Maintaining team spirit in sales teams is always difficult. But the challenge posed by the pandemic and the shift towards hybrid or fully-remote models turned out to be more significant than ever expected.
On the one hand, teams receive more flexibility, more personal time and space, less stress connected to commuting, and a better work/life balance. On the other hand, it also created more headache for sales leaders: how to onboard new joiners? How do I make sure my sales team stays motivated? How do I ensure their individual and professional growth?
There are so many questions a sales leader faces daily, and only so many ways to solve the problem.
So let’s delve into the topic and try to extract some hot clues!
Hybrid Work Model Statistics You Need to Know About
There are essentially three main stats that will tell you a lot about the benefits of a hybrid working model. In a recent study on a hybrid work model McKinsey found the following:
By 2024, hybrid selling is expected to become the dominant sales strategy due to remote-first engagement and the change in customer preferences.
Additionally, the hybrid work model allows for a more diverse talent pool and a broader customer engagement, which drives up to 50% more revenue for businesses.
What’s more, 30% of responders in research by Becker Friedman Institute for Economics reported being more engaged and productive working from home.
In other words, if your company has a strict return-to-office policy, you’re more likely to end up on the least favorable side of a broad and diverse spectrum that often offers more flexible options.
Hybrid Work Model Best Practices
Making remote work possible in a multinational corporation is not a piece of cake and it certainly requires proper planning. So let’s go through the main touchpoints step by step.
Conduct regular one-to-ones
Every sales leader knows how hard it is to stay connected to all their team members regularly. What’s more, it became even more challenging with remote work models where you don’t interact with your coworkers on a daily basis.
The thing is, it’s easy to lose motivation and burn out while being confined in one place without support from your leaders and colleagues. Office work allows sales leaders to notice mood changes quicker and intervene when help is needed.
To overcome this complication, organize weekly one-to-ones with your team. And to make these meetings more efficient, follow a predefined agenda.
Book a slot for no less than 30-45 mins. Make sure you leave some time in case your team member has a more complicated issue that they need to discuss in depth.
Set an agenda and agree on the main bullet points together with each team member. You can easily do it in the very first one-to-one. We recommend personalizing this process as much as possible because all team members might have different needs.
Establish transparent communication. Sometimes your team members may feel uncomfortable confiding their insecurities to their superior. Therefore, as a sales leader, you need to establish open communication. Make sure your team trusts you and knows you’re there for them when they need support.
Ask the right questions. Going back to the previous tip, sometimes the only time your salespeople are going to trust you with their issues is if you ask them directly. So make sure you include these questions in your call:
How have you been since our last meeting?
Have you faced any problems since then?
How would you rate your previous week on a scale from 1 to 10 and why?
- What are your goals and objectives for this week?
- Did you achieve them last week? If not, what were the obstacles?
- Are there any spheres of improvement I could help you with?
- Give praise for good work and achievements. Don't forget to point out any good good qualities that you appreciate in the employee.
Don’t be pushy and don’t make it seem like your only goal is to micromanage your team. Be there for them, promote trust, but also make sure they know that they are accountable for their goals and they add to a company’s overall success.
Organize team-building events
Another very useful method to bring your employees together is a corporate event. Hardly anyone says “no” to the opportunity of having free food and drinks. Therefore, excellent attendance is almost guaranteed.
Obviously, events like this require hefty budgets, but building company culture and team spirit is priceless.
After meeting each other in person and sharing some laughs that only colleagues could understand, enthusiasm and motivation are guaranteed to be on the rise for your team members.
Build a strong company culture
Repeatable rituals like daily morning meetings, weekly team meetings, and social activity on corporate channels – all contribute to excellent employer branding.
People love working in an environment where they feel included, appreciated, and praised for their achievements, and that’s the kind of environment that you need to establish in order to obtain and retain workers. Especially, in a remote work setting.
Establish recommended office days
Modern and progressive businesses are usually very flexible when it comes to office work policies. Some allow for complete freedom of choice, others have mandatory days where they expect their employees to show up in the office.
However, what we recommend (and what we do at Unique) is having a verbal agreement on a day where employees are welcome in the office. It could be one or two days a week, but when this day comes, you know that you will most likely find your coworkers in the office.
Digitalize and automate business processes
With remote work models, it can be quite hard to streamline communication inside your company, unless you find suitable technological solutions.
As a sales leader, you need to make sure your teams have established clear communication channels and they don’t have trouble reaching out to their colleagues in case they need it.
To solve this issue, think of the tools that will make your lives easier as a sales team: be it a fast messenger like Slack, a multifaceted communication tool like Microsoft Teams, automation tools like HubSpot, or a couple of useful applications used in symbiosis by all team members.
Lack of communication is among the most common problems for remote and hybrid teams, and you need to be prepared for it.
Provide employees with the right digital tools
Now, aside from team communication, automation tools can easily facilitate and streamline routine and frustrating processes for your team members.
There are multiple services and applications that can play the role of a salesperson’s sidekick, helping them reach better results quicker.
For example, there are tools that can record, transcribe and analyze your client conversations in real-time, providing you with everything you need to conduct a productive and efficient sales call.
Unique does all that and even more. It provides sales leaders with reliable forecasts, making it easier to know which deal is going to happen and which isn’t.
Additionally, every sales team member will be able to follow a consistent agenda on all types of calls: discovery, demo, negotiation, etc.
Not only is Unique super helpful when it comes to everyday routine tasks, but it’s also indispensable when tackling various business issues like revenue gaps, lack of transparency, long sales cycles, etc.
Practice shows that monitoring people’s energy can increase the effectiveness of one-to-ones and prevent burnout. To make things easier for you and for your team, you can come up with a simple yet effective solution: an energy sheet.
Simply create a new spreadsheet with employees’ names and ask them to fill it out every week. They can fill out the cell with green if they had a good week, yellow – if the week was challenging, and red – if their energy and overall well-being were very low over the week.
This way, you as a sales leader will notice “red flags” and will be able to intervene to try to solve the challenge.
Keeping Up With The Team
Working remotely can be extremely rewarding for you as an individual and bring various benefits to your personal life. However, for businesses, switching to remote or hybrid models brings new, unexplored challenges.
To be able to tackle them and make sure your team is motivated and productive, come up with a clear strategy that will account for every aspect of remote and hybrid work. You’ll see that any challenge can be solved with a little bit of effort and creativity.