Remote sales tips header

Are you a sales manager who wants to get better at managing your remote sales team? If so, you're not alone.

An overwhelming number of people switched to the remote workforce at the start of 2020, and many still want to work from home in the coming years. In fact, a FlexJobs survey revealed that 65% of employees want to work remotely full-time post-pandemic. Can’t blame them.

Due to this shift, many business owners and managers allow their teams to work from home part-time. The thing is, there are specific challenges that come with hiring and managing workers—especially sales teams—remotely.

If you want happy, productive, and engaged salespeople, stick around. I’m going to share eight tips and strategies you can use to effectively manage your global team from the comfort of your home:

  1. Understand the core challenges remote sales managers and salespeople face

  2. Fine-tune your onboarding process

  3. Automate daily check-ins for your salespeople

  4. Host weekly video calls

  5. Use KPIs and metrics to track sales results and your team's performance

  6. Align CRM tools and other resources for a smoother sales process

  7. Host (optional) team events

  8. Ask your sales team for feedback

Let's dig in.

8 tips for managing a remote sales team

1. Understand the core challenges remote sales managers and salespeople face

In order to manage your team members, you have to start by understanding the core challenges you and your sales reps will face along the way. The more you know about these potential roadblocks, the better off you'll be when it's time to handle complex issues in real-time.

Communication silos are, without a doubt, one of the most common problems sales managers encounter in day-to-day operations. Simply put, communication silos occur when teams work amongst themselves and don't regularly share information with other groups within the business.

The problem with these types of silos building up across your business is that individual teams can lose sight of the company's overarching goals. For instance, if your account executives can't see what kind of questions your customer service team receives daily, this could create issues in the sales cycle.

On the other hand, if your salesforce understands the common goals and pain points expressed by your audience when they contact support, your team can create marketing material that aligns with their needs.

Another issue that's common in the remote workforce is the lack of day-to-day supervision and overall accountability. People are more likely to procrastinate if they're not in an office setting, which can lead to problems with both long and short-term projects.

If you don't handle this issue head-on, you could fall behind on major projects and fail to meet your sales targets. To prevent this, you can create coaching teams in Dialpad to provide immediate support to your new reps whenever they need it. You can also use Dialpad’s powerful conversation analytics and reporting features to keep tabs on real-time customer sentiment and monitor your team’s overall performance.

Custom moments conversation analytics

Now that we've touched on some of the prominent issues, let's show you some solutions and how you can take your sales team to the next level.

2. Fine-tune your onboarding process

Developing a detailed, actionable training program is one of the best things you can do for your teams' personal and professional development. Your onboarding process can help you set your employees up for success long before they encounter their first roadblock. You can also boost employee retention and satisfaction by creating a detailed onboarding system.

You'll want to get the formalities out of the way first. Check with your HR team to make sure all new hires have filled out their employee information form and signed all necessary documents to start working. Now, you're tasked with teaching your team the ropes. We like using multiple teaching styles, so no one feels left out when they join our company.

Try a mixture of video, text, and interactive content to onboard your team. Make sure to have everything in one place (Highspot is our sales enablement tool of choice), or take it a step further and create a comprehensive online course for your sales reps.

If your team is expected to hop on calls, you can use Dialpad to select past calls and create a playlist to show examples of successful calls. These playlists can be created around certain themes and help increase your team’s confidence. This type of sales training ensures new team members stay involved every step of the way.

Training playlist in contact center

There are other ways you can make your onboarding memorable and effective with Dialpad. You can create Real-time Assist (RTA) cards to coach your reps at scale. When your sales rep encounters challenging topics from prospects, RTA cards can provide them with the information on how to address them. This helps quell fears and make new (and even experienced) remote employees more comfortable in their roles.

Real time assist cards for remote coaching

You should also consider the benefits of adding a mentorship program to your onboarding program. We suggest putting established sales leaders in a mentoring role because they have the experience and know-how to train brand new employees. We like to assign each of our new remote workers a buddy they'll work with during their first month with our company.

3. Automate daily check-ins for your salespeople

If you're like many sales managers, you don't have time to check in with each employee to see what they're working on every single day. You'll be happy to know that you can automate this process which helps save you and your team time and energy.

Using messaging is often much faster than email, and it can help build a strong company culture. You can either have regular standup meetings or have your sales team fill out an automated daily standup report that goes to a designated chat channel.

Chat channels in Dialpad for messaging

In a daily standup report, you can ask these four questions (you don’t have to use all four—it really depends on your management style):

1. How are you feeling today?

2. What did you do yesterday?

3. What do you plan on doing today?

4. Are you dealing with any obstacles?

This management strategy allows everyone to answer questions at their own pace. Because they are stored in a chat channel, you can easily review how everyone is doing at the end of each day. If you notice that someone is falling behind or needs help overcoming an obstacle, you can follow up and offer assistance.

4. Host weekly video calls

If you want to build a successful sales team, you need to have regular video conferences with employees and other sales managers. Talking through messaging platforms are great for quick conversations and clarification, but it's far from the only tool you have at your disposal.

Video calls can make building relationships with your remote team easy. The option to talk to sales team management and other team members can streamline projects, solve problems before they escalate, and give your sales reps a sense of belonging.

Sales meeting

Many teams have a sales meeting once a week. Everyone on the team attends these meetings. They’re a good time to go over key performance indicators (more on that later), give updates, and tackle any sales development issues pertaining to ongoing projects.

There are other benefits that come with hosting weekly meetings. For instance, these interactions give your team time to talk about different ideas and let their creativity shine. This is precisely what's missing from many brick-and-mortar businesses. Employees are not given the freedom to discuss ideas in an open forum, which leads to lower satisfaction ratings and a lack of professional development.

We suggest checking out our all-in-one business communication app if you want to invest in a reliable system that allows for both messaging and HD video calls.

5. Use KPIs and metrics to track sales results and your team's performance

As we mentioned earlier, it's nearly impossible to be everywhere at once. Without keeping tabs on your KPIs, you can't possibly know if every team member is on track with their specific tasks. Key performance indicators will vary based on each sales rep. For instance, your support team may have a customer success score they need to meet every week.

On the other hand, account executives might be tasked with prospecting and driving a specific number of consumers through your sales pipeline. Your goals and needs will vary based on your industry, budget, and long-term marketing strategy.

Small businesses should establish a few core team KPIs (and if you’re an online retailer or sell your services online, you’ll want to keep track of eCommerce-specific KPIs). Include metrics that play a direct role in the success of your marketing team and company as a whole. As your team grows and you evolve from a startup or small business, you can start thinking about more specific KPIs for each role.

You can simplify this process by creating a spreadsheet for your sales reps to fill out before each weekly meeting. Not only will this help you keep tabs on your key sales metrics, but it also makes it easy for everyone on the team to have a sense of ownership over their project, which leads to successful salespeople.

6. Align CRM tools and other resources for a smoother sales process

Remember earlier when we mentioned communication silos? One of the reasons that data can get scrambled at your remote office is team members are using different tools to do the same job. Imagine if you had one person creating images with Adobe Photoshop while another person uses Affinity.

Now, imagine if they wanted to share tips and tricks with each other. It wouldn't work, right? They are using different tools that work in dramatically different ways. This is one way silos can pop up at your company. You can mitigate this problem by aligning your CRM software with other tools your company uses.

An example of this would be integrating Salesforce with Dialpad to access native calling features within Salesforce, get automated call notes, and log your calls without extra work.

Salesforce integration

Investing in high-quality software for your salespeople is crucial. If everyone is on the same page and pulling from the same resources, everyone has the potential to become a top-performer.

Can you imagine trying to run a company that doesn't have a consistent, company-wide CRM? It would be nearly impossible for your team to work together to meet their sales goals.

Aligning your sales tools can be a time-consuming process but one worth pursuing. If you want to skyrocket your sales performance, you have to ensure everyone can collaborate and share information equally.

7. Host (optional) team events

Next, let's talk about the importance of hosting optional team events. Remote teams can feel lonely and isolated compared to in-office ones. The lack of watercooler talk can lead to a decrease in productivity and happiness.

You can't perfectly simulate an in-office environment, but there are things you can do to make your employees feel like they are part of a larger team. One idea is having a monthly town hall meeting. You can use this time to get everyone together in one place to talk about company updates, as well as to formally introduce new team members.

Another idea is hosting monthly sales webinars. Have one team member host an optional webinar where they can show off their skill sets and product knowledge. For instance, we may have someone share their sales strategy with the rest of the team. These small get-togethers can significantly impact morale and the sense of togetherness within your sales organization.

You can encourage teams to talk outside of these types of events by creating various channels in the messaging tool of choice. Use this space to talk about your pets, hobbies, random thoughts, current playlist, and more. You can also try these virtual celebration ideas to mix things up.

If you're willing to engage in these conversations with your team, you'll start to build rapport, which makes the managing aspect of your job easier.

8. Ask your sales team for feedback

Finally, you can better manage your salespeople by regularly asking for feedback. A simple employee engagement form can help you learn your strengths and weaknesses. One approach is to send out surveys to your team every quarter. Once everyone submits their responses, read through and see what your team has to say.

Here are some sample questions you could ask:

1. How satisfied are you in your position?

2. Is there anything we can do to make your job easier?

3. Are there any barriers that stop you from completing your day-to-day work?

4. Do you have any tool recommendations we should look at?

5. How can we improve your experience with our company?

These prompts can help you identify pain points you may have missed while your small business was growing. For example, if enough people mention that they are having trouble with your current CRM, and a portion of participants recommend the same tool, you may want to look into their suggestion.

When you ask questions about general satisfaction, you can learn how to adjust your management strategies over time. Let's say a few of your salespeople say they feel they need help with their sales calls. You can pull these individuals aside and have a small training meeting with them so they can get all of the help they need.

How are you going to manage your remote sales team?

Managing a remote sales team takes a lot of coordination, time, and effort. If you follow the advice offered here today, you'll have more opportunities to grow your business, generate more sales, and build rapport with your employees.

Providing your sales team with the best tools to communicate with prospects and clients helps them work better remotely.

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