The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to go remote, and managing sales teams remotely has become a hot topic. As someone who manages a sales team, I’ve had to adapt my management style to fit this new reality.
In this blog post, I’ll share some of the best practices I’ve learned for managing sales teams remotely, including celebrating goals attained and milestones reached.
How do Remote Sales Operations differ from in-office sales?
Remote teams rely on apps more than in-office ones, so sales managers should make sure their processes are streamlined and easily accessible.
Meetings should be organized with an agenda and goals for efficiency.
While in-office sales management can be more reactionary, remote sales leaders need to work harder to have the same visibility and insight that their reps have. But having a clear process in place for communication is just the start: these processes must be consistently updated and monitored to function effectively.
As a manager, it’s essential to evaluate which tools work best for you and your team. By doing this, you can ensure that you’re providing your reps with the resources they need to succeed.
Managing a distributed team is difficult.
you would an in-office team.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, some sales managers had to adapt their sales management style to remote sales.
Sales operations for a remote team may differ slightly from those of an in-office team, but the basic principles are the same. The main difference is that you have to be more intentional about creating and maintaining relationships with your remote reps. You can do this by staying in regular contact, providing adequate training and support, and using technology to your advantage. With a little effort, you can manage your remote sales team just as effectively as
Managing Sales Teams Remotely: 6 Ways To Increase Your Visibility
It is important to set up your process. However, it is difficult to keep it running when managing a virtual sales team.
Here are six ways to increase your visibility as a remote manager and maintain processes that work well for your team.
1. Establish clear performance goals for your team
We mentioned in the previous chapter that clear expectations are essential for remote sales teams. This includes setting performance goals for your team.
While sales quota goals remain important, remote sales teams should set goals that help them reach their sales quotas by achieving more closed deals.
2. Describe the stages of your virtual sales process
Although all sales teams should be able to clearly define their sales process, it is even more important for remote sales teams.
Your sales team may be scattered and can’t always call you to ask a quick question. Clear, written processes are essential for remote productivity. The results can be even more impressive when a proven sales process has been applied consistently by the entire team.
The stages of a successful sales cycle look something like the following:
- Resolving objections
- Follow up
This process will be defined according to your customers and particular circumstances. Next, identify the key activities that move prospects between stages.
These activities can be tested and the results will help you create a better framework for your sales representatives to follow. This will help them to know what they need to close deals, no matter how long they have been with the team or how new they are.
3. Decide on the KPIs for remote sales that will impact the success of the team
You can track the right KPIs to gain better insight into the health of your sales process as well as your team’s performance.
Here are some KPIs for sales that you should be tracking:
- Sales activities per representative: This shows you how active each rep is and which activities they are having more success with. (Psst… The Activity Comparison Report in Close CRM allows you to easily track and compare rep activity.)
- Pipeline conversion rate: Tracking allows you to perform a sales pipeline analysis and determine if your pipeline health is good. Any changes in these numbers are an early sign that something is not right.
- Sales by contact method Understanding how prospects prefer to be contacted can help you determine which sales activities are most beneficial for your team.
- Average conversion speed: If you know how long it takes to close a deal from contact, you can use this information to test for improvement or to catch any problems in your sales process before they become serious.
- Sales by lead sources: You can direct your team’s energy to a specific lead generation method if you see higher sales from a particular source.
These are just some of the KPIs that you can track for your remote sales team. Track the metrics that have the greatest impact on your bottom line and set up tracking to monitor your team and keep track of your progress, even if you are miles away.
4. Give your sales reps more insight into buyer activity and responses
Particularly in these turbulent times, customers’ priorities, needs, and sentiments continue to change. How can your sellers find out what customers want today?
It is crucial to present your offering effectively by gaining better visibility into buyer activity.
What are buyers doing? A sales dashboard allows you to keep track of website activity. You can identify which landing pages have more activity and pull arguments from these pages to help you and your sales team sell better with your email templates and sales scripts.
Encourage your team members to discuss buyer reactions to different messages and tactics. In your daily stand-up meetings with the sales team, one member of the team should talk about a call they had yesterday, regardless of how good or not, and spark discussion about buyer responses and sales objections.
5. Your remote sales team can be more productive if you help them focus their efforts
Focused salespeople are more productive.
How can you ensure they stay focused even if you aren’t there?
As a manager of a remote team, you must ensure that reps are selling effectively to the right people. Managers can help reps prioritize the right leads.
A lead scoring system that is based on specific attributes or actions will help reps determine which leads they should contact first. This basically means that you assign a point value for the activities and qualities of your prospects.
It could look something like this.
Regular cleaning up of data in your CRM is another way to keep your team focused and on the right deals.
Is your pipeline full of leads that have not moved forward in the sales process or deals that were never closed? Although following up with these leads is important for winning new business, it’s not a good idea to have them filling up your pipeline, taking away the focus from hot, new leads.
Remote sales reps must be able to focus on selling and not sorting data.
6. A solid foundation is essential to building autonomy.
Too many sales managers still prefer to train based upon the sales tactic for the week method.
How can you be sure that your training will be effective if it’s based on theoretically effective sales techniques or general sales ideas?
Instead, remote sales training should be built on a foundation of best practices and processes that have been proven to work over time. If you want to master the basics, focus on the timeless principles.
You’ll train your team based on proven sales processes and give them the ability to work independently in remote settings, regardless of the current world situation.
Benefits of Remote Sales Teams
Many companies have sales teams that work remotely, which may benefit both the company and its employees.
Some benefits include:
When employees are able to work from the comfort of their own homes, employers can save money. Since there are fewer office supplies needed and no need for a commute, companies can cut their overhead.
There are some costs that employees are saving on, such as transportation.
Learn how to effectively manage a sales team.
Some remote teams have more productivity than office-based ones. This is because employees can choose their own workspace, which cuts down on distractions.
Your employees can take advantage of their time by being able to focus more on their work. They don’t have to spend time traveling to meetings and can use that extra time to be productive. This can lead to an increase in efficiency for your team as a whole.
Extended geographical locations hence opportunity to expand sales
With employees located around the world, you may have the chance to expand your sales team. For instance, you could hire a sales rep from another country.
With your employees working remotely, you may need to use a variety of different technology tools to communicate with them.
One of the most significant advantages of having a remote team is that it empowers your workers. Giving them the option of working from the comfort of their own home gives them the independence to manage their own schedules. This can help your team members maintain a healthy work-life balance, which often leads to increased productivity.
Allowing your remote team to work from the comfort of their own home can help give them a sense of control over their workload. This can also allow them to balance their personal and professional lives more effectively. By prioritizing this, you can ensure that your employees are productive while also allowing them to take care of themselves.
4 Tips For Effective Management of Your Remote Team
Here are 4 tips to help you manage your team of remote salespeople:
1. Build a spirit of accountability in the teams
One of the best ways to prevent yourself from micro-managing is to give your staff members some sense of ownership and responsibility.
When you create an environment where your salespeople are held accountable for their own success, it encourages them to work harder and smarter. Here are some ways to do it:
Task your team members with coming up with an agenda for 1:1 meetings. Or at the very least, encourage your members to add items to the list of topics to be discussed. This will make them more invested in the outcome of the 1:1 and the meeting itself.
Encourage your team to come up with their own methods and processes. Ask them for their ideas, then have them test out their own theories and prove that they work. This will give them a sense of ownership over their work and make them feel valued.
Have each team member own their own performance metrics and goals. When you set goals, have each of your people be responsible for tracking their progress and planning for how to reach them. This will keep everyone focused and working hard.
Create a space where your people can ask for help. No one always has the answers. Make sure each of your people feels safe and secure enough to come to you or someone else on the team when they need help.
Allow each of your people to take ownership of their workflows. Everyone’s personal situation is different, so allow them to create their own schedules for working from their home office. If possible, give them some flexibility in how they manage their time. This will demonstrate that you respect them and value their input.
2. Make sure your team has all the information they need
If you want to build trust with your salespeople, you need to provide them with key information. For instance, when you set up dashboards for KPIs, make sure they have access to it.
1. Have each rep look at each others’ performances and help each other improve in areas where they are struggling.2. Keep all sales reps in the loop by communicating company goals and news frequently.
In her book, “Leading sales teams through crisis,” author, and executive coach, Niamh O’Keefe, mentions that in times of crisis, people need more communication and more information.
3. Regularly meetings with each of your team members.
Then, schedule this as a reoccurring meeting on your calendar. If you want to build a strong relationship with your sales reps, 1:1s are essential. Talk to them and pick a time that works best for them, then set it on your schedule as a repeating appointment. That way, you can keep an eye on any potential problems and keep everyone on track.
Then, schedule this as a repeating event on your calendar.
Use Google calendar to schedule meetings with your reps. This will allow them some flexibility, and will also give you a chance to check in with them. When creating the agenda for these meetings, make sure to leave some room for small talk so that your team can get to know one another.
Allow some flexibility in your agenda, but make sure to leave some room for just chatting.
1. Have weekly one-on-ones with members of your sales team2. Monitor their workload and work conditions3. Be on the lookout for when you may need to jump in and lend a hand.
4. Recognize goals and sales targets achieved
While working from home or a remote office isn’t as exciting, there are still ways to celebrate your team. Why not send them a congratulatory GIF when a big sale closes?
When your team hits their sales targets, reward them with something they’ll enjoy. For example, you could send them a 3-month subscription to a subscription service.
If you’re managing sales teams remotely, it’s important to celebrate goals attained and milestones reached. This will help keep your team motivated and focused on the task at hand. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your remote sales team is successful.
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