Hate it or love it, remote work is here to stay. While the early days of the pandemic found B2B sales teams cobbling together ad-hoc approaches, many still haven’t defined good collaborative processes for hitting their sales goals.
As a business owner, how do you manage your remote team? How do you promote team building, effective communication, and measure productivity without micro-managing?
The first step is recognizing that B2B sales have changed. Even pre-pandemic, the buyer journey had been increasingly digital, so the pandemic only sped up the changes that were already in motion.
Take the pre-COVID Gartner survey. It found that 27% of stakeholders said they researched complex purchases online and spent time building consensus internally before investing time with a sales rep.
In today’s digital-first sales environment, that’s only increasing. The modern B2B customer journey has shifted to less face-to-face interaction with sales teams. Prospects may come across your company through search and see your company on LinkedIn a few days later. A month later, they download an eBook or watch a webinar.
There are emerging places online known as Dark Social that simply cannot be tracked. Website links shared in Slack or other messaging services can have a massive influence on buying behaviour but won’t have attribution in Google Analytics.
By the time they talk with a sales rep, the prospect is likely near the end of the journey in their decision-making phase. This means your sales team should work differently on first contact, too.
Since remote work extends to remote sales these days, working within cloud-based software tools can help sales teams collaborate and stay productive. Yet it does require a shift in thinking for seasoned MSP owners.
1. Rethink roles and responsibilities
Today’s B2B sales teams are more collaborative than in the past. Instead of having one sales manager responsible for the team, everyone takes ownership.
Even pre-pandemic, Salesforce found 77% of sales professionals say collaboration is essential in driving sales and providing a cohesive customer experience pre and post-sale. That collaboration includes working with marketing and service teams.
After all, a customer-focused approach ensures they have a great experience from pre-sale to onboarding right through their entire customer lifecycle. When teams align cross-functionally, it’s easier to keep the customer happy, which helps with your customer LTV and retention.
Business owner delegation
- Introduce a goal-setting framework eg: OKRs
- Lead through mentorship of the team rather than completing the task yourself
- Communicate any role and responsibility changes with your clients
2. Promote autonomy
It is possible to help entry and mid-level employees grow into top salespeople without micromanaging.
The key is to promote regular communication and encourage people to take ownership of their roles.
Some B2B sales teams have introduced a quick morning gathering to check in with yesterday’s progress and today’s goals. It’s an excellent opportunity to encourage questions and let team members share any roadblocks or wins. A short 10-15 minute meeting can provide momentum and a feeling of being part of the team.
As a small business owner, It can be difficult to change an old habit or business process. Before the team was remote, it was so much easier to have an impromptu discussion with a colleague to review the scope of work before sending off a proposal.
Now, these moments happen in Slack, Teams or Zoom, and the process can be time-intensive for everyone involved. Promoting autonomy starts by giving more space for critical thinking, and problem-solving with each individual. Make sure everyone knows what the objectives are and give them the confidence they need to make their own decisions on behalf of the company. More autonomy in the workplace leads to more productivity and a more fulfilling role.
Quoter offers a Manager Approvals feature that only trigger a required approval if certain criteria on a quote are met. Now you’ll be able to catch, correct, or reward irregular quotes before they are sent out.
3. Advocate for communication and teambuilding
The return to the office cheerleaders often cites the loss of informal learning as a deterrent to remote work. They claim that people miss out on learning from hardened in the trenches B2B salespeople without unplanned asides in the hall. However, regular communication and team building can still happen in the remote world.
Collaboration tools like Slack or a virtual break room can promote regular communication. Sharing “happy human moments” like getting in a workout or a child’s first steps can help remote employees feel more connected to one another. Donut is a free Slack integration meant to be the new “watercooler” for remote teams – it doesn’t always have to be about work!
4. Measure productivity or performance
B2B sales teams have sales goals to hit, yet it’s tough to uplevel productivity and performance without built-in processes, key milestones, and a supportive environment.
However, do your individual sales reps know their key milestones and have the needed support for identifying potential stumbling blocks? For example, it’s easy to track the number of outreach and closed sales, but what about the near misses? Do you have an internal feedback look that encourages self-reflection and incremental improvement? When your sales reps are in the habit of reviewing their “wins,” “losses,” and opportunities, there’s room for growth.
There’s no doubt B2B sales have changed since COVID, and there’s less face-to-face interaction either within sales teams or among customers. Yet there’s still plenty of opportunity for successful remote work within every B2B team. For example, with reusable templates for creating quotes, your team can share, make suggestions, and save time by putting in the relevant data from anywhere.
Does your remote team need an upgrade?
We have a great quoting system, and a friendly support team to help you get onboarded. The best way to start is by booking a product demo and we’ll show you some of the key ways your business can use Quoter to optimize your quoting process.
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