How to Manage a Remote Sales Team

Remote is the future, but it requires good management.
how to manage a remote sales team cover photo
The rise of remote work has been an unprecedented change in the way we do business.

Companies can now hire and manage teams from different corners of the globe, creating a vastly more diverse workforce.

For those in sales, this means that teams must be managed differently than before.

In this blog, we'll cover five tips to help manage a remote sales team effectively.

With the right strategies and tools, remote teams can be just as successful as in-person teams.

Let's get started!
how to manage a remote sales team infographic

Establish Communication and Collaboration
through Virtual Meetings

Before the pandemic, many businesses handled Sales meetings face-to-face in their office. As a result, teams could connect and brainstorm ideas on a whiteboard, for example.

Since many businesses have moved their sales efforts into the virtual world, they are enhancing these exchanges with cloud-based communication and collaboration technologies.

Today's sales teams can communicate by voice call, email, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.

As long as certain guidelines are established and the right technologies are used to link remote workers, this transition to digital communication can be simple (both to customers and to each other).

The value of recognition in the workplace cannot be emphasized when it comes to communication. It's a useful strategy for inspiring your sales staff and assisting them in meeting their objectives.

According to Audience, 82% of workers report feeling happy at work when they are recognized. Positive reinforcement encourages and raises the morale of your sales staff, whether it occurs one-on-one or as part of a formal company program.

Use Remote-friendly Business Tools

Sales staff need the right tools to close deals and increase a company's income. In a remote environment, those tools are technological ones.

To give some examples, we have listed some of the most established tools for remote sales teams here:

Slack

This tool is not only for remote sales teams; it's for remote working companies in general.

Because it is a channel-based messaging platform, everything about your work—conversations, files, and even other programs like Zoom and Google Drive—is centralized and available from anywhere.

This facilitates information availability, productive teamwork, and, ultimately, speedier completion of tasks.

Specifically for sales managers, Slack can manage numerous teams' conversations through a single app. One communication channel for your remote sales personnel will streamline information sharing and task monitoring.

Salesforce

A CRM is essential for sales teams to follow up with leads and for managers to monitor their progress. In addition, they enable remote workers to update it as frequently as necessary with prospects, leads, and current clients.

Salesforce can give you a thorough picture of your sales process. In addition, the tool provides senior management with a detailed overview of your sales team.

Every remote salesperson will work efficiently and close more deals easily, thanks to the many functions of the platform.

Using the "Big Deal Alert" feature, Salesforce can automatically alert you or your sales reps when a potential deal is just around the corner.

You can also use the "Opportunity Update Reminders" feature to schedule status updates to be emailed to you or your team.

LinkedIn Learning

To provide additional information for your remote sales team, online courses about specific topics can help your sales staff learn and grow faster.

LinkedIn Learning has many courses that provide information about sales topics. Sales reps struggling with a topic can use this platform to get valid info.

Since LinkedIn Learning is included in the SalesNavigator subscription, there are no additional costs for your sales team.

Google G-Suite

When your company works with Google Suite, your sales team can benefit from the platform's wide variety of functions. For example, besides Gmail the are functions like:

Google Docs

Remote teams can edit documents together in real-time using Google Docs. Instead of waiting for feedback, you can implement edits within the same document for easier collaboration. Team members use a hyperlink to collaborate that invites other users to share document access.

Google Calendar

With Google Calendar, you can quickly schedule meetings and events and get reminders about upcoming activities, so you always know what's next. Calendar is designed for teams, so it's easy to share your schedule with others and create multiple calendars you and your team can use together.

Google Drive

With coordination conducted solely online, secure, reliable document sharing has become extremely important for remote teams. Google Drive allows teams to share files securely and instantly. Keep separate docs, sheets, and slides organized in folders so all team members can access important documents and presentations.

Of course, these are just a few tools many remote-working sales teams use.

There are many more tools that can increase your team's productivity.

That's why every sales manager must invest time in finding the right tools for their sales team.

Hire Experienced Sales Reps

Always seek skilled sales professionals when filling your remote team with sales reps.

Additionally, a sales team with prior remote work expertise is usually beneficial.

Sales professionals with experience are mature individuals who can function independently with little direction. They won't come to you for help all the time. Instead, they can manage the majority of situations on their own.

A lengthy onboarding procedure is not necessary for an experienced worker as well. Simply provide them with the tools needed, and they'll start working.

Set Clear Expectations

Context can teach people a lot.

When your sales team knows what you expect from them, they can match your goals better. Also, setting clear goals and expectations will help you measure the entire team's performance based on the same standards.

Your sales force is more likely to deliver when they know what is expected of them. Additionally, setting concrete objectives provides a framework for evaluating their effectiveness.

According to a survey of German employees, workers showed greater initiative and improved performance when supervisors stated objectives, held staff accountable for fulfilling them and provided prompt assistance to teammates who needed it.

Sales management should establish expectations on sales targets and procedures. Your internal sales targets need to be tracked and observed.

A sales leaderboard can help you demonstrate whether expectations are being reached and how much activity is taking place.

Provide Feedback Regularly

Many managers fall into a common trap when giving feedback remotely to do all the talking.

When communicating virtually, this becomes worse. Encourage your employees to ask questions and share their points of view. To motivate employee participation during your feedback sessions, ask them:

  • What they think they did well.
  • To explain any challenges they had with the assignment.
  • What they will do differently next time.
Your employees should also share additional information from their side of the story. This will help you understand their challenges, particularly working remotely.

A Gallup survey found that managers who received more constructive feedback were 12.5% more productive than those who did not. As a result, you should inform your sales staff frequently with constructive feedback.

However, feedback should be delivered with good intentions. It should not diminish the salesperson.

Conclusion

As a remote sales team manager, keeping track of your team's progress is critical.

Sales management needs to create expectations for sales quotas and procedures. And your internal sales targets need to be monitored and kept in check.

Every sales manager must have the right tools and methods to leverage their team's productivity.

The five tips are essential to consider for managing a remote team with sales reps located around the world.

If you need access to experienced, remote sales reps, SalesPipe can provide you with the required expertise you don't even have to manage actively.

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Post by Mattes Wöstemeier.
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