Leading Sales Teams from a Distance

How you create a productive sales environment

“Hello and welcome to our Monday Morning Meeting…”

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

This statement is how the week for many sales employees begins — every single week. They cannot be bothered. Audio is turned off (of course, only to reduce background noise) and the same applies to video (of course, only to “save bandwidth”). The computer is set on mute, and the sales team member can enjoy their breakfast at home.

About ten minutes before the meeting officially ends, they turn audio back on and say “Great stuff. Have a good week everyone.” followed by their real start to the week. At this point, their motivation is already low enough to see how a pointless meeting affected their sales performance.

Leading people from a distance is complex.

Meetings

Your people will enjoy meetings when you professionally conduct them. First, you need to be an excellent online presenter or need professional coaching to become one. No one cares about an announcement like “I am a bit boring”. Announcing that you are bad at a specific skill does not make it any better. Get professional coaching to become better as you expect it from each member of your team.

Also, your meeting needs to contain a reasonable amount of new and valuable information. If every Monday Morning Meeting turns into nothing else than you telling your people to do their job, close deals and then present a bunch of boring numbers, no one is going to listen to you anyway. Most of them will only turn up to avoid punishment or negative feedback.

Content is King. When you lead people from a distance, this rule is even more critical than it ever has been before.

Leadership vs Sales

It hardly ever is a good idea when you decide to promote the best salesperson to be your next sales manager. The jobs of making sales and leading sales are entirely different. Delivering sales results by yourself means to get deals closed. Leading in sales means that you empower others to become great salespeople. Unfortunately, mostly excellent salespeople often generalise their actions and opinions to elevate them on the truth level. The idea of “I did it that way, so this works for everyone” is far away from reality. Sales and especially leading salespeople must be tailored to every personality you have in your team. An activity which worked well for you, may not work at all for someone else. Train, coach and develop any future sales leader properly. A simple shift from one job to the other by merely giving them a new job title and move them to a higher level in the hierarchical pyramid will not work.

You can hire people from outside the organisation to lead your sales team or develop talent inside your organisation. Both ways have upside and downsides. However, the shortcut of “just promote someone” does never work.

“Just one little thing…”

Delegating tasks happens quicker when you work in remote locations. Quickly sending an email and the job now is off your table. Especially in organisations which are very keen to focus on the traditional hierarchical pyramid, most people will not dare to deny taking over a task. A culture of obedience and formal hierarchical structures comes at a toll. People will not be able to have proper time management in place. The same people will be overwhelmed with the amount of work to do. As a result, they will not do the job or present results that will satisfy you as they only took a superficial look at the task.

Be sure that you agree on rules about delegation. Everyone in your organisation has the right to say no when it comes to taking over tasks. Proper time management is crucial when it comes to delivering sales results. It is a good leader’s job to prevent your people from working too much and burn out sooner rather than later.

Outstanding leadership leads to exceptional sales results.

Let’s talk about this.

Contact me: NB@NB-Networks.com

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Niels Brabandt

Niels Brabandt

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Niels Brabandt is in business since 1998. Helping managers to become better leaders by mastering the concept of Sustainable Leadership. Based in Spain & London.