Tips For Managing A Sales Team Remotely

Remote Management of Sales TeamIn the modern business world it is sometimes necessary for a company to operate in a remote manner, as operations may be in different cities or regions.

A sales management team has to ensure that they are able to remotely manage their representatives if the situation calls for it.

Technology

With the advances in technology and the availability of video and voice conferencing software, managers have to be able to adapt to certain situations and be able to help their representatives, even when they aren’t in the office, according to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc.

“Don’t be mistaken to think that because they are remote that you aren’t required to be out in the field coaching them,” said the executive. “You need to conduct one-on-one sessions, regular sales meetings, conferences and the normal methods of reinforcement despite the lack of a physical presence sometimes.”

A management team can easily use technology to achieve this goal, as Skype, Facetime and the abundance of available software that exist can help to make it possible for managers to remain in visual contact. At the very least, a conference call can help to resolve some problems, according to Kivett.

The manager has to teach their representatives how to use the existing technology and help them through the use of this software by detailing each lesson explicitly. Teaching people through a camera on a computer may be similar, but it is not the same as being in the room. A leader has to remember this and take that into account when dealing with their representatives.

Frequent flyer miles, travel

Although it may not seem practical to fly around the country to give representatives sales advice, if there are enough frequent flyer miles that have accumulated it may help to use these to remain in physical contact.

Representatives could be met in a regional center, and a conference of the salespeople could be beneficial for all involved parties. This takes a certain level of commitment and planning, but it is possible with the number of flights that are available for individuals.

Hiring the right people

According to Kivett, if a manager hires people who are more entrepreneurial, have a strong sense of self-management and can operate independently, this can eliminate many of the problems that arise. Keeping track of employees when operating remotely can be eased by hiring the right individuals.

“You cannot have people who require a lot of hand holding and hands-on management out in the field,” said the executive. “This will require more resources to keep track of these individuals, and it will bring more stress than necessary to managers.”

Representatives need to approach the sales industry with the attitude that it is their business and their responsibility to be aggressive and take the initiative in terms of finding new clients and potential buyers. The onus has to be on the salespeople to make things happen and to keep their goals and quota in mind, according to Kivett.

Doing more work during the hiring process can allow for managers to spend less time managing employees, especially in remote situations. They need to target representatives who will need limited coaching to operate.

“You have to be more creative and it may be harder to manage remotely, but with the latest technology, the right representatives and efficient management techniques it is certainly possible,” said the executive.