Both digital and non-digital companies are always looking for ways to grow their sales, increase market share, and stay ahead of the competition. Running a successful sales team, however, can be challenging, especially when it’s digital. Moreover, keeping tabs on your employees entirely through the internet depends upon a particular dose of skill, patience, and diligence.
The ability to work remotely is a significant incentive to many internet-based salespeople. If you manage your digital dealers right, you can easily maintain a loyal, satisfied and productive team to steer your business towards success.
Here are seven tips that will help you accomplish just that.
Acquire and Use the Right Tools
For effective collaboration, your dealers need online tools that work. They need to have reliable access to files, information, schedules, updates, news and more, to keep your clients satisfied. The proper management of an online sales team starts with getting everyone on board with organizational, scheduling and communication tools.
A vast pool of professional tools are currently available, but choosing the right ones for your operation can be overwhelming. Start by identifying the needs of your team and look for ideas for process improvement. Compare every tool and ideas you find with a list of your required features. Try and put much focus on things like cost, user-friendliness and technical support. Trello, Slack, Asana, and Catsy are some of the solutions which can get you rolling into working efficiently with your dealers.
Effective communication has become an integral part of online businesses. Gone are the days of face-to-face only communication. In fact, many customers will be looking for ways to get in touch with your customer support even before purchasing any product on your website.
To keep all your dealers on the same page, be sure to communicate clearly. Always double-check with them, and ask follow-up questions to avoid surprises down the road. You can also send them reminders and encourage them to update you on prospective clients and deals.
Also, keep your communication lines open and let your digital team know they can reach you whenever they need answers or clarifications. Even when at home, check your email and make yourself available through social networking sites like Skype and Google Hangouts so they can get to you easily.
An essential aspect of proper communication is conveying positive feedback whenever a team member accomplishes something significantly impressive. A simple “job well done” after a day of commendable sales can go a long way to keeping your dealers motivated.
Insist on Video Calls
According to research, more than half of all human communication is non-verbal. When you don’t get to work with your dealers physically, using video calls instead of audio-only or textual communication can be a great way to gauge their mood and enthusiasm, and convey encouragement when needed. Sure, throwing a short email can save time for more important tasks, but those non-verbal clues you get when you converse on video will help to keep your dealers closer and more passionate about the job at hand.
Account for Schedule Inconveniences
One of the reasons why many brick-and-mortar companies and new startups are putting their offline businesses online is the ease with which they can expand their customer base beyond physical borders. On the other hand, having global reach brings the need for international employees to conduct product research, interact with prospective clients, and deliver traded goods or services.
To keep everyone comfortable with working in different time zones, especially for projects that need collaboration, you need to come up with a well-balanced schedule. Find out convenient times to set up conference, calls, and meetings. If you have fewer people working overseas than within your primary time zone, don’t forget to show team solidarity by occasionally setting up calls in favor of your international dealers. It will help your team realize the sacrifice their fellow workers are regularly making.
Set Clear Expectations
Before bringing a digital dealer into the fold lay down everything you expect from them. Setting expectations for your team can be a challenge, especially if you didn’t have a well-defined team structure when you started. Nevertheless, as the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. A clear set of expectations will help to keep your digital dealers focused and engaged, while also facilitating constructive criticism and benchmarking.
Nurture Company Culture
Yes, you can create culture even when your sales team is remotely scattered across the world. Everyone working for your brand must be privy to your values in the way they engage with clients, advertise, and sell your products. Evaluate new employees against the backdrop of your values and be ready to let go of anyone that doesn’t uphold it. Understanding your company’s culture creates the much-needed sense of loyalty and community, even among those digital dealers you never meet in person.
Get Together Face-To-Face, at Least Once a Year
Working with outsourced dealers may not need personal interaction, but if you have a permanently employed sales team, it’s important to create some time to talk and build rapport. Sure, video calls will mostly have you covered, but a few hours of in-person interaction can cultivate more team spirit than weeks of remote efforts.
Getting everyone together may be pricey at times, but more often than not, the energy from these gatherings will be high, and you will have a better opportunity to discuss things like culture, vision and the company’s future than you have when your team is spread around the globe.
Maintaining a successful and motivated team of digital dealers means upholding clear communication, encouraging cohesion and building value for what each person brings to the business, even without face-to-face interaction.
Your team will also need to remain organized at all times, and that means implementing a reliable product information management platform. Catsy is your number one solution for keeping all your company data in one centralized location to streamline workflow among all your digital dealers.