Act! Blog

5 key strategies to run successful remote sales teams

an illustration of two coworkers teleconferencing to represent remote teams

Did you know that by 2025, 80 percent of B2B sales interactions between buyers and sellers are predicted to happen virtually?

That’s how fast the remote sales landscape is evolving.

Virtual sales teams allow organizations to optimize costs, hire the best sales talent worldwide, and engage with prospects in different time zones.

That said, developing and managing successful remote teams comes with several challenges and resolving them before setting up virtual sales teams is critical for success.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the main challenges in running remote sales teams and strategies for effectively handling them.

a call-out that says, Did you know? By 2025, 80 percent of B2B sales interactions between buyers and sellers are predicted to happen virtually

Top challenges for remote sales teams

Remote sales teams have to face several unique challenges compared to in-person teams. 

Let’s discuss some of the major ones here.

It’s harder to build a cohesive sales team

A strong cohesive team culture is critical to the success of an organization’s sales team. Most sales professionals are extroverts who thrive on personal connection and do their best work when surrounded by people with similar interests and passions.

In a remote or even a hybrid setting, keeping your sales reps engaged and building that team culture can be quite challenging as everyone connects from a different location and environment, potentially resulting in distractions, miscommunication, and low motivation.

It’s difficult to find specialized remote sales professionals

In conventional sales, you leverage both verbal and non-verbal communication to build trust with your prospects and close deals. Remote selling is much more challenging because of limited body language signals and the need for more elaborate communication.

Virtual sales professionals must have the ability to effectively connect with their prospects and overcome communication barriers.

It’s challenging to showcase your performance

How do you stay on top of your manager’s mind and show off your skills and results when you never meet face to face? Remote sales professionals have to go the extra mile to ensure their supervisors notice their performances and appreciate their work.

It can feel like there are no boundaries between work and life

When your laptop becomes your office, the boundaries between official work and personal life can potentially disappear. It’s common for remote workers to work longer than on-site employees because they struggle to switch off at the end of the workday. 

This ultimately results in burnout and demotivation, which hurts team productivity.

It’s harder to control connectivity and tech issues 

There’s a reason why people spend the first five minutes of every Zoom meeting ensuring everyone can see and hear them. When your team connects from different locations, collaboration can become harder without the right, powerful tools in place.

Key sales strategies for remote teams

Despite these challenges, successfully managing remote sales teams is possible when you adopt the right strategies.

1. Set clear goals and KPIs

Clear sales goals and performance metrics add transparency to your management practices and ensure your remote team knows exactly what’s expected of them. A significant part of a remote sales leader’s job is to define goals for their team and develop KPIs to track them.

Effective goal setting is about taking your team on board, setting clear expectations around core sales activities, and ensuring they fully believe in the performance management process. Otherwise, they’ll lack the drive to achieve those goals, ultimately affecting your team’s sales performance.

2. Focus on team building and engagement

It’s critical to encourage team meetings via video conferencing, chat rooms, and other communication channels. For example, you can have a mandatory ten-minute video call every day at a time that suits most of your remote team members

Similarly, give your team the flexibility to engage in virtual water cooler conversations through Slack chat rooms or other communication channels. And most importantly, develop shared goals and incentivize your sales team to collaborate.

Focus on building a collaborative work environment where your remote sales team frequently connects and engages with each other. 

3. Invest in a CRM system for performance tracking

Performance tracking is another major challenge for remote sales teams. Your employees should feel confident that their hard work is being tracked and that the leads they work on are visible to management.

An integrated CRM system like Act! can help you achieve this goal.

WIth Act! you can easily track every sales agent’s leads, their complete communication history, and how they were handled. Act! allows you to see exactly how a prospect came into your sales funnel and what led to their conversion into a customer.

It’s ideal for remote selling as it provides you with a full range of tools like landing pages, email marketing, lead generation, and record management.

A CRM also simplifies your team’s sales activities. For example, you can use it to automate follow-ups, check in with prospects, and organize one-on-one sales meetings.

This not only improves your remote sales management but also adds transparency to your processes, ensuring every remote sales rep’s hard work is tracked and acknowledged.

4. Train and develop employees

Most employees still require guidance and sales training to effectively manage their time and resources in a remote setting. You should have elaborate onboarding training programs to acclimate new employees to your systems and remote sales processes. 

Show them how your top performers manage their time, achieve peak performance, and use various communication tools for virtual selling.

Train them to use the necessary software and collaboration tools, and share clear guidance on battling challenges such as isolation, lack of motivation, and the sense of feeling left out — all too common problems among remote workers.

Similarly, train them to handle customer phone calls, cold calling, in-office meetings, and using various digital tools as sales representatives.

5. Reward and recognize top performers

Acknowledging your best performers and publicly rewarding their hard work are among the best ways to motivate any sales team — especially remote ones. Acknowledging your best performers in a virtual event increases employee motivation, builds a stronger team culture, and acts as an incentive for the whole team to raise their standards.  

Create systems to build a strong remote sales team

an illustration of people floating around someone working at their desk depicting remote workteams

Ultimately, the success of your remote sales team largely depends on your systems, workflows, and processes. Whether you’re hiring virtual salespeople, setting goals, enhancing teamwork, or measuring sales performance, scalable and transparent systems will help you at every step.

By investing in remote employee management tools, collaboration software, and a CRM system like Act!, you can reduce communication gaps and build a well-oiled sales machine that drives your company’s growth.

Sign up now for your 14-day free trial of Act!

Call to action to try Act! CRM platform for 14 days free