Remote working has become a common business setup. With the help of technology, employers are now able to build a team by hiring salespeople from anywhere in the world. Business owners get to expand their company without having to spend a fortune on office buildings, while remote workers get to enjoy the convenience of working from the comfort of their homes. The challenge now is how to manage a virtual sales team and keep them productive, engaged, and satisfied. Below are some tips to help!
Ensure that each team member has a proper work set-up
It’s important for any manager to make sure that their employees have the right work setup to be able to perform to the best of their ability. Some hiring managers ask about an applicant’s computer specifications and internet speed to check if they have what it takes to carry out their tasks remotely. It is also important to check if the applicant would be able to join virtual meetings without distractions.
If your budget allows, you can help your employees create a functional workstation. Some companies or business owners send out headphones, speakers, power banks, and company laptops to regular employees.
Use tools that boost remote work
There are plenty of tools and software that can help sales teams perform their tasks better, even from their home computer. Virtual meetings are important, so make sure your team uses a video conferencing tool like Google Meet or Zoom. A Customer Relationship Management service would also be beneficial in tracking tasks, performance, updates, and other work-related data.
If your sales team needs to work on product demo videos or video ads, then it would be great to be able to collaborate using just one video editing tool. An online video editor would be a better option than video editing software that requires an installation, because everyone in the team would be able to work on videos together in real-time.
Maintain timely communication and updates
Keep in touch with your sales team regularly. Set up a weekly team meeting to sort out tasks and address sales-related concerns. This would be a great opportunity for the team to connect with each other and work on tasks together.
It’s also important to set up one-on-one meetings with each team member to touch base with their specific tasks, needs, and issues. It would be a great opportunity for the sales manager to check on how the work is going, how the employee is coping, and to assign tasks and discuss them in detail.
Provide support and feedback
Working remotely can be quite stressful and challenging, especially for salespeople who are used to working in an office environment. As a manager, you have to be ready for when your team needs assistance. You should support your employees and build trust with them.
During one-on-one meetings, give your employees proper feedback on the work they did and how they contribute to the sales team. This can boost their confidence and inspire them to do better. When needed, provide them with training materials to help them improve their skills and learn new ones. You may be surprised to find other ways your salespeople can be useful to the business. Employees must grow within the company, both personally and professionally.
Set realistic expectations and reasonable deadlines
Since you won’t be able to supervise your sales team in person, you have to make sure they work based on what they are hired for and what’s expected of them. You, as the manager, should set achievable and realistic goals for your employees, based on each of their job descriptions. This way, it will be clear to each member of the sales team what their roles are in the company.
Regarding assigning tasks, it’s crucial to set deadlines and priorities to make sure that the work flows smoothly. Ask your employees if the deadline will give them enough time to complete the task. You can also measure their performance to find out how much it takes for them to comfortably and effectively complete a specific task. This way, you would be able to determine reasonable deadlines in the future.
Plan team building activities
Since your sales team won’t have opportunities to socialise with each other during coffee breaks, lunches, and company parties, it’s imperative that you set up virtual fun activities to bring the team closer together.
Such activities would be great relievers from work stress, the loneliness of working remotely, and the lack of face-to-face interactions between team members. Some company party ideas include online paint and sip events or virtual escape rooms. During workdays, you can dedicate a specific chat space or channel for non-work-related banter, random posts, and friendly conversations within the team.
Remote working can be challenging, but it’s here to stay. These tips are just a few of the many things you can do to manage your virtual sales team and keep them happy and satisfied. You may need to modify them to fit your team.
It takes patience, hard work, and creativity to manage a virtual sales team effectively. And how do you know it works? Great employee performance, a happy work environment, low staff turnover rates, and results that will keep profit coming into the business.
“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."