Most of us divide our work time between concentrative work, which lends itself well to a home office setting, and collaborative work, which lends itself well to a workplace setting. Employers are increasingly taking advantage of this and other benefits of remote work, so off-site workers are appearing in almost all fields and specialties, even sales. Remote sales teams are taking their place in the national workflow, and this is changing the lives of sales managers.
I see five general areas of concern for sales managers who manage remote teams.
- Socialization and team building. One of the things that makes a successful sales team is operating as a team, which requires a team spirit. Remote workers don’t have nearly as many opportunities for the informal, unstructured communication that builds camaraderie. With a drastic reduction in face-to-face communication, sales managers face the challenge of finding new ways to build a team spirit.
- Emergencies. Communication with remote workers lacks the immediacy of daily, face-to-face communication, and this makes emergencies especially perilous. Sales managers need to plan extensively for emergencies in order to offset the slowness of communication and feelings of isolation that always make them worse.
- Security. Remote teams often work with their own devices and their own home networks. Sales managers need to find ways to make sure that the ways in which remote workers handle data are compliant with the law and company security policies.
- Coaching. When the sales team works on-site, it is much easier to observe performance and immediately intervene for the sake of either correcting deficiencies or commending excellence (both of which are necessary to good management). Every team needs good coaching to perform well, so sales managers need to find ways to make sure their remote members get that coaching at least as often as they would get it on-site and perhaps more.
- Training. Especially when team members work from far-flung locations, the logistics of bringing the team together for training events can be difficult to impossible.
These areas of concern require sales managers to embrace new ways of looking at work and workflow. I’m glad that Communispond can help, at least in the final area, training. This Spring, we announced Sales Presentation Skills Anywhere™ (also referred to as SPR Anywhere™), the virtual offering of our Sales Presentation Skills™ program. Sales Presentation Skills Anywhere™ is designed for sales professionals to help them develop, refine, and deliver presentations that win sales.
There are no differences in the content, learning methods, and structure of Sales Presentation Skills Anywhere™ in comparison to the collocated classroom version, Sales Presentation Skills™. The only difference is the delivery method. Once logged into the platform, a participant can see, hear, and interact with their live instructor and other participants.
Two years ago, we rolled out our famous Executive Presentation Skills® in a similar virtual format, EPS Anywhere™, and it has been extraordinarily successful. If you manage a remote sales team, we hope SPR Anywhere™ relieves one of your major areas of concern.