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Managing a Remote Sales Team? 6 Tips for Creating the Right Communication Cadence

By Steve Bookbinder

Managing a Remote Sales Team? 6 Tips for Creating the Right Communication Cadence

In light of the recent global events, you may have found yourself in a position where you are now managing a remote sales team.

 Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

This may be a little different from what you and your team are used to, but it doesn’t mean it should be less efficient.

What it does mean is more preparation, more planning, and more communicating.

Leaders that make the extra effort in these areas will see a remote sales team that boosts productivity and closes more deals.

Managing a remote sales team is not easy, but with the right communication strategy and cadence, you can create an environment that fosters a highly effective one.

Before we jump into the six steps you can take to build the right communication cadence, let’s talk about what sales team communication cadences are and why they matter.

What is a sales team communication cadence?

A cadence is a rhythmic sequence. 

In sales leadership, your team cadence is a rhythmic sequence for engaging and communicating with your team. 

It’s the flow of information between you and your team.

It’s the frequency with which you meet with the whole team and individuals on the team. 

It’s how you communicate expectations, monitor progress, discuss issues, provide coaching, and share best practices. 

Why you need a sales team communication cadence

Leveraging a good cadence is a critical component of successful sales leadership. This is especially important when you’re managing a remote sales team.

A lot can be lost in translation when relying solely on digital communication. 

A cadence helps create and maintain communication consistency across the team. It’s a set of common guidelines and expectations that everyone understands.

It allows you and your team to communicate more openly, run team pipeline meetings more smoothly, promote best practice sharing, and adapt to changes more quickly. 

A consistent, predictable, and well-defined cadence is the glue that keeps sales strategy in place, holds the team accountable, strengthens relationships, fosters communication, and improves the processes used by the team. 

Now that we’ve reviewed what a sales team cadence is and why it matters, here are the six tips you can take to create a cadence that enhances your ability to manage your remote sales team.

  • Set clear expectations
  • Schedule team meetings for the same day/time every week
  • Schedule weekly one-on-ones with each team member
  • Set a daily communication standard
  • Send a weekly training email
  • Send a monthly recap with sales updates, client feedback, and best practices

1. Set clear expectations

As a sales leader, you need to be explicit about what the remote worker must bring forward. The parameters and details of each task must be clear enough that everybody knows what needs to happen.

How often do you expect reps to update the CRM? Especially now that everyone is working remotely. Daily? Weekly?

Does your team know what your activity expectations are for them? How many appointments do you expect them to generate per week? What are their goals for emails sent and calls made? How much time do you want them to spend social selling?

What are your expectations in terms of availability? Do you want your reps to be available from nine to five, or are you flexible about when they respond to emails and get their work done?

When your sales team knows what is expected from them, especially remote, they are more likely to deliver, and agreeing on specific goals and tasks gives you a framework for assessing their performance.

2. Schedule team sales meetings for the same day and time every week

As your entire team works remotely, you may feel like you don’t have the same level of transparency or communication as you did when everyone was in the office. 

A consistent virtual team meeting schedule with the same agenda each week allows you to establish a steady routine and habit with your team. 

Maybe you were already meeting on a regular basis before the pandemic, but in times of change and uncertainty, a routine is even more important for adding some semblance of familiarity and structure to an otherwise chaotic situation.

If everyone on the team knows there’s a video meeting every Monday morning at 10 am, and the agenda is focused on the same items every week, no one can say they didn’t know. 

This type of regular meeting cadence also sets the tone for accountability.

For instance, the agenda for your weekly team pipeline meeting might look something like this:

  • Each rep provides a quick summary of their pipeline that includes answers to:
    • What’s happened so far?
    • What are the next steps?
    • What needs to happen to close the deal?
    • What’s the anticipated timeline?
  • Identify and discuss any obstacles or challenges each rep is dealing with
  • Create a solution and action items for moving the deal forward

3. Schedule weekly one-on-ones with each team member

Similar to weekly team meetings, it’s vital to take the time to meet with each of your sales reps individually on the same consistent schedule. 

A 1:1 sales meeting provides sales managers and sales reps time for reflection and goal setting, as well as an opportunity to raise their concerns.

As a manager, you shouldn’t look at your weekly individual meetings as simply a time to go over sales numbers. Your responsibility here is to foster professional development and arm them with everything they need to be successful.

That means you need to use your weekly 1:1 to listen and learn from your reps. It provides a great opportunity for coaching and skill development as well as time to discuss what truly motivates them.

This is especially important because your reps are operating with little to no day-to-day supervision and may not speak to another co-worker the whole day. 

That means making time to connect and having conversations about goals, aspirations and what motivates them is critical to their well-being. 

4.  Set a daily communication standard

While weekly meetings are essential to maintaining sales momentum and team motivation, there are times when you need to speak to a rep or a rep needs to speak with you in the moment.

Ask your team about their communication preferences for these times. 

What’s the best way to reach them if something urgent comes up or there’s a need for information right away?

For example, maybe one rep prefers a text message that prompts them to call, while another rep communicates and responds best via email. Whatever preferences you and your team have, it’s important that everyone knows and understands these.

Working remotely doesn’t mean you are tethered to your desk. Maybe you’re eating lunch in another room or you’re outside taking a quick walk. 

Suggesting that your reps use their calendar to block off their time is another great way to create transparency and allow everyone on the team to know when one another is available or not and also ensure that things still get and communicated outside of regularly scheduled meetings.

5. Send a weekly training email

As a sales manager, a good portion of your time should be dedicated to helping your reps grow and develop. That means you need to make an effort to provide training and coaching to your team.

While you’ll provide 1:1 coaching in your weekly meetings with each rep, it’s also important to share resources and guidance with the team as whole to support your overall sales strategy and team goals.

A weekly training email is a great way to do that. 

Say you read an article or watched a video that emphasizes a current trend in your industry or shares an especially important sales strategy. Put your thoughts down and send it as a weekly training email to your team.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a link to the resource with a few bullet points that outline your thoughts and then prompt your team with a question to start a conversation and create engagement. 

This helps ensure that training and growth continues, again, even outside of your regularly scheduled 1:1 meetings.

6. Send a monthly recap with sales updates, client feedback, and best practices

As a sales leader, you should be guiding the conversation for your team. That’s why it’s essential to compile and share updates with them in a monthly recap.

You can share important sales updates that impact the whole team including client feedback that will help others either learn from a mistake or try to replicate a success. 

It’s also a great opportunity to share best practices and observations that you’ve gathered. 

You may have always made mental notes about these types of things to share with your team, but when you make it a part of your team cadence, it’s another way to share helpful information and updates as well as another touch point to communicate regularly with the team.

Get started today

Now more than ever, sales leaders need to ask themselves how they can prepare for the future and excel in the days to come. 

As remote sales teams become the new normal, successful sales management will ultimately be all about effective communication.

Developing a sales team cadence that establishes expectations, creates a consistent meeting schedule, and provides opportunities for coaching and skill development will enhance your ability to manage your sales team remotely.

Looking for more opportunities to improve your sales management skills? Grab a copy of your manager’s guide and start solving common issues with your sales team.

Join the IMPACT coaches for a deep dive on a new topic every month in our free virtual event series.

Topics:

Hiring a Marketing Team
Contributor
Inbound Sales
Published on June 26, 2020

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