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How to Use a Sales PlayBook To Manage a Remote Sales Team

September 12, 2019
How to Use a Sales PlayBook To Manage a Remote Sales Team

Need to manage a remote sales team more effectively? Does it seem like information is scattered and processes aren’t aligned?

Well, either you don’t have a sales playbook or you aren’t using it effectively. Managing a remote sales team involves a bit of strategy and a lot of accountability. But with the proper tools and a strong sales playbook, your remote team will be performing at its highest capacity.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s time to find out if your current sales playbook is doing the job it was created for. If built correctly, you should be able to effectively manage a remote sales team with a sales playbook.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are my remote sales reps actively using the sales playbook?
  2. Are you tracking work done in the sales playbook?
  3. Can my team find answers for process and best practice questions in the playbook?
  4. Can team members find HR information like vacation days and time off in the playbook?
  5. Will you be able to train and onboard new hires with the sales playbook?

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, it’s safe to say you have a decent sales playbook to manage a remote sales team with. If you answered ‘yes’ to a majority of these questions, you’re definitely on the right track to effective management. On the other hand, if you found yourself scratching your head and answering ‘no’ to these questions, it may be time to reevaluate.

The ULTIMATE Sales PlayBook Guide

As a remote manager, the most important part of effectively managing your team is to make sure they have the right tools and are set up for success. It all starts with your sales playbook. Let’s break down these questions and get to the bottom of it.

How to Use a Sales PlayBook To Manage a Remote Sales Team

1. Are my remote sales reps actively using the sales playbook?

There are many reasons why sales reps – especially remote ones – don’t use the tools that people like you invest so much time and effort into. To start, they may not see the value in them. Think about this in terms of your playbook. Did your sales reps play a key part in helping to build out the playbook? Have they been encouraged from the beginning to contribute to the playbook and share best practices?

Getting remote sales reps to use the sales playbook is all about involvement and having ownership. This is why we recommend playbooks, like Collavia, that are built by your team, for your team. If you just realized that your reps don’t have a sense of ownership with your current playbook, set aside time to update the playbook as a team.

Learn how to keep your playbook moving with our downloadable eBook:

Free eBook: Keeping Your Sales PlayBook Moving: 5 Strategies to Support Growing Sales Results

2. Are you tracking work done in the sales playbook?

This part comes in handy once your team has a sense of ownership and is actually using the playbook. We recommend using a weekly goals page for each team member. This way, you can look over your reps’ weekly goals and work with them to make sure they are completing what they set out to do.

As a manager, you can also ask reps to add deliverables to the playbook every week or month. For example, one thing that needs frequent refresh is email templates. If sales reps are adding one new email template to the playbook each month, you know they’re using it.

3. Can process and best practice questions be answered by looking in the playbook?

As a remote sales manager, you’re probably being asked the same questions by your team members. Believe it or not, this is your fault and not theirs. In fact, it means that information is not readily available or it is too difficult to find.

By surveying hundreds of sales reps, we discovered that only about 30% of a sales person’s day is spent selling. This means the rest is spent doing admin work or tracking down best practices in strange files. Any information for day-to-day selling should be readily available in your sales playbook. This way, you’ll have more time to manage and motivate and not just answer the same questions over and over again.

4. Can team members find HR information like vacation days and time off in the playbook?

This is another great sales playbook best practice. The playbook is your remote sales rep’s hub. They need it for sales processes, methods, and best practices, but they also need it for general company information as well.

Ultimately, having all types of information in the playbook makes it a remote workers’ best friend. It adds to the playbook’s value and will ultimately get your employees to use it even more.

Of course, as a remote manager, you want to make your life easier, too. You won’t have to juggle multiple jobs anymore. Processes for taking time off, for company holidays, and for scheduling appointments will all be in this part of your playbook.

5. Will you be able to train and onboard new hires with the sales playbook?

This is one of the most important duties of your sales playbook. It is also one of the reasons you need to keep your playbook updated and relevant.

For example, imagine you’re a new, remote sales rep. Company A onboards you with a 45 minute long “onboarding” video and someone from HR sends over 400 PDF files via email for you to look over and sign.

Company B onboards you with a friendly email or phone call from your new sales manager. You get your login information to a sales playbook filled with best practices and success stories from your fellow team members. For any seasoned manager, the better scenario is obvious. Company B is going to have a much more productive new hire than Company A.

To effectively onboard new hires, your playbook should be filled with training material and videos for new sales reps (and old ones) to learn from. It should also include examples of email templates, problem/opportunity matrices, 30-second commercials, and any other tool that your sales reps use to sell.

At the end of the day, if you want to effectively manage a remote sales team, you need to have a sales playbook that works for your reps.

With that said, if your playbook is built in a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet, you’re probably going to run into a plethora of issues. Including, but not limited to, accidental deletions, accidental overrides, and accessibility problems. With a set up like that, can someone even have it on their cell phone?

It’s time to upgrade to Collavia®. Do it for yourself, and do it for your team. Have a playbook that is digital, cloud-based, built-out with proven training and selling tools, includes great training videos, and has an entire community of sales people using it.

Have any other ideas on how to use a sales playbook to effectively manage a remote sales team? Let us know in the comments.
Complimentary Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Managing a Remote Sales Team

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