Even as the pandemic begins to dissipate, many companies are sticking to some degree of remote work. Not only did 83 percent of companies have a successful transition to remote work during the height of the pandemic, but across the board employee satisfaction and productivity increased. This also gave companies an opportunity to hire with a wider net, after location was no longer a factor.
For the sales world, a McKinsey report revealed some interesting numbers: About 70-80 percent of B2B decision makers prefer remote interactions with sellers over in-person interactions. That’s a big deal!
So how can sales management implement best practices for their remote sales?
In a previous blog post, we touched on some of the issues that sales reps had in the beginning of remote work, such as working on the wrong tasks or missing opportunities, and how to resolve those issues.
Now, we’re focusing our attention on how a remote sales team can create a digital replication of the sales floor. Because so much is learned by osmosis when in a physical environment, remote sales teams need to implement the right digital tools to stay connected, share meaningful learning opportunities, and strengthen team relationships.
1. Implement digital tools.
While 2020 made it unsafe to meet in person, the following year solidified our reliance on technology. Sure, a pandemic sped up the process, but the increase in use of digital tools was inevitable.
In a remote sales environment, your team is essentially replicating a physical sales environment, so a couple of tools here and there aren’t going to cut it. You need to consider tools for the following tasks:
- Holding webinars and video conferences
- Delivering virtual gifts
- Distributing posts on social media
- Communicating with coworkers via video or messages
- Tracking your reps’ performance and goals to inform sales coaching
Okay, so once you implement these tools, how do you go about using them as effectively as possible?
2. Forecast wins, high performances, and more.
Like we said before, you want to replicate the sales floor in a digital environment. Take advantage of your platform’s ability to communicate with your team quickly:
- Implement daily stand-ups to go over the biggest outcome from the day before.
- Communicate the most pressing goal for that day.
Provide opportunities to let knowledge rub off on each other. You know how ESPN has a top 10 plays of the week? Using a software that tracks sales calls, you can send a snippet of a rep who really nailed the call, send it out on your Slack or Zoom channel, and then discuss it during a team meeting. Treat the call like you are coaches and players watching football film, deciding what worked in the rep’s performance and what could be adjusted.
But this isn’t just for reps. At the executive level, you can pipe in information about roadmap strategy or market presence in fun and engaging ways in your CRM, Slack, Zoom, or wherever your team is communicating.
3. Strengthen team relationships.
Happy hours over Zoom are all well and good, but strengthening relationships is about feeling a part of something bigger.
When bringing in a new sales rep, it’s important that they feel a part of a team. Otherwise, they’re just opening up a new laptop at their desk or kitchen counter and nothing much is different other than their new email domain. As social beings to the core, sales reps going through ramp need to have clear expectations by witnessing winning behaviors and participating in weekly sales coaching sessions across the team so that everyone is learning and developing together.
A part of strengthening teams can also happen through reiterating the thread between the AE team and SDR team. Sometimes, these two teams can feel like they’re on their own islands. Take the time to show the teams the lifecycle of how a prospect became a client, highlighting the areas of each collaboration. Doing so helps remind reps that they are integral to your organization's bigger mission.
Choose a data-driven sales platform for your remote sales team.
You might be wondering where all the information you plan to send out to your channels comes from. It certainly doesn’t come out of nowhere.
Using a data-driven sales management platform, you can monitor your chosen sales metrics to view excellencies as well as where your reps need a boost, increase productivity, and inform sales coaching—regardless of where your reps are in the world.
To help you get started on optimizing your remote sales team, check out Instrumenting Work From Home (WFH) Sales Team Deck (and Video).