Hiring:Choosing the right team members.
Let's face it even though when managed well, some salespeople are not cut out for working remotely and they need the intention that comes with being based in an office.Someone can be the best structured, remote environment.
As my knowledge, the sales interview process focuses solely on obvious questions such as how much business can we close with very little attention paid to how do we function in a remote environment? This is a particularly important line of questioning when establishing a presence in a new market or country.Asking a few simple question may help to ascertain the followings:
- What experience do we have in working remotely?
- What do we like best about it?
- How do we build relationship with co-worker from a remote location?
- Do we mind in participating in calls at unusual times to accommodate time zone differences with other remote co-workers?
- What support do we feel we need from our manager or company in order to be successful in a remote environment?
Beyond assessing a salesperson's ability to work remotely it is also heard many discussions about whether it is better to respond someone, remote office or whether hiring locally will achieve greater success.As my experience i have seen in both cases, but there are pluses and minuses for each strategy and much of it boils down to the available candidates, their particular skill sets and the corporate culture of the hiring company.
Hiring locally should provide us immediate access to the market in which we want to sell.However hiring locally means the LSP(local salesperson) will need to integrate the new hire into the company and quickly.Most LSP have thankfully gotten beyond providing a computer and assuming that's enough to get selling.Fortunately most LSP routinely train their remote salesperson on why their service offering is unique and why buyers in the new market should buy from them over another company.A new hiring absolutely needs to know this in order to be successful, so training is essential. It is also critical that other personnel are aware that this new salesperson exists so they are not surprised when the salesperson asks for support.
Some questions LSP should be asking themselves in order to determine whether they are prepared for the challenges of managing remote salesperson.
- Is it really a sales position or do we expect them to do their own marketing and deal with business, legal and taxation issues that crop up?
- Is our compensation plan in line with comparable position in the target market?
- Do we plan to make regular visits to our remote staff and bring them to head quarter for strategy and business meetings?
- What is our plan for making our remote salesperson's feel a part of the overall team?
Training for salesperson coming from outside the localization industry is well understood.Process, technology and linguistic issues etc all need to be covered.However no matter how experienced the newly recruited salesperson might be, they still need to understand what makes their new company unique.More to the point since they are selling an intangible service, they are selling production teams within the company.Knowing the members of these teams can help the salesperson present the company much more defectively.
Support and Motivation.
A strong sales team start with strong leadership, particularly a strong sales manager.They communicate using all available channels.Communicating with remote employees has never been easier.Conference calls,web casts, text messaging and of course our industry's notorious over sue of email all offer opportunities for easy communication.The best of the best avoided the dreaded round robin team conference calls, but other had highly structured calls with a particular focus, success, challenges, solutions and knowledge sharing brainstorming answers to arduous questions, sharing wins and how they were achieved, feedback from clients about service offerings, pricing etc.