Despite the adoption of inside sales, most selling teams tend to work best when they are working together. Sales is often about improvisation and collaboration with other functions and even large and distributed sales teams tend to do some activities in person - forecast meetings and reviews, sales training sessions, and cross-functional meetings.
Remote working continues to grow across industries and several companies and their employees swear by their benefits. It is possible that even your Inside Sales team allows remote work, but as an exception and not a rule. However with the prevailing COVID-19 crisis, it is imperative that all sales leaders test the ability of their sales team to work remotely for extended periods - weeks, maybe months.
Here then are 3 tips to ready your sales team for remote working
TIP 1 - Establish your Toolkit
- Cloud Telephony and Web Conferencing - you have to ensure your reps can communicate with their customers freely. Make sure you have a cloud telephony or web conferencing solution that every rep has access to.
- CRM - every sales team must have a Sales CRM. You should also test the task management capabilities of your Sales CRM. Invest in a simple task management system, in case your CRM does not already support it
- Communications - Sales teams, cannot work on their own. You will need an internal communications tool to ensure teams can talk to each other and to other teams within your company.
- Sales Improvement and Management - once your team is set to work remotely, you will still need to help them on calls, run forecasts, and improve your sales plays. This is a lot harder to do remotely. However, with Salesken.ai, you can do this seamlessly
A conversational intelligence tool like Salesken.ai would allow you to monitor the quality of all your reps’ conversations, glean helpful insights from the voice of your customers and let our AI, guide your reps on the frontline, with real-time cues and talking points.
TIP 2 - Establish Processes
Once you have the right tools, it's important to set up processes that will enable your sales engine to keep cranking while your team works remotely.
- Common availability hours - Working from home, gives everyone more time to work as your reps do not have to tackle traffic and long commutes. This is more true for congested cities like San Francisco or Bangalore. However - a pitfall with everyone working remotely is that, often, two people aren’t available at the same time.
- Standups and Team Meetings - Selling is dynamic. Markets and customers change every day and the best sales teams always huddle to share intel and best practices. It is important to maintain these cadences in a remote working setup as well. In fact, it’s probably better to over communicate, within your team to make up for informal communication in an office setup.
Quick standups at the start and end of the working day will keep everyone clued in. It will also help you identify members of your team who may be struggling with the transition to remote sales. Try and use video conferencing where possible. This will ensure the connectedness and camaraderie of your team is preserved.
TIP 3 - Continue to Improve
One of the limitations of remote working for sales leaders is the inability to improvise and adapt to changing marketing situations. Your “source of truth” is what your reps recall and record in the CRM and with everyone working away from each other - critical pieces of information will be lost.
Here then is how you can best replicate the high energy sales floor environment in a remote setup. (Disclaimer - this does include activities you can cover best with a conversational intelligence tool like Salesken.ai
- Record all calls
- Analyze calls for market trends and voice of customers
- Establish, enforce and optimize your playbook
In remote work, it will be harder for your reps to refer to their conversations for future actions or to discuss how they could have gone better. Using a conversation analytics tool like Salesken.ai will make this simpler - as you and your team would now have access to every call and its transcript with rich details. Your reps will not have to spend their time documenting every second of their conversations.
New competitors, market fluctuations, new feature requests, are all gathered over water cooler conversations or when you speak with your reps. With a tool like Salesken.ai, you will have the ability to record and analyze all calls and detect these trends early. It will also be convenient for your Solutions team and your Marketing team who will welcome these insights from the frontline
As teams move to remote selling, it’s imperative to establish standardization. Most teams have a playbook or script they operate on. It’s important to enforce that your reps stick to playbooks and scripts in a remote setup. With Salesken.ai you will not only be able to ensure your reps are sticking to your playbook, but they will also get cues on how to handle every objection or how to best explain product features.