As SaaS sales leaders, by now we've all experienced the difficulty in managing and keeping a remote inside sales team motivated. The Covid-19 epidemic has changed the way sales teams work for better or for worse, and it's our job to stay on top of the latest and greatest to keep our competitive juices pumping, business development cranking, and pipeline flowing. Below are several ideas to keep your team's day-to-day more engaging, involved, and rewarding.
1. Set Weekly Goals
We're all aware that we should be setting actionable, and measurable goals – but how often do you actually have your team do this? In Sales, it's easy to fall into a rut of the "same old same old" and to begin gently loosening your goals and commits every week. First it starts out with lowering the effort bar... ya know... the number of calls, targeted emails, social messages that you send, etc. Next, you fall into the optimism trap of hoping that deals pull through at the end of the month when we all know that your pipeline isn't as qualified as you think it is. To start off your Monday kickoff meeting next week with something clear and achievable, try what's called "the 3 P's." What are the 3 P's?
Have you and each person on your team share and set 1-2 for each P and keep track of the commits each week via spreadsheet or whatever means suits you best. You'll be amazed at the amount of difference in motivation this small habit can bring.
2. Play Morning Trivia
A little fun in the morning never hurt anyone – especially those who find it hard to get things into gear in the early AM. Personally, our team has trivia questions setup to run every morning at 9am on Slack. Sales is a sport after all, and trivia is like our version of a warm up, but for the brain. Checkout apps like Water Cooler Trivia for slightly more configurable versions of trivia.
3. Run Weekly Power Hours
Others have written entire articles alone on sales power hours. These (in my opinion) are inarguably one of the most effective ways to stimulate the competitive nature of the team, especially when your team is all remote. You can run them every week, or better yet, every single day. The prizes don't have to be monetary (although you'll often find it behooves you to make this so). Here are 5 examples prizes we've used recently:
- bragging rights
- crown for the day
- heavy-weight champion belt
- $25 or $50 via venmo (instant cash – nobody hates that, right?)
- instant Starbucks gift card via thnks
4. Offer Target Account Prizes
Account-based selling is everywhere in this day and age. For those you who are not aware, the account based approach treats each account as a market of one. In this manner, nearly 85% of marketers who measure ROI say that account-based sales/account-based marketing outperforms other marketing investments.
With that being said, if you do venture down the account-based sales path, you'll want to make your business development team a core part of it. One way to do this is to motivate them to focus their calling/emailing time and effort on a specific set list of accounts. The way this looks for us, our business development reps each get 12 "named accounts" (usually these are larger, blue-chip or highly coveted accounts we think are perfect fits/would be great customers) and we then pay them out a "bounty" whenever they book a meeting with a pre-approved persona (usually a sales director level employee or higher) who works at that company.
This not only gives our sales team a way to make extra cash, but also gives them a small break to the sometimes monotonous day-to-day of dialing the phone and cranking out emails that all start to sound the same.
5. Coach in Real-Time
Sales coaching is without a doubt one of the hardest challenges of the Covid-19 era. As a manager and leader, in-person coaching is some of the most valuable time that we can offer to our reps. In a time where face-to-face interactions have been abruptly replaced with all-day Zoom calls and Slack chat, the off-the-cuff call reviews, scenario replays, and messaging feedback that we're so used to giving is a thing of the past... or is it?
Most inside sales enablement tools such as Salesloft and Outreach.io actually offer the ability to setup basic automations, such as when your team books a meeting... send a Slack notification. This is also available with many commons CRMs like Hubspot and Salesforce.com. With the former tools, however, you can even set them up to post the call recording anytime that meeting is booked. This way whenever your team is seeing success, the whole team can review the call as a group, and you as a leader can offer quick pointers/feedback on the call via Slack for all to learn from.
6. Hold Team Retrospectives
Similar to the fifth point above, team retrospectives (or simply "retros") are a good way to come together as a group and to break up the often isolating days of working from home. The basic layout to a retro steals most of its ideas from the SCRUM methodology so common nowadays with product organizations inside of technology companies. All you do is go around the room (one by one) and have everyone play one sales call they'd like to review with the group. Each person on the team will then critique the call by giving first one good thing that they'd like to reinforce/point out about it, and then lastly, one area for improvement on the call. This approach makes is so that the team doesn't just listen for feedback on what they're doing well/wrong, but also is forced to think more critically about what others are doing well/wrong. Too often sales feedback is a one way street and the sales retrospective is a way to break out of that mold, have everyone feel included, and also learn something new each and every week.
7. Setup "Roll-it-back" Sessions
Last (but certainly not least) we have the "roll-it-back" (RIB) sessions. We do these on our team once a week to go over call scenarios that otherwise would be done at the office. The basic format is actually extremely powerful as it enables you to really hone in on what part of the hook or pitch is not quite where it should be for a rep.
To do a RIB, you'll need at least two people – one person to play the role of prospect, and the other to play the role of sales rep (as you can imagine, usually the leader and/or sales manager will play the role of prospect). The sales rep starts the fake scenario off by echoing a ring tone and then the prospect picks up. From here the call plays out in any direction the prospect wants. You can choose to focus in on certain objections that your reps need practice with or go easy on them. Either way the power is in your hands to... roll it back! Whenever you say "roll it back" the sales rep must then roll back the last thing he or she said and say it again. You can keep on saying "roll it back" until the rep gets the handle correct/the way you want it.
In a real scenario where you're just reviewing a call in real-time, you don't actually get the ability to hone in on a certain handle like this and practice it over and over (sometimes dozens of times) in the span of just a minute or two. Add on top your whole team listening in and you can see why these sort of RIB sessions are so uniquely wonderful. They're a great tool to add to your sales coaching and management toolkit if not there already.
And... that's a wrap (well, for now at least)! If you're interested in implementing any of the techniques above, please do. We highly recommend each and every one of them and at the very least you will most likely find one or two new ideas that hopefully stick with your team and make them more productive while working during these crazy times. If you're looking for an automated way to implement any of the ideas above into Slack, check out our Slack bot for Salesloft and Outreach.io.