image - How to manage a remote sales team to success

Remote & Async Work 10 min

How to manage a remote sales team to success

Written by Jane Lee
Jane Lee

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Remote work has become more popular all around the world. Global businesses are recruiting job applicants from all around the globe. This means there are opportunities for companies that wish to expand globally, as they can recruit and hire their next employees remotely. Employers can select the most qualified and motivated candidates and form remote companies with a diverse group of employees who live across the world but work together in a remote environment.

Once you have your remote sales teams recruited, you can let an employer of record like Remote take care of payroll, benefits, and compliance. In this way, you can make sales and close deals in a remote setting.

In this article, you’ll learn 10 sales management tips and sales manager best practices to effectively manage a remote sales team while avoiding common mistakes.

10 tips to help manage your remote sales team

1. Invest in communication tools

Good communication is paramount in any remote position. Employees in remote positions may find it difficult to communicate with either sales management or customers if the team isn’t set up with adequate communication tools. Video conferencing applications such as Zoom and Gather can make it easy to talk by video, not just for meetings with the whole team, but for one-on-one interactions as well. Tools like Nextiva centralize communications between team members and customers.

Investing in good communication tools can pay dividends by keeping your team connected. These tools have monthly pricing and some, such as Gather, are free for very small teams or for testing the app to see if it works for your team.

2. Set up weekly team meetings

Weekly team meetings can happen over video conferencing using tools such as Zoom or Gather. Having frequent team meetings can keep your teams engaged and up-to-date on the company’s goals and strategies. Meetings can be good times to generate ideas and brainstorm ways to improve your sales processes. Employees can get weekly updates on sales forecasts and strategies, changes that may have resulted from discussions that took place during prior meetings, or any new information that could affect their sales pipelines.

Productive meetings result in a team that is well-informed of company updates and goals, managers who have progress reports in hand, and a team that have the opportunity to get to know each other and connect.

3. Establish achievable goals

If the company has impossible goals, there will only be demoralized and unhappy employees. By setting realistic sales goals, team members can be motivated and held accountable for their performance. Forecasting can also be improved if goals are achievable and realistic. Setting achievable goals can help team members set priorities and brainstorm how to reach their objectives. 

When individual goals are met regularly, sales representatives will be motivated to meet the next target, and encouraged by leadership to do what it takes to close the deal. The same is true for team goals. A team has incentive to achieve a realistic goal and can work together to make it happen.

4. Create a company culture that celebrates daily wins

A company culture that celebrates and rewards daily wins can incentivize team members to meet bigger goals. Reaching goals motivates team members because it assures them that sales quotas and strategies are successful within the company. Celebrating these wins provides positive feedback for employees and communicates to them that their efforts are valued in the company.

Bonuses, raises, and public recognition are also great incentives to motivate employees who meet or exceed their goals. Rewards also improve morale, increase job satisfaction, and improve retention rates.

5. Focus on building trust in your remote employees

Trust is important in any company. It may be even more important to establish trust for remote employees because management doesn’t have the benefit of day-to-day, face-to-face interaction with team members. Trust-building can start with recruitment. Set clear expectations from the very beginning. Before the employee is hired, let them know what is expected of them, how they will work, which goals will they strive for, and how management will communicate with them and hold them accountable.

Employees also need to know that management is there for them without being micromanaged. Once the company policies are communicated to the employees, employees will know what they need to do and how to work to achieve their goals. Managers should ensure that employees can reach out to them if there are any issues without constantly monitoring team members. By showing that employee well-being is a priority, companies can build trust with remote employees.

6. Reinvent your sales processes to adjust what's not working

During meetings and evaluations, discuss performance to identify what is working and what needs improvement. A total reinvention of your sales processes may be necessary if attempts to make changes were previously unsuccessful. By first making small adjustments, you can test smaller elements of your sales strategy to see what is and what is not working.

Major changes may be needed if small adjustments aren’t successful. Management can have strategy meetings and ask for feedback from team members that may improve sales.

7. Set up time to spend with individual team members

Remote work can get lonely and employees can quickly feel disengaged if management doesn’t make the effort to talk to individual team members beyond the usual weekly meetings over video conference. Among workers polled in a recent study, 67% indicated that, although they like the flexibility that remote work affords, they find it difficult to build relationships at work since starting to work remotely. Relationships include connections with their supervisors.

Management must make the effort to spend time with individual team members in various forms of communication. Managers can meet with their employees via Zoom or communicate in other ways each week. Regular meetings can help get an idea of how the employee is progressing toward weekly goals, but also let the employee know you are available to them. Employees should feel welcome to reach out to their managers for any reason, and be assured that their managers are there for them in the event of problems.

8. Make sure accountability is the same across the entire team

Just as in non-remote roles, the whole team needs to be accountable. Goals should be achievable but challenging. When employees are held accountable should they not meet goals, their coworkers see that their achievements and hard work are recognized. If there is no accountability, there is less of a reason for employees to work harder and take the extra steps to make sure they get their work done.

9. Ask your remote sales reps for feedback

Feedback can help management make improvements and adjust their plans and objectives. Company surveys can allow for anonymous suggestions for any facet of employment, sales processes, or how the company is run. Management can take the suggestions to company meetings for further brainstorming and can let the team know if any changes were made thanks to survey suggestions. Feedback can also be received face-to-face with employee interviews at evaluations or any other meeting.

10. Identify what is considered "good" sales performance

Good sales performance can be measured using metrics and key performance indicators (KPI) to see the progress made by a sales rep or sales team over a specified time. Various aspects of sales can be tracked such as time spent prospecting, meetings scheduled, conversion rates, win rates, and sales revenue. Identify what a good sales performance is for each team and emphasize what factor each team needs to focus on.

What are the benefits of having a remote team for sales?

Cuts costs

Having a fully remote team means costs are reduced in several areas. You will no longer need an office as sales activities will be entirely online. Customer interactions are also online via various lines of communication such as video conference calls, email, texts, and other tools. A remote sales representative can reach out to customers by phone for sales calls and can close deals without ever having to travel.

Remote work saves time and money for both the employer and the employee. Remote workers no longer have to commute to work, use a company car, or spend money on gas which the company may need to reimburse. Sales meetings no longer need to happen at restaurants, the cost of which is usually paid by the company. Keep in mind that meal vouchers can still be provided to remote team members as an incentive.

Empowers your sales team

Sales managers need to empower each team member for maximum success. Proper sales managers ensure that their team members, even remote employees, are all working together as a cohesive team. Check whether there is proper communication among your team members, that goals are reached collectively, and your meeting the company’s objectives. 

With proper leadership, remote sales reps are empowered to find customers. In a remote environment, your team members can find customers anywhere in the world to make deals, meet and surpass their quotas, and contribute to company success.

Provides access to top talent

If your company is hiring remotely, you’ll have access to job applicants from all over the world. Remote work means you can build a virtual sales team with qualified and motivated employees from across the globe. 

To attract top talent, your company can develop a comprehensive and competitive suite of benefits. In each country, there are statutory minimums for employee benefits. These mandatory benefits are those that companies must pay their employees.

Depending on the country, statutory benefits may include vacations, sick leave, health insurance, unemployment insurance, and other leave. Nothing is stopping your company from offering more than the minimum to attract talented employees. You can offer supplemental benefits such as extra paid time off, gym allowance, and better health coverage.

The best sales performers looking for good jobs are going to expect these supplemental benefits. Your company is going to have to match or beat the competition when it comes to offering the best salaries, benefits, and perks. Global employment solutions like Remote can help your company develop a comprehensive benefits package that includes supplemental benefits, perks, health insurance, and stock options to attract top talent.

Remote selling is easier than you think

Managing a remote sales team doesn’t have to be difficult. Use the above sales manager tips to:

If your company is recruiting remote sales associates, you may want to partner with an employer of record like Remote. An employer of record can take care of human resources tasks such as hiring employees, onboarding new hires, processing payroll, paying payroll taxes, and administering benefits, all while remaining compliant with all local laws.

The employer of record already owns an entity in the country so you won’t have to spend enormous effort, time, and money to establish a local legal entity. The employer of record becomes the legal employer of your employees.

An employer of record can handle human resources tasks while leaving your company in charge of everything else. The day-to-day operation, the company policies, and the decisions involving hiring and firing employees all are retained by your company’s management. You don’t have to worry about payroll processing, taxes, benefits, and compliance because the employer of record has all of that covered.

For more information on how to easily hire remote sales employees, read Remote’s guide to hiring remote employees.

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