In today´s modern age, the age old belief of having physical offices with a boss watching over employees until the end of the day is losing popularity. We are now constantly connected – via our laptops, smartphones, Whatsapp, facebook, twitter, etc. There is a constant stream of communication and thus, there is no longer the need for everyone to be in the same place at the same time.
This makes it very convenient for startups and companies that hire many freelancers – such as sales representatives. In FindThatLead while we have a physical headquarters, we often work remotely and are happy to have collaborators all around the world. The flexibility it brings, and we find the productivity, is enormous!
That´s not to say it’s not without its own unique challenges. If you’re managing a remote sales team, we have some tips to help you navigate this new unchartered territory.
The most important thing in order to manage a remote team, is trust! This setup will never work for your team unless there is a high level of trust for everyone – from the boss to the employees. If you are the type of boss who doesn’t believe your employees are working unless you see them sitting at their desk, this will never work for you.
In the end, you will clearly see the results of who is working and who is not. Especially for a sales team, where their efforts are measured more in the deals closed, and not in hours logged. Providing freedom of movement and a flexible timetable for sales teams is often the key to success – by allowing them to work when it’s the best time to contact their customers, you’re increasing their chances to close more deals.
2. Clear Communications
As we mentioned above, nowadays there are endless possibilities to communicate constantly. So there’s no excuse not to communicate clearly and continuously with your team. It’s just as important for the team to be available, as it is for the boss. In case an employee has a question or a problem, they need to be able to go to their superior to get feedback.
In order to manage this, decide on a general timeframe that it is acceptable to communicate regarding work. Choose a time block where everyone is working (for example, from 11:00 – 4:00), during this time everyone will be available for quick questions and answers. The rest of the day will depend on each person’s unique schedule.
3. Decide on resources
If there is to be constant communication within your team, then in order to be organized you will need to decide which channels and resources you will communicate on. Receiving messages through many different places – email, Whatsapp, facebook, etc. – will only result in a great amount of frustration. Choose one or two main communication channels to be used teamwide: for example, email and messenger, or email and slack.
Just as deciding clearly on which communication channels to use, you will also need to choose a cloud storage system. One of the greatest dangers of remote teams is if it’s not organized well, it’s all too easy to lose work documents, such as sales contracts. There are many cloud solutions out there today, such as Google Cloud or Dropbox, depending on what your needs are different solutions will be better for you. Once you’ve chosen a cloud solution, take the time to organize it and communicate clearly how to upload, store and find documents. You wouldn´t want to lose a customer due to a misplaced contract!
Find times to bring everyone together, otherwise it can become a lonely job. Schedule weekly catch ups with the whole team, not just so people are tuned in on others´ tasks, but to create a sense of team unity. Find moments to meet in “real life” so the team can form bonds and connect on a personal level. As much as the team may be working independently and remotely, there´s no reason they can’t be friends!
These are just some ways we manage our remote sales team at FindThatLead. We help sales team around the world to save time and close more deals – by downloading our Chrome plugin you can find almost anyone´s address and social information via Linkedin. Very handy, no?
Do you work in a remote sales team? Do you have any other suggestions for how to work best with your team? Let us know on social media!