Working remotely, as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) can be challenging. It takes discipline and self-motivation. A manager’s role is to support you and your work in order to exceed expectations, which can be difficult for remote sales. However, there are many ways to overcome these challenges. As a remote SDR, I have witnessed best practices for a manager to coach up individuals and teams.
Establish an environment of communication: Communication is vital in the work environment; the Sales Development Representative team must feel that there is a safe place to communicate. As a sales manager, it is important to foster a place of open and constant dialogue. There are many different ways managers can establish such a healthy environment. One way is to use a messaging app like Slack. Beyond encouraging constant communication regarding work, a messaging app helps an SDR team create a virtual “watercooler”. It reminds them to stay in touch with one another and share good tidings or talk about events of the day. Having constant communication touchpoints supports SDRs in learning about each other, growing more connected, and excelling together at work.
Develop a virtual peer-learning program: A virtual peer learning program will help motivate the sales team and create a more structured environment. Personally, at my job, the SDRs work in a virtual office space, which prompts the team to collaborate with, coach, and build up each other. Additionally, employees can still have a set space to work in an office surrounded by their co-workers and foster relationships. The managers should schedule times to be in the virtual office to monitor their team’s sales calls to support growth, which encourages better performance and results in higher engagement.
Encourage Collaboration: Sales managers need to nurture a collaborative environment, especially in a remote setting. Collaborating with co-workers motivates and allows employees to feel “lively” when they are working. As an individual that receives energy from those around me, working with others is essential. Managers can encourage collaboration by checking in with their SDR teams. Ask how they are feeling, offer feedback, and see what one can do to help. These small changes initiate conversations, encourage collaboration, and reassures SDRs.
Provide your team with the right tools: The sales team must be provided with the right tools to maximize their performance. This means setting clear expectations and instructions for the team members to excel in their tasks. The tools should consist of sales training programs, a user-friendly virtual platform, and any necessary software.
Ongoing Coaching: Right now, in uncertain times, many people are craving for social interaction. As a manager, it is critical to always be present for your employees and provide a healthy support system. Tips for ongoing coaching include weekly check-ins, bonding activities, and monthly webinars. Having a weekly check-in provides a safe space for the employees to discuss their weaknesses, strengths, and improvements. The bi-weekly check-ins assist in building a fun and healthy work culture where the employees gain workplace satisfaction. Creating virtual bonding activities with the employees will bring everyone together and allow them to connect on a more personal level. Lastly, hosting a monthly webinar would be a great additional resource to coach your employees. Inviting a guest speaker to share advice, tips, or professional business will allow the team members to grow from one another.
Based on my personal experience, these sales team management tips are a few to enhance coaching for a remote Sales Development Representative team. In times like these, it is important to create this environment of togetherness as many people feel left alone and confused. By taking the lead with these suggestions, sales managers can build better relationships with, provide a reassuring presence for, and foster a healthier work environment for their team.