Keeping a remote sales force motivated doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, if you hire the right people and develop a good process, your remote employees may surprise you in how well they perform.
Here are 6 tips to keeping your remote sales force motivated to perform at peak levels.
Tip #1 for keeping a remote sales force motivated – hire the right salespeople.
Build a hiring process that helps you understand how well a salesperson will perform in a remote setting. Look for behaviors that include well organized, goal-oriented, success driven, or enterprising. Consider using online behavior assessments, such as DISC. These tools can provide a lot of information about how a person communicates and behaves in different situations.
Everyone in the department should send a personal email welcoming the new employee to the team. This can be reinforced on a conference call, where people take turns to say a few welcoming words. If the group is too large, then pick a number of people to speak on everyone’s behalf. You could ask the entire group on the call sing a song to the new person. Perhaps to the tune of “happy birthday:” “A warm welcome to you, a warm welcome to you, a warm welcome dear Jane, a warm welcome to you!!!!” Doing this creates an instant bond with the team in a fun way.
If you’re the hiring manager, schedule an informal check-in at the end of every week for the first month. Ask questions like how this week on the job was. Encourage honest feedback in both directions. Be ready to rectify any concerns and provide positive encouragement.
Tip #2 for keeping a remote sales force motivated – provide good training.
Provide live training whether it is in-person of via remote sales training webinars. You can do this alternatively with video conference technology. Involve others, so the new hire gets an opportunity to connect with more people in the company.
Include a time-management workshop in your training. This helps the new salesperson stay focused on activity that helps them reach their goals.
One practice I’ve learned when I’ve worked alone is to set weekly goals and time-block activity in my calendar to achieve them. I then track where I’m actually spending my time. At the end of the day I can do a reality check on how efficient I was in working on my goals.
Tip#3 for keeping a remote sales force motivated – do a daily huddle.
Set a specific time at the beginning of every day for a short huddle meeting. This allows everyone to stay in contact and to know what’s going on with key aspects of the business.
We’ve been practicing this at CFS for years. These huddles keep us all focused on the company’s key goals. Even though 30 minutes is allocated for the meeting, we often do it in half the time.
Stick to a standard agenda. Ours is: “What’s happening with Marketing, Sales, Clients, and Operations.” We don’t problem solve during the meeting but take issues offline for further discussion, if needed.
Tip #4 for keeping a remote sales force motivated – schedule open revenue-generating time.
Make your calendar sharable and accessible to the sales team. Schedule a recurring time block in your calendar for sales team time. This could be every second Thursday afternoon of every month, for example. People can schedule meetings with you on a first come, first served basis. These could be a conference call with a new prospect, or a review of final presentation to close a deal. I suggest this time block be reserved for revenue generating activities. This makes you more accessible to help move deals along and creates a habit for people to involve you in key sales activities. Keep track of who’s using the time and help to balance it across the team.
Tip #5 for keeping a remote sales force motivated – make the CRM work for sales
Create good policies for CRM use. Describe how salespeople should work leads and opportunities and report information back to you. Run weekly reports on prospecting activity and status on new opportunities in the sales pipeline.
Tip #6 for keeping a remote sales force motivated – have a cloud-based Sales PlayBook
Provide a sales knowledge management workspace that everyone can access, update, and provide feedback. I recommend using our Collavia Sales PlayBook. With Collavia, salespeople are more connected with each other and the rest of the organization and can get quick answers to many common sales related questions.
With all of these tips, your remote sales force will be motivated beyond your wildest dreams! It’s all about being present in each other’s days and holding one another accountable.
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