How to Effectively Do Remote Sales Coaching for Remote Sales Teams
Working remotely has become the norm for several teams all over the world in the past few years (COVID if you've been living under a rock). However, not all teams, specifically, sales teams, are properly trained to be effective and productive while working from home. Not to mention, getting used to remote working takes time, which slows down new sales reps' onboarding and time to hit quota (AKA time costs money), which is why you must be prepared to train your sales team as quickly as possible.
Having to work from home can be pretty challenging, as the lines between life and work get blurry, and salespeople are more prone to getting burned out. However, hiring a sales coach can take a massive weight off your shoulders, as they know everything they need to ensure your sales team accomplishes its goals and stays motivated.
What Is Remote Sales Coaching?
The first thing we need to know is the definition of sales coaching (not to be confused with sales training), which consists of an individualized feedback process that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each seller and allows them to become better at their job and achieve their goals. This is done through virtual meetings (e.g. through Zoom) in which the coach aims to eliminate limiting behavior through direct feedback.
However, this is much more difficult than in-person coaching, so the coaches need to use several techniques and tools that allow them to provide the best possible sessions to each seller. This is why it is crucial to educate yourself in all of these techniques and measure several sales KPIs so that you can understand whether your remote sales coaching is working or not.
Remote Sales Coaching Isn't the Same as Remote Sales Training
These two terms are commonly used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing, which can be highly confusing for most sales teams. On the one hand, sales training consists of educating the team on different subjects, such as sales discovery, sales mindset, objections, sales demos, and other hard skills they need to correctly perform their job description.
Nonetheless, sales coaching consists of individual sessions that focus on improving the sales rep's strengths and weaknesses to ensure they provide the best possible results. These sessions must be tailored to the needs of each sales rep, which is why they are much more effective than sales training.
Why Remote Coaching Is Important for Sales
It is common knowledge in the sales industry, especially in B2B SaaS, that implementing sales coaching sessions for a remote sales team can significantly increase a company's MRR & ARR. This is why so many companies worldwide have been developing remote sales coaching strategies and processes to make these sessions much more effective. It is difficult to coach hundreds of people at once, so it is crucial to plan everything out beforehand.
Some B2B SaaS companies assume that sales coaching must be done ONLY by sales managers or sales leaders. This is a mistake because oftentimes, VPs of sales, sales managers, and sales directors don't have time to coach and train their reps on a weekly basis and that results in informal guidelines and random strategies that end up lowering the win rates of the entire sales team.
On the other hand, having a structured strategy created by a B2B SaaS sales coach can highly increase the success rate of any sales team and their deals' win rate. Some studies even show an increase of 9% higher than the average win rates, which is why sales coaching is crucial for any company that wishes to be successful.
Techniques to Use for Effective Remote Sales Coaching
Now that you know the importance of using effective sales coaching techniques to train your remote sales teams, we want you to learn some of the best coaching strategies you can use to keep your sales reps motivated and focused on hitting their revenue goals.
Dedicate Some Time to Listen to Sales Calls
The first thing you need to do to determine whether your sales reps (e.g. account executives) are doing a good job or not is to supervise their calls. You can do this in several ways, whether you join the Zoom meeting to watch them or ask them to record their sessions so that you can listen to them afterward.
We know that you can't spend your entire working hours doing this, but you must take some time to listen to one or two calls to make sure everything is under control and identify bottlenecks. You can even ask your sales reps to choose calls for you to review and mentor them on the processes and abilities that need improvement.
Important Tip: If you're only using Zoom to record sales calls and sales demos, then you should look into investing in a conversational intelligence solution like Allego, Gong, Wingman, Revenue.io, Chorus, or Avoma.
Have a Clear Working Agenda
Sales teams and leaders have a lot on their plate, which is why it can be a bit of a hassle doing one-to-one meetings with all your sales managers. However, you can make this process more straightforward by creating a schedule for you to follow.
All you have to do is forward this plan to your sales reps; that way, they are going to be aware of all the things you want to discuss in the meeting and prevent you from wasting valuable time.
Some of the most important themes you should discuss are the current strategies being implemented and their effectiveness, as this is going to help you identify what needs improvement at a given moment.
Adjust Your Coaching Methods to Your Sales Team's Goals
Remember that your salespeople are also human beings with personal goals, which is why you should find out what their short and long-term goals are so that you're not just coaching them to hit their quota but to also achieve their personal targets.
This is going to help you avoid wasting time developing skills that are useless to you and your sales team, and you can start creating an action plan that's going to help them achieve their goals and become better sales reps.
One common goal that many sales reps have is to be promoted. In this case, you can work towards developing the skills they need to properly execute all the tasks in the job description they aspire to have. This is sure to make much more effective and productive meetings, which are going to ultimately create a better sales team.
Conclude Every 1:1 Sales Coaching Session with a Clear Action Plan
Talking about everything that needs improvement is useless if there's no clear path to follow towards that goal. That's why you must end every meeting by motivating your sales team and giving them specific steps they must follow to achieve their goals.
These instructions are going to help them create a detailed schedule of everything they need to do during the following week, and they're going to be able to deliver key reports on the tasks you assigned to them. This is going to make them understand how much they're advancing every day and how every task they do helps them get closer to their goals.
How to Effectively Lead Remote Sales Teams
Sales teams have been increasingly adopting remote work in recent years and for good reason. with the rise of internet-based communication and collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom, it's easier than ever for sales teams to stay connected and coordinated even when they're not in the same physical location. However, this shift to remote work comes with its own challenges, particularly for sales leaders who need to find new ways to effectively lead and manage their teams.
Here are a few tips for sales leaders looking to manage remote sales teams:
First and foremost, sales leaders need to be clear and concise in their communications. When you're not able to meet face-to-face, it's even more important to make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page. Send regular updates and check in often to make sure everyone is on track.
Another key aspect of leading remote sales teams is being able to properly motivate and incentivize your team members. Since they're not working in a traditional office setting, it can be easy for salespeople to become demotivated or feel like they're not being properly recognized for their efforts. Make sure you keep tabs on your team's morale and keep them motivated with regular praise and recognition.
Finally, sales leaders need to be flexible when it comes to managing remote sales teams. Not everyone responds well to the same management style, so it's important to be able to adapt your approach based on the individual needs of your team members. Be open to trying new things and experimenting until you find what works best for your team.
How to Manage a Remote Sales Team Through a Crisis
Sometimes bad things are going to happen in a business, but that doesn't mean it is a lost cause. There are several ways you can manage messy situations, and knowing all these strategies is key to ensuring your team can go through the crisis without problems.
Some of the steps you need to follow to do that are the following.
Retain Your Clients
When your business goes through a crisis (e.g. economic downturn), the chances are that your customers are going to feel it too, which is why you must do your best to retain them. In order to do this, you can arrange brainstorming sessions with your sales team and ask for feedback from your clients to create a better value proposition for your business.
Remember that this rearrangement of your business model may be a bit unpleasant, but everyone needs to evolve and adapt to these new circumstances.
Daily Sales Huddle
The daily sales huddle is a simple technique that several sales managers implement with their teams. It consists of quick meetings of about 10 and 15 minutes each that are meant to put everyone on the same page about the day's objectives and schedule (like a Scrum meeting). This ensures that the team's productivity stays as high as possible, as it allows everyone to know the day's objectives and whether a certain department needs extra help or not.
A daily sales huddle must be exclusively used for reporting and rapid awareness of what's working and what's not, not training or coaching. Otherwise, this can distract the team members and create a productivity problem later.
Write Your Own Sales Playbook
A sales playbook is meant to be a compilation of all the best practices of your remote sales team, which any new sales rep can check out whenever they need to get trained in the company's processes.
It has been proven that sales playbooks allow teams to become top performers in less time, which is why several companies have included them in their remote sales training programs. A fantastic tip is allowing your remote sales team to contribute to the sales playbooks.
Sales playbooks can be extremely helpful for sales teams, providing guidance and structure that can lead to success. However, one of the best things you can do is to allow your sales team to contribute to the sales playbook. This gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility, and ensures that the playbook is tailored to their specific needs. Additionally, it can help to create a sense of team unity, as everyone is working towards a common goal. So, if you're looking to get the most out of your sales team, consider letting them have a say in the sales playbook. It could make all the difference.
Traditional remote sales training has become outdated to the team environment we deal with nowadays. It is your job to create a new online sales coaching strategy that motivates your sales reps to actively engage in their learning objectives. You can create brainstorming sessions with your sales managers, as they know everything that inexperienced salespeople should learn to understand the company's processes and their practical application.
One popular learning sales strategy is role-playing sessions. While most people think of sales as a numbers game, the truth is that selling is an art. To be successful, salespeople need to be able to read their customers and adapt their pitch accordingly.
This can be difficult to learn from a book or lecture, which is why role-playing sessions are such an effective sales training tool. By putting your workers in real-life scenarios, they can learn how to handle different types of clients and convince them to execute the transaction.
Role-playing not only helps your workers to hone their sales skills, but it also makes learning more fun and engaging. Consequently, it's no surprise that many businesses rely on role-playing sessions to train their sales teams.
Our Top Recommendations for Remote Sales Coaching
Sales management is tricky, and teaching your sales leaders how to do it can be pretty complicated. Luckily for you, we gathered several strategies you can follow to make sure your remote sales training and coaching sessions are executed as smoothly as possible, and your team can improve their sales process in as little time as possible.
Get Comfortable with the Technology Used for Virtual Coaching
One of the things that people tend to struggle the most with is getting used to all the different virtual elements they need to use during online sales coaching. This is why you must dedicate some time to getting used to them and all of their features so that you can provide the best possible remote sales training.
Some tech tools to consider using (if you haven't done so already):
Conversation intelligence solutions (e.g. Gong)
Team collaboration software (e.g. Notion)
Sales CRM (e.g. HubSpot or Salesforce)
You can also choose to teach your colleagues how to use these tools so that they become an everyday element of your company's processes.
Keep Zoom Meetings Short and Effective
Since the start of the pandemic, many companies believed that the best way of keeping everyone proactive and engaged was through Zoom meetings, but this couldn't be further away from the truth. In reality, the best way to ensure your team is productive is by keeping these meetings as short and effective as possible and working asynchronously on Slack or Email.
In order to do this, we recommend you follow a schedule and allow everyone to express their opinion, as this is the most productive way of getting things done.
Make Sure Your Remote Coaching Sessions Are Focused
One-on-one meetings with your workers are crucial, which is why all distractions must be removed from the working area of all people involved. This is going to help you take more seriously the subjects discussed in the meeting, and the knowledge may become much more durable for your remote sales reps.
What distractions should be turned off:
Emphasize the Action Plan and Next Steps
After an online sales training and coaching session, it is common for sales reps to feel a bit lost, which is why you must create a clear action plan and next steps for them to follow until the next session.
We recommend writing them down digitally (e.g. using Notion is a great option) so that your sales team can see them as well.
Pay Attention to Body Language During Your Coaching Sessions
Awareness of your salespeople's mental state is crucial for remote sales coaches, but this becomes a bit difficult in online sales training. Still, it isn't an impossible job, so everyone should have their webcams turned on and you'd be able to pay special attention to their nonverbal cues and ask them to turn on their cameras during each session.
Ask Your Team Members for Feedback and Solve Problems Quickly
We all know that getting used to working remotely is tough, so you must be extra empathetic to your workers who are likely to feel frustrated. One fantastic idea is to create a safe space where they can share their problems without judgment, and everyone can brainstorm ideas to solve them. Remember that you are a team as strong as its weakest link.
Create Contests to Keep Your Team Motivated
One of the most effective ways to keep your sales team motivated is to create contests. By offering prizes or commissions for hitting sales targets, you can give your team the motivation they need to succeed.
Additionally, sales contests can help to create a sense of competition and camaraderie among your team members. If you're looking for a way to boost sales and keep your team motivated, consider creating contests. They may just be the answer you're looking for.
Motivate Your Team Members to Keep Learning in Their Free Time
Any business owner knows that a sales team is essential to success. After all, it's the sales team that brings in new customers and helps to grow the business. However, a sales team can only be effective if they are constantly learning and growing. That's why it's important to motivate your sales team to keep learning on their free time.
One way to do this is to offer sales training courses that they can take outside of work hours. Not only will this help them to stay up-to-date on the latest sales techniques, but it will also show them that you are invested in their professional development. In addition, you can provide incentives for employees who complete sales training courses, such as gift cards or extra vacation days. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your sales team is always learning and growing, which will benefit your business in the long run.
Use Data Management Tools
If you manage a sales team, you know that it can be a challenge to keep track of everyone's progress, especially if your team is spread out across different locations. That's why it's important to use multiple tools to stay on top of things. A CRM system can help you keep track of your sales pipeline and see where each deal is at.
Pipeline management tools can help you plan and track your sales goals. And sales training tools can help you keep your team up-to-date on the latest products and services. By using a combination of these tools, you can make sure that your sales team is always on track and that you're able to identify any potential problems early on.
You need to also make yourself available to your remote sales team, so they don't feel alone. Ask them questions about the deals they're managing and create new strategies with them. This is going to be highly effective and increase your sales productivity.
Have a Collaborative Platform
If you're going to manage remote salespeople, you need to invest in advanced technology that allows your team to easily communicate and collaborate. However, make sure that the platform you choose is easy to use, compatible with all possible devices, and has enough features for your remote sellers to comfortably manage their tasks and engage with their team members.
The best way to do this is by testing the platform before changing your entire team environment. Then, you can create guides and quick sessions to teach other sales leaders how to use the platform.
Consider What Changes Need to Be Made to the Onboarding Process
Sometimes the main problem with your company and sales culture is the onboarding process. If that's the case, pay special attention to it and make sure your coaching efforts are being properly executed. They need to be familiar with your products, your selling process, and your company culture. They also need to be prepared for the challenges they'll face during the sales process.
Moreover, some of the most common onboarding problems companies tend to have are related to equipment issues, remote coaching programs, and errors in access and permissions to the company's digital environment.
Have Regular and Scheduled Check-ins
One of the most critical elements of remote selling is establishing good communication with your team. Whether it is informal chatter or work-related news, you should constantly be communicating with your team members, but this becomes a bit difficult when working from home.
Still, you can create digital touchpoints for everyone to connect and share their advancements and improvements, as well as the current obstacles they're facing, as this is going to allow the team to come up with better solutions.
These touchpoints don't have to be set in stone, but you should still dedicate some time to them to build trust and be aware of everything happening within the team.
Make Coaching Activities Engaging
Nobody likes attending boring mandatory meetings. In fact, most people tend to mute them to continue doing their daily tasks and not pay attention to what's being said by the sales coaches. This is why you should find a way of making each coaching session as memorable as possible.
You can use several of the previously mentioned activities, such as role-playing scenarios and participant-driven exercises. This is going to make your coaching program much more dynamic and help your team develop sharper sales skills.
Leverage Analytics to Tweak Virtual Coaching Strategies
Keep in mind that there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all coaching program, as each team member is going to have personal strengths and weaknesses, so you must understand their individual needs to create an effective program that helps them improve their skills.
One fantastic way of doing this is by tracking the team's data and reports, as this is going to give you a base to work with. These reports are meant to showcase all the perks and bottlenecks you can find on each team member, which is going to allow you to tackle them much more effectively.
Moreover, it can help you predict and prevent potential shortcomings, which may help you avoid experiencing financial losses by doing a quick risk assessment of the department's current state.
Using data to power your remote coaching is one of the most effective ways to ensure productivity in all sales cycle steps.
Managing remote sales teams isn't an easy job, but by using all of the previously mentioned remote selling strategies, you are sure to create top-performing teams that boose your virtual sales and help you save money in the long run.
Keep in mind that although you can perform effective sales coaching sessions yourself, the best way to ensure your sales teams are as properly trained as possible is by hiring sales coaches. They already know how to manage these teams, bring the best out of each salesperson, and identify their flaws to eliminate them.
Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways FDTC can help: