How to manage a remote sales team

5 minutes

The pandemic and technological developments have caused workplace trends to evolve. So now, a company’s employees no longer have to be in an office. They can instead work from home, allowing teams to collaborate from all over. The same is true with sales roles, leading to the rise of virtual sales teams. 

Virtual sales teams can achieve the same level of output as those in an office. But, remote roles can also bring along a whole host of challenges. This blog will guide you past these obstacles, allowing you to be an effective virtual sales manager. 

Establish open communication channels 

Effective communication is one of the biggest challenges facing remote workers. Of course, employees favour different ways of working. Some workers won’t mind not being in a face-to-face environment with colleagues. But, others may have worked office-based jobs in the past. This means they might like a higher level of interaction. This could be in the form of chatting with colleagues or asking for feedback on a project. 

This doesn’t mean they can’t work virtually, but it might take them some time to adapt. And as their sales manager, this is where you can help. You can have one-to-ones and weekly team meetings. These meetings give you a chance to ensure your team remains engaged. You can discuss performance rates, collaborate, and find solutions to challenges.

You should also use some kind of chat function. Here, your team can provide each other with minor updates. And this keeps the communication channels open daily. The schedule and tools you use to communicate don’t matter so much. But, you should ensure that everyone’s included. 

Use remote sales tools and processes

There are plenty of different sales tools out there. But, when you don’t use the same ones across your team, workflow issues can arise. And when you work remotely, these issues only get worse if they’re not dealt with. 

To ensure the seamless running of processes, businesses must harness digital tools. And with the right tools, a sales team’s productivity will increase. For example, there are customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like Salesforce and Hubspot. These platforms help salespeople keep track of their deals. 

As technology continues to develop, your sales team can make use of automation tools. These tools can help your salespeople in sending bulk emails. Each of your salespeople should be using the same tools. And in an ideal world, the tools should interact with each other. This allows for a seamless experience for your sales team

There are also various communication tools available. Some of these allow for video-based interactions. This can improve the efficiency of internal and external meetings.

Set measurable goals and create accountability

To ensure a successful sales team you need to know how everyone is performing. That’s why you should outline a variety of goals for each member of your team. With goals in place, all your salespeople know what they're striving towards.

In a remote environment, you don’t have constant face-to-face contact with your sales team. This can make it tempting to micro-manage them. But, this approach can impact your salespeople's confidence, hindering morale across the team. And before long, salespeople will begin resigning, in search of more fulfilling opportunities. 

To avoid this, you shouldn’t keep too strong of a grip on your team. You should instead allow your salespeople to be independent. Within this space, they will be far more innovative and come up with ideas. 

Also, your salespeople to be accountable for their work. They should track their progress, measuring how close they are to their goals. But, you should also create a safe working environment for your remote team. This way, they will feel comfortable relaying their results and asking for help. 

Celebrate wins

Salespeople are often under pressure to achieve their goals in a limited amount of time. As a result, sales roles often require a lot of hard work. So, when your salespeople achieve their goals, you should celebrate their success. Of course, most companies will have some kind of monetary commission structure. But, it’s also important to display a touch of personal gratitude. This is customary for office-based sales teams, who may go out for a celebratory meal and drinks.   

But, this isn’t as easy for those in a remote environment. That’s where, as a remote sales manager, you have to make an effort with your celebrations. After all, you won’t bump into them in the office. You can show your appreciation to your remote salespeople in several ways. You can offer them a gift card or a meal voucher. Or you can congratulate them in your team meeting. This approach will boost employee morale while creating some friendly competition. Remember, your sales team remain engaged when they're recognised for their hard work. And this will help them to avoid burning out. 

Remote team building  

Remote employees are in different locations around the country. That means there isn’t a shared working space like salespeople based in an office have. This can leave your sales team feeling disconnected from each other. 

Being too isolated from others can lead to a lack of engagement and high levels of stress. And from this, productivity drops. Organisational psychologist, Lynn Holdsworth, found that full-time remote work increased loneliness by 67%.

There’s no doubt, loneliness is one of the biggest challenges facing remote workers. Employees are often isolated in remote roles. This makes the prospect of effective communication and collaboration much harder. And although you’ll have your team meetings to go over your team’s progress, this isn’t always enough. 

A survey from 2018 found, 70% of employees said, having friends at work is the most important part of a happy work life. That’s why it’s important to have video calls that allow your salespeople to get to know each other. This might mean hosting icebreaker sessions or other fun activities. Either way, engaged employees will be productive and perform to a high standard.  

Are you having a hard time finding talent for your remote sales team? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We know finding top talent is a challenge in today’s climate. That’s why we have our assess, place, train mantra in place, allowing us to find the best talent for your sales team.

Looking to strengthen your Business?

Let's Talk