Photo of John Rydell
remote salesperson

How to Effectively Manage Remote Salespeople

managing remote salespeople

More and more employees are beginning to work remotely.

That includes salespeople.

And it makes sense. With remote employees, employers save money on overhead, cutting back on office expenses (or an office entirely) and it affords salespeople greater flexibility, no commute, and increased productivity.

So yes, there are definitely benefits to having remote salespeople on your team. But there are also some challenges that come along with it. In order to get the best out of your remote salespeople, you need to know how to manage them the right way.

Otherwise, their productivity, motivation, and results will inevitably slip.

So today, we’ll give you some tips for effectively managing remote salespeople.

Give Them the Right Tools

Remote sales teams lack the easy access to a desk, computer, equipment and supplies of their office-bound counterparts. So to keep them successful, it’s vital to make sure that they have the right tools at their disposal.

These include project management tools, communication tools and equipment, appointment scheduling tools, dialing software, email tools… even internet connection speeds.

You should spend as much time equipping your remote staff as you would in-house staff. Ensure that your team has the tools they need to be productive, effective, and to represent your company professionally.

Otherwise, what you save in expenses you’ll pay for in lost deals.

Make Check-ins Casual and Regular

You don’t have the luxury of in-person communication with your remote salespeople. They can’t simply walk to your office and ask you questions.

And so, you should have an open-door policy, so to speak. Let your salespeople know that they can call you if they have any questions. Also make sure to check in with each salesperson regularly, to make sure all is going well and see if they need any support.

Consider using video conferencing tools, and chat tools (we like Slack) to keep the lines of communication open and to keep everyone connected. Just because someone works alone doesn’t mean they are not part of a team.

Set the Expectations

Clear expectations are key when managing remote salespeople.

There should be no question about which tasks and responsibilities each salesperson is accountable for. There should be no question about what is expected in terms of days, hours/schedules, number of dials or appointments.

You should also clearly lay out the sales quotas, as well as the standard processes related to the sales position. For example, each salesperson should know when to follow up, the most important sales prospecting questions to ask, what to say when cold calling prospects, etc.

Encourage In-Person Meetups

Do some or all of your remote sales people all live nearby? If so, you should encourage in-person social interaction.

You can host retreats, after work meetups, and other social events to help build the team camaraderie and foster relationship building.

The more your remote salespeople know the other members of the team, the more likely they are to offer help and assistance. They will be more motivated as well. Your whole team will benefit as a result.

Hold Effective Meetings

Effective sales meetings are more important than ever when dealing with remote salespeople. They’ll keep your salespeople on track and motivated, and help them continue to build their skills.

To run the sales meetings, use online meeting software (ie. like MeetingBurner) to seamlessly bring everyone together.

And as for how to run effective sales meetings, here’s are some tips:

  • Start and end on time. Starting and ending on time not only shows that you value your team’s time, it also helps your team maintain focus while they’re on the call.
  • Follow an agenda. A standard agenda will keep you focused and on track, and it will also make it easier for your sales team to pay attention.
  • Share stories. Share some inspiring stories from the sales trenches
  • Review metrics. Decide which metrics are important to your sales team, and review them during your meeting. This keeps the team accountable, and aware of the state of the team.

Run Regular Reports

A big part of managing remote salespeople is holding them accountable. That means keeping close tabs on their productivity levels and performance metrics.

So, run those reports! And make sure they know you’re doing so. That will keep them working hard, and provide you with the insights you need to assess their dedication and ability to the task at hand.

Wrapping Up How to Manage Remote Salespeople…

The world is changing quickly, and more and more employees are working remotely. While this can provide a lot of benefits for your business, it also gives you the challenge of leading, managing, and maintaining sales team effectiveness.

Follow the tips above to ensure your team is prepared, motivated, and committed to personal and company-set goals.

Do you have any other tips for managing remote salespeople? Let us know in the comments below!