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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Challenges of Coaching a Remote Sales Team

Challenges of Coaching a Remote Team

According to research, over $5 billion is spent solely on sales training and sales improvements every year in the US. If your remote sales team is not up to speed with the latest sales strategies and techniques, you could be costing your business a lot of money in missed opportunities.

Coaching a remote sales team has its perks, you have less overhead because there is no brick and mortar location, plus, everyone has a bit more freedom and flexibility.

That being said, there are also many challenges of coaching a remote sales team, including the lack of connection and distance. 

So the problem is knowing how to lead a remote sales team effectively so that you can increase your sales and get a major ROI on your sales training costs. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of money on sales training and not have it be well-received. 

Thankfully, we've created this article to solve those problems, keep on reading to learn more.

Ensuring the Team is Allocating Time to Train 

New call-to-actionOne of the most frustrating challenges about coaching a remote sales team is ensuring that the team is actually allocating the time to do the requested online sales training. Being remote is much different than having the team together in a board room, as you have no idea how much training they are actually doing.

Since over 42% of the US labor force is now working from home, you need to adapt to using new tools for team sales training. 

Most sales reps are more focused on getting leads and signing deals than they are with upgrading their training. After all, who wouldn't rather spend their time making money than spend their time taking the training? In today's fast-paced world, money is always a priority for most sales agents.

So how can you be assured that they are also spending a chunk of time on their sales training, knowing it will help them improve their sales? We have a few tips that will help you with that.

Make it a Challenge and Competitive

People become sales professionals because they love the competition and challenge of a sale, so why not implement it into their sales training, too?

You can do this by creating weekly tests and quizzes that relate to the sales training, and having them compete against each other to win a prize! The winner can receive either a gift certificate or a dinner with the company's founders.

RELATED POST >>> Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

Incorporate a Collaborative Platform

If you are not already using a collaborative platform with your remote sales team, you're already missing out on opportunities to connect with your team. Instead of requesting your team to send individual emails with their progress updates, get them to share their updates in the collaborative platform instead.

This way, the rest of the team can see where each other is at, increasing the competitiveness, and ensuring that they are not lagging behind their co-workers. They can also use this space to encourage each other, learn from each other, share feedback, and reflect on what they are learning.

Not Knowing the Quality Of the Calls

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of coaching a remote sales team is not knowing the quality of their sales calls. It's much easier being in person, as you can sit in the room with them and observe their sales techniques and strategies. However, being remote, it can be harder to do that. 

If you want to know how good your team is doing, you need to schedule some time to listen to their calls. To do this, ask your team to record their sales calls, then allocate some time to listen to each member do their sales. You can even join in on a call to see how your team is handling hard sales conversations. Improve Sales Performance via Virtual In-Field Coaching

This may sound overwhelming if you have a large sales team, so get your team to send you two of their best calls from the previous week, so you can have a taste of the quality of sales they are producing. 

When giving feedback, remember this is constructive criticism rather than discipline. This may be nerve-wracking for your team to send you their calls, so be easy on them and use this as a time to work together rather than coming down on them. This will make it easier for them to come to you for advice in the future.

Set Time Aside For 1:1 Calls

Coaching a remote sales team as the entire team is great, as you have everyone together with a sense of community and support. However, this doesn't give much time to those team members who may need a bit more time. This means that you must schedule some 1:1 time with your sales team individually, in either 30 or 60-minute calls. 

To make the most out of these calls, send them an outline of what you want to cover so they are fully prepared for the call. This could be a series of questions including:

  1. What was your sales highlight of the week?
  2. What was your biggest struggle with sales this week/month?
  3. What was your best call, and why?
  4. What do you need for the next breakthrough in your sales?Coaching Salespeople Who Struggle to Work From Home

These questions are suggestions, as you can make up your own check-in questions. Make sure they send you their answers at least 24 hours before your call so that you can optimize your 1:1 call.

You can also assign one of your top sellers to help with your 1:1 calls, and report back to you with their feedback, this helps best if you have a larger sales team. 

Learn More About Coaching a Remote Sales Team Effectively

Coaching a remote sales team is not easy, yet it is extremely rewarding once you can make a difference in the overall sales by following the above tips. 

To learn more about how to coach remotely, check out our sales strategy services. We offer everything from team training to our IMPACT sales leadership program. New call-to-action

Topics: sales performance remote sales team