Optimizing your remote sales team is more important than ever. Yes, we hope that lots of people will be able back to the office this year. However, surveys taken at the end of last year indicate that the hybrid remote/office-based sales position is here to stay. According to data from HubSpot in their 2021 sales enablement report, companies that opted for this model during the pandemic saw their sales optimized partially as a result of this working arrangement.  

The pandemic will have a lasting effect on our way of living and working. 

Sales managers will play an integral part in helping their companies evolve with the times. One way to make an impact is by having a plan for their remote sales teams.

At SAS-Marketing, we’re no strangers to remote work. Here are things we’ve known about building a remote sales team even before it became a necessity.

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Must-Have Technical Skills For Remote Sales Teams

When hiring home-based sales professionals, it’s crucial to select people with a unique skill set.

From a technical perspective, each team member will need:

Agility

Remote sales team members need to be agile for many reasons. Above all, they need to be technologically agile. At startups especially, they will endure various system changes and have to troubleshoot computer issues on their own. On a day-to-day basis, they’ll be in and out of multiple applications and on different devices. So, it’s helpful to hire based on the ability to adapt to almost any system.

CRM Skills

Most CRMs are intuitive for people with experience. Beyond knowing how to work in a CRM tool, understanding how to use it to get better productivity is a major plus. 

MS Office/G-Suite  

Most of the clients we work with are in G-Suite. They’re user friendly and conducive to creating a highly collaborative remote environment. Microsoft Office also continues to be extremely important. The best remote sales teams are well versed in applications like Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and their equivalent in G-Suite.

Written & Verbal Communication

Communication is vital in sales, and even more so when you go remote. Taking out most or all in-person interaction can result in severe misunderstandings if not appropriately handled. You want to work with people that articulate thoughts and ideas well over text and in conversation. It will make your everyone’s lives easier, and it’s a must for serving your customers. 

Time Management

Managing a remote sales team should feel like babysitting. The team members will not like being micromanaged, either. Most of all, the sales department’s main objective is to bring revenue to the company on time. Therefore, the ability to meet deadlines and stay focused are non-negotiables for sales hires.

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Personal Qualities to Look Out For

Now that we’ve covered the technical skills, we can’t forget personal attributes. Several characteristics are uncompromisable if you want to blow your sales goals out of the water. These are:

Independence

An ideal remote sales team members will feel comfortable working on their own. They should be able to think independently and use good judgment. They will also need to know when it’s appropriate to ask questions.

Communicative

Engagement with the rest of the team and responsiveness make for a collaborative virtual environment. Someone who answers messages in a reasonable time frame, returns phone calls promptly, loves to share and collect information through conversation could be ideal.

Flexible

Working from any location these days comes with interruptions and snafus. Great sales agents don’t get frustrated easily when things don’t go as planned and improvise as needed to get the job done.

Trustworthy

A sales manager can’t know what their salesforce is doing every moment of the day. They shouldn’t want to know either. What should matter most is the results. When choosing individuals for their remote sales team, they should look for integrity and dependability as defining traits.

Self-Motivated

Some people are only motivated when working in an office with a manager and other associates. They aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t fit for a remote team. Only employees that are self-driven and can self-manage to a degree should work without supervision.

What To Look For in An Outsourced Sales Team

 If your company doesn’t have the time or need to build a full-time remote sales team, it may be better to outsource this function. 

When outsourcing your sales to a short or long-term vendor, it will still benefit you to know what caliber of people will be representing your company. To assess the quality of an outsourced sales team, you can ask about:

  1. The company’s hiring and training process
  2. Their performance management method
  3. The company’s outbound sales process
  4. Team structure
  5. Agent tenure
  6. Past results

The answers will provide you insight on whether your outsourced business development partner has the know-how to manage a remote sales team. They will also indicate what kind of service you’ll get, and the type of experience your prospects or clients will have.

Good luck as you continue your remote journey! If you have any questions about how we can help you improve or integrate into your remote sales department, drop us a comment or send us a message for a free consultation.  

RELATED: Training New Remote Sales Reps: The Good, Bad, & Ugly

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