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Practical Tips for Motivating Your Remote Sales Team

Posted by IndustrySelect on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Laptop and cup of coffee with soft focus zoom conference on screen


COVID-19 has forced businesses to practice remote working and telecommuting. In many states, economies are reigniting, which means that some employees will be allowed to go back to the office for at least part-time work. However, many companies are maintaining work-from-home policies out of caution.

Remote working may be practical for some occupations, but for sales teams it is exceedingly difficult to be deprived of face-to-face interaction.

Imagine a sports team that trained and practiced separately attempting to win a game, and you'll have some idea how difficult this situation is for sales professionals.

In order to keep them motivated, here are a few tips that can help your teams thrive during this unique period in history.

Integration Hiccups

The rapidity with which COVID-19 spread throughout the United States caught many companies off-guard. In a frantic rush to enable telecommuting, there were numerous problems that arose.

Some employers assumed it would be as easy as telling employees to simply log on with their phone or tablet and conduct work at home. The truth was much more complex.

From incompatible devices to not having support and policies in place to inadequate server space, frustration ran high initially. Managing these issues required a change in philosophy where employers embraced a decentralized mindset.

This improved available channels for employees to receive vital information and assistance.

Maintaining Focus at Home

Employees at work had a dedicated office environment for conducting business. At home, they are now in a living room or kitchen, often with kids who are no longer able to go to school.

This makes it difficult for employees to concentrate and balance their schedules to match with company demands. Maintaining an organizational structure, timelines and effective management will help them stay on target with goals and productivity while allowing for flexibility.

Additionally, to keep morale and focus elevated, you will want to make sure your remote sales team always has support.

Zoom conferencing aside, there is very little interaction with other people, which can make them feel distant and alone.

This is especially true when an employee experiences problems or difficulties. To reduce these negative feelings, companies need to get creative and offer new ways of communicating and collaborating.

Whether this be more conference calls, a text group or maybe even a virtual team-building exercise, investing in employee relationships will remind your sales team that they are, indeed, part of a team and that can rely on each other for advice or support.

Being Prepared

Policies need to be created and made clear to all employees. For example, schedules will need to be more flexible, as a common 8am start may not work for everyone now that they are home. Offer staggered check-in times or allow employees to set their own schedules, provided that assigned work gets completed on time.

Without the confines of a strict 9-5 work day, employees will be less stressed and more productive and focused.

Another policy to consider is what to do if an employee becomes sick, either from COVID-19 or another illness.

Having a clear course of action in advance is much better than trying to improvise on the fly. Moreover, by having an established plan, it'll give your employees a little peace of mind knowing that you are watching out for their health and wellbeing.

Remote Relationships

Customer relationships will undoubtedly be harder to cultivate now that personal interaction is limited. Keeping the sales pipeline full will require changing how your team relates to their prospects. Taking a more human-centered approach to sales can create a stronger bond even without in-person contact.

For example, the manufacturing industry is facing a unique situation. Some plants are deemed essential and therefore have to worry about health, safety and productivity, while other plants have shut down and must focus on saving money and taking care of furloughed employees.

When trying to sell your services to this industry, your sales team must recognize the situation each potential client is facing and focus your sales pitch on business continuity and employee wellbeing. By relating your services back to these core objectives, you'll be in a better position to close the sale.

Additionally, humility is a very strong selling point. Nobody really knows what's going to happen next. Although there are many predictions, we have all been shown that a 0.1 micron virus can take the most finely tuned predictions and tear of them asunder in a matter of days.

Customers need to know that they have a partner who can help guide them through this strange new environment. For this reason, pledging to adapt with them as situations change will promote their trust far more than overly-confident assurances of what the future holds.

Whatever the future might hold, providing your sales team with a robust and reliable pool of leads will help them stay focused and motivated.

An IndustrySelect subscription provides your team with customized critical data on 500,000 industrial businesses and one million executives. Try a free demo today!


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