stakeholders to make sure alignment across the end-to-end revenue process. The idea here is to remain engaged, follow the sales process, and over-communicate.
Remote work may have changed the working environment, but not everything that was applied in your office environment has become irrelevant. Salespeople are naturally competitive and will brag about the number of sales they completed in a week. As the manager, you need to continue fostering the competitive and team participation nature that most salespeople enjoy in this line of business. That can be accomplished in a weekly recognition meeting, where the top sales effort is celebrated, and make some time for sharing the best practices.
Allow your top sales reps to share the best practices or tips on how they are successfully closing deals. They should also share where they are struggling to make sure they share ownership of the meeting while remote, and increasing participation levels, instead of having it run by the managers.
Sales managers should take the time to recognize the excellent work their sales reps are putting into the work. Even if you are not capable of seeing your sales team in person, incentivizing them makes them feel like they matter and are included as members of the team, which is excellent in preventing them from feeling isolated from the rest of the team. At times, sales can make employees feel like they are a part of a thankless job. Providing rewards like commission helps, and highly recommended that sales managers supplement the monetary rewards with moments of recognition.
For instance, if your sales team uses Slack, you could create a channel used to praise team members for their day-to-day contributions. The shout-out can be anything from recognizing a recent hire's first sale to a particularly sizable deal or even excellent feedback from a client. Other team members will then come in and congratulate their fellow team members with a bombardment of emojis and text messages. A simple exercise like this can be an excellent way to boost morale and keep your sales team motivated as they continue selling.
Transparency is an essential part of running a successful sales team. Remote sales managers need to lead their remote team by being open and honest with them. It helps with ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Sales managers need to develop transparency with their team in any way they can. They should utilize technology that provides them a way to monitor their sales rep's every step effortlessly while enforcing the requirements of sales reps using the tech in ways that log all of their efforts. Keep in mind that this isn’t about keeping a close watch over them and micromanaging their work. The idea here is to evaluate your sales rep's goals and quotas.
If you have no way of getting insight on how many calls your sales reps are making or how many times they’ve reached out to a customer, how will you be able to determine the reasons one of them managed to reach their goals while another didn’t. Remaining connected and placing additional emphasis on communication is essential when it comes to remote working.
As the leader, you need to be around more often and readily available to your sales team. Do daily check-ins with remote employees to keep them on track and listen to their concerns or feedback they may have to offer. It’s also important to keep your team happy, comfortable, and optimistic. A happy sales team is more productive and engaged.
One of the best possible things you can do as a sales manager at the moment is suspend your disbelief and hold more trust in your sales team. Sales managers need to remain confident that their employees are getting their tasks completed and provide them with any support they need to meet their goals.
Remote work has caused plenty of managers to become concerned and frustrated about losing the constant visibility they previously had on their employees. That will usually cause them to try and micromanage their sales team in hopes of keeping track of everything. Unfortunately, this attempt at micromanaging everything can lead to severe issues among the team. Sales managers need to not spend too much time concentrating on performance levels. They need to allow performance management tools to do the work for them and focus on assisting their sales team when required.
Another excellent tip for running an effective and productive sales team is to continuously provide them with additional training and guidance to increase their sales skills. The sales team should be given enough direction to help them in generating more leads and increase sales overall. While coaching remotely can be a bit challenging since you won’t be able to invite a team member into the office and watch them observe the way things work, there are other virtual ways to pull this off.
Setting up a resource page filled with websites where they can take online classes to improve their work is one way. The company can foot in the bill as part of their wellness program to ensure the sales teams are bettering themselves. Not only will they improve their sales skills, but also ensure they produce higher quality work.
Sales managers need to listen to their sales team's ideas and prepare to make changes to their own. Your sales reps are the ones spending the majority of their day speaking to customers every workday. They are aware of what’s working and what isn’t. Informal conversations are usually some of the best ways to receive feedback, not group sessions, where some people may feel reluctant to share since they don't want to embarrass themselves in front of their peers. Plus, some of them may not feel comfortable giving away their techniques if your organization has set up a sales team leaderboard.
Communication is critical for managing a remote sales team efficiently. You want to spend some time speaking to them and listening to what they have to say. As a sales manager, it’s your job to be there and help the team succeed. Take the time to ask them what they require to get their job done. Is there a type of software they need? Perhaps they need assistance with remaining productive? Once you are aware of what they want and need, you will be able to help them and ensure they succeed at reaching their sales goals.
Make everyone aware that their thoughts and ideas will be listened to since it plays a crucial role in motivating them and ensuring they remain a productive sales team. Take the time to conduct weekly team meetings. You can encourage everyone to discuss and collaborate amongst the group. That will help find any solutions and generate new ideas for closing deals quicker.
As the manager, it’s also essential to hold recurring one-on-one meetings with each sales member as it gives them the option to speak privately on any topics they may be hesitant to start with the group. That opportunity also provides them with a chance for a more personal conversation Communication is highly necessary for any relationship and developing trust in a remote sales team.
Sales managers need to ensure that everyone on the team understands what you expect from them. Take the time to communicate your expectations and make sure to follow up on them. Doubling the amount of communication among your team members since the remote working environment has made it more challenging for everyone to keep in touch with each other. That ensures that everyone can keep each other accountable and strengthens relationships.
However, you need to ensure that you are setting up clear, realistic expectations with incentives to motivate them. Sales representatives are goal-oriented. If sales managers set concrete, achievable goals for their remote sales team and offer incentives for surpassing those expectations, they will remain motivated, engaged, and focus on sales productivity.
Team meetings are essential when it comes to working in a remote environment. However, the meetings you hold with your sales team should be productive. While meetings are vital, simply setting one up without any goals wastes everyone's time and leads to frustration among your sales team. Every meeting should have an agenda and be able to support and assist your sales reps in some fashion. If you want to ensure that your sales team is productive and effective, then start your meetings with a purpose behind them.
While it’s crucial in a remote environment for sales managers to see their team often and maintain a level of discipline around keeping meetings, there needs to be a balance for these actions. Take some time to curate a schedule that works well and enhances productivity.
Your sales team is going to need the best possible tools to remain in touch with not only each other but with their customers as well. One of the most popular ways to remain in contact among remote workers is by using video conferencing platforms like Zoom. This platform has become essential for plenty of businesses out there as it provides a way for people to call each other virtually. Furthermore, Zoom also stocks a library of extensions that can enhance the overall experience. Intro.so is one of the many extensions that your team can use to improve their sales opportunities. It provides them with a feature that allows them to look into the details of their client without needing to tab out of their Zoom call.
Remote sales teams are becoming more and more prevalent as time goes by. It’s necessary to stay on top of the latest tips and tricks that ensure the sales team's operations smoothly and efficiently. Use the information we have provided above to improve your sales team and get them to knock out deals like nobody’s business. If you want to make your sales team the best sellers around, make sure to check out our tool intro.so.