The era of remote sales has arrived. As the pandemic has forced offices to shut down and employees to work from home, sales managers suddenly have had to work out ways to drive their employees to sell from home. Off the back of Salesforce announcing their offices to be closed until the August 2021, we explore the challenges (and solutions) to building an effective remote sales team.
One of the biggest challenges when developing a remote-working sales environment is driving motivation outside an office. Salespeople by their very nature thrive off connecting with other people and can also be competitive. The shift from a classic sales office to remote working can provide a challenge to Sales Managers when their team can no longer derive their energy from face-to-face interactions
Implement clear and realistic expectations
A Gallup poll of German workers found that when a manager sets clear priorities for their employees, about 38% of workers feel engaged and will strive to increase their work performance. Likewise, unclear expectations can be a demotivating factor in a sales team if your reps feel that they cannot accomplish anything. This is even more important in remote working because communication is more difficult than usual.
To avoid this issue it is crucial to give your sales reps clarity with their tasks and goals. Sales Cloud can be invaluable for achieving this. Actions and Recommendations can guide your Sales team at every step in the process and also track their success at each cadence. Also, cadences in Salesforce are highly customisable and can be made to tailor each individual, no matter the industry. Likewise, the success of each rep at each cadence can be tracked with detail so no part of a sales reps job is overlooked.
Implement Clear Rewards
Once clear expectations have been set it is important for a remote sales manager to reward the work of their Sales Reps in hitting their targets. While this may be more difficult in remote working it should not be overlooked. This can be as simple as having a weekly discussion outlining the successes of their Sales Teams (via Zoom), to monthly outings where the success of the entire team is rewarded at once. This drives job satisfaction and motivates your team to improve.
Many companies are experimenting with new ways to reward their reps. With the added detail provided to sales managers at every step of the sales process, rewards can be given for success rates at each step, rather than for simply closing a deal. Similiarly, bonuses are being awarded for collaboration when closing deals. All of these can help drive your pipeline forward even in times of difficulty.
Encourage Healthy Competition
Competition has always been commonplace in Sales. A remote Sales team is no different. Encourage this competition using Salesforce Dashboards or by publishing accomplishments of Sales Reps on a weekly basis. Another aspect to consider is that not all Sales reps are good at everything. For example, the more junior members of sales teams might compete at converting leads to opportunities whereas more senior members compete at closing deals. All of this drives a healthy atmosphere of competition.
Finally, not all office competitions are dead with remote sales teams. Some companies are reworking an old-school classic with “Remote” Power Hours – a focused hour of calling in which everyone on the sales team calls only your best prospects. While normal Power Hours track the amount of meetings and conversations a rep has, new technology allows sales managers to add extra layers to this idea. Salesforce Call Coaching can be used to track the conversations being conducted and give rewards for those who used the most keywords, or talked about the most features.
Once your Sales teams are motivated to provide you sales it becomes more important than ever to help improve and educate your team. Although remote training can seem more difficult it does not have to lose the interactive aspect of in house training. Needless to say, training remains as essential as ever to building a productive and efficient workforce.
It is important to schedule in ride alongs for the newer members of your teams to learn from you or even the processes and success of other members of your team. Luckily, technologies such as Google Meet and Zoom have made screen sharing easier than ever. This means you can still guide your team at each step of the sales cadence.
Moreover, whiteboard softwares like Miro and Jamboard can mean you can make visual presentations interactive. Likewise, polling tools found in Slack and Chatter means your sales team can feel comfortable asking and answering questions like they used to.
While face-to-face education is impossible in a remote working environment, the New Normal has provided a unique opportunity to learn from Sales leaders. As the world becomes remote, more and more webinars are taking place featuring Sales leaders from any industry. Capitalise on this to nurture a culture of learning within your team or use it to reward them for hard work. This is a great opportunity for your Sales teams to learn from the best. Better yet, create your own internal webinars for your sales teams so you can capture the nuance of your sales techniques that large-scale webinars might not focus on.
One big aspect of the current shift towards remote technology that should not be overlooked is access to a lot more data. CRMs like Salesforce allows us to hone in on the different aspects of the Sales process that your team might be struggling with. Call coaching, email tracking and Einstein Activity Capture allow you to improve the specific pain points within your team rather than the previous one-size-fits-all approach to training. This leads to more effective, bespoke training that will help your team improve quicker. It also helps sales managers monitor learning engagement which can save time when driving adoption and gauging performance.
The most difficult part of a remote Sales team to nurture is collaboration.The human inclination when working remotely can be to retreat and become insular. But it has been long understood that it takes “teams to close deals” and remote working can make it difficult to promote efficient collaboration between each member. The key to achieving this collaboration is efficient communication
Daily updates might seem like the best way to take valuable time away from your team. However, if they are done well, they can drive performance, collaboration and remove blockers. All it takes is a 15-minute conversation to navigate blockers or highlight successes.
Moreover, a daily stand-up can help your team still feel like a team. This can be done by partnering members of your teams together to promote unity. Starting standups with an ice-breaker can help alleviate the more tedious parts of the day and driving non-work related engagement in group channels can help develop relationships between your team.
In a remote team, it is more important than ever to accelerate communication. Three quarters of the sales leaders surveyed in the Remote Sales Productivity Report identified adapting to changing customer expectations and demand for responsiveness as their top sales productivity challenge. However, with a shift in mindset and the right communication tools this becomes easier than ever. Chatter groups allow sales managers to answer any questions quickly and also demand feedback using polls or questions. Moreover, email capture in Sales Cloud can track the responsiveness of your team to their pipeline. It can also correlate success rates with the speed of these responses. A responsive sales team is an effective sales team.
Arguably, the most important shift from in-office to remote sales is the need for platform unity. Having your communications on several different platforms can be disorientating for even the most organised of Sales reps. It costs time to find out “who said what where?” so having all files, communications and records on a single platform can be very beneficial to the success of your remote Sales Teams.
CRMs, like Salesforce, are becoming more powerful by the day. The drive to build remote tools for a customer 360 view also lend themselves well to making sure your sales team is performing to their potential. Your reps can gain insight from their peers in customer service to close a deal or leverage marketing campaigns to build a prospecting campaign. We might not be in offices anymore but arguably we are more connected than ever.
Finally, as the face of world sales has been dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age by this pandemic, it is important to realise that with any change comes an opportunity to improve sales processes. Technology and culture can navigate these uncertain times. It is important to be aware of the opportunities that technologies can unlock.
Find out how Trigg can help you build an effective remote Sales Team. With over 50+ years experience in Salesforce and business leadership we have the tools to help you succeed. Contact us here