6 Powerful Strategies to Motivate and Lead a Remote Sales Team
The affordances gifted by the digital transformation have changed the business landscape forever.
Remote sales have opened up an array of new possibilities when it comes to operating a successful business.
If you’ve already implemented remote sales operations, you’ll know the rewards are plentiful. From reduced costs and resources to improved business hours and the removal of locational boundaries, remote sales have revolutionized the way sellers sell and buyers buy.
So far, so good, but what about keeping your sales team motivated and focused in the absence of being physically together in an office?
As the chart above indicates, remote sales teams will have their struggles.
Fortunately, many studies suggest remote workers actually feel more productive working from home. It’s all about keeping your virtual sales team engaged and motivated so that they can excel and feel positive about working remotely.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide on six powerful strategies to motivate and lead a remote sales team.
What Exactly Is a Remote Sales Team?
Before we dive into this guide, let’s briefly define remote sales.
Remote sales teams, quite simply, are teams of salespeople who work remotely from different locations rather than together in an office. For example, you could have a few sales reps in the UK while others are based in the US.
Whether your sales reps decide to work from home or in the local cafe, all they need, in this digital era, is an internet connection and a laptop.
With cloud computing solutions for most tasks, from CRMs to feature-packed sales tools, working remotely is fast replacing more traditional office setups. In fact, many physical offices now work in a hybrid structure, meaning they have a mixture of on-premise staff and remote staff.
What Are the Benefits of a Remote Sales Team?
The great thing about remote sales is that it benefits all involved.
For businesses, some of the main benefits of remote sales include:
- Reduced costs: no more overheads like office rent and IT infrastructure costs.
- Increased hours of operation: the ability to station salespeople in different locations across timezones.
- Use cloud-based software: several easy-to-use tools exist for specific tasks. Say goodbye to expensive license fees and hello to inexpensive subscriptions.
For remote employees, benefits include:
- No travel costs: remote work removes the cost of commuting and the infuriating hours spent sitting in traffic.
- Reduced lunch costs: no need to visit your favorite restaurant at lunchtime when you have a kitchen full of groceries!
- Better work/life balance: without spending 10 hours a day in the office and commuting, sales teams have a better work/life balance.
- Empowerment: a remote sales team that is trusted to work independently will feel empowered and more motivated.
Now we’ve seen some of the benefits of remote sales, let’s look at six powerful strategies to motivate and lead a remote sales team.
Set Solid Communication Foundations
The first step in leading a remote sales team and keeping them motivated is to set a solid communication structure. Keeping constant communication between sales reps and managers is important for mitigating issues and providing updates.
For sales managers, schedule one-to-one video meetings weekly or monthly for a catch-up with your remote sales team. Not only is this a good opportunity to check in on them personally, but you’ll be able to gain insights into the performance of your sales reps and measure how effectively they’re working towards your sales goals.
Tip: Check out Yesware’s ebook on running effective one-on-one meetings below.How Sales Managers Can Maximize 1:1 Meetings (Backed by Data)Proven strategies for 1:1 meetings that’ll give reps confidence in their day-to-day and drive higher revenue across the team.
If your team is too large for regular one-to-one meetings, consider holding a virtual morning briefing each day to provide your sales team with the latest figures, goals, and expectations going forwards. This should be good for motivating the rest of the team and stimulating a bit of friendly competition.
There are plenty of collaborative communication tools available online to choose from. Make sure your remote sales team knows how to use it and offer instructionals to those who are struggling.
By keeping the lines of communication open, you can prevent silos from forming and remind remote sales staff that they are an important and valued member of a bigger team.
Reinforce the Company Culture
Remote employees are more likely to feel disconnected from your business’s core values and culture in the absence of being in a shared office.
A good solution involves creating fun team-building activities to help sustain a positive remote working culture. Some ideas for promoting your culture and building rapport include:
- Virtual coffee breaks: reward your staff with a virtual coffee break. Having an outlet to catch up, gossip, or even complain will be good for well-being and promotes an inclusive culture.
- Virtual retreats: host a virtual retreat that involves games, quizzes, and team-bonding activities to increase a sense of culture between remote sales team staff.
- Virtual awards ceremonies: your remote sales team may operate “invisibly,” but they shouldn’t miss out. Hold a virtual awards ceremony to reward hard work. Keep it fun and try to include everyone. Encourage dressing up and perhaps even indulge in a glass of champagne… or two!
- At-home perks: bring some of those office perks into the home. Free coffee? Yes, please. Send your staff free coffee to keep them going! How about free fitness lessons? Ask staff if they’d be interested in a weekly fitness program to boost well-being and motivation.
Remember, just because your remote sales team isn’t physically together, it doesn’t mean you can’t make them feel valued and part of a wider company culture.
Set Up a Performance-Based Bonus Scheme
Sales are all about gaining those figures and making profits. But in the absence of celebratory drinks, meals, and other rewards with coworkers, a bonus scheme could provide the morale boost everyone needs to keep hitting those targets.
Use the money saved on in-house awards to set up a bonus fund from which your remote sales team can buy themselves shiny new office items or experience days with their families. Set up performance monitoring to measure each sales rep’s performance and gift prizes to those who deserve it most.
Incentives like this will especially please those who have recently come from an office into remote work and are accustomed to such rewards.
Gifts could include:
- Office equipment.
- Technology devices.
- Free gym memberships or entertainment passes.
- Bill payments and grocery allowances.
And most importantly, when there’s gold at the end of the rainbow, sales teams are likely to work harder to earn it. It’s a win-win!
TED talks have become an eye-opening and interesting way to hear the musings and inspirational stories of some fascinating people.
But your remote sales team may be full of interesting characters with cool stories too!
Here’s how virtual Ted-style talks operate:
- Ask volunteers if they would like to share. It could be as cool as a story about having a bionic arm, to something more sales-focused like “How I sold 1000 products in one day.”
- Support each participant in creating a brief slideshow (about five mins) to share virtually while telling their story.
- Allow time afterward for feedback and questions and answers.
These talks allow remote employees to find out more about colleagues they may feel distant and isolated from.
You could also invite successful business leaders to hold motivational speeches that will guide your remote sales team to future successes.
Provide Ongoing Remote Training
As technology advances and new sales methods arise, you need to implement some sales training techniques to keep your sales team fully trained and up-to-date with the latest in industry software and strategies.
Invite your remote sales team to live video training sessions where either sales managers or external experts can educate your staff on the latest sales innovations. You could also provide product or service training within your niche. For example, sales teams working in call centers may need a brush-up on terms like cloud phone and virtual PBX.
It’s also useful to supplement these lessons with downloadable video reminders for future reference. You could also provide incentives for completing the training, such as certificates or small financial rewards like gift cards.
Ongoing training will provide you with a fully competent remote sales team that can work independently. The rewards for completing it will also boost morale and motivation as you move forward. Great!Lead your team to successTrack, analyze, and standardize what’s working
Provide the Right Remote Sales Tech Stack
Operating a remote business in 2022 requires the right tech stack.
It’s easy being in an office where guidance and IT support are always on hand to help, but when working remotely, it’s important that your team has the right tools for the job and knows how to use them.
Thankfully, the digital era has given us plenty of software tools to maximize the efficiency of the sales process and reach those targets. The issue is, with so many different options, how do you pick the right ones for your tech stack?
Fear not. With a bit of planning and research, you can work out what the best tech stack is for a remote sales team based on your niche and sales goals.
The foundation of your tech stack needs a CRM which can allow users to collaborate in terms of communication, file sharing, and task sharing. Some of the best sales CRMs include:
- Data-driven analytics.
- Smart sales forecasting.
- Online store exit rate monitoring.
- AI-led automation.
- Territory management.
- Measure sales effectiveness.
Next, decide what tools you want to stack on top of this to get the best out of your remote sales operations. Remember, put in the research to find what works best for you.
Having the right tech stack is important for making your remote sales team’s job easier, thus removing the potential for frustration and poor motivation to ensue. A good tech stack will also let you organize data into key metrics to monitor individual and overall sales performance to give important feedback.
Motivating and leading your remote sales team requires some attention and know-how, but it doesn’t need to be a challenge.
Hopefully, this guide on six powerful strategies to motivate and lead a remote sales team has shown you some steps you can take to keep your team feeling inspired and motivated for success.
And it works. That’s why performance rates increased to 64% for businesses that invested in remote selling compared to those that didn’t. We are confident that you can see similar results with the right application of the above techniques.
About the Author: John Allen is the Director of SEO for 8×8, a leading communication platform with integrated contact center, predictive dialing, voice, video, and chat functionality. John is a marketing professional with over 14 years of experience in the field, and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, and a myriad of services.
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