Skip to main content

Managing remote sales and marketing teams - keeping them engaged and motivated

YouGov shows that approximately 50% of workers are now working from home at least some of the time. This is up from 37% before the Covid-19 pandemic and highlights how different the working landscape has become in just three years. What’s more, 79% of business decision-makers believe that they will never see workers return to the office at the same rate as before Covid-19. 

Therefore, managing your sales and marketing teams presents a unique challenge. How do you keep remote workers on task? How do you ensure that they collectively meet their sales targets?

Covid-19 and the remote working generation 

Historically, only the lucky few regularly got to work from home. The privilege was reserved for highfliers and consultants, who consistently posted such good numbers that their bosses didn’t mind where they worked from. 

Now, entire sales teams find themselves working from home every week, regardless of their credentials. Naturally, this presents a whole new challenge to sales managers, as working from home is very much the new normal.

When you consider the practicality of working from home, the arrangement has pros and cons. While some people feel like they can get away with doing less at home, statistics show that almost 60% of business leaders feel that their teams will be equally as effective when working remotely as they were when working from the office. 

No matter how you look at it, remote working is here to stay, and it’s something that you need to adapt to. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of managing remote teams before examining how you can keep your sales staff engaged when they’re not in the office.

Benefits and challenges of remote sales teams

Just like any professional situation, there are pros and cons to remote working, as we explain below:

Benefits 
  • Increased employee satisfaction - Granted, not everyone enjoys working from home, but many of your sales staff will appreciate the opportunity. Providing they stay on task, it can be liberating to allow your sales staff to work remotely. 
  • Improved efficiency - LSE research found that remote work can increase innovation by 63%, boost engagement by 75%, and increase organisational commitment by 68%. In other words, it can be an asset to your business. 
  • Expense savings - Historically, sales staff have accrued significant business expenses. While client days and many travel expenses will remain, supporting a remote working arrangement will save your organisation money in expense payments.
Challenges 
  • Miscommunication - One of the hardest things about managing a remote sales team is communication. It’s much more challenging to coordinate your team when they’re dotted around the country rather than in the office. 
  • Employee morale - Sales teams are often in it together. They’re naturally splintered and less likely to develop camaraderie when working remotely. Ultimately, this can affect results and sales targets. 
  • Task management - Unless you have robust systems to integrate your employees’ tasks and hold your sales team to account, task management can be one of the toughest things about remote working. 

The good thing about the challenges associated with remote working is that you can do something about them. One of the most crucial steps you need to take is ensuring that you have a fully integrated CRM system so that your sales team can work towards their KPIs and update their client lists wherever they are, as we explain below.


The importance of using CRM Software 

Utilising cloud-based CRM software is integral if you’re going to get the most out of your employees working remotely. By its very design, a CRM system has the following benefits: 

  • Remote accessibility - Providing your sales staff have an internet connection, they can sign in to your company’s CRM from wherever they are. You can also monitor their work patterns from a central location. 
  • Seamless integration - Most CRM software can integrate with the likes of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet, ensuring your sales team can manage many of their applications from the same place. 
  • Secure access - Protecting data is crucial when your sales team starts working remotely. Helpfully, most CRM software encrypts data and protects your company from hacks. 
  • Task management - Another great thing about CRM software is that you can populate the task lists of your sales teams and track their progress. Again, this is a considerable challenge when it comes to remote work, and it ensures your staff are on target to meet their KPIs. 

When it comes to effectively managing your sales teams remotely, a CRM is a key foundation to work from. It allows everyone to log in from wherever they are and provides you with the perfect opportunity to keep your team on task. But what about motivating your team and keeping them engaged from home?

How to keep your team engaged when working from home 

Every sales manager has a unique leadership style. But this will be tested when your team is no longer in the office every day. Therefore, it’s important to mix things up and ensure your team is engaged on the days when they’re working remotely. Here’s what you can try: 

Be available 

Although your sales team can’t knock on your office door when they need help, make sure they know that you’re available for a quick call or Skype when any problems arise. Many remote workers feel isolated, so the simple act of being available will alleviate some of their fears and frustrations. 

Keep everyone in the loop 

Some of your staff will be working from home in the current working environment, while others will be in the office. As such, it’s imperative to keep everyone in the loop with the latest achievements, developments, and issues. The transition from face-to-face meetings to Microsoft Team or Zoom meetings ensures remote workers are included in the conversations. 

Reward remote achievements

When your sales team hits their KPIs remotely, make sure you’re quick to reward them. Arrange after-work drinks or celebrate with a fancy lunch out on the town as you would if they were in the office. While it can be easy to turn a blind eye to remote achievements, doing so is damaging to your team’s morale. 

Encourage group conversation tools 

Email is isolating, and it’s challenging to keep track of conversations. Instead, encourage your sales team to chat openly on the likes of Telegram or Slack, which promote collaboration and ensure they can keep up with one another throughout the day. The more integrated your remote team feels, the more motivated they will be. 

Ask for feedback 

Employee feedback is always essential, but it’s even more crucial when your team works from home. As much as you can, check-in with your team and learn about what you could do better and how their working environment could improve. This will help you resolve issues proactively and support your sales team in the right ways. 

Final thoughts 

There’s no getting away from it; remote working is here to stay. While it can be challenging for your sales staff to adapt to their new working situation, you need to do everything you can to help them feel supported. 

By utilising effective CRM software and adapting your management style ever so slightly, you should be able to get the absolute best out of your team while supporting them to achieve their KPIs.

About the author

Rob Scott

Rob is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, a national recruitment agency specialising in sourcing sales and marketing staff for businesses across a broad range of commercial sectors. Before setting up Aaron Wallis, Rob spent ten years at a specialist Sales and Marketing recruitment division of a £0.5BN recruitment group, leaving in 2007 as Marketing & Sales Director to establish Aaron Wallis.
 
With over 24 years of experience in sales recruitment, Rob is a History graduate with an MBA (Merit) and a PgCert in Management Practice.  In 2007, 2009 and 2013 Rob conducted the most extensive surveys of sales professionals in the UK and is a trusted authority in the sales industry. From guiding employers through the recruitment process to helping candidates find their dream job, Rob's advice has been quoted in leading publications such as Business Insider and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which host The Online Recruitment Awards every year.

Please call us to discuss your vacancy

Milton Keynes

Birmingham

Bristol

Our employers say...

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

Our candidates say...

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate