Remote work has quickly become the norm over the last few months and, as COVID-19 rages on, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
Have you and other members of your sales team been tasked with working from home? Are you having a hard time helping the folks you manage to stay focused and continue reaching their sales goals each month?
If you’re struggling with managing your remote sales team, keep reading. Listed below are some tips on how you can do your job in the most effective way possible while working from home.
Clarity Is King
When you’re in any kind of leadership role, one of the most important things you can do is to be clear about your expectations. Clarity becomes even more crucial when you’re managing a remote team, though.
Things change when you aren’t able to pop by someone’s desk or call them into your office for a quick chat. It’s easy for information to get lost in translation. As a result, you might find that your team members have more questions or need more details for certain tasks and projects than they did before.
To minimize confusion and help your salespeople adjust to remote work, aim to be as clear as possible about what you expect from them. This includes setting specific goals for the week when it comes to productivity and giving people actionable steps to take to ensure they achieve those goals.
You might think you’re being clear, but you could actually be sending conflicting messages or just not expressing something in the best way. To ensure that your instructions and expectations are getting across in the proper way, encourage your salespeople to communicate with you. Let them know that your virtual door is always open and invite them to ask questions if something is unclear or confusing.
When someone comes forward and seeks clarification or has feedback on a particular matter, meet them with (again, virtual) open arms. Welcome their response and do your best not to get defensive. If people don’t feel that they can come to you with questions or concerns, they won’t bother and will try to figure things out themselves or might ignore responsibilities altogether (both of which can lead to less productivity and less profitability over time).
Make Socialization Acceptable
Communication is key when it comes to managing your team. Make sure your team members know, though, that they’re allowed to have non-work-related communication, too.
Even if they’re not working in the same office, folks on your team still need to have a chance to catch up with one another and have some “water cooler” conversation from time to time. This allows them to decompress, refocus their efforts, and be more productive.
Consider creating a Slack channel for these kinds of discussions and encourage team members to use it. You can even pop in there yourself so that people know it’s truly okay for them to chat with their colleagues every once in a while.
A common pain point for people who are working from home for the first time is a lack of structure. When things can be done at any time, they often don’t get done at all.
Because of this, it’s important to implement workflows and work with your team to come up with a schedule or prioritized task list for the day. Even if your salespeople aren’t all on the exact same schedule, they should still have processes to follow and systems in place that help to hold them accountable.
Monitor Time Usage
Another way to encourage accountability and ensure employees are maximizing the workday is to monitor time usage. There are lots of tools you can use, many of which are free, that will help you keep track of the way your sales team members are utilizing their time.
Avoid micromanaging, but monitor people’s time usage to get a general sense of what they’re doing during the day and how productive they’re being. That way, if someone comes to you with a question or concern, you’ll have data that you can reference to work with them on how they can be more effective and efficient.
Use the Cloud
Document-sharing can be a struggle when you’re managing a remote team. It’s too easy for people to forget to attach documents when sending an email, for example, or to send over the wrong file and hold everyone up.
When you use a cloud-based document-sharing tool, everyone is able to access the information they need and search for important data without having to interrupt the rest of the team’s workflow. A cloud-based tool ensures that everyone gets the most up-to-date versions of documents and files, too.
Invest in Sales Automation
In addition to cloud-based software, another great investment you can make to improve your remote sales team’s performance is in sales/lead call back automation tools like Callingly.
Callingly helps to streamline the sales process and ensure that every lead gets reached out to in a timely manner. It frees your salespeople up to focus on other parts of the sales process, but they can still feel confident that they’re not dropping the ball when it comes to converting people from leads to paying customers.
It’s Time to Lead Your Remote Sales Team to Victory
Managing a remote sales team definitely has its challenges, especially if you’ve never worked remotely or managed employees who are working from home before. If you keep these tips in mind, though, it’ll be easier for you to adjust your management style and help your team stay motivated and on track toward achieving their goals.
One of the best steps you can take to help everyone work as efficiently as possible is to invest in lead call back automation. Callingly will streamline the lead call back process and ensure that all of your potential customers get contacted as soon as possible.