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Effectively Manage Remote Sales Teams

Dial up competencies to ensure more meaningful interactions with remote sales team members.

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Contributors

Contributors include nine anonymous HR and Sales experts, as well as:

  • Kent Flint, Director HR Client Services, Island Health
  • Paul Ironside, Founder and CEO, CommercialTribe
  • Sean Murray, Chief Revenue Officer, SalesLoft
  • Chris Roszell, AVP Rewards, Manulife
  • Jane Watson, Head of People, Actionable.co

Your Challenge

  • Remote sales team members must rely upon collaboration technology to communicate and collaborate.
  • Management practices and approaches that work face-to-face do not always translate effectively in the context of a remote sales team.
  • Managers cannot rely upon spontaneous social interactions that happen organically to build meaningful and trusting relationships. Space, time, and extra effort need to be made for this to happen.
  • Loneliness and feeling disconnected and isolated from the organization are common challenges for remote workers. Left unaddressed, these feelings can result in poor performance and short tenure.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Effective communication is critical to the success of the management of a remote sales team. Managers must make sure that the process and expectations around communication and collaboration are established, understood, and followed by all team members.
  • One of the most important things managers can do for their remote sales reps is help them foster a network of support within the organization. Having a network of support can be critical to their success. It not only helps them as they enter a new role to become proficient quicker, but also provides them with ongoing connection to the organization, enabling them to feel part of a team.
  • It is critical to instill a mindset of accountability with remote sales employees, as managers do not have a view into their daily activities. Building trust and empowering remote employees is key to fostering their accountability.

Impact and Result

  • Establish a solid foundation for managing remote sales teams by setting clear expectations at the organizational, team, and individual levels.
  • Create a sales management cadence, which includes scheduling regular interactions related to team building, individual performance, and development to significantly impact these employees’ engagement and productivity.
  • Taking the time to get to know your remote employees personally goes a long way toward building a trusting relationship, combatting the issue of loneliness, and gaining their commitment to the organization and team.

Research & Tools

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Review current HR and Sales processes and customize the training deck.

Call #1 - Review the training deck with an analyst and clarify any questions you have about content or delivery.
Call #2 - Discuss how to customize the training deck so that it is the best fit for your organization.

Guided Implementation #2 - Follow up after the training.

Call #1 - Discuss how to reinforce the formal training with relational learning opportunities like check-ins, coaching, and communities of practice.