If you want to improve your sales, you need to make sure you connect with your clients on a personal level. And that’s where a good sales representative comes into the picture.
A good sales representative always establishes a personal connection with the customers to better understand their needs and requirements.
Unfortunately, with a remote work system, it has become frustrating for salespeople to establish such connections with their clients and other teammates.
They’re not able to meet them in person.
But, remote work is the new normal now and it is projected that 36.2 million Americans will work remotely by 2025.
The remote work environment has thrown many new curveballs towards sales teams, such as:
- Building trust and transparency among the team members have become harder
- Hassle of streamlining communication using online tools
- Outlining daily tasks and monitoring performance
- Keeping the remote team motivated and engaged
- Staying connected with the customers
- Converting leads before they turn cold
Today, remote sales professionals have to deal with more challenges than before, but they can turn this unfavorable situation around. All they need to do is reshuffle their sales team management strategies and craft them into remote-friendly strategies.
Well, no need to worry. This post will discuss all the prominent strategies you can use to build a strong remote sales team.
7 Strategies to Build an Effective Remote Sales Team
Now, remote work isn't easy, especially for sales teams who have to coordinate and communicate with various other departments like marketing and purchase.
But, we can’t also ignore the fact that 31% of the global workforce will work remotely by 2022 as it allows workers to:
- Reduce commute time, allowing sales representatives more time to focus on their work
- Allows sales representatives to work independently
- Develop decision-making capabilities among the sales team
- Enables you to bring diversity to your remote sales team
All in all, remote work is more effective than office work — only when remote teams are managed properly.
So, here are a few strategies to develop a powerful remote sales team:
1. Define your expectations
To manage your remote sales team like a pro, you have to first define your expectations. You need to be explicit about what you want your sales representatives to bring to the table.
The instructions and timeline to complete each task need to be clear so every team member can understand them and adhere to them.
When your sales team knows what you expect from them, they will be able to match your goals better. Also, setting clear goals and expectations will help you measure the entire team's performance based on the same standards.
For example, if you want the sales team to increase sales within a month, give them the exact number so they know how much sales you expect them to bring in.
This number will also help you check whether your sales team has delivered as per your expectations or not.
You should also categorize your expectations into smaller fragments so you can better achieve your company goals:
- Performance: What is your sales target? How many calls are sales representatives expected to make per week?
- Administrative duties: Salespeople should know what you expect from them regarding CRM maintenance, preparing reports, making sales calls, attending meetings, etc.
- Personal development: Do you want salespeople to learn new things and grow professionally? Then, you should encourage them to attend different online sales classes to grow professionally and personally.
2. Hire experienced sales representatives
While hiring sales representatives for your remote team, always look for experienced sales employees.
And when it comes to remote work, it always helps if your sales team is experienced in working remotely.
Experienced sales representatives are mature people; they can independently work under minimal guidance. They won't run to you every time they face a problem. Instead, they can handle most things on their own. This can go a long way in swift decision-making — something that’s essential in sales.
Additionally, you don't have to create a long onboarding process for an experienced person. You simply have to give them the right resources and they’ll get to work.
Here are a few tips to hire a proficient sales representative:
- Define what qualities you are searching for in potential candidates like good communicator, team player, etc.
- Check the energy level of the person as sales managers have to work 40 hours or more in a week.
- Sales representatives should be self-sufficient to make quick decisions.
- Use methods like psychometric testing to assess the candidates.
- Look for abilities like interaction, interpersonal, and time management.
3. Focus on sales representatives’ mental health
Sales representatives today work under immense mental pressure. They have to chase tight deadlines, follow up leads on time, and do so much more.
Now, in the remote work environment, their mental stress has spiked manifold.
Remote workers are so stressed today that 80% would prefer quitting their job rather than dealing with the stress.
Thus, it’s important for sales team leaders to focus on their staff's mental health today. It's not that hard to distress your team remotely.
- You can also motivate your employees to read more self-help and career-related books. Research published in Neurology shows how reading can improve brain functions.
- Organize informal team meetings. You should often host informal peer meetings where the team can bond over a cup of coffee or tea remotely. It not only builds team spirit but gives employees the opportunity to talk about their stress.
- Reduce monotone tasks burden. All the repetitive tasks like exporting data from one app to another can make your employees dull; thus, automate your business operations so your employees can focus on creative tasks.
4. Use a time tracker
Keeping your remote sales team productive and effective is always a bit challenging. They may feel demotivated at times and you wouldn’t even be able to track their work as effectively.
Further, setting accountability, collaboration, and performance measurement aren’t easy remotely.
So, what should you do? One way to help your employees become more accountable is using a time tracking software solution.
This would help your employees track how much time they’re taking for their tasks. Also, you’ll be able to keep tabs on them using it and ensure that their productivity isn’t taking a hit.
With modern time trackers like PomoDoneApp, you can easily track your team's workflow and manage current tasks. This app allows you to use the Pomodoro technique to track every task. Further, the app is available in Chrome extension form to make time tracking effective.
While tracking your remote team’s time, consider a few things:
- Assign tasks with deadlines
- Monitor your team activity
- Observe factors that are affecting your remote team’s performance
- Don’t micromanage them, give them the liberty to set their own schedule
5. Hold regular meetings
Communication is the backbone of remote working. Without a smooth communication system, running remote sales operations is next to impossible.
Therefore, you should regularly conduct virtual team meetings. The virtual meetings help you define company goals for each team member and understand their opinions in return.
You should also invest in collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to help your team communicate among themselves.
The meetings are also a good opportunity for sales representatives to formulate new strategies and share updates with one another. Virtual meetings are useful when you run hybrid or remote teams. These meetings help to share real-time information and build a cordial team culture.
To make your remote sales meetings fruitful, focus on the following things:
- Have an agenda for the meeting
- Keep the meeting short and to the point
- Listen to every member’s opinion
- Create an engaging environment
- Hold brainstorming sessions
6. Promote team collaboration
Team collaboration can take a hit when your sales team is working remotely. And this can pose a major issue for your business.
That’s why you must pay special attention towards creating a more inclusive and comfortable working environment. You must provide your team with the tools that they need to effectively communicate among themselves.
They may need to share leads, update others about the progress, etc. Without the tools at their disposal, you’ll end up with miscommunication and this can dramatically slow down your sales process. You might also end up losing leads due to the same reason.
7. Share timely feedback
According to a Gallup study, managers who received stronger feedback had 12.5% greater productivity than those who received no feedback. Thus, you should timely and frequently provide feedback to your sales team.
Feedback gives you a direction to work on. However, this feedback must be given in a well-intended manner. It shouldn’t put the salesperson down. Instead, the goal should be to help them do better with your assistance.
What's the Remote Sales Team Success Secret?
Collaboration, communication, and effective management are the three secret ingredients to building a successful remote sales team.
When all your sales representatives are on the same page, you can effortlessly meet your sales goals. And for this, you have to practice numerous things — from maintaining helping employees collaborate to assisting them in utilizing their time effectively.
Remote sales workflow might be a new concept but with the right plan, you can definitely make it work.
Do you have any questions about the remote sales team strategies discussed above? Ask them in the comments.
About the author:
Janki Sharma is Head of Operations at N2N Digital and has over 5+ years of experience working in the marketing and sales domain. She provided innovative ideas and solutions for business growth. She loves to write on a wide range of topics like digital marketing, tech, and many more. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
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