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How to Build a Strong Remote Sales Team Culture

4 Mins read

There was an unprecedented surge in the number of remote workers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While several businesses have begun to bring their employees back into brick-and-mortar offices, others have chosen to continue to take advantage of the globalization of remote teams. Still, those workplaces face the unique challenge of building a cohesive culture among their remote workers.

The benefits of building a strong culture in your remote sales team are obvious. For one, you can likely expect better employee satisfaction, as employees who feel a sense of trust and belonging at their workplace are more likely to feel happy. This employee satisfaction goes hand in hand with improved retention, as well as sales performance, as studies have shown that happy employees tend to be as much as 13% more productive.

Understanding the role of a remote leader

Many leaders have struggled to understand and define their role in the new remote ecosystem of work. Although they are still leading their team, its members may be spread across the world, rather than sharing the same office.

This requires a very different approach to leadership, but the fundamental aspect remains the same: to serve as a guide. The role of a remote team leader is to empower your employees to do their best work, providing them with the resources and guidance they need to achieve success.

Strategies for fostering team unity

While today’s new workplace ecosystem has provided companies with numerous advantages and opportunities, it has also created a slew of new remote work challenges to which they must adapt. Of course, the most obvious challenge many businesses face is not being able to see their employees in person.

With remote work and team culture, there’s no “water cooler talk” or desk to stop by to check in and see how an employee is doing. However, leaders must also avoid the temptation to micromanage their employees, instead trying to find an ideal balance between trust and accountability.

Holding remote employees accountable, but showing them trust

Some methods leaders can use to hold their employees accountable in a remote ecosystem include setting goals and tracking progress. As is the case with any goal-setting, it’s paramount that all goals you set with (not for) your remote sales team are “SMART goals” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).

For example, work with your remote salespeople to set goals on the number of deals they should close or how much the total value of their deals should be in a month, giving them — and you — a reasonable way to hold them accountable for their productivity, even when you can’t see them working.

More tips for leading a remote sales team

It’s also crucial for leaders to use the opportunity of remote work to empower their employees, not impose further limitations on them. While it’s important to track remote employees’ progress, it’s equally important not to be overly vigilant.

Occasional status updates are sufficient — don’t have multiple check-in meetings a day or send dozens of messages. While employees earlier in their careers may need more of a hand to guide them, a good leader knows when they can let their employees have a bit more free rein to do what they need to be successful.

Another challenge leaders of remote teams may face is maintaining their employees’ motivation. Motivation is hard enough in the first place, but with remote work, the lines between home and work start to blur. Not only do remote employees face the potential for increased distractions, but they also have more difficulty distancing themselves from their jobs if something goes wrong.

Thus, it’s central to recognize remote employees effectively in a way that keeps them engaged in their work. Continue to find ways to recognize them on a wide scale and celebrate their achievements, whether by calling them out on a Zoom meeting, or sending a company-wide email applauding them for their performance. Although the nature of celebrating employee achievement may be different in a virtual environment, it’s critical not to forsake this part of managing a team.

Perhaps most vital, though, is that leaders create an environment of open, effective, and transparent communication. Just as leaders should strive to have an “open door” policy in a brick-and-mortar office, they should do the same with their remote teams — providing several methods of communication through which their employees can reach out to them. By doing so, they are creating a culture where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns and asking for help, making them feel more valued in the workplace.

There are certainly some obstacles to building a strong team culture among your remote sales teams. But by adopting strategies — like effective recognition, open communication, and goal-setting that will hold your employees accountable while giving them the trust they need and deserve — you can take advantage of the benefits that team cohesion will have on their performance.

With this, it’s time for leaders to look at the continuation of remote work as an opportunity, not a limitation.

Sheilah Mae Padalla is the Director of Sales at Cyberbacker, the leading provider of virtual assistance services worldwide. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of selling remotely, Padalla’s expertise spans a wide spectrum, including identifying emerging trends in the virtual sales landscape, customer engagement, creating data-driven strategies for remote selling success, and nurturing a high-performing remote sales team. She has an innate ability to inspire, guide, and motivate team members scattered across the globe, fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and results.

Remote sales team stock image by fizkes/Shutterstock

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