How you manage your sales team has a lot to do with their physical location. Traditionally, sales teams reside in a call centre or office environment. However, some sales teams…
How you manage your sales team has a lot to do with their physical location. Traditionally, sales teams reside in a call centre or office environment. However, some sales teams operate remotely.
COVID-19 has changed this. Due to current circumstances and the need to be agile and operate in the age of social distancing, many sales companies have shifted operations remotely. No longer are sales teams together; they are working separately from home.
Managing a remote sales team vastly changes your approach to managing the team. It creates new challenges for collaboration, communication, tech support, accountability and many other operational aspects of ensuring your sales team can operate efficiently.
Here, our Toronto sales recruiters have put together 6 tips to help sales managers more effectively manage remote sales teams:
You need to give your sales reps the tools they need to be successful. This can be more challenging when you have a remote team. Reps have different home office setups, communications tools, equipment, and internet connections. It’s very important to level the playing field and ensure your entire team is operating using the same tools.
All reps need access to your CRM, they need to use the same communication tools, use the same dialer, and software.
It’s also important to ensure your team is using the same hardware. Providing access to all hardware, software, and cloud computing technology is more effective than having a bring your own device (BYOD) approach. If reps don’t have the same tools, you can run into many different technical issues such as reliability, speed, performance, downtime, and compatibility. Make sure everyone has the same resources.
Not being able to speak and interact with your team face to face throughout the day changes things significantly. You can’t just walk over to a rep’s desk to talk about a call. Reps can’t just drop by your office to ask a question. Communications is one of the most important challenges of having a remote workforce.
How and when you communicate is different. It’s vital to make communication as easy as possible. Use all means available – chat, email, phone, and video – to speak with individual team members and your team collectively.
It’s also important to promote collaboration within your team. You can’t be available all the time, but your reps can help each other with calls, tech issues, and other work-related tasks.
As a sales manager, you need to over-communicate. Respond to messages as soon as possible, be available to jump on a call or have a video meeting. Send regular updates throughout the day. Keep the conversation going.
What you expect from your sales reps must be clear. You need to set clear performance expectations for all members of your sales team. The most effective way to do this is the set detailed KPIs. Use metrics and data to set a baseline for your team.
Performance metrics will vary based on your company and what you are selling. Some traditional metrics will apply when setting expectations:
Whatever metrics you use, ensure all sales reps are clear about what is expected of them. Set goals and make sure everyone is on the same page.
A strong sales process is a key success factor. We all know this. But well-defined processes are even more important when your team is remote. You need to clearly define the steps reps need to take when on calls, when prospecting, and when doing other tasks. Make it clear what tasks and processes need to be completed daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
Holding your team accountable for performance can be challenging. You need to find the right balance between giving your team flexibility and space to operate and meeting company expectations. You can hold team members accountable by using check-ins, reviewing performance in real-time, and through ongoing evaluation and communication. Don’t wait until the end of the month or quarter to address an issue. Hold your team accountable in real-time. Address issues, identify a solution, have repercussions for sale reps who fail to meet performance expectations.
You can still have a close-knit team, even if they are remote. You will just have to get a little creative about ways to build trust, teamwork and engagement. A daily video huddle is an effective way for everyone to get together and visually see the team together. You can still hold team building events and activities – it just has to be online.
Make it a point to share accomplishments and celebrate wins. Be available to offer support to your team and encourage your team to work together.
Whether you are having difficulty meeting sales goals, have a conflict to overcome or need some general advice for managing your sales team, these blogs can help. Check out the latest from our expert sales headhunters:
SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.