For many sales teams, selling remotely is becoming a prevalent practice that's ushering in a new era of flexibility and efficiency.
A remote sales team comprises professionals who operate remotely, relying heavily on digital tools to close deals and meet targets.
While this approach offers several benefits, it also has unique challenges —especially for sales managers.
Without face-to-face interactions, sales managers may encounter multiple hurdles (such as lack of team cohesion and communication barriers) while managing virtual teams.
So, to help you navigate and overcome these challenges, we've compiled nine great strategies for managing a remote sales team.
How to manage a remote sales team: 8 key strategies
These strategies will help you enhance the productivity and effectiveness of your remote sales team and steer them toward success.Let's get started!
1. Establish clear communication channels
According to Buffer, 20% of remote workers say they have complications when communicating with their teammates.
So, to properly lead and manage your remote sales team, establish and maintain clear and consistent communication through appropriate channels.
It will help you discuss growth plans, address issues, get updates on developments, and exchange ideas with your team.
A great way to stay connected with your team is through regular one-on-one meetings using video conferencing tools like Zoom. One-on-ones allow you to check a team member's work progress, as well as their emotional well-being.
These interactions will allow you to build trust with your team and identify moments when your assistance may be needed.
You can also use emails, phone calls, and instant messaging tools like Slack to keep in touch with your team.
Doing this can create a well-rounded approach to managing and connecting with your remote sales team.
For instance, you can create non-work channels on Slack based on your team's interests, such as #weekend-plans, #today-i-learned, #books, and others.
2. Create consistent work routines and schedules
28% of remote (and hybrid workers) claim that overworking/working more is one of their biggest challenges.
This is why it's crucial to establish consistent routines and schedules, as it provides structure and stability for your team.
This discipline includes setting a schedule for regular team meetings, individual check-ins, deal reviews, and more.
For example, your team can use a scheduling tool like Calendly to book meetings and avoid excess back and forth on scheduling.
A predictable routine will help team members plan their workday effectively and enhance productivity.
3. Establish a well-defined remote sales process
Since quick in-person queries may not always be feasible, you must set up a clearly defined sales process for your remote teams to easily navigate their workflow.
Create a framework that seamlessly outlines the steps and stages your sales reps need to follow, from initial contact with a prospect to closing a deal.
Here's what a well-defined sales process should look like for a virtual sales team:
- Preparation: This stage involves creating an accurate profile of your target audience.
- Prospecting: This entails identifying potential customers or leads using emails, calls, and social media platforms like Linkedin.
- Approach: This involves contacting leads through virtual meetings or phone calls.
- Presentation: This involves creating compelling presentations highlighting how to solve a prospect's problem.
- Handling objections: Reps should actively listen to and understand customer concerns to provide appropriate solutions and close deals faster. It's essential to take notes or record conversations during this stage.
- Closing: This step involves turning prospects into paying customers.
- Negotiation and follow-up: The final step focuses on nurturing existing relationships through emails or calls.
4. Define and differentiate roles
To create a strong and effective remote sales team, precisely define and distinguish each member's roles.
Ensure everyone understands their responsibilities and how their role contributes to the team's objectives.
This clarity prevents overlapping tasks and enhances collaboration, as team members can leverage each other's strengths to achieve collective goals.
5. Set transparent goals and expectations
If you want to guide your remote sales team toward achieving shared objectives, set transparent performance goals and expectations.
This involves clearly defining what the team aims to achieve, specifying performance expectations, and establishing key performance indicators (KPIs).
For instance, if the goal is to increase sales by a certain percentage, each team member should understand their targets and how their efforts contribute to the overall goal.
To monitor and encourage these essential activities, implement a sales leaderboard. With this tool, foster healthy competition among your reps while ensuring they consistently complete the necessary sales tasks.
6. Build an atmosphere of accountability
Setting clear goals and expectations is the beginning of managing a remote sales team.
You also need to create and maintain a culture of accountability to encourage team members to take ownership of their tasks and deliverables.
Conduct regular check-ins, performance reviews, and feedback sessions to track progress and hold each team member accountable.
7. Prioritize team morale and engagement
You also need to focus on your remote sales team's emotional well-being and engagement.
Working from different locations can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, so it's essential to actively foster a positive and supportive team culture.
One way to do this is by creating opportunities for social interaction. While physical distance separates team members, virtual spaces can serve as platforms for informal conversations, team-building activities, or even virtual coffee breaks.
Encouraging open communication and collaboration through these channels helps build personal connections and strengthens the bonds between team members.
Moreover, you can boost team morale by acknowledging and celebrating individual and collective achievements.
8. Use remote-specific sales enablement strategies
Invest in tools designed for remote sales enablement to improve your team's performance.
Doing this will equip your team with content and tools tailored to each stage of the sales process and enhance their productivity.
Here are some easy-to-implement strategies for enhancing sales enablement in a remote setting:
- Organize and enhance sales content: Use an asset management system to ensure your sales representatives have seamless access to all the sales information they require.
- Use cloud-based CRM: Use platforms like Salesforce or Pipedrive to give your sales team a comprehensive view of pipeline activities.
- Update and customize training materials: You can use e-learning platforms, webinars, and interactive modules to accommodate remote learning. You should also ensure your training content is easily accessible to all team members.
Leverage Fireflies.ai to effectively manage your remote sales team
The importance of using the right digital tools when managing a remote sales team can't be overstated.
And by integrating an innovative tool like Fireflies.ai into your team's workflow, you can simplify your management process.
This intelligent meeting tool automatically records, transcribes, summarizes, and analyzes your meetings to streamline communication and enhance your team's efficiency.
It provides many powerful features to help you easily implement most of the strategies outlined in this blog post.
Let's check them out:
1. Automated meeting transcription and summarization
Fireflies then stores all your meetings and transcripts to create a centralized, searchable knowledge base of your conversations, which you can revisit anytime and anywhere.
2. Conversation Intelligence
With these insights, you can easily compare trends and measure the quality of your team’s conversations over time.
Some of these metrics include sentiment, silence duration, average talk-to-listen ratio, and total number of filler words.
3. Quick meeting search
Fireflies provides different ways to search and retrieve information from meetings.
You can search across all your past meetings or use Smart Search, Sentiment Filters, and Topic Trackers to search for and quickly retrieve information from transcripts from a particular meeting. This way, you won't waste precious time locating key details that may help you close deals.
Topic Trackers even allow you to create custom phrases and keywords specific to your industry or domain to streamline your search.
Fireflies enhances team collaboration and sales coaching by letting you create soundbites of the most critical parts of your meetings.
You can also organize these soundbites into playlists and share them with your team for easier training and onboarding!
Plus, with its Threads feature, you can add, reply, and edit comments in your transcripts to leave feedback for your team.
5. Multiple integrations
You can log calls, notes, transcripts, and meetings into your CRM by integrating it with Fireflies.
6. Chatbot assistance
Its GPT-powered meeting assistant, AskFred, can answer any questions you have about your sales conversations.
You can also use it to write post-meeting emails, generate ideas for your next blog, and write reports.
With this feature, you can easily take note of important action items and follow up on your prospects.
7. Meeting security
Fireflies upholds the highest security standards to ensure confidentiality and privacy.
Fireflies also offers private storage to provide you with dedicated & isolated data storage for your organization.
Managing a remote sales team may be hard to navigate at first, but with these nine handy strategies, you'll get the hang of it in no time!
Plus, with the help of Fireflies' powerful features, you can unlock the full potential of your team to ensure seamless collaboration and achieve sales success.