manage a remote sales team
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How to Manage a Remote Sales Team? A Walkthrough

Every sales team has a clear objective in mind.

Ease up the sales process, increase market share and make money.

When you’re all in the same place next to one another, and you can rely on face-to-face engagement to move leads down the funnel and complete deals, it’s great being a sales manager.

But what if your team must work remotely due to unforeseen circumstances like a pandemic or travel?

During 2020, many sales teams reluctantly adapted to a remote setting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But before that, many other sales managers successfully and happily led remote sales teams.

People are no longer confined to the same structure.

The ability to communicate is lost.

Your remote employees begin to feel alone.

 how do you manage a remote sales team

The mutual trust you shared and the tenaciously cultivated team spirit fade away.

Sales employees are dispersed and far away, and sales productivity is beginning to wilt.

How do you, as a manager, make sure that your remote sales team meets its weekly and monthly sales targets in light of these drastically altered circumstances?

Do not be alarmed; organizations like All Time Design, Buffer, Spiceblue, and SurferSeo have successfully played the remote game.

Remote workers in a well-managed remote setting may be just as productive and effective as one working from a physical office, if not more, even though being a remote sales team may seem to be a disadvantage because you have less rapid and easy interaction with your sales reps.

However, with increased remote collaboration, you, too, can follow suit.

So, how can you move your sales organization to a remote environment?

By the end of this article, you, as a sales manager, will be familiar with the essential elements of managing a distributed sales force that will ensure you survive and succeed.

 how to manage a remote sales team

What is a remote sales team?

A remote sales team is a group of salespeople who exclusively operate remotely. This implies that there is no shared office space and that each sales representative works from it. Your sales representatives might be based in Miami and New York, in some cases, even outside the country.

A hybrid sales team differs from a virtual sales team in which each sales rep decides whether they will work remotely or in person at an actual office location. Virtual sales teams are unable to use offices.

As aforementioned, the 2020 pandemic accelerated many teams’ shift from in-person to remote work, but it appears that remote sales and remote selling are here to stay.

In fact, according to Salesforce, 46% of sales representatives want to do more virtual selling in the future.

Many businesses recognize the advantages of a virtual workforce, including the cost-effectiveness of not paying for office space and the opportunity to access talent from any location. Additionally, a lot of workers favor a distant lifestyle.

However, remote teams face certain difficulties, such as generating a sales floor’s energy using Zoom and other online resources.

Next, let’s look at a couple of advantages and challenges unique to remote teams.

What advantages does remote selling offer remote sales teams?

Remote selling, sometimes known as “virtual selling,” is the method of closing deals in which customers and remote sales professionals don’t really interact.

It’s comparable to the inside sales strategy, in which prospects are contacted, and deals are closed over the phone or the internet as opposed to in-person encounters.

These are some of the main advantages of remote selling:

Save time

Virtual sales teams can free up important time on the calendar when they stop spending hours driving to meetings with prospects and having face-to-face interactions and replace it with virtual meetings.

A virtual sales team can use this time to qualify and even lead generation, cold calling prospects, expand their network, and improve their sales presentation. Your chances of capturing hot leads, guiding prospects through the buying process, and closing more deals increase as you pitch more and hone your sales techniques.

Reduce expenses

The most obvious advantage of online sales management is that you get to save a ton of cash that you would otherwise have to spend on renting office space, equipment, fuel for cars, and trips.

Even the costs of coffee and food, which can quickly add up in a sales meeting and be rather expensive, would be avoided.

 managing a remote sales team

This does not, however, imply that remote sales is cost-free. Setting up a home office, buying paid tools like cloud-based storage systems and digital communication channels, and other expenses to aid the entire team’s communication and remote sales process will still cost money.

Motivate your salespeople

Your company’s use of remote selling can motivate your salespeople and improve team morale and productivity.

According to a Future of Work poll, 68% of businesses have seen an increase in productivity due to going remote. In addition, the State of Remote Work 2021 survey by Owl Labs indicated that 27% of workers preferred working remotely part-time and that 57% of employees would want to work from home full-time.

Sales development professionals will feel empowered to provide exceptional results if you give them authority and support their efforts with thorough resources. Stress is reduced, and productivity is increased when employees have the freedom to choose their workspace and create their own schedules (within the bounds of your specified rules).

Sell internationally

You can contact prospects all across the world with remote selling. A strong internet connection is all that is necessary.

Using the proper technology also makes it simpler to scale your firm and increase revenue. You may automate monotonous manual processes, manage your sales pipeline, and keep your internal and external communication organized with project management and SaaS solutions.

 remote sales team management

Common challenges of a typical virtual sales team

For sales teams, working remotely can be difficult, and managers who are accustomed to working with staff in person could be unsure of how to help staff in a virtual environment. Virtual sales managers encounter a variety of difficulties, such as:

Knowing when to take time off

Since they work remotely, members of a virtual sales team may sense a constant need to be available or functioning round the clock, potentially leading to burnout.

Keeping the remote sales team engaged

Maintaining employee engagement requires making remote team members feel encouraged and effective.

Promoting collaboration

Creating possibilities for collaboration can seem difficult when there is no face-to-face communication or physical proximity.

Additionally, there are a few particular selling difficulties that your reps probably run with while pitching to prospects online. Only 26% of buyers, for instance, think that sellers can do a full needs analysis remotely, and 84% of buyers believe that sellers cannot articulate ROI in this manner.

It’s crucial that you give your virtual workforce specialized training materials because the selling process differs in a virtual environment.

We consulted Sloovi and All Time Design‘s sales managers to learn how they’d advise setting up and overseeing a virtual sales team in order to help your team overcome these difficulties. Here is what they said.

Tips for managing a remote sales team

How can you effectively manage remote sales agents and maintain their drive to continue selling after your procedures are in place and they are prepared to begin?

Here are some expert suggestions for leading and inspiring a remote sales team:

Provide as much openness to your team as you can

Transparency and trust go hand in hand.

It’s critical for them to have a transparent understanding of what’s occurring in sales and with the firm if you want your remote sales agents to trust you as their boss and the company overall.

Make sure your representatives have access to the data when you create dashboards for important sales KPIs, for instance. Encourage reps to evaluate one other’s performance in various areas if you’re utilizing Close’s Activity Comparison Report so they can discuss how to better the areas they’re having trouble with.

Of course, the necessity for transparency is even more pressing during a crisis.

Create a culture of responsibility

Creating an environment of accountability within your remote sales reps is one of the best strategies to avoid falling into the trap of micromanaging your remote sales staff.

Remote sales reps are encouraged to continue working in this environment because they feel personally responsible for the outcomes.

Here are some suggestions for doing it:

  • Charge your sales reps with generating 1:1 agendas:

Or, at the very least, prod your sales reps to add things to the list of topics for discussion.

  • Encourage remote sales reps to innovate:

Request suggestions and ideas from your team, then ask them to test their own hypotheses.

As previously noted, when performance goals are established, each sales rep should assume ownership of the tracking and planning necessary to achieve those goals.

  • Make a setting where people feel comfortable seeking assistance:

Make sure your reps feel secure and at ease enough to solicit assistance from the team.

For instance, you could set up a channel in Slack where sales agents may ask questions about deals in their pipeline and receive comments and guidance from you or other sales team members.

  • Permit each salesperson to determine their ideal home workflow:

Individually rep has unique personal circumstances, thus letting them each be responsible for keeping their WFH schedule. Allow flexibility wherever possible so everyone can balance their workload with caring for their families.

 how to manage remote sales team

Regularly meet one-on-one with each remote team member

Regular 1:1 sales meetings with each agent on your remote team should be a regular part of your routine, not just a contingency plan you use when something goes wrong.

After discussing it with them, pick a day and time of the week that works for your virtual sales team. Then, add this to your calendar as a regular event. If the representative is on a call or has another urgent business, you can leave the door open to adjust this meeting using Google Calendar and grant invitees access to do so.

Regular face time with each remote team member enables you to monitor both their work and emotional well-being.

Make detailed schedules that you and the remote employees can add or modify, but also provide time for casual conversation. These meetings can help you establish trust with your team, monitor the state of their working environment, and determine when it might be appropriate for you to step in and provide assistance.

Celebrate achieving milestones and goals

If you’ve ever worked in sales in an office setting, it can be simple to overlook the small celebrations that took place after a deal was completed or a goal was attained.

But that doesn’t imply the festivities have to stop just because you’re in charge of a remote sales team.

There are still many ways to recognize your team’s achievements while working from home, even though we’ll freely confess it’s not exactly the same.

Even when working remotely, your team will remain engaged and bonded by celebrating milestones and goal accomplishments.

Establish your goals

Encourage salespeople to perform at a better level by setting higher expectations.

Your remote sales staff will have a standard to uphold if you set clear expectations for them. The benchmark should include time-saving advice, particular online procedures for engaging with leads, and sales goals.

Sales managers must also be prepared to join their remote sales team on a video call to go over expectations and provide each employee with a full report on their individual assignments and expected performance goals.

Review the ground rules for how to locate leads, what to say when cold-calling potential customers, when to follow up, how to clinch the transaction, and the steps to take if anything goes wrong.

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Promote interpersonal communication

Positive teammate contact is encouraged by an excellent manager. A weekly team video call facilitates collaboration and provide an excellent opportunity for your sales team to learn from one another.

Your top salespeople, for instance, can clearly describe a novel remote selling strategy they employ with hesitant clients. Or perhaps someone will talk about their achievement in closing four sales in a single day.

In addition, planned team meetings provide you the chance to discuss significant problems and come up with fresh sales ideas. Participating, taking stock of one’s own and the team’s sales performance, and coming up with ideas for improving overall sales success are all beneficial to everyone.

Promote interpersonal communication

Positive teammate contact is encouraged by an excellent manager. The weekly team follow-ups facilitate collaboration and provide an excellent opportunity for your sales team to learn from one another.

Your top salespeople, for instance, can clearly describe a novel remote selling strategy they employ with hesitant clients. Or perhaps someone will talk about their achievement in closing four sales in a single day.

In addition, planned team video calls provide you with the chance to discuss significant problems and come up with fresh sales ideas. Participating, taking stock of one’s own and the team’s sales performance, and coming up with ideas for improving overall sales success are all beneficial to everyone.

Remember that meetings shouldn’t be solely about business. The age-old custom of talking around the water cooler is lost for remote sales teams. Use gatherings or chat programs to encourage conversation about common subjects, such as the newest viral meme or event. These online get-togethers will promote collaboration and lessen isolation at work.

Encourage your remote salespeople to engage in activities outside of regular business operations as this will enhance communication abilities, make meetings more efficient, and foster positive team dynamics.

how do you manage a remote sales team

How to train your sales team remotely

A good remote sales manager mentors and coaches their remote salespeople to streamline sales processes and get greater results, even in a remote work environment.

Keep in mind that putting into practice a successful sales process is a crucial component of sales leadership and training programs. Create an activity- and results-based sales goals that are crystal clear so that your agents know exactly what is expected of them at every turn of the sales process. This will make it simpler for both you and managing a remote sales team to keep tabs on their daily or weekly work hours

Ask your remote workers to give frequent updates and call recordings so you can help them prepare better future pitches. This will increase the accuracy of tracking progress.

The following are some more ways to train multiple salespeople remotely without face-to-face interactions;


You may also efficiently teach your sales representatives by hosting webinars through video conferencing. With webinars, you may simultaneously train several salespeople, which is an advantage.

To quickly organize a webinar for your team, utilize the right tools like Microsoft Teams or Loom. You can invite well-known speakers and subject-matter experts to share their perspectives, best practices, and advice with your sales staff in order to increase the value of your webinars.

You may also utilize webinars to acquaint new sales reps with the program or product if the one you’re selling requires technical expertise or you want to introduce your team to a certain technology.

 motivating remote sales team

Public team competitions and friendly contests

Many sales leaders also appeal to their salespeople’s competitive sides by developing leaderboards that openly reveal the team’s progress.

The sales process may be influenced by a ranking system that makes it more fun. It could inspire salespeople to work harder in an effort to surpass their team members and hit or beyond their sales quotas if it fits with the personalities of your team and your sales process.

However, if their distributed team has conflicting objectives or if they voice displeasure at open team competition, some teams may decide not to use leaderboards. In this situation, you can also make different leaderboards to ensure that the competition is fair or let reps choose not to participate if they so choose.

Virtual ride alonds

You can involve your sales reps in your own virtual client meetings in a manner similar to how you would bring a junior rep or entry-level new hire with you to a sales meeting for training purposes. They have the chance to benefit from your years of professional experience thanks to this.

This can be accomplished by inviting them to participate in your sales calls or by letting them watch or listen to recordings of your concluded meetings.

You have the chance to use your years of sales expertise in this kind of training to lead by example and demonstrate to your salespeople what is expected of them when cold-calling prospects.


Sales leaders should spend money on frequent sales activities and training with a focus on virtual selling if you want to have a successful virtual sales staff.

Remember virtual selling refers to more than just sales representatives interacting digitally with one another. It also means that sales representatives are interacting online with clients and prospects and engaging in team-building activities.

In light of this, you should give your sales representatives the resources they need to be successful in sales even if face-to-face interaction in a physical office building is not an option.

Your virtual sales team might benefit from the following sales activities:

  • Effective presentation and slide-deck creation in a virtual environment.
  • Communication abilities (role-play between team members via Zoom, followed up with tactical feedback, could be helpful for this)
  • In-depth instruction on the use of virtual tools like Zoom
  • Team brainstorm sessions on new sales strategies
  • Following up after completed meetings.

Success online also depends on motivating sales representatives to act as consultants rather than forceful salespeople. To make use of these talents, think about investing in a training program like the Sandler System.

Advanced selling techniques must be taught to your team; they are essential for a remote team to succeed.


What does a remote sales manager do?

This role involves successfully managing the team and implementing strategic planning and forecasting. You’ll establish and sustain leadership relationships while helping drive sales activities and pointing out clear expectations and closing deals.