Work-from-home policies are here to stay. (Don’t worry, this isn’t another blog about the upside-downness of managing remote teams during the pandemic. We know you’ve seen plenty). The shift toward work-from-home policies—whether permanent, frequent, or occasional—has been slowly increasing over the years, and that adoption was only accelerated by COVID-19.
Back in 2018, 53 percent of professionals surveyed worked remotely at least half of the week. With the pandemic, plenty of companies have implemented long-term work-from-home policies, some of which are permanent. And for good reason—productivity and income have increased with remote work.
This means companies will continue to adjust many in-person work practices to a virtual environment. Despite those pros, #WFH life doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. In one survey, 29 percent of remote workers reported breakdowns in communication as a major hurdle when working from home.
Recently, our team at Atrium surveyed 400+ sales managers and found that 95 percent of teams are either fully distributed or in hybrid mode, with 74 percent expected to grow their teams in a distributed form in the next 12 months.
When it comes to a distributed sales team, sales reps can present a number of issues as the result of limited visibility and communication friction compared to traditional sales environments. Typical issues that have arisen for sales teams have presented in reps working on the wrong tasks and missing opportunities due to the removal of social cohesion and “eyes and ears” instrumentation of sales leadership.
When it comes to a remote sales process, 66 percent say they are very confident while 30 percent say they are somewhat confident. While that’s not horrible, it’s not great either.
So how does a sales team adapt to the virtual environment with as few road bumps along the way as possible? Effective sales management starts with intention, communication, and accountability.
Learn how to manage distributed teams.
As we’ve mentioned, one of the key contributors to drops in activity comes from a lack of communication and connection. Sales teams rely heavily on esprit de corps for encouragement and shared purpose, but without in-person interaction, what takes its place?
Sales management tools allow managers to engage with their sales team through collected data distributed by metric. Sure, data can’t ask your sales reps about their fun plans for the weekend, but it does an excellent job understanding what performance and sales metrics reps need to improve upon.
Ramp up a work-from-home effort with data-driven sales management.
In the fast-paced sales environment, you want to avoid being surprised by rep problems that it’s too late to fix. When using a sales management platform, you can receive data and insights to help management see around corners and fix issues before they become problems. You can lead coaching sessions supported by the received data to fix issues instead of looking for them.
Using a data-drive sales management platform, you can implement a hierarchy of needs for performance analytics that are as follows:
- Gather the right sales metrics. This can be anything from emails to win rates to untouched opportunities on the specific interval.
- Collect relevant data. Once you have set your metrics, the platform begins collecting data.
- Build relevant reporting. Reporting of the collected data can be immediate or on a schedule you have set.
- Determine, set, and monitor KPIs. Based on the relevant reporting, you can set your team members’ KPIs to understand strengths and areas for improvement.
- Visually monitor and identify aberrations. Reporting comes through frequently, which means you can identify potential issues before they become significant problems.
- Diagnose and communicate issues for resolution. Here’s the real benefit of this platform: Quick reporting means you know exactly how to guide your reps immediately and over time.
Atrium’s data-driven sales management platform is intended to be extensive yet easy to view. Once you set the parameters for your team’s needs, the data flows in. From there, taking the insights gleaned from the data, you can provide data-backed coaching for your reps.
Explore a quick story of performance improvement provided by the right data.
Speaking of data, here’s a story of how one company uses data-driven sales management to improve team performance.
A 30-person sales development rep (SDR) team working from home experienced a dip in activity and didn’t have the proper instrumentation to monitor the reps sufficiently and manage by metric. When they implemented Atrium’s platform, they followed the process that we outlined above. Here’s a brief breakdown of what went on:
- The team measured and broadcasted effort-level metrics.
- These metrics allowed the team to focus on increasing account engagement, emails, and call volumes.
- Implementation of performance dashboards allowed management to witness the collected data based on the metrics.
- SDRs reviewed the levels in one-on-one meetings and team meetings.
The results were impressive. Activity of the selected metrics increased by more than 30-50 percent:
- Emails increased from 150/week to 200/week.
- Accounts touched increased from 50/week to 75/week.
- New accounts touched increased from 10/week to 15/week.
- Contacts touched increased from 100/week to 160/week.
- New contacts touched increased from 30/week to 45/week.
- Meetings created increased from two/week to three/week.
- Opps created increased from two/week to three/week.
- Pipe created increased from $3K monthly recurring revenue (MRR)/week to $5.5K MRR/week.
And the big payoff came in an additional $80K from 44 new opps.
Partner with Atrium and let the data lead the way.
Implementing a data-driven platform that monitors the sales metrics you choose will allow you to increase productivity and better understand where your reps need a boost. But this isn’t just applicable with remote teams—good data is good data, which means in-person teams will benefit from Atrium as well.