How Should You Manage Your Remote Sales Team?

remote-sales-team.jpgThe working environment of today is much more mobile than even five years ago, as the idea of being able to connect “anytime, anywhere, any device” is usually presupposed to be the standard for most workplaces, as opposed to being a luxury. That means, in order for a company to truly obtain (and retain) high-value talent, they must be able to adapt to the expectations of today’s virtual workforce.

Challenges of “Anytime, Anywhere”

For all the convenience remote work options provide, however, they also present challenges in retaining a team dynamic – especially when personnel are often separated by great distances, geographically.

Developing management strategies specifically for a remote sales teams can create problems for businesses that have aged, out-of-date systems in place, as well as those that have historically positioned their organizational structure for co-located personnel. Fortunately, there are some strategies that work well to manage sales teams of this nature.

Best Practices for Remote Teams

Setting up specific and recurring times to meet with personnel is an effective and easily implemented strategy. Meet with them at least twice per week via phone or video so that all of the members feel part of the team. Additionally, meeting in person monthly or, at a minimum quarterly, to keep them engaged in the management process and expectations continue to build upon your appreciation for their work.

In-person collaboration with the local sales team can also provide an excellent platform for team growth. Even if scheduled quarterly, co-locating with a larger percentage of the sales team helps them feel involved in the interworking of the capture and business development process. Lastly, with some personnel, it is important to monitor their activity closely. As management’s knowledge of work ethic grows, some will require far less monitoring than others. However, when initially implementing or supporting remote team members, it is more advantageous to err on the side of well-planned oversight.

Success is Possible

There are thousands of companies who successfully conduct business with remote sales teams. Not only does this enable companies with the ability to be many places at once, serving widely dispersed areas, it ensures you are able to capture the best talent in the market by not being restricted to a specific office location. Check-ins, one-on-one’s, and regularly scheduled in-person colocation are some useful and well-tested strategies for ongoing successful management of virtual employees. Technology has added an extra layer of support that makes this a dynamic option for business growth.

About Skip Blackburn