With the onset of COVID-19, businesses have now had to adapt to remote work. This can be challenging for salespeople who aren’t used to remote selling since it’s very different from in-person sales.
However, remote selling when done right can massively improve your sales process. It can boost productivity, lift morale and help your team reach its objectives.
During these difficult times, it is now more important than ever that your sales team can generate results and crush quotas - whether they are in the office or working from the comfort of their beds.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about managing remote sales teams, and how certain strategies can help your business not only to survive but thrive in this competitive landscape.
So if you’re considering building a remote sales team, keep reading.
Table Of Contents
- Remote Sales Teams Are The Future
- Benefits of Remote Sales Teams
- Challenges Of Remote Sales Teams
- How To Manage A Remote Sales Team
- Set Clear Goals & Expectations
- Build Relationships Based On Trust
- Use Tools Designed For Remote Work
- Promote Social Engagements
- To Conclude
Remote Sales Teams Are The Future
Let’s begin by differentiating between the types of sales teams that exist. Inside sales are when your representatives sell products to your customers remotely. Inside sale reps use phones, emails, and other digital channels to contact prospective clients, so they are typically office-based.
Outside sales are when your sales reps meet your customers in person. Outside sales reps travel often to attend meetings with clients and spend most of their time off-site. This makes outside sales teams remote.
Companies often employ large inside sales teams as it keeps their sales pipelines full and helps with on-site management and teamwork. But these sales teams could theoretically be just as effective working remotely out of their homes as they are in their offices.
There could be minor issues at the start, but the advantages provided by remote selling would eventually compensate for them.
For instance, remote work attracts new talent and provides employee loyalty and retention - 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company. 13% of remote workers are more productive overall and take fewer sick days and breaks.
Benefits of Remote Sales Teams
Still not convinced of a Remote Sales Team? Here are a few of the benefits they can offer.
Cut Down On Costs
One of the advantages of remote selling is that you’ll be able to cut down on a lot of costs. These include rent for office space, equipment, and travel expenses. You’ll also be exempt from paying for lunches and dinners when you meet with clients, this may seem arbitrary now, but these expenses accumulate over time!
But this does not mean that remote selling is free of cost.
You might still need to pay for office space at home and buy paid tools & software for your team.
Over 56% of global companies allow remote work, and with the wonders of the internet, the possibilities are endless.
Remote selling allows you to pitch to potential clients on a global scale. Moreover, remote selling makes it easier to scale your business and increase sales if you’re using the right tools to do so.
There are tools that allow you to organize communication processes, manage your sales pipeline and automate manual tasks which we will talk about in a later section.
If you have a remote sales team, you will save time by eliminating the hours it takes to travel and meet with clients in person, and it will also reduce the time it takes to engage in real-life engagements.
Your sales team can use this time to research leads, and refine their sales strategies. You can save even more time by signing up for free with OneMoreLead as it provides valuable leads from a database of over 40 million B2B contacts in under 60 seconds!
There are a ton of benefits that remote selling would provide your business, but there are a few drawbacks that also need to be acknowledged.
Challenges Of Remote Sales Teams
While remote work does have its perks, it has certain challenges that need to be discussed. These include:
- The Mental Health of Employees
- Communication Issues With Clients
- Issues with Remote Collaboration
The Mental Health of Employees
Remote work can be alienating as most employees are stuck in the confines of their own homes, and this can result in a drop in productivity. 19% of remote workers state that they suffer from loneliness and 22% of them unplug after work.
Moreover, the employees working remotely may feel left out if you have on-site team members.
To address this issue, you must understand that the mental health of the members of your sales team is of paramount importance. Pretend as if your entire business is remote, even if it isn’t.
What it means is that you have to implement systems and processes in place in a way that doesn’t exclude your remote sales team members. For instance, if you digitize official announcements and updates, office memos, and other forms of communication, your remote workers won’t feel out of place.
Communication Issues With Clients
Your sales team will not have the luxury of meeting in person with your clients if they are working from their homes, especially if you have an international clientele.
However, in 2021 this should not be an issue for your company or any company for that matter.
This is because video conferencing tools such as Google Meet or Zoom make it exceedingly easy for your sales team to host meetings with your clients, irrespective of their location.
Digital communication still has a lot of issues that may be beyond your control - unstable internet connections, different timezones, and others. Moreover, some clients may need you to hold meetings face-to-face due to sales cycles and important negotiations, so you should prepare for these circumstances.
Issues With Remote Collaboration
The most common issue faced by most remote teams is collaborating from different locations. When your team members are in the same office, they can interact with each other by sharing documents, items, and important information in regards to customers or leads without limitation.
But remote teams are limited in this regard - the teamwork isn’t the same and productivity can be hampered.
Members of your sales team could be having connectivity issues or be occupied juggling different tasks during the day. Your team members could be situated in different time zones and could face difficulties in communicating important information.
In short, the entire sales process becomes hard to navigate and organize. Despite these setbacks, you can still break these barriers down and manage your remote sales team to be more productive and efficient by using certain tools and methods.
How To Manage A Remote Sales Team
Set Clear Goals & Expectations
Setting achievable goals allows members of your team to maximize their productivity. A poll of German workers showed that when managers set clear goals, about 38% of employees feel more engaged and become motivated to improve their performance at work.
Setting clear goals provides your remote sales team with a standard to uphold. Your goals should be result-oriented to make sure your team isn’t wasting any time.
Make sure that when you set goals, consider the situations of your team as they may vary from person to person. Work with your team and don’t burden them with expectations they may not be able to meet. By doing so, you will see net positive results and increase productivity.
Build Relationships Based On Trust
With a remote sales team, it can be difficult to establish trust, especially since you won’t meet face-to-face as you would with an on-site team.
Here, communication is key.
Plan your work schedule in a way so that it overlaps with the majority of your team members’ routines. This way you will be able to respond to any issues or queries your team could have without wasting any time.
Moreover, pay attention to your team’s needs. The members of your team could have difficulties with a certain project or face an emergency in their personal lives that require their attention. If you’re considerate in these regards, you’ll be able to build trust.
Do not micromanage. It may feel like it’s difficult to oversee progress remotely, but micromanaging can be annoying and is likely to disrupt productivity. If you’re concerned about work progress, there are tools like Asana that you may use to keep track of it.
Use Tools Designed For Remote Work
You will need to employ tools to help your team. There are a lot of available and convenient tools out there to facilitate remote work. Here are our top picks.
To have access to over 40 million business contacts that your sales team could work with sounds like a far-fetched dream. But with OneMoreLead, it doesn’t have to be.
OneMoreLead allows your sales team to identify qualified leads in under 60 seconds and get access to 100% verified B2B prospects.
You will also be able to easily export the data saved with integrations to the top software used by Marketing Agencies. You won’t need to waste time transferring manually.
OneMoreLead provides verified leads with a Credit Back Guarantee. Your leads also come with important complementary data that gives your team the head start they need to cold call or email prospects without wasting any time. Sound good? Sign up for free and get right into it.
Your remote sales team is going to be hosting meetings online instead of in person, thankfully there are a ton of reliable and tested tools that you could use. In 2021, Zoom and Google Meet are the best in the market when it comes to video conferencing. You could easily pair any of these up with a scheduling tool such as HubSpot.
You will be able to schedule calls with your leads and clients easily and your team will be able to capitalize on all opportunities without hassle.
Moreover, Zoom and Google Meet allow 1000 and 100 people in a single conference respectively so you’ll be able to host internal meetings with your team as well.
Use Bots For Communication
One of the most important aspects of remote work is to make sure everyone stays in the loop about important announcements, deadlines, and so on. A lot of the time, team members or you may forget to notify the team of important events.
The best solution to this problem would be to remove the element of “human error” and to use bots to automate communication.
A good place to start would be to use Standup Alice for Slack.
Your team can start their days by identifying their goals and working towards them. This allows all members of your team to stay in the loop and work together more cohesively.
Promote Social Engagements
As stated before, loneliness is experienced by a lot of remote workers and the mental health of your remote sales team members could be jeopardized because of it. To avoid that, encourage positive social interactions amongst your team members.
Hold meetings as often as you can - this gives your team members the space to interact with each other and learn from one another.
Moreover, these team meetings would enable you to address any issues that you may be facing and would give the floor to your team to brainstorm any new ideas for strategies they may have. A win-win situation.
Make sure all of your interactions don’t revolve solely around work. Encourage casual conversations about everyday topics through messaging apps or meetings. This will build rapport and reduce isolation.
A remote sales team could prove to be even more productive than an on-site team. But to ensure that your team reaches its full potential, you will need to adopt a flexible management style. To do this you need to make sure:
- you are using the right tools and strategies for remote selling,
- you implement processes that make your external and internal communication seamless, and
- you create a work environment that fosters co-operation and encourages productivity.
Lastly, you need to make sure that you are helping your team in every possible way you can - especially when it comes to helping them find new leads that are verified.
Book a demo with OneMoreLead today and help your remote sales team reach its full potential.