Sales Motivation
Oct 15, 2019

How To Motivate Your Sales Team During Remote Working

How on earth do I motivate a remote sales team? This question isn't new, but these answers are tried, tested, and proven.

Remote roles have taken the limelight recently - including remote sales team roles. During this strange time, we had to face the tough challenge of transferring everything we knew into the virtual space and work on the various ways of remote sales team motivation.

The workspace can already be tough to manage, and it takes effort to ensure everyone in that space is happy and motivated. However, the pandemic has brought us into a time where we need to think long and hard about some of the practices we enforce in our workspaces. 

One of these is how to motivate sales personnel in the virtual realm. This is very important to consider as the more motivated your sales team is, the more driven they are to succeed!

Top Tips For Motivating Remote Sales Team

1. Stay Positive 

As your sales team makes the transition into remote work, it’s important that you, as the sales leader, stay positive. Change in the workplace is a huge factor that contributes to a decline of motivation in the workspace. You must focus on building strong employee morale, and it all starts with you as the leader.

The sales profession is riddled with negative situations, such as daily rejection. As such, it’s important to rise above any negativity to stay positive and have your team's back. 

Here are three ways to help you go from sales leader to cheerleader:

  1. Acknowledge your team members’ frustrations. But, make use of positive and light-hearted language that insights inspiration and can get your team fired-up for their tasks ahead.  
  2. Make suggestions that guide them to maintain their focus on their goals and the values of the company.
  3. Recognize and talk about their worries and their defeats, but do not echo them. 

If you stay positive, it will show your team that you’re trying to maintain a positive and healthy work environment. 

Workspaces can be environments that garner a lot of anxiety and stress for many - even more so now, with the sudden disruption of having to work remotely.

In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, 75 - 90% of doctor visits are due to stress in the workplace. 

So, maintaining a positive workspace shows that you care about your team members’ well-being. This will cultivate comfort and trust in you and will, therefore increase team morale and motivation.

2. Maintain An Open Communication Channel For Your Virtual Sales Team

Ineffective communication is another factor that contributes to lower motivation in the workspace. The virtual sales team will get increasingly frustrated, and, in turn, demotivated if there is a lack of efficient and coherent communication amongst the team.

Moving into the virtual world sparks many difficulties, as teams need to adjust to communicating online. How do you communicate efficiently without bringing everyone together in the same room and discuss any problems in person?

Sending emails to the team seems like the next best thing, right? Well, not quite. Emails do serve a purpose, but they can have plenty of drawbacks. For instance, there may be times when someone misses an email, which can hold up work that needs to be done. 

We’re sure you know how frustrating it is not to have an email answered immediately. So, effective, open communication is necessary to create highly engaged workplaces. It will help people to get answers quickly and therefore increases productivity in the virtual workplace. 

With Compass, you can create groups, for the entire organization or some custom ones to encourage and facilitate communication.

There is, however, a downside to an open communication channel. 

Open communication channels can make your employees feel obligated to be available at all times, even outside of their work hours. This can lead to your team members feeling burnt out.

You must have clear communication concerning the expected work hours of each of your sales team members. Maintaining an open communication channel ensures that team engagement is high, even though they can’t engage with each other face-to-face.

As long as there are boundaries in place regarding when employees need to respond, open communication channels can provide a massive increase in team morale and sales team motivation. 

3. Make Use Of Incentives

Offering your employees performance-based incentives is a great way to motivate your remote sales team. An employee that has the right incentive to work harder will not only be more productive, but they will also be happier and more motivated to succeed. 

It’s a good idea to make your incentives fun as it can add light-hearted and enjoyable energy into the workspace. One way of doing this is to make use of gamification incentive software. 

According to the Incentive Research Foundation, the idea of gamification incentives comes from the notion that games are great at engaging their players. So, using the elements of games in conjunction with incentives leads to highly engaged employees. 

For example, with Compass, you can easily reward your remote sales team members for reaching certain milestones. This will make their hard work feel recognized, and they will be more motivated to do better. It also creates some friendly competition among your sales team, and they will want to work harder to the top of the leaderboard. 

If your sales team’s good work goes unnoticed, it’s more likely that they’ll feel underappreciated and invisible. You must show that they are valued, noticed, and appreciated. You must reward deserving employees!

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So, incentivizing your team members and rewarding them for their excellent work shows that you pay attention to their work ethic. This will increase team morale and motivation in the workspace. After all, there’s nothing better than being recognized for your achievements!

4. Encourage Team-Building With Your Virtual Sales Team

Before you roll your eyes, there is a lot of research proving that team-building exercises have great effects on employee morale and job retention. Team building activities play a crucial role in creating a productive and motivating workspace. 

Here are some of the reasons why team building is important:

  1. It improves communication between the team. This is because it gives them an open space to strengthen their relationships with one another. A team that knows each other is a team that will work well together!
  2. Team building encourages a collaborative environment. Once your team feels comfortable with each other, they will be more likely to collaborate, network, and share ideas. 
  3. Team building also provides a space where your team can interact and get to know you as their sales leader. This will foster trust and build a stronger relationship between you and your team. 

While it might be a little more complicated, you can still encourage team building remotely. There are plenty of ice breakers, quick challenges, and fun games that you can do on a video call. 

For example, even having a Rock Paper Scissors tournament can lighten up the mood and give your team a chance to enjoy some friendly competition! Learning to work as a team is important. As Lee Iacocca, CEO of Chrysler, puts it in his autobiography: “a major reason capable people fail to advance is that they don’t work well with their colleagues.” 

So, putting some effort into team building to ensure that your employees get to know each other and learn how to work together is essential! 

Creating a more enjoyable, friendly atmosphere not only boosts morale. It ensures that your team members feel included and valued as well. 

5. Encourage Constant Education And Upskilling

Promoting the development of skills helps your team members to grow their skillset. Not only this, but they will use their knowledge to increase leads and sales for your company. Encouraging your team members to learn new things shows that you want to help them with their professional growth. 

This is a win-win situation as better skilled employees lead to the increasing production of exceptional work.

For example, in a study by IBM, the best-performing companies provided 84% of their employees with the training they need. On the other hand, the worst-performing companies only provided training to 16%. 

This just goes to show that investing in your employees’ training and development is highly beneficial for your business!

With remote sales teams, it can be harder to promote training and development. If you can, it’s worthwhile to have regular in-person training sessions to get the team together. This will help them to grow alongside each and even learn from one another.

The Bottom Line

Even though your sales team operates remotely, it’s still important to maintain a healthy and inclusive work culture. As mentioned, staying positive and making things more enjoyable with some gamification can help keep morale high. 

Put some time and effort into making your sales team feel appreciated and encourage open communication. You will truly see a difference in their performance.

After all, the teams that work the best always communicate work well together, and work towards set goals! So, make sure to follow these tips to help keep your remote sales team feeling motivated and productive. 

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