managing dispersed sales teams

Companies across the globe are increasing their geographic footprint. Better technology and a focus on efficiency has encouraged many businesses to expand their location options beyond one corporate hub, and sales is no different. More sales teams are enjoying the perks of workplace flexibility, but they’re discovering the challenges that come with them too.

Sales leaders who manage geographically dispersed sales teams regularly deal with hurdles including:

  • Disconnected culture
  • Communication challenges
  • Lack of accountability
  • Time zone obstacles
  • Cultural differences
  • Coaching challenges

To sidestep the challenges above while still reaping the benefits of location flexibility, sales managers are using the following tactics to win at managing sales teams in different locations.

Improve Communication

With sales reps in various locations, every member of your team won’t have the luxury of walking into your office for a quick question, or to troubleshoot a tough client. Schedule standing phone calls to make sure communication stays regular. You can also incorporate new technology options to give your reps better access to one of their best resources: you. Trying communication and efficiency driven solutions, like Slack, can help make touching base between scheduled interactions quick and collaborative.

Make Training a Priority

Less daily face time with your reps makes their accuracy when it comes to sales skills even more critical. Schedule regular training initiatives to make sure all of your reps and locations are equally on point. Use a sales training and video coaching solution, like LearnCore, to keep your sales reps engaged with bite-sized modules they can consume from anywhere. Then, track their progress with assessments and and video practice scenarios to ensure reps understand the training.

Implement Mobile Coaching

Finding opportunities to coach across multiple offices will be one of your biggest struggles, but it’s also vital to success. Luckily, you can utilize new mobile coaching technology to help you address this challenge. Mobile coaching apps let you instantly connect with each of your reps individually, from anywhere. You can assign them training modules or other challenges, like recording their pitch practice, and provide them with instant feedback. Even sales managers who aren’t dealing with multi-location teams are using this new technology to make coaching easier and more consistent.

Focus on results

You won’t be able to manage exactly how your reps are getting the job done every single minute of the day. Instead, worry about their results. Focus on specific metrics to hold your reps accountable. Consider data points like:

  • # meetings held weekly
  • # opportunities created weekly
  • Deals closed
  • Average deal size
  • Close rate

Once you’ve established baselines and location-specific norms, hold you different teams accountable to the level at which they should be producing. Focusing on results will help you manage more efficiently by getting rid of any micromanaging tendencies you may have.

Stay Organized

Sales reps waste a lot of time looking for sales materials. Keep one simple system to store all sales collateral so that reps can quickly access what they need from anywhere. Not only will it improve productivity, but it will help you, and your marketing team stay sane. Focus on a storage solution that will encourage your teams to actually use the collateral your company has put so much effort into making.

Plan In-Person Events

Having opportunities to interact in-person will help bring your teams together. Bonding is a great way to strengthen company culture, and from a professional standpoint, these events are great opportunity to learn. Different teams have unique strengths and weaknesses, and you can likely take what you learn from one location and apply it to another. If you have the budget, get your different teams, or at least important stakeholders, from various locations together so you can learn more efficiently and make a greater impact in your role.

Managing sales teams at different locations helps provide your organization with a stronger reach, and more potential for sales, but it also comes with challenges. Use the tips above to manage this unique leadership opportunity, and build successful teams no matter where they are.

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