How to Lead a Remote Sales Team Effectively During a Crisis
Are we living in unique times? Yes. Does that require us to do unique things? Yes.
When things are rolling along and the economy is humming, we tend to overlook our flaws. In fact, not only do we overlook them, we don’t even recognize them.
That’s what happening right now across the board. Companies are finding out their processes, strategies, and systems are flawed.
More importantly, they’re also realizing the amount of control and influence over their sales teams wasn’t exactly what they thought it was.
As Warren Buffet so eloquently stated, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
The majority of salespeople simply do not feel comfortable working from home. Not only that, they’re not being properly led, inspired, motivated, or held accountable. And if you didn’t have these measures in place when salespeople were actually in your building, what do you think is going to happen when they’re remote?!
Lack of activity, lack of motivation, lack of inspiration, lack of results, and lack of communication are just a few of the consequences of an under-led remote sales team.
In order to help you combat these challenges as a leader, here are a few strategies you can implement to offset these inadequacies and start getting the production you need from your sales team who’s now working remotely.
#1: Virtual Daily Huddles
Not only should you have been doing daily huddles already with your team before this situation, these very important gatherings are critical to your success as a team.
They should last no more than five or 10 minutes and it’s got to be with the entire team, every day.
They’ll report on what metrics they’re being held accountable for, what’s happening that’s good in their business, and what we’ve got to focus on for the day ahead.
Sales team accountability starts with a virtual daily huddle.
#2: Develop a Prospect & Customer-Retention Strategy
Understandably, not every company has had to cease operations and shut their doors. Many industries out there are still working hard to deliver their products and services to their clients.
Lots of deals, relationships, and contracts are still being completed and that’s not going to stop, no matter what the circumstance.
If you’re part of a company whose direct outreach for new clients has waned, you can certainly be productive without getting new business.
Create a strategy for your sales team to reach out to prospects and current customers, letting them know you’re there for them.
No selling, no upgrading, no nothing. Just caring. It’s not about adding to your bottom line now, it’s about adding to your bottom line when things get back to normal.
Send them some information on something relevant to the current situation that may help them. Give them a call to let them know if they need anything at all, you’re happy to help.
Give them some recommendations or introductions to help them mitigate their losses or challenges, even if it does nothing for you personally.
This is a time that follow up is more critical than ever, without the intention of making a sale.
#3: Provide More Resources for Your Team to Grow
- According to Forbes magazine, 55% of salespeople lack basic sales skills.
- According to a recent survey, 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days.
- According to a recent report, every dollar invested in sales training returned $29 in incremental revenues.
Untrained salespeople will doom your company. Especially now when they’re all sitting at home! If you didn’t have an effective, progressive, and coaching-centric sales training and development system with your people before, what exactly do you expect to happen now?
You think your sales numbers are going to go up? You think they’re even going to maintain their current level? Hello, McFly? Is anybody home?
And I’m not referring to some cookie-cutter “sales system” that’s old-school, antiquated, and one-size-fits-all. That may have been appropriate in 1990, but it’s certainly not appropriate in 2020 and it flat-out doesn’t work.
Please, for the sake of all salespeople, take your head out of the sand and realize what’s happening. A long-term commitment to ongoing training, coaching, and investing in your people will give your sales team a competitive advantage. Especially now!
Organizations that spend more time training reps see better sales numbers, period. Especially now when they’re all sitting at home!
Steve’s new book, “Sales is NOT a Dirty Word” was just released and if you’d like to learn more about how to get your mind right, there are tons of tips and strategies in the book on how to do so.