In the post-pandemic disruptive landscape, more and more organizations are considering remote working indefinitely. Although the concept of working remotely existed way before the COVID era, we all know how the remote working population has increased exponentially, for obvious reasons. Brands like Facebook, Shopify, Atlassian, Tata Steel, and so many others have already adopted a remote or a hybrid workplace approach. Did that adversely affect their day-to-day sales and operations? Well Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg thinks, working remotely has made him ‘more productive’ and most importantly, happier. There you go! But again, remote work culture has its share of challenges too. It’s important to make sure that your team is equally productive and putting their best foot forward. We have put together some of the top tried and tested ways to keep your virtual sales team more engaged, productive, and of course, motivated.
Oblivion is not an option
The more oblivious your team is of the recent improvements the more distracted and disconnected they are. Keeping your virtual sales team updated will keep them engaged, connected to each other, and focused on the common goal. Updating them about the monthly or annual goals of the company, sales numbers, and other relevant interdepartmental overhauls will do the trick. These updates are meant to keep your team engaged and productive so keep it light and don’t be afraid to lace it with a little bit of humor. Encourage them to do better if they are not meeting the target but try not to pressurize them, be at ease, guide them on how they can meet the goals more efficiently. But if your team isn’t having any information about the recent developments then it’s not only them but also your business that will face the loss.
There are several benefits of having a remote sales team but there are drawbacks too. One of them is the lack of constant learning from peers. But it can be covered up by keeping your remote sales team updated and sharing all the achievements. These updates should be followed by discussions where all the sales team members get to know how the team achieved this milestone. Thus, learning would never take a backseat for your remote sales team.
For instance, MyOperator is a cloud telephony company that is working remotely. They are a team of 150+ employees working efficiently from across India. They are very vocal about their experience in remote working and are very active about the same on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well. The company has revealed many times that their key to efficiency in remote setup is sharing every achievement with the teammates followed by the discussion of how they make it happen. This practice will not only keep your sales team connected but also fills the gap of learning that remote setup might bring.
Get everyone on a video meeting
Video calls have been the number one and the best way to stay connected during COVID, be it professionally or personally. Zoom meetings have now become an essential part of every organization. Also, statistics have shown that video calls have actually improved productivity by 50%. Furthermore, 90% of people find it easier to put their points across through video conferencing.
Video meetings make things a little easier and lighter, we have all featured a cat walking in the background or a child joining the meeting that led to lighthearted moments. Giving colleagues and clients a sneak-peek into each other’s homes adds a personal touch and also brings teammates closer together.
What’s even better is that these meetings eventually become a comfortable space for everyone. Where you and your team can discuss everything. Video meetings are one of the best opportunities to connect with your teammates and know about them including their personal life. All you gotta do is make sure that all your teammates keep their video cams on. You are wondering why?
Do you realize that when you laugh your eyes squint and your cheekbones flash up? Our face talks through expressions as much as our mouth does with words. Making your virtual sales team switch on the cameras will make the conversation more comprehensive. You will be able to make out if anyone is in disagreement with the ongoing discussion, or they have a point to put forward. And not just that, in case an employee of yours is going through a hard time, their facial expressions will convey that and you can do your bit later by helping them. These video calls will not only keep your sales team connected but also strengthen the team’s bond. That will eventually result in collaborative efforts and ultimately the desired results.
Guide your team with time management
The amount of flexibility that a remote working setup brings with it can be lethal if time isn’t managed well. Time management is an essential part of when you and your team are working remotely. They need to make sure that their work is not affected because of personal commitments advice-versa. The balance has to be there to keep your team connected. Guide your team to have a fixed routine for work so everyone knows what other team members are doing. Tell your team about the time management apps and applications that track productivity status.
Time management is necessary because if it is not taken care of then most of your employees would struggle to be available for important meetings. While others would struggle to maintain a healthy work and life balance. Both of these situations will create a disconnect between your sales team, resulting in the downfall of your business.
Amazon is a huge international brand that has recently introduced the work from home policy. Initially, they did not have a choice but to work from home because of Covid-19 but now they have chosen to stay home for work as it seemed a more feasible way of working. Do you know why? Because first of all, it saves a lot of time for employees as they do not have to spend hours commuting to the offices. This increases their productivity that only benefits the brand. Secondly, it was observed that employees were able to manage a healthy work-life balance and the flexibility in their schedule reduced their pressure to a great extent. This reduction in routine stress helped employees to think of novel ideas and implement them with the conventional words to sell more. Things could have gone haywire as well if employees wouldn’t have managed their time effectively. As you can see for yourself, Amazon is so far so good and you as a customer are satisfied too.
There are a bunch of time management tools, many of them are free also, you can recommend your team such apps. And if you want to go fancy and spend money then, there are paid ones also, like Timedoctor and Toggl.
Crisp question hours are the solution to all problems
I will be honest, I always have a hundred questions to ask every day at my workplace. Getting answers to those questions not only satiates my curiosity but also results in my learning. These kinds of meetings should be held regularly for employees where they can ask questions without being embarrassed, and there should be an option to submit questions anonymously. These meetings do not have to necessarily be related to work. They can also be like in between fun sessions on a long working day. The sole purpose of these meetings is to build a bond beyond the work. When you know about your employees or team members, you will be able to relate to them more. This will result in better collaborations and effective teamwork.
This helps your sales team as well as your organization in the short and long term. These ‘ask-me-anything meetings’ help in removing assumptions, clearing any doubts employees have, and help in building strong relationships between you, your employees, and your sales team.
Fun team building activities
Who wouldn’t like to have a game session after a long week of work? I for one would kill to have one.
There are a lot of fun exercises that you can do to make everyone in your team entertained and also cheer their spirits up after a long tiring week of sales calls. Try a round of “show and tell”, code break, team pursuit, etc.
Have fun discussions with your virtual sales team, get to know each other better by revisiting good old school days, and good memories that your team members have to share. In a remote setup, it is these little activities and discussions that work as stress busters and refreshes you both physically and mentally.
Offer training sessions
As they say “Learning is a lifelong process”, professionals should keep learning in order to stay updated and on top of the latest market trends. You can offer some training programs for your team, if it’s in your budget, you can pay for online courses otherwise you can build one. This way, your employees will keep learning new things and will help them to be better salespeople.
These training sessions will also help your remote team in connecting with each other. You can design a few courses that your virtual sales team has to do in pairs or in a group. MyOperator is on the brands that are utilizing eLearning tools and facilities for its employees and giving them targets to complete. This pushes the employees to work as well as learn together. Not only does it help them in gaining skills that help the company but it also builds their portfolio.
So, here are the six ways to keep your virtual sales team connected, make team engagement an integral part of your organization. Remote working can be massively beneficial for your business but it comes at the cost of a tight-knit team. To be productive, your team needs to be engaged as well as happy and being an employer, it’s up to you how you keep your team together and bring the best out of them.
Remote working is undoubtedly very challenging. But good things don’t come easy either. Initially, you might have to face a few bumps on this road. Or you might struggle a little, but it all can be sorted with a little effort. Utilize the above-given tips to keep your virtual team connected and motivated at all times.