How do you keep sales competition alive when you’re limited to a 13” screen and Zoom calls?
With COVID-19 hitting headlines everywhere, sales leaders are looking to their most promising option: a remote sales team.
Like plenty of other marketers and sales leaders, I quickly realized this would be our new reality. So I started Googling.
how to manage remote teams
how to go remote
how to work from home productively
I’ve been working from home for 7 years. But I was curious: what would others highlight as the most important in this new watercooler-less crisis? Especially for sales teams?
5 Sales Experts Weigh in on Remote Sales
Rather than rehash many of the points already made by the best in B2B sales, I wanted to put all the most promising tips from sales experts into one place.
We have tips from Gong, Saleshacker, and HubSpot along with insight from our own Stephen Hakami (hail to the chief) and Hans Dekker (our in-house growth guru).
Taking on everything from introducing some self-care to conducting a successful coaching call, these sales experts have a lot to say on what it means to manage your newly remote sales team.
Gong.io: Encourage visibility from day one
In a typical sales team, reps can quickly communicate on the status of a deal or ask a quick question about a lead in real-time and in-person. CRMs and pipelines keep everything organized, but plenty of sales teams rely on these face-to-face conversations.
With a remote sales team, you’ll have to ensure everything remains visible.
“Step one is making sure everyone on the team has visibility on what’s happening in deals,” Gong’s Jonathan Costet writes. “That means upgrading permissions, creating new dashboards, and distributing information that reps would have normally obtained by tapping on their neighbor’s shoulder.”
Even if you already have the software tools in place to track tools and lead conversations, you may need to up the ante.
Read more: Strategies for Managing Remote Sales Teams
Sales Hacker: Build something together
Ellie Tamari, Chief Customer Officer at Market Beyond, was recently interviewed on the Sales Hacker podcast. The topic — managing remote sales teams — extended beyond the management mechanics and into Tamari’s philosophy and building a strong team.
“Our attitude is, ‘This is something that we should love’,” Tamari told Sales Hacker. “It’s fun. The way to make people feel like they’re a part of something — and in a startup, we have that privilege — is to help them build the company together.”
For remote sales teams, Zoom checkins should go beyond numbers and CRM notes. Team calls should be much more collaborative, giving the whole team a chance to talk about what’s working, what isn’t and (better yet) what could work.
HubSpot: Don’t forget about training
HubSpot’s Rebecca White interviewed the company’s remote salesforce to determine how to be successful at remote sales, both as a sales rep and as a manager. Corporate Sales Manager Matt Hambor told her: take time for group training.
With a time constraint, running these reviews remotely can be even more productive than in-person meetings.
Matt splits his sales team into groups and reviews a discovery call together. After discussing the call, they write down their takeaways in a PowerPoint and come back together to share with the larger group.
Read more: How to Be Successful at Remote Sales
Wiza: Encourage competition and save time
I asked our CEO, Stephen Hakami, what tips he has for sales managers facing a newly remote team. His #1 recommendation has nothing to do with organization or even communication. It’s all about keeping the competition alive, even remotely.
“When you’re working sales inside of an office, competition is everywhere,” Stephen told me. Sales teams celebrate big deals and display quarterly progress. Taking things remote doesn’t mean these things have to go away. In fact, keeping a competitive edge in your team will help them perform. “Money can be a strong motivator, but doesn’t always have the emotional connection that competition does,” Stephen says.
Our Head of Growth, Hans Dekker, also recommends saving time wherever you can. “Do you have any idea how much time you’re spending on writing or thinking up the same replies to the same objections you’re getting on your cold outreach?”
Hans recommends cutting down on repetitive work by putting together a playbook with the most common objections and best ways to address them. Then save them as templates in your email or CRM tool. “Not only will this help you win time to spend on other tasks, it also guarantees the best quality in your sales efforts across the board, and can make or break your onboarding for new reps.”