How to build your remote sales team

How to build your remote sales team

The number of businesses that are switching over to a remote working environment continues to steadily increase, notably due to the COVID-19 forcing many organizations to adapt the way they conduct business. Of course, there have been management challenges that needed to be dealt with when transitioning to this new working environment. Salespeople are especially having issues with selling remotely since it changes things significantly from in-person sales. 


However, if remote selling is done correctly, it can ramp up the selling process, help enhance your sales team’s productivity, and drive up your sales pipeline, all without needing them to leave the comfort of their homes. Of course, it can be challenging building a remote sales team without knowing what should and shouldn’t be done. There are several things you need to consider, such as communication and setting up tools like Zoom. You’ll need to ensure your sales team can continue their selling efforts. 


For this article, we are going to go over everything you need to know to build your remote sales team. 


Establish clear expectations

During the process of establishing expectations, prompt your sales team to meet higher performance standards. According to a poll conducted by Gallup, German workers discovered that when a manager establishes clear priorities for their employees, an estimated 38% of workers feel engaged and will endeavor to boost their work performance. 


Setting up clear expectations for your remote sales team grants them a set of standards they know to maintain. The guideline needs to include sales objectives and proper online products when working on leads. It should also have resources and tips on how everyone on the team can manage their time more efficiently. Sales managers need to be willing to get into video conferencing calls with their remote sales team to talk about expectations and offer a detailed report to each remote employee about their particular task and the performance goals you want them to achieve. 


Take some time to go over the proper way to find leads, what needs to be done when cold calling prospects, when to follow-up, close the deals and the course of action on what to do during specific situations. 


Investing in tools

These days most organizations are using cloud technology to improve their workflow. Storage providers such as Dropbox offer your remote employees access to a secured shared cloud that can save any data and grants the rest of the team access to precious information. Cloud-based storage systems provide your remote employees access to vital company information from their personal computers while at home or from their mobile devices. They can update the documents from anywhere at any time. Cloud software also provides everyone on the remote sales team with the information they need to do their jobs. Everyone will gain access to the same relevant information. 


Communication is another crucial part of the remote sale process. If your remote team can’t remain in contact with each other, then your remote sales team will never succeed. Communication platforms like Zoom are becoming an increasingly popular asset for remote work. It has offered a seamless way for people to communicate with each other throughout the pandemic.


Best of all, Zoom provides its users with an assortment of extensions that can help them manage their work better. These extensions can assist the users in all sorts of beneficial ways, and that includes a remote sales team. Intro.so is one of the many tools you will find that can assist your remote sales team close deals faster than you can blink. The extension provides several features that will make them stay on top of their sales game.


With Intro.so, your sales team can log onto Zoom with a single minute to spare before the meeting starts and be ready like a true professional. The extension also provides you with the prospects' company details, LinkedIn activity, and relevant CRM data, all without needing to tab out of Zoom. Intro.so will ensure your sales team can maintain eye contact throughout the meeting, focus on selling, and cut down the amount of time they need to research. 


Build trust

When you are developing your remote sales team, it can be challenging to build and maintain trusting relationships. Since everyone is working from home, they won’t be able to see each other every day and maintain relationships. No longer will they be able to meet at the water cooler or walk over to their desk to chat for a few minutes. Communication is essential in developing trust among employees, but it can be a bit of a challenge when dealing with a remote sales team. 


Sales managers need to ensure their working schedule overlaps with the majority of their remote sales team. Doing so offers them the opportunity to interact more with their team and respond to any questions or concerns they may have quickly and efficiently. When their leader is paying attention to their needs, the team starts to develop trust. Although, it’s essential to avoid micromanaging your sales team, even though it can make things more challenging in tracking their progress. 


As the manager, your communication won’t always be immediate, and you will not be able to pick up on your remote team's mannerisms or body language. That is why your organization needs to invest in a platform that allows you to track the team's programs through shared metrics and activity-based selling. As long as they are finishing their task, you can enable your remote team to handle their own schedule. 


Support social interactions

Sales managers need to ensure that everyone on the team is positively interacting with each other. They need to be proactive in having everyone chat with each other instead of simply phasing in and out of conversations whenever it's only related to work. Remote teams that do not regularly communicate with each other eventually tend to fail. The feeling of isolation will cause team members to start feeling lonely and start slowing down their work progress, leading to them leaving the company entirely. 


Make sure to schedule weekly or bi-weekly meetings to open lines of communication among team members. Doing so provides everyone with a way to learn something new from each other. For example, one of your sales reps can explain an innovative selling technique they have been using to acquire more buyers. Or another sales rep can share a success story on how they managed to close several deals in a single week. Furthermore, scheduled meetings with your sales team allow you to address any significant issues and brainstorm ways to improve your sales strategies. 


However, these meetings shouldn’t always be focused on the work. Remote sales teams are missing out on that usual chatter that happens in an office working environment. In our chat platform, create channels where your team can speak about other things besides work, such as the latest movies or events. These virtual get-togethers provide a way for your team to develop camaraderie and prevent workplace loneliness from consuming them. 


You could also encourage them to participate in team-building activities such as playing some games or having a virtual happy hour. Setting up something like Donut to have them take coffee breaks and meet up with a team member to casually chat as they enjoy some snacks and coffee is another excellent way to develop these relationships. Encouraging your team to develop these connections outside of your business hours will ensure they remain productive and develop a healthy relationship with each other.


Coach your sales team

Investing in the development of a remote sales team through coaching improves their selling techniques and improves their overall performance. As a result, your organization will be rewarded with more leads, opportunities, and a sales team that is willing to provide more for the organization in return. 


However, there are times when a remote team member may not feel as motivated as an on-site counterpart since they don’t benefit from the same training offered to someone who works in an office setting. The remote sales member could eventually become detached from the rest of the sales team and organization. Although providing them with coaching opportunities through a one-on-one video meeting can prevent that from occurring. It shows them that their leaders are still thinking about them and that they care, plus provide that much-needed interaction. 


You could also provide them with the resources they need to learn skills online. Tons of online platforms can further the education of your remote employees. Setting these up will allow them to further their skills and apply them to your organization. That is also another way to let them know that their leaders want to see them improve and are willing to care for them. In turn, they will continue to close deals faster and increase their loyalty to your organization. 


Employee wellness

It’s not possible to always be aware of how everyone on your remote sales team is doing. When you conduct a Zoom meeting call, it can be hard to tell how they are doing since they are more likely to put up a good face in front of everyone. With everyone working from home, you can’t walk up to their desk and see how they are going either. Sales managers need to be proactive in addressing the mental and physical well-being of their remote employees. 


There are several ways you can go about this situation. First off, you should lead by example and speak to your employees about mental and physical well-being. Provide some information on yourself to ease everyone and to let them know that it's okay to talk about this type of topic in this organization. Set up a resources list where the team can check out to see what their options are and how they can get the help they need for their health. The organization can provide wellness programs that help the team receive help from therapists or pay for gym memberships.


Sales managers can also set up group activities that can assist with the sales team's well-being, such as group yoga or meditation sessions. Use this opportunity to share some exercises that target joints and muscles usually taken for granted when working.  


Adopt asynchronous communication

While remote selling does offer plenty of advantages, most sales managers are most likely inexperienced in leading a remote team and find it challenging to set up operational effectiveness from a distance. It can be hard to keep a record of everyone’s actions when they are spread out throughout the world, especially if the team is on the large side. Furthermore, not everyone is going to be online at the same time to share information due to the different time zones and having things to take care of in their personal lives. 


That is why Asynchronous communication is excellent to adopt for your remote sales team. It’s a communication concept of sending out a message without expecting the team member to promptly reply. Several examples of asynchronous communication include email and chat messaging. It’s the opposite of synchronous communication, which occurs in real-time. For instance, communication face to face through video calls over tools like Zoom. 


Asynchronous communication allows you and the rest of the team to take into consideration that work is not happening for everyone at the same time. Employees also become far more productive when they have better control over their working hours and communication. For sales managers, asynchronous communication is ideal for successfully managing a sales team distributed across various timezones.


Instead of wasting time trying to figure out the best time and date that works best for you and the rest of the sales team, you can send them an email requesting an update by the end of the week. Setting up a deadline provides your team members with enough time to articulate a high-quality response backed by research and suitable data. 


Conclusion

Building a remote sales team has become a crucial part of many organizations. The need for teams that work from home has increased due to the pandemic. With the changes made to the business world, hybrid and remote teams are becoming more common. There are several benefits to running a remote sales team, and your organization has a lot to gain by embracing remote work.