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SETTING UP REMOTE TEAMS

Curious about best practices when it comes to setting up a remote sales team.
- What is important?
- How you coach them?
- How do they capture data during meetings?
- How do you engage as much as possible with the other side of the screen?

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    • Profile picture of Colin Campbell
      @colin-campbell
      ( 1.4k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 1 day ago

      Hey @olivier-salesenabler!

      Are you starting from scratch with a new team at an all-remote company, or are you referring to the fact that we’re all remote by default now?

      With a little more detail, I can lend my insights having managed a 100% remote team at a non-remote company for about 1.5 years.

      In general, though:

      1) Communication and documentation is paramount. Everybody on the team must have the skill of being able to communicate clearly, succinctly, and frequently in writing or via technology. Some business cultures rely on “informal” communication styles where people drop by each other’s desks to get things done. There is Slack for remote teams, but it doesn’t work as well.

      You need really well-structured systems and processes for things like forecasting, deal review, reporting, etc.

      2) Call recording for coaching! There are also now coaching services for managers who need to spend more time managing than coaching. Unfortunately, that’s actually most people. I’m glad you’re even thinking about coaching. Most people kind of let it fall by the wayside.

      3) Again, call recording can help with capturing notes.

      4) This is a tricky one. Since you’re alone in a room, it can be easy for some people to talk more than usual. Listening while remote takes a little extra effort sometimes. For others, talking takes extra effort. It’s also tempting to look at the self-view while you’re in a video meeting. You can make a better connection by talking straight to the camera, though.

      When I started working remotely, I read a bunch of tips, and some of them helped. But what I learned over the last 1.5 years, is that there’s really no shortcuts. It’s a pretty big habit/environment change, and it just takes time. Probably the best thing to do is to give yourself and others a little leeway and understand that it’ll take several months to get used to it.

    • Profile picture of Macky Bradley
      @mackybradley
      ( 3.5k POINTS )
      2 weeks, 1 day ago

      Hello @olivier-salesenabler Olivier!
      When it comes to setting up remote teams, remember the experience will not be the same for everyone. Some are less tech savvy, some do not deal with not having everything done for them.
      The BIGGEST Thing is open honest communication and transparency. Let them know that you are there for them. Also, let them know it is okay to contact you like on your cell and what hours.
      Then you need to make sure everyone knows, we are remote, but we have to perform. Establish a schedule, and account for time zone differences (if there are any) and establish how to handle time off requests, or time away from computer, and who is responsible for inputting in a calendar where everyone in the organization has visibility.
      Start by adding a 5-10 minute mandatory good morning Zoom meeting or something like that to build camaraderie and get that motivation going.
      For Coaching-we developed an Excel spreadsheet that we include things like upcoming time off requests, personal development,achievements, goals. Also discuss any issues that need to be addressed. We include just a tad of notes on how the sales are going, do we need to schedule any additional time for pipeline review or individual opportunities. Any “road blocks” the manger needs to deal with. We have a meeting like this every week, and it is mandatory, no exceptions (unless on PTO). We have a tab for each week of the year. And when something is discussed, we do record the results and review from time to time.
      For capturing data during meetings, I would suggest two things: Zoom or some other software that allows the meetings to be recorded, both internal and external, and also, designate somebody to be the notetaker (if they are good at this) and share immediately with the team. Also, teach them where this documentation will be stored, etc. Make it easy for them!
      Always let the team know when you are and aren’t available, and always let them know you care-that is the biggest thing.
      I would also say, send them a text every so often to say hi and ask them do they need anything. Personal 3 minute calls are great for morale building. Take an interest, a sincere interest in their personal life. One of the things that I love doing, is setting up Google alerts for their area or town. If severe weather happens, the first thing I do is reach out to see if they are okay and up and running, if I can help in any way. It always makes me happy when my management does that for me.
      The biggest thing though is that you now have to teach your team, they have all been promoted to managers- of themselves. They have to hold themselves personally accountable. If they are having any issues, large or small-reach out for help immediately. If they are not sure about a process, they need to learn how to get up to speed immediately. Another thing is teaching them to see their success and or lack of success. Help them recognize where they are doing good and if they aren’t doing so good, how can we improve it.
      Put yourself in their shoes, lead the way that you want to be led. Be fair and remember everybody is different!
      You got this! I hope I have helped. Glad to discuss.

      Cheers!

      Macky

    • Profile picture of Shubham Sood
      @shubhamsood97
      ( 810 POINTS )
      2 weeks ago

      – What is important? Your purpose of hiring them. It should be as clear as freshwater to both you and your team with clearly defined goals and quotas.
      – How you coach them? Hire experienced employees first, eventually when you scale- ask your best employees to coach them.
      – How do they capture data during meetings? Use any CRM- Pipedrive & Outreach are my recommendations
      – How do you engage as much as possible with the other side of the screen? Regular follow-ups and meetings (preferably video) and sharing the successes of other sales members closing deals.

    • Profile picture of David Kreiger
      @davidkreiger
      ( 0 POINTS )
      1 week, 5 days ago

      Hi Olivier,

      Here are a few thoughts on your question that I go into more detail in a blog I wrote 2 months ago. I included a link to that at the bottom if you want to see more detail:

      – What is important?
      The important things are many of the same things that are important to managing a non-remote team. However, it is 100% mission-critical to get them right in a remote environment whereas you have more leeway in a centralized environment.

      #1) Create Process & Systems Around Your Communication.
      — Create well-established meeting rhythms. I recommend a Daily huddle, weekly team meeting, weekly 1on1s and quarterly company-wide meetings

      #2) Work To Boost Morale & Combat Loneliness
      It is harder to know how people are feeling in a remote environment as you aren’t seeing them throughout the day. Take the time to check in on your team during meetings, create virtual places where people can text etc (virtual water cooler in slack is great) and encourage your team to just call or slack each other socially to say hi!

      #3) Encourage your team to create an at-home office environment with physical barriers to other people in their house and also tell them to create boundaries to preserve the benefits of working from home while ensuring they remain productive. If they don’t have a good home office set-up they will be set-up for failure.

      #4) Build a culture of trust and accountability
      Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean your team isn’t working hard and being productive. Ensure everyone knows their KPIs 7 Quotas (as any good sales team does) but then resist the urge to continually check in on them to make sure they are working. Save that for your regular meetings.

      Here’s a link to the full blog which goes into more detail in each of these areas.

      https://salesroads.com/insights/4-keys-remote-team/

      Happy to discuss more if you have any questions.

      All the best,
      David

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