This article is republished with permission from an article that first appeared on the Refract website.
With the world around us changing in every regard during this madness, making the switch to remote has brought varying levels of challenge to implement, but much of the impact of completely remote teams is still around the corner. And we’ll face some pretty big consequences without taking action.
I'm delighted that Kevin Beales, CEO and Founder of Refract, the leading sales conversation intelligence platform, has agreed to let us share his recent and very timely thoughts on the subject. Kevin has identified 10 reasons why coaching your remote sales team starting today is non-negotiable, and it would be hard to disagree with any of them.
Take it away, Kevin...
1) Your remote team are isolated and alone
Assuming your reps were less than a month ago, sat alongside each other in the office, where leaders with the ear of the sales floor, managers able to sit alongside their team during sales conversations and peers helping each other, overnight your reps are quite literally isolated.
No great snippets of others conversations to overhear, no advice to call on after a challenging call or question and no one to pat you on the back after a rockstar call or meeting.
Conversations are literally happening behind closed doors and all managers know about, is outcomes.
When they need help more than ever, your reps are all alone.
2) Unlock peer collaboration
Without the help of office peers, how do we replicate the effect of peers helping each other - through asking questions, sharing tips and even osmosis?
Peers can listen to each other's calls for inspiration and tips, coach each other's calls to share ideas and feedback and share playbook calls and moments to replicate across a remote team.
3) Every conversation counts
How many leads are you happy burning through right now? Thought not. Every conversation counts. Every conversation needs to be the best it can be.
Mistakes and missed opportunities aren’t just missed revenue - they are missed quotas, business risk and jobs on the line.
4) Every conversation is behind closed doors
Managers have lost the ability to walk the sales floor, overhear conversations and sit alongside reps to coach and support them.
Our revenue defining moments, are all happening behind closed doors. And everyone is in blissful ignorance without capturing and coaching.
5) Middle of the road will get run over
The middle pack may not make it in these choppy waters. We have to replicate top performers. We must share best practices.
If we can’t coach up our middle performers starting right now, they may not make it to the other side.
Average just isn’t enough today.
6) Furloughing is a once in a lifetime opportunity
UK Government say, ‘furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training’. What an opportunity! Whilst unable to create pipeline or revenue, whilst no payroll cost to the business, you can use this time uniquely to train and coach your teams to thrive when they return.
- Prepare for the change in messaging, relevancy and value for your prospects today
- Understand who makes a great fit prospect and why, when they return
- Role play and coach conversations or video scenario challenges
- Listen to what great sounds like on peers calls and playbook moments
- Coach their own and their peers’ conversations to share knowledge and self-reflection
7) Voice of the prospect has never changed so fast
‘Postpone’ was up 959% in sales conversations in April versus March. Sentiment to ‘Save money’ or ‘reduce cost’ have overtaken opportunities to ‘make money’ or ‘increase revenue’.
But what are your prospects saying differently today? And differently to last week in the uber fast changing world?
Having your finger on the pulse of what prospects are saying, to tweak messaging and relevance, has never been more crucial.
8) Understand (and sharing) your DNA of success
What works in your sales conversations? What leads to successful outcomes today? What are today's top performers doing differently in their sales conversations behind closed doors?
Understanding the DNA of successful conversations and outcomes, capturing that and sharing across a remote team, is the fastest route to raise the bar of all your sales team - and coach all to replicate top performers and conversations with successful outcomes.
9) You owe it to your team
They cannot be the best they can be without coaching - from you, peers and self-reflection. Coaching is proven in countless studies to be the most impactful thing any sales manager can do to improve revenue. And that is in peacetime.
If you deny your team coaching now, you are risking their future - and possibly your own.
10) If you don’t now, you never will
If, whilst in these challenging times, with a remote isolated team, a fast-changing world and a need to make every conversation count, you are not coaching - then let's face it, you never, ever will.
We believe that our partnership with Refract is an essential element of helping our clients implement an Outcome-Centric Selling® philosophy that addresses the current priorities of their most valuable customers and potential prospects.
To find out more, please book a call, or follow the link below to download Refract's guide to winning with remote sales during a downturn (and afterwards).