Guide to a better remote sales team
Suddenly a lot of companies are faced with the reality of an extended and uncertain remote work situation. Health and safety are of utmost importance and to make sure we can sustain this with least business impact, it is important to embrace this before it is just shoved down our throats.
What you will learn in this post:
Common concerns in working remotely
Best Practices from other teams
COVID19-specific recommendations from lessons learnt in Asia
What tools you can leverage to make it work
Free tools to support remote work
I have had long stints of work from home during my previous roles. I have personally found myself to be very productive during those stints and also enjoyed the flexibility it offered. A lot of sales teams are already used to working remotely in short bursts – during events, conferences, field visits etc. Others have some remote staff and are equipped to handle those ‘exceptions’.
If you are wondering about what to think about as you embrace this new work situation, it’s important to understand how it impacts various aspects of work:
Here is what you need to do to make sure your sales and success teams are ready:
Create teams that can work independently and maintain business continuity. A lot of companies in Asia have established 2 or 3 parallel teams that are working independently in different locations, so that in case 1 team has a positive COVD19 case the others aren’t impacted and can ensure business doesn’t come to a stop still.
Mandate more detailed notes and next steps around every deal so continuity isn’t lost in case one of your team members is not available for a period of time. Implement call recording and analysis to take this a step further during this period of remote work.
If marketing needed inputs from your entire sales team to move forward on a campaign or product wanted feedback from 5 sales people, it is going to really slow down business. Create TPOCs for each mini-project – have 2 people responsible so that there is some back-up but things can still move at a reasonable pace
If you had a weekly sales meeting, start having a daily standup so flow of information and feedback isn’t slowed down while also ensuring that people aren’t overwhelmed with constant chat messages.
A lot of people working remotely will also be dealing with having their kids at home as schools are shut. To ensure productivity and reduce stress, set clear deadlines and expectations on SLAs around communication.
While we all pray that we and our family, friends and colleagues don’t contract COVID-19 it is important to also plan for the situation if someone does. It might be too late to write up protocols then.
Communication groups & frequency:
It will be difficult to have frequent all-hands meetings when people work remotely. Establish a flow of information e.g. Daily standup for leadership team, followed by team-wise daily standups etc.
Keeping the morale:
Sales is full of rejections and lost deals. Ensure that your team is getting coaching, feedback and suggestions so they don’t feel they are in it alone
You will be surprised how many people only realise what they can’t do remotely when they try to do it. Make sure you break down each part of your sales team’s job and evaluate whether they have tools in place to continue to function optimally.
Here is a checklist of tools for sales teams.
The chances are you already have most of these, but it is important to dig further to make sure that they offer cloud support, easy collaboration and also ensure that all relevant people have access to the tool. Some tools offer collaboration features, observer licenses and integrations with Slack that can make your life easier during remote work.
Good wifi connection:
This is non-negotiable. If needed, get a corporate deal and get everyone a second home wifi connection. You will be surprised how often people say “Sorry I have poor wifi at home”.
List building & prospecting:
Tools like LeadIQ, Apollo.io can ensure people are able to prospect more effectively and also share lists / update them on the CRM promptly to make coordination easier.
Tools like Front and Hiver can ensure that your buyers and customers don’t face an ‘outage’ and continue to get prompt responses.
Ensure everyone has access to a good video conferencing tool. A lot of tools are also offering longer trial periods right now to help companies tide over this period of remote work.
If your team typically makes calls from cellphones or desk phones, switch to a VOIP service immediately. This can ensure that all conversations are automatically recorded and also updated on the CRM.
To ensure your buyers don’t have to wait in case your sales team is low on bandwidth, implement chatbots on your website to optimize for buyer’s experience.
A conversation intelligence tool like Wingman can ensure you have visibility and analytics for every sales conversation that your team is making. You don’t have to go digging into a folder of call recordings with cryptic names – you can access transcript and analysis of each call right from your CRM or the Wingman dashboard. Additionally, you can coach people asynchronously using comments on a specific part of the call and create cue-cards to ensure they are reminded of best practices automatically on their next call.
This is the easiest way not just to sync up your team but also your various apps to notify you of developments. E.g. your CRM can notify you on slack each time a deal is lost or won. Wingman can notify you if someone tags you in a comment.
We are tracking a list of companies that are giving away free tools to enable teams to work remotely more effectively. We will be updating this list regularly and if you come across any good deals we should include, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To know how Wingman help with remote sales, click here
Please email us at email@example.com if you’d like to rollout Wingman for your team.