3 high-performance strategies for managing sales teams remotely

Cory Shrecengost
March 29, 2022
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Going remote was a massive upheaval for sales teams. But with change also comes huge opportunity.

As Dailius Wilson, Head of Sales Research at Sales Research Labs tells us, “The biggest positive of remote sales is that large companies no longer have the advantage. With larger budgets, they could fly reps in and take people out for expensive dinners to crack open big accounts. Now the only option is to meet online so it doesn't matter if you're a small company or a big company. Success is about an effective message and understanding how you bring value to the table. It’s the most equal playing field we've ever seen in the sales world.”

And it’s not just an opportunity for small sales. Remote sales teams are making bigger and bigger sales. McKinsey research found that 70% of B2B decision-makers are open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases over $50,000, and 27% would spend more than $500,000.

With such an even playing field, the question for sales leaders now becomes: how are sales leaders managing sales teams remotely so they capitalize on these new opportunities?

Here are 3 strategies leading remote sales teams use to separate themselves from the rest.

Mine sales reps’ calls for new insights

Recording sales calls is nothing new. But now with new tech, the valuable information we can extract from even a single call can be paradigm-shifting. Today, sales leaders are making the most of sales calls in three distinct ways:

1. Self-learning

It’s helpful for any sales pro, no matter how accomplished, to analyze meetings and understand what’s working and what isn’t. Whether it’s tweaking a message that didn’t resonate right with customers or identifying a missed opportunity to upsell, listening back to calls with a critical ear is a useful exercise for every sales rep.

2. Training other reps

A database of sales calls can be a useful tool for both training new reps (and elevating under-performing reps) on the messages and techniques that are most persuasive to prospects. When your reps analyze how high-performers tell a story and handle objections, they can start applying it to their sales approach too.

3. Soundbites for prospects

Call recording isn’t just a training exercise, smart sales teams are also weaponizing them for prospect engagement. As Dailius explains, “Call recording is a perfect resource for the remote customer. The remote customer would love to listen to just the important sound bites from your call; those ‘wow’ moments. Because not only are they important for them, they're important for them to forward on to other stakeholders to get company-wide buy-in. Imagine you tried to forward on a 60-minute call recording, who is going to listen to that? But if it's packaged into the top five moments, that stuff's killer.”

Sales tools like Get Accept are leading the way by making it easy for salespeople to isolate, edit, and distribute sales-call highlights in an instant.

And when you can turn something passive like recording a call into a captivating message for prospects, you’re one step closer to standing out against the swathes of other sales people.

Make selling an immersive experience

The rules of engagement have changed for sales. Instead of a meeting room, reps are working with a screen the size of a piece of paper.

So, with such constraints, how can reps still create an experience that resonates with customers? As Dailius explains, “Zoom fatigue can be mitigated by taking the customer to another world and trying to get them to touch and feel your product virtually. Even if you can't be there in person.” And with the technology out there today, you can arm reps with some powerful tools that really engage prospects.

1. Share video with prospects

Sharing videos like problem-specific case studies can not only hit on a prospect’s pain points but also gives sales calls an air of personalization and production-level polish.  

2. Use collaboration tools

Tools like digital white-boarding, which exist in most video software, can help reps and prospects participate in mutual brainstorming in real-time. What’s more, you can share these brainstorms with the prospect and they can share it internally.

3. Give your customer control

Finally, there’s nothing more immersive than control. Teaching reps to give prospects control over their screen during demos and presentations lets them control the pace of things and brings them further into the experience.  

Cut admin from reps’ days

In sales, time is money. So the more time your sales reps can dedicate to revenue-generating activities like prospecting, presenting and closing, the better.

But to give reps a clear runway to chase opportunities, sales leaders must remove as much day-to-day admin as possible. And high-performing teams are doing just that with smart admin-killing automation.  

1. Cut meetings

Internal meetings are a time drain for sales reps. That’s why a great sales leader will go the extra mile to keep their reps out of non-productive internal meetings — without sacrificing communication.

And for this, sales leaders take the initiative and keep their reps focused on selling. “If you don't need another meeting, don't have it. Do you need to have that pipeline meeting or can you listen to the call recording of the number one key opportunity for that week? Can you as a manager take the initiative and do that, so reps don't need to jump on another call or meeting?”, says Dailius.

2. Save reps hours in paperwork

Just like meetings, paperwork cuts deep into reps’ time. Drawing up a new contract here or there is fine, but when contracts pile up, an entire day can disappear. Luckily, there are some powerful automation tools out there to save your reps hours in paperwork, too.

Sophisticated eSignature solutions can template out common sales contracts and even auto-populate prospect information directly from your CRM. That way, all reps have to do is tweak some details and send it out, saving them hours messing with third-party tools. Even better, these eSignature tools let reps know when contract have been sent, opened, signed, and returned, and can even automatically send reminders — all saving reps precious time.

This is just the tip of the remote sales iceberg

As the world continues to shift, it’s hard to know exactly how to build a remote sales team: full-time remote, a hybrid model, or something completely unexpected.

But one thing is growing increasingly clear: buyers like remote sales, as only around 20% of B2B buyers say they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated.

With that in mind, leading remote sales teams by upskilling and equipping them with the best tools and strategies to succeed in a remote world is more important than ever.

Discover more strategies and tools for managing high-performance remote sales teams in our latest guide, Nurturing an effective remote sales culture.

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