Remote working is the new norm, thanks to the global pandemic. Many businesses – especially those with no previous online presence – have found themselves grappling with this new reality. So we have a remote sales team whose main mode of selling was via face-to-face interaction.
Remote selling provides a unique opportunity to enhance the selling process while improving productivity. But how do you do ensure that your sales team is pulling their weight when working from home?
When managing a remote sales team, setting up operational efficiency can be a significant challenge. Therefore, you need an effective communication tool like Aira to collaborate more effectively with them. Read on to learn how you can lead your remote sales team from the comfort of your home.
The Pros and Cons of Remote Selling
Remote selling is also known as virtual selling. It refers to a buying cycle in which most sales conversations occur between buyers and sellers in various geographical locations. With a large part of the interactions being remote, remote selling entails virtual selling techniques.
A major benefit of working from home for you – and your team too -is increased flexibility. You can even choose where to work from and when to work.
With a remote sales team:
- It is cost-effective. Remote selling helps cut down on costs such as office rent, office supplies, mileage, and drastically reduces the time used on the work commute.
- It enhances productivity. The use of digital communication tools and cloud-based software help make remote selling easier, thus boosts productivity. With no need to travel and meet clients, your sales team has more time to improve on sales pitches and selling strategies. This enables them to capture better leads, nurture prospects, and make more sales.
- It widens the selling scope. By using the internet, your remote sales team can now reach out to a global audience. Results? More deals closed.
- It makes the sales process more effective. With the right tools, you can grow your sales and scale your business. Remote selling provides you with a unique opportunity to use technology to organize internal and external communication, automate repetitive tasks, and manage your pipeline.
- It helps motivate your sales team. Remote selling empowers your sales reps and helps boost their morale. This is because they have the autonomy to run their activities, access to comprehensive resources, and the freedom to make independent judgments.
- It helps reduce stress: The flexibility to set their schedule or choose their preferred workenvironment – within certain guidelines – also helps sales teams reduce work-related stress. Additionally, it fosters a positive attitude and helps them produce remarkable results.
Remote selling has its downsides, such as:
- Reduced work/life balance
- It’s more challenging to train new sales reps
- Increased distractions from kids and house chores
- An increased sense of isolation due to reduced camaraderie with colleagues
Managing a Remote Sales Team Efficiently
Let’s now look at how, as a sales manager, you can efficiently and effectively handle your remote sales team from afar and meet your business goals.
1. Establish Clear Expectations – and Communicate Them
Set expectations that encourage your sales team to strive for higher performance. Clear sales targets set performance standards and outline specific tasks, enabling your team to feel engaged and motivates them to do their best.
They also make your team accountable, allowing you to provide relevant support and motivation. Come up with guidelines that spell out the sales objectives, systems and procedures, and effective time management tips. Such could entail:
- How to look for leads
- How to deal with objections
- How and when to follow-up on prospects
- How to close deals and onboard new customers
2. Build Trust
Building trusting relationships is a bit of a challenge with remote teams due to the lack of physical interactions. To make communication less challenging, you need to:
- Avoid micro-managing your sales team
- Schedule regular group calls to enable your team members to catch up, share success stories, address challenges, and brainstorm
- Respond quickly when your team members have questions or are experiencing difficulties
- Track your sales team’s activities and progress through a shared dashboard to ensure they complete assigned tasks and close deals
3. Avail Relevant Resources
Leverage shared resources like cloud-based storage systems to allow your team members to log in securely, share, and view data. Such systems make it possible for sales reps to access company data on the go from their mobile devices or at home. They can also update records in real-time from any location.
Make sure to use tools that provide secure access to company documents and resources and encourage the use of chat tools for regular check-ins.
4. Simplify Sales Processes
Setting up clear and straightforward processes is vital to your remote sales team’s success. It also makes it easier for you to manage the team. Document sales processes to allow the team to work in a structured manner, know how to respond in specific situations, and minimize the need for constant support.
While you don’t interact physically with your remote sales team, you can stay connected by keeping all communication channels open. Follow the above tips to support your remote team, keep them engaged, and you’ll reap the benefits of outstanding performance.