Approaches for Effectively Managing Remote Teams
As companies scale faster than ever before, it’s no surprise that remote employees are more common. With that being said, developing effective, consistent strategies to make them feel like a member of your team is critical. We asked five of Chicago's top sales leaders about their best practices for managing remote employees. Here are their answers:
Steven Baumgartner, VP of Sales at Civis Analytics: The two things an organization needs to make a remote rep successful are a solid onboarding/training program and product marketing. They will not be successful if they can't get what they need when they need it.
Christie Bear, VP of Sales at YCharts: I make a point to include longer time for their one-on-one, to leave space for more social/personal topics. You also need to "inspect what you expect", especially if this is a new setup, to ensure that quality standards are maintained. I also like to ask them what challenges they are encountering with the setup, as I have found that some people think that they want to work remotely, but eventually don't like it and prefer more structure.
Jon Knott, Head of Learning and Development at ShipBob: Managing remote workers requires a lack of assumption on all levels. What may seem intuitive can always stand to be elaborated upon and what gets communicated out once, can always stand to be reiterated. At ShipBob we always use multi-channel communication with our remote employees - that means email, Slack, visual aids in the form of one pagers with the same information to get the eyeballs we need on the channel they’re on.
Laura Johnston, VP of Business Development at Sertifi: All activity needs to be managed in Salesforce.com, plus weekly one-on-ones with goal-setting for the week and highlights from the previous week. Check in mid-week and at the end of the week to review activity and discuss success, difficulties and pipeline.
Harry Evans, Account Executive at Outreach: Know what metrics need monitoring and trust your reps with the rest. If you don't trust them to do what they are supposed to be doing, you shouldn't allow them to work remotely, and you probably shouldn't keep them on your team.