Hackernoon logo5 Tips for Business Leaders To Manage Their Remote Sales Teams Effectively by@aveemittal

5 Tips for Business Leaders To Manage Their Remote Sales Teams Effectively

Avee Mittal Hacker Noon profile picture

@aveemittalAvee Mittal

Avee is the Product Marketing Manager at FieldCircle, field operations automation and technology consulting company.

Digital technologies have changed the way sales happen across industries. Although many companies managed to adopt new technologies early on to improve their selling potential, the pandemic has increased the urgency of tech adoption for the rest of them.

As a matter of fact, this urgency is not about improving the process, which is secondary; the urgency is to ensure business continuity, which points out the severity of the situations.

Building capabilities for remote selling is one such urgency that every sales-focused business needs to divert their attention to. They need to optimize their processes, support their people, and update their tools to enable their sales team to operate from remote locations. Here are 5 tips to help you manage remote sales teams effortlessly without having to worry about performance dip.

1. Hire the Right People

Not everyone excels at remote work.

There will be salespersons in the team who will need a little extra hand-holding. Or you might need to hire fresh graduates as interns or people with little experience in the sales profession. Managing such professionals is difficult especially when most of your sales team works from remote locations, as guidance involves a lot of communication.

Hiring managers must plan the communication requirements in advance to ensure that training and knowledge sharing happen without interruption. They need to ensure support is ready and consistent till the new salespeople develop the necessary skills.

Besides, whether a veteran or new in sales, having a dedicated workspace and IT infrastructure is quintessential for focused work. When hiring, make sure that your team has computer systems, updated applications, and other components of IT to perform work efficiently.

2. Ensure transparent communication

Communication is a prevalent factor in every aspect of sales. Whether you are communicating with a coworker or the clients, the message should be properly delivered each time, no matter what touchpoint is being used.

In the remote work environment, the message in itself and the tool in use are both important to success. Most times, salespersons send common template-based messages without even personalizing messages for prospects. Additionally, a huge gap has also been observed in the message and tool, as in some cases messages are not modified according to the tool.

For effective and transparent communication, sales leaders must take concrete steps to reduce the gap between the message and the tool. It also requires providing basic communication training to salespersons that would help salespersons to modify the messages in order to make them more specific to the prospect.

3. Empower your field sales leaders

While most discussions cover a range of issues faced by the salespersons, the one shoulder with the most responsibility often gets overlooked. Sales managers, or people in the sales management team, time and again do not get enough support material to make better decisions.

At this time of the era, they must be empowered sufficiently to take steps that result in a positive outcome.

It includes offering them sales enablement material and the right tools for generating data insight. With this type of support, they can further empower the sales team to drive productivity and increase revenue.

4. Set the right KPIs

Although everyone in the sales leadership teams understands the importance of setting the right sales KPIs, most times, they miss the mark. Sales leadership often turns the whole exercise into one murky number game that no one in the sales team wants to play. This happens when leadership teams get obsessed with numbers instead of weighing on the outcome.

In order to prevent this from happening with your sales team, especially when they are working from remote locations, you must assess the "what" and "why" of the sales performance metrics.

For instance, now that your team is not travelling too much, you might not want to track average time travelling per field sales represenative. Instead of this, you could track the time spent on making sales calls, categorizing them by time spent on phone conversation and time spent on zoom calls.

5. Ensure optimum utilization of CRM

The amount of enthusiasm and efforts the sales leadership teams put into purchasing sales CRM solution is often not shared by the sales team while utilizing them. A possible reason for the issue could be either that the CRM is not a proper fit for the team or that the team willingly evades chances to utilize the CRM properly.

While it is an undeniable fact that CRM is beneficial for the sales team, often the right stakeholders are not involved while making the purchasing decision. And so, when the solution is finally introduced into the system, salespersons find that it doesn't help them meet their KPI goals. Besides, many salespersons show reluctance to use the CRM because it overburdens them with administrative data entry tasks.

However, in todayโ€™s context with remote culture, CRM has become one of the most effective tools sales teams could have to visualize their sales pipeline journey, manage prospects, and get data insight. Sales leaders must ensure that they have the best sales CRM software that meets their business requirements and the one that the sales team will actually use.

The Next Step Forward

Remote work culture is not anytime soon. In fact, it seems like the new norms have already been laid out and sales leaders have little choice other than to empower the team to adapt to this new work culture quickly and effectively. Proper, timely, and precise communication along with early adoption of digital tools could help a deal to uplift the morale of the sales team and give the business the much-needed boost.

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