Having an effective sales team in place is vital to the success of any company and traditionally these roles have always been carried out on site as teams work in-person. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 attitudes are starting to shift among employees and job seekers alike, with more of them looking to carry out sales roles remotely. Managing a remote sales team is a new experience for many so we’ve put together a few top tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your remote team.
One benefit of having your sales team work remotely is increased productivity; a two-year Stanford University study found that remote employees are more productive in comparison to those working from the office. Remote workers experience fewer distractions and therefore tend to work a full day as opposed to turning up late, requesting to leave early, or being distracted by colleagues.
Decreased staff turnover
Another great benefit discovered by the Stanford University study is that staff turnover decreases with remote teams. They took shorter breaks, had fewer days off sick, and took less vacation time. The great thing about working from home is that if an employee feels under the weather they’re still able to continue working, even if they would usually skip out on coming into the office.
Sales is widely accepted to be one of the most stressful departments to work in and three-quarters of American workers say they have experienced burnout in some way. In a recent FlexJobs survey, 56% of respondents felt workplace flexibility would enable them to better manage their mental health. A less stressed sales team is much more likely to hit targets consistently.
There are many benefits of having your sales team working remotely, so how can you ensure you’re managing them effectively?
Set clear boundaries
Setting out in a clear manner exactly what you expect of remote workers is vital for ensuring you’re both on the same page. By agreeing on specific quotas and parameters for achieving these quotas employees are much more likely to take initiative and perform well. Having clearly defined expectations is also great for holding your remote team accountable. It’s also important for you to understand what your team needs from you and to make yourself available to offer support during the working day. Feeling isolated or disconnected is a very real possibility for remote workers so encourage them to contact you with any questions or challenges to keep communication open in a positive way.
Utilize team software
It can be easy for remote workers to feel disconnected from the rest of their team, so utilize software to encourage team bonding. A robust CRM system that can be accessed remotely enables sales members to track activities, maintain client relationships, and see previous interactions co-workers have had with the company in question. Regular conference calls are a fantastic way to keep your team feeling like a team. Whether it’s a daily huddle held over Zoom or a weekly Microsoft Teams check-in, keeping those lines of communication open can go a long way to maintaining relationships. Just bear in mind that all communication should be productive and useful, otherwise employees will disengage and view them as a distraction instead of a positive.
If you’ve got a sales team who performs well in the office there’s no reason to think this will be any different when they’re working from home. Try to avoid micro-managing your team from afar, instead promote information-sharing between team members, and keep check-ins to a minimum. As noted above, remote workers often perform better than their in-office counterparts.
Managing a remote sales team isn’t without its challenges, but there are plenty of ways you can create a supportive and open remote culture. Provided your team knows you’re on hand to offer guidance whenever needed, the transition to remote working will work in your favor.
If your team is facing new challenges as you look to build a remote team, our staffing solutions are customizable and help get your on your way to increased sales and profits.
If you’d like to discuss your next remote hire, get in touch.