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How to assess and onboard your sales team remotely

COVID-19 has expedited the adoption of building remote sales talent, quicker than some were hoping for. The reality is we must adapt to the curve balls the world is throwing our way, and honestly, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Building remote sales talent is not a new thing. There are already proven methods in place for businesses to make the transition to a flexible way of working. From the assessment to the onboarding stage, we have outlined some key considerations to take when building your sales talent remotely.

Assessment stage

Utilise video call platforms

With face-to-face connections all but out of the question, the next best thing for interviewing candidates is using video call platforms. On paper, this may seem like a simple transition to normal human interaction, but there are certainly a few things to consider.

Be mindful about the platform you chose to host the video call as not all candidates will have access to the tools you’re using. Give the candidates as much information as you can when inviting them to the interview; from making sure they can access the video invite, to an indication on how long the interview will last – to ensure any tech is fully charged.

Video interviewing is a core skill, and it’s good practice to test the tools you are using before you begin the interview phase. Conduct the interview in a quiet place with a suitable background and have a plan B if the connection suddenly fails. This is also something you can assess the candidate on; for example, consider where they chose to complete the interview? How do they react to a problem like a connection failure?

Adapt your interview questions

Overall, the questions you present the candidate during a video interview shouldn’t differ too much to a regular face-to-face interview. Primarily you’ll have to consider if the candidate will be able to work remotely, so tailor some of your questions to this.

Introduce trial assessment stage

Another part of the assessment stage, remaining prevalent to the norm even in these uncertain times is the goal of ensuring the best talent is selected. One way of further ensuring this is by implementing a trial assessment or remote project for the candidate to complete before they come on board.

Yes, the client may tick all the boxes by having a great portfolio, acing the interview and being the perfect cultural fit, but to be sure the candidate is the right choice, get them to complete a task. Don’t be afraid of prolonging the assessment stage either, to ensure you hire your ideal candidate.

Onboarding stage

Now that you’ve secured your desired candidate, you must pay attention to the onboarding stage to ensure you give your new arrival all the tools to be successful both individually, as well as for your business.

Adopt a virtual mentor

When a new employee joins the business, it’s important to welcome them to the team and make them feel connected to the organisation. Although the current climate makes this tricky, with human interaction being unattainable, assigning new individuals, a virtual mentor is one way to embed them into the team.

This internal mentor can host daily or weekly video catch-up calls and introduce them to the rest of the team. The goal is to make the recent addition feel welcomed, comfortable, and up to date with the business’ philosophy.

Provide role-specific training

Training talent remotely is arguably more challenging than physical one-to-one or group sessions, but there are alternatives.

Utilise external interactive courses or internal virtual training programmes to get your new employee up to speed with how your business works, allowing them to grow within the company.

At Pareto, we’ve adapted our training methods, delivering our own online sales courses designed to be completed remotely, enabling individuals to develop their skills in various aspects of sales.

Review and set expectations

It’s essential to keep track of your new hire to ensure they are fitting into their new role but also to make sure they are meeting targets.

From day one, you should set clear expectations for your employee and arrange frequent virtual calls with them to review their progress. You could create an individual onboarding plan lasting 30, 60 or 90 days, to monitor the progress of your talent.

Without setting expectations, your employee may feel lost with little to no direction. Generally, salespeople thrive off competition, so introducing virtual leader boards, goals or reward schemes could bring out the best in your new talent.


Catch up on our Sales Surgery all about ‘Hiring Sales Superstars Remotely.’ Focusing on business growth during a global pandemic and how to identify the best talent without face-to-face meetings, this webinar features insights from special sales guests from UBER Eats and Leyton.

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