So your sales team is remote – that’s a good thing, right? You’re closer to prospects and you’ve got a wider talent pool to pull from, and sales folks are “territorial” anyways.
But in my experience, before pulling the trigger on hiring more hunters across the country, you need to think about three challenges you’ll face.
1. “Brother’s Keeper” (BK).
“BKing” in it’s most rudimentary form means looking out for the teammate next to you. The best sales teams want to see each other win. Though inherently competitive, rejection is inevitable and the sales teams that master picking each other up, buying into the team’s goals, and…well, BKing, win in the long run. This is much harder when you’re on an island.
To combat: Celebrate the small wins (we chat funny GIFS when things go well), spend face time wisely, and incentive team-based goals heavily.
2. Ongoing education is crucial but needs to be convenient.
Sales people are notoriously pressed for time when it comes to activities that don’t relate to closing business (the good ones at least). Crucial educational topics range from the latest product update and positioning, to the best ways to handle objections. Regardless, a one-hour Join.me or GoToMeeting to explain the latest and greatest product features will leave remote salespeople responding to email on the call, disengaged and bored.
To combat: Transfer fundamental knowledge in digital ways, and let sales folks do it on their own time, on their own device, and at their own speed. Check for completion and comprehension, then be done with it.
3. Staying in tune with your “why.”
It has been suggested that purpose-driven salespeople wildly outperform their commission-driven counterparts. They care about their mission or their clients or their philosophy. When remote, it’s easier to look at your existence as a number or quota.
To combat: My top past sales managers have humanized the profession in various ways. My favorite? Invite guests in for a 30 minute call once a month. There’s a lesson before the session that salespeople review, under the guise of “feed your mind, body and soul.” It’s often unrelated to the day to day grind.
Are you having challenges with educating, motivating or maintaining a remote sales force? Drop me a line, if so.
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