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5 tips to effectively leading a remote sales team during a pandemic

Sara Cronsioe
May 11, 2020

Some say it takes three weeks to form a new habit, yet we are more than 3 weeks into the pandemic, so, how is it going for your sales team working remotely? Have they made any changes to their way of working to keep delivering on high standards?

What can you do as a sales leader, keeping your remote sales team performing in probably the toughest period of your career? Here are 5 ways to lead and coach a remote sales team during a pandemic: 

  1. Change the industries you are targeting
  2. Acknowledge the loss
  3. Use video to foster a team
  4. Lead dynamics meetings 
  5. Keep up the connection 

1. Change the industries you are targeting

Many of the sectors you were targeting before the pandemic may have been ideal, but given the market conditions, adjustments need to be made. Hotels, events, hospitality, and finance are all examples of sectors that are going through difficult times right now. Instead, look at other categories like medical devices, logistics, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and telecommunications, where sales may actually be picking up in a crisis like this. 

2. Acknowledge the use 

Leaders need to be more available than ever to offer guidance and support. This goes beyond ensuring that your team has laptops, and other resources they need to do their jobs. Your employees will feel lost and stressed. People love their routines, they go into work at roughly the same time every day, they grab a coffee and chat with the faces that are familiar to them. Be available to discuss collectively, or one-on-one, what your employees are experiencing as well as their professional and personal needs. 

3. Use video to foster a remote sales team

It’s easy for team members to disengage while working remotely, perhaps responding to emails or running to grab another coffee while a meeting is in session. Temper this by using video to boost presence, accountability, and connection. 

4. Lead dynamics sales remote meetings 

When working remotely, virtual meetings are essential for keeping your sales teams engaged and on track. There are plenty of tools out there, such as Zoom, Skype, Slack and Microsoft Teams, it is simple to get up and running.  

What to consider when leading a dynamic meeting?

  • Schedule check-ins and brainstorm meetings, breakout sessions, or project updates on a set day and time  
  • Make sure you e-see and interact with each other during the day
  • Setting clear expectations and be more task-oriented
  • Keep meetings structured with a facilitator and agenda, sending out necessary prep work in advance
  • Test technology in advance, particularly if presenting to a larger audience
  • Take breaks, reload and, if the sun is shining go for a walk and take the meeting outside 

4) Keep up the connection 

Communication should come from the top down. The intranet and company-wide emails can relay regular updates, messages from the CEO, blogs from executives, and tools and resources from human resources. Maintaining connection goes beyond company communication. Teams can find creative ways to keep in touch with such as virtual coffee breaks, and fitness classes online. 

I’m always working out during lunchtime, says Mattias Vig, Retention Operation Manager at GetAccept. To make the best out of this odd situation and “meet up” with my colleagues I’ve initiated a company wide workout class every Wednesday. Online of course. It is a fun (but tough) way to meet, and it is a great energy booster!"

Learn more: Get inspiration from the expert on how to manage your sales team and sell while working remotely . 

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