Having a remote sales team can benefit your company in many ways.
You get to choose from a more varied talent pool, save on operational and overhead costs and give your sales reps more room to choose their own schedule and work environment.
But it does come with its own problems. For one, collaboration becomes really difficult when your sales force is spread across a wide area and motivation tends to lag when employees can’t socialize with each other and feel isolated from the company.
So how can you keep the cogs of business turning when your employees work from different locations?
1. Plan on-site meetings to boost morale
Have a meeting once every two months, where you review all the successes of the past couple of months and take the team out for a celebratory lunch or dinner. This will help them see what’s happening with other sales reps and where the company is headed.
2. Use a CRM system and a digital asset management system
Having the technology in place to ensure easy access to customer information, marketing materials and the ability to manage sales accounts can really help remote sales executives who can’t directly ask for information from others in the team every time they need something.
3. Provide weekly online training sessions
This will help you pass on vital skills to remote workers who can’t walk into a meeting at a scheduled time. Also the training session assessments will help them see what areas they need to improve on.
4. Don’t micro-manage
Since you don’t have direct control over what people choose to do when they work remotely, it may be tempting to micro-manage and try to stay on top of every little thing. But letting people choose their own schedules can empower them to efficiently manage their time. Being flexible also gives them some breathing space to try new things and pursue interesting leads on their own.
5. Have a conflict-resolution strategy
It’s difficult to resolve professional conflicts and misunderstandings when employees who work remotely don’t verbalize their concerns or handle it the right way. Make sure you let everyone know whom they should approach if they have any issues or when it’s appropriate to do so.
Are you managing a remote sales team? What do you do to make sure they keep up their performance and stay motivated?