More and more sales organizations are employing a hybrid model, with a large part of the workforce working from home. While this does come with a number of great opportunities, there are a few challenges that may need to be tackled.
When many employees prefer a hybrid work model – and remote sales is the new norm – it is only natural that many sales organizations are transitioning into a hybrid – or fully remote – model. Something that was recently underlined by a Hubspot report, where close to 60 % of respondents said that “their organisation’s sales model would be a hybrid one in the coming year”.
This transition can be a bit challenging, though, as sales managers and leaders may need to adjust to leading teams where some are in-office and some are working from home. Challenges that we would like to help you tackle, with this short guide on how sales leaders can adapt to a hybrid reality:
Leading a sales team in a hybrid world
If you’re leading a team where some are working remotely, while some are in office, it can be challenging to ensure that no feels excluded and that everyone has what they need to do their best work. In fact, it can be more challenging than having an entirely remote team, especially if you’re working in an office where parts of your team are also located, while other team members are working from home. When it can be easy to focus on the team members you see physically, leaving the team on uneven grounds.
This can, however, be managed, and here we’ve gathered a few tips that can help you lead your hybrid team.
– Make all meetings video meetings
When you’re running meetings with your hybrid sales team, it is a good idea to (1) always make it a video meeting, and (2) encourage everyone to connect using separate computers. That way, there will not be a handful of team members who are in the same room physically – and sharing a computer – which could lead to a sense of exclusion among those who are joining from separate, remote locations. In addition to which it will be easier for everyone to see everyone up close, which can do wonders for the sense of connectivity as well as for the level of understanding between team members.
– Think asynchronously
When parts of the team are working remotely, it will be important to not just share material and information synchronously – i.e. in live meetings, calls and directs chats – but also asynchronously. Which can mean that meetings are recorded and stored so team members can go back and see what was said, or that important slides or other material are stored in an easily accessible, digital space. Where team members can always get a hold of the material in question, regardless of where they are or when they need it.
With this, it will also be important to communicate where information and material can be found. Which can beneficially be done in a communal, digital space, to make sure that all team members are aware of where they can find the information they need.
– Explain expectations clearly
It is difficult to manage and meet expectations that aren’t clear, why it will be super important to clearly communicate what you expect from all your team members/sales representatives. Where it will be vital to explain said expectations for everyone in the team, regardless of whether they are remote or in-office, and make sure deadlines and goals are understood by all. Preferably, you can also keep notes and deadlines in a communal, digital gathering place, to further simplify the lives for those team members who are remote, and can’t simply swing by your office to ask.
You’ve probably identified the common denominator in these three tips, namely that they are all focusing on making it easier and more inclusive for the team members who work remotely. You run meetings with video and encourage team members to join from separate computers, so that those who work remotely will not feel excluded and to allow everyone to join on the same level. You communicate and inform both synchronously and asynchronously, to make sure the remote team members who you won’t, for example, bump into in the office hallways or by the water cooler, get access to the same information as those who work in office, and you explain expectations clearly and in communal, digital channels to make sure the remote team members understand expectations as well as those who aren’t remote.
Leading a hybrid sales team is, then, a lot about catering to the remote team members, and leading as if everyone was working remotely. Which, of course, doesn’t mean that every interaction should be digital, but that the interactions and meetings that involve the entire team should be adjusted for those who do work remotely. So that every team member/sales representative has the same opportunity to do an awesome job.
Want to know more about growing and closing sales in a digital and remote world? Check out our Remote Sales Hub or contact us to talk to a Remote Sales Expert.