Over the past few months, certain events have literally overhauled the way we conduct business. To avoid spreading COVID-19, companies have adapted to their employees working from home. But while some people have already settled in to the new normal, others are still struggling with how to proceed. Either way, it’s safe to say that things will be staying remote for the foreseeable future. According to a recent survey by Virgin Media Business, 60% of office based employees will regularly work from home by 2022.
Fortunately, we’re now more connected than ever before. Thanks to technological advancements, we can have a face to face in an instant. However, this also comes with its own set of challenges. Sales managers still have to implement coaching sessions for their reps. They need to ensure their teams remain active, engaged, and efficient. All while utilizing the coach’s advice without them having to be physically present. But is sales coaching all that important? Surely, your sales teams can manage well enough by relying on their past training, right? Let’s find out.
What is Remote Sales Coaching and Why is it Important?
As the name suggests, sales coaching is the process of developing the mindset, skills, and performance of salespeople. Add remote and the coaching is based at different locations either via phone, video, or other web based systems.
Sales coaching is an ongoing venture that can never really be complete. See, sales people tend to become quickly demotivated and unproductive without regular contact. This is why remote sales coaching is so important. It helps improve the performance their performance and keep the crew engaged even when they don’t have access to a team environment. You can read up all about this and more in our blog post titled how to create a strong sales culture at home. Below are the top 5 best practices for effective remote sales coaching.
1. Formalize your Remote Sales Coaching Plan
We all need some sense of direction. As such, setting up measurable goals, clear expectations and standards is a crucial step. It’s incredibly easy to get distracted while working from home. In addition family responsibilities, there are distractions like Netflix, TV, and other things that slow your progress. Having procedures set in place helps maintain a focus on these goals.
Similarly, always provide an agenda in advance. A meeting without an agenda is kind of like shopping without a grocery list. Not only do you waste time and money, chances are you’ll miss something important. Before the actual meeting, communicate clearly that it’s going to be a sales coaching meeting on certain areas. Remove any and all distractions such as pets, TV, and children from the room. This will set the mood to 100% focus on the actual meeting.
2. Invest in and Familiarize yourself with Virtual Coaching Technologies
Remote coaching (and selling from home) has a plethora of challenges to overcome. However, one of those challenges should not be technology. Sales coaches should have an easy and successful run as long as your company has invested in proper coaching tech. This includes mobile CRM access, cloud based storage, screen sharing capabilities, video conferencing among others. Not only do these tools provide sales managers with vital visibility, they also keep teams on the same page.
However, there’s a huge difference between having the right tech, and actually knowing how to use it. Working remotely is a huge adjustment for everyone involved. To ease the transition, try to train your teams and create opportunities for them to get familiar with the tech stack you’ll be using. If certain reps are having difficulties, point them towards learning resources or create your own training sessions. Most people learn how to use certain tech on the job. So if you’re implementing a new technology, start using it soon to give your reps hands on experience. Don’t try to introduce new tech and then not use it for months. You’ll just take everyone back to square one.
3. Keep Meetings Short and Sweet
Today, it’s quite easy to get overwhelmed by video conferencing meetings. This is why you have to create a tight schedule and stick with it to maximize the effectiveness of your team meetings. Remember that while you might have the best tech, video calls can consume as much bandwidth as in person meetings for your sales reps.
As such, it’s more important than ever now to follow general best practices when holding virtual meetings. Make sure everyone has a copy of the agenda ahead of time. Steer the meeting so you can wind up on schedule. Of course, you’ll want to give your team mates time and opportunities to socialize. However, make it clear that team meetings are strictly business to avoid time wastage.
4. Remain Alert to Non Verbal Cues and Body Language during Remote Coaching Sessions
As you interact with your colleagues every day, you pick up a lot of information about their mental states without even realizing it. Putting your subconscious to the same task when working remotely makes this deduction a bit more difficult. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You can still gain plenty of intelligence based on how your team members are responding to pressures of the job. As you coach your team members during video meetings, pay close attention to their nonverbal cues. Identifying the nuances of body language interpretation and you’ll be able to pick up on small tells as you train your sales reps.
5. Track Individual Deals and Progress though CRM and Pipeline Management Tools
Gauging the progress of deals can be very tough without being able to meet your team members face to face. Therefore, tracking these deals through CRM and other tools is more important than ever. Make sure you ask your reps specific questions about the deals you are tracking.
This helps them know that not only are you monitoring their progress just like in the office, but that you’re also available to help them formulate a strategy. However, this alone will not be enough. You need to be as consistent as possible for this and all the best practices above. After all, research shows that there’s an 88% increase in productivity whenever coaching was consistent.
These are indeed tough times for all of us. But with the above remote sales coaching techniques, you can make your team feel like a unified machine even as the cogs work from miles away. However, we can also look at it as the future of employment. In tomorrow’s sales organizations, employees will no longer need to be physically present in the office to achieve success. Virtual connections can help organizations tap into talent pools they would never have accessed before.
However, all these require clear, direct communication, consistent meetings with actionable agenda items as well as the right sales technology stack. For starters, you’ll need a strong and reliable CRM system to monitor and manage different aspects of sales. You might want to look at the number one CRM in the world – Salesforce.
Next, you’ll need some way for your sales teams to access the CRM both at home and on the go. This is where Veloxy comes in. With Veloxy Mobile, your team members can instantly access sales intelligence for any of your accounts, find new contacts to engage with, discover new prospects near them and gather contact information in term of phone numbers and emails. Veloxy also logs all activities performed by your sales teams making tracking and monitoring that much easier. Get Veloxy today and say hello to the future of remote working.