A virtual sales team can expand your market, reach more people, and boost your bottom line. Here’s how to help them succeed.
There are plenty of advantages to a virtual sales team. You can work more efficiently across time zones. Your company isn’t paying a lot for office space. And you can hire the right people, no matter where they live.
There are some drawbacks, too. For example, it can be more challenging to feel connected or to have someone to act as a mentor to new salespeople. In addition, the spontaneity of in-office idea sessions is hard to capture.
These problems are simple enough to work around, though. In fact, leading a virtual sales team isn’t all that much different than working with an in-person team. People are still people, after all. Success just requires a few different tools and a slight shift here and there in the approach.
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10 Steps to virtual sales team success
Whether you’re transitioning from in-person to virtual, just starting a virtual sales team, or trying to improve a team already in place, you may already be on the road to success. Again, many of the management skills are the same no matter where you are.
1. Create a culture of encouragement. Company culture exists in every business, whether virtual or in-person, and every industry from sales to tech development to your local restaurant. Business owners and managers have a considerable role in shaping that culture. A culture of friendly competition, mutual learning and coaching, and helping one another makes everyone on the sales team better.
2. Create a culture of accountability. Encouragement does not mean you can ignore people who are coasting along and not doing their job. People still need to be accountable for what they do (or don’t do). A lack of accountability ends with part of your team feeling like they’re working twice as hard as other people without much in the way of benefits.
3. Set goals but keep them realistic. One of the frequent issues that virtual employees contend with is either that there are no specific goals or goals, but they’re unrealistic. Virtual or not, your sales team needs something to work toward and measure their work against. And it needs to be reasonable. Virtual does not mean your team can work any time, day or night.
4. Use modern communication tools. Email is fine, but if you want more real-time conversations, it’s time to use tools like Zoom, Slack, and anything else that lets you connect and enables productive discussions.
5. Use modern sales tools. With a virtual sales team, you need tools designed to help them succeed wherever they are. Cloud-based sales tools like Call Logic let your sales team work anywhere while still benefiting from fully functional and powerful dialing software.
6. Hold regular meetings. Regular meetings offer everyone a chance to converse, discuss challenges, celebrate successes, and feel like part of a team. Depending on the details of your product or service, every other week may be sufficient. You don’t want to meet too often and give your team meeting fatigue. On the other hand, don’t stretch it out too far, either. The point is for your team to feel connected.
7. Check-in often. While meetings can be more formal and include everyone, it’s also essential to stay in touch with individuals on your team. Send them a note just to say hello, ask if there’s anything you can help them with, or find out how they are feeling. If you have a larger team, you may need to spread this out a little, but at a minimum, try to connect with the individuals on your team at least once each week.
8. Focus on training. Whether you’re training someone new to the team or providing ongoing education for your sales pros, maintain a focus on training and improving. It’s easy for a virtual sales team to get burned out, as there isn’t the built-in socialization of in-person work. To help counteract that, help them keep their minds fresh and active by learning new things.
9. Stay engaged. As a team leader, it’s your job to stay engaged and watch things like metrics, sales goals, customer satisfaction, and so on. If you aren’t watching these things, who is?
10. Create teams. Rather than one large virtual sales team, divide your group into smaller teams. You could set these up based on geographic proximity, area of specialization, or even favorite foods. The goal is to help people feel more engaged by creating smaller groups. With one large group, it’s easy for people to get overlooked. Just beware, however, that you still want a friendly business culture. Be sure to watch teams for signs of dissatisfaction with one another or animosity among groups.
Certainly, these aren’t the only tips for a successful sales team. Sales tips that would apply to in-person teams apply here, as well. But with the right tools, a competitive but collegial atmosphere, and ongoing opportunities to learn and grow, your team is sure to succeed.
Call Logic’s auto-dialer and call management software offers dozens of helpful tools to increase your success and simplify your daily tasks. Call for your free consultation today to learn more!