The best sales teams can be found in many locations other than an office these days. In this day and age, sales reps work from pretty much anywhere. A conference in Spain, meetings in London—you name it. The remote sales team is very much on the rise thanks to technology, which is acting as the enabler.
9-5 working structures are no longer so rigid, and the idea of employees rooted to their company office desk is becoming a less frequent sight. 43 percent of employed Americans now say that their job features some form of remote working.
Yet sales reps have embodied the remote culture long before it became a buzzword. Whether leaving the office for meetings or traveling for business conferences, remote working has been a thing in the sales industry since for quite some time.
While the idea of attending a virtual office from anywhere we choose sounds appealing, for sales managers it can be a logistical nightmare—if not handled correctly. However, if you’re a sales manager or CEO faced with leading a remote sales team, fear not.
noCRM.io prides itself on being a remote company and, over the years, we have picked up a thing or two on how to manage sales reps globally. So, read on and discover how to lead your remote sales team to victory.
Be Clear With Your Expectations
The first order of business is to make sure that everyone is clear about your expectations in regards to their workflow. Be transparent regarding when expect them to be available online, answer emails and the amount of calls they should be making each day.
Talk to your reps—both as team and individually—on video and phone calls to go over how to source leads, make cold calls, chase follow-ups, move leads through the pipeline and close deals. Also work on problem-solving techniques that can help them react to live situations—this is especially important as you won’t be a physical presence during their working day.
Have accessible training exercises in place which can be accessed online so reps have material if needed. Expectations for remote workers should be no different than if they were in an office. Make it clear what you expect from them and use tools to keep communication going throughout the day.
Technology for Managing a Remote Sales Team
Technology has made remote working more feasible for most organizations, no matter the time zone. Identify technology tools that will empower your remote sales team to perform well at their job and stay connected with the rest of the company. From video conferencing to cloud-based SaaS technology, the range of options is vast.
You’re going to need calling software for live communication with your team. Voice calling is an option, but it might be better to plump for video calling software instead. Having the ability to see your team as you talk to them adds an extra layer of connectivity when discussing tasks as you can see reactions which may help you gauge situations better.
Google Hangouts and Skype are the most popular, while Slack also features its own built-in calling software. In fact, the latter is regularly used by many remote working teams and integrates with over 1,500 different apps.
Then there is Whatsapp and Facebook, two apps that are perhaps better known for their social use. However, many organizations use them for work-related communications.
Project management tools like Trello, Asana and Notion can also be good for managing company tasks and making sure that everyone is clear on their requirements.
It’s safe to say that the world is more connected than ever before, and remote working setups can thrive as a result.
The best sales tools are necessary, no matter the working environment. But there should be an extra emphasis on having sales software that integrates across the whole team if everyone is in a different location.
The key is to implement a simple software that your reps can learn quickly and start moving leads through the pipeline. Sales managers might opt for a traditional CRM, but these can be over engineered as they focus on more than moving leads through the pipeline.
Instead, look at adopting lead management software that centres around sales. Use a solution that offers complete transparency of pipeline flow and has an activity feed that keeps everyone up to date. You and your team should know exactly what is happening with leads, even if you are in different countries.
Come and Talk to Me
We’ve already touched on using Slack to keep a line of communication with your sales team and, whichever method you decide to use, staying in touch is vital. Communication is key to any successful working setup, and it’s even more important in remote environments.
Some organizations go as far as creating their own in-house software—this is something we have done at noCRM.io. Yoolink was created so that all employees can stay in touch with each other throughout the day.
Everyone at the company also posts “3 Goals a Day” at the start of each morning. They don’t have to be significant tasks. Instead, they act as a way for everyone to know which assignments team members are working on.
Remote workers need to be kept in the loop, whether you’re using in-house software or one of the many tools available online. They gives employees a clearer understanding of their tasks and keeps people feeling like they are part of a team even if they are in different time zones.
Find the Right Balance
While a lack of communication with your sales team can lead to them feeling alienated, too much “checking in” can also have a negative impact. No one likes being micromanaged; just because your team aren’t with you in an office doesn’t mean you should check up on them every two minutes.
Perhaps more commonly associated with office environments, micromanaging can surface in remote setups. It can be argued that managers might be more inclined to check in on their team if they can’t see them from their desk.
However, if your employees are successfully closing deals and going about their everyday tasks, give them a bit breathing space. There needs to be trust between management and employees. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check in now and then. But overcompensating for not being in an office and continually requiring feedback from your team can have a negative impact
Creating a remote sales team of reps who smash targets remotely is more than achievable. Though you should look to bring everyone together physically at least once a year, if possible. Get the team together for a workation to discuss strategy and how to achieve future targets.
Everyone gets the chance to meet in person and build on those virtual relationships. It adds an extra dimension and creates a stronger sense of belonging for each member of your sales team, while also providing the opportunity to integrate with team members in other departments.
Sell From Anywhere
If you arm your sales team with the right tools, set expectations and keep a consistent stream of dialogue, your reps can flourish in their remote surroundings. The result means more leads converted and a stellar bunch of reps securing deals all over the world.