Learning from your mistakes is good, but isn’t it better if you can avoid them completely? We were fortunate to have the chance to discuss remote work pitfalls recently with one of GetAccept’s favourite sales leaders in the industry, Matt Marino - VP of Sales at Global Payments. GetAccept’s VP of Sales met Matt at an industry event and was blown away by the depth of his knowledge so we invited him to share his top strategies for succeeding as a remote sales company in the modern age.
Since Matt's role oversees - sales, sales development, and sales engineering functions — you can imagine he had a lot of wisdom to share:
1. Build trust remotely
If you’re not all in the same place—no problem. You can still create a sense of rapport in your team as well as your prospective and current customers.
- Don’t be shy. Utilize video calling instead of handing over control to every awkward silence. Don’t rob yourself of crucial information like nonverbal cues from the other person.
- Make time for relaxation. When every minute you spend with your team is structured, you begin to lose a certain sense of camaraderie (something we’ve talked about on this blog before!). Optional social meetings for employees to have drinks, eat lunch, and share stories with each other can go a long way to getting everyone on the same page, even if the conversation isn’t specifically work-related.
- Avoid micromanagement. Metrics, even when monitored, should be mostly self-regulating. Those dashboards are all built into Salesforce, so you really don't need to “hover over” your team members.
2. Be professional on remote meetings
Think about the ways you can bring that sense of professionalism home from the office.
- Dress the part. Wearing a fresh ironed shirt, slacks, and a belt seems like a formality of the workplace, but there’s a reason for it: it puts you in the right mindset. This is a real phenomenon—just try it and see for yourself.
- Spare no expense, or at least don’t skimp on the important things. Purchase green screens for your salespeople so that they can conduct their work even when their environment may be suboptimal. Invest in some quality, HD webcams, noise-canceling headsets, and ambient lighting. You can report these expenditures into sales training and enablement. It’ll be worth your while and play even better into how you’re perceived by clients.
3. Optimize your selling time
You need to be able to remain productive no matter how far apart you are from your team members. Consider the following.
- Take breaks. It sounds counterintuitive, but you’ll work smarter and more efficiently when you’re not constantly at your limit. Additionally, look out for consistency fatigue in those who are new or adapting to a remote work environment. The brain needs to be stimulated by a change in environment every now and then, so take breaks to walk in the sunshine. Take calls when you're walking around the block, or if you can't do that, just go to another room. Encourage the people on your team to do the same! Variety helps us think, and remote work can actually give more freedom with this than people realize.
- Reintroduce interactivity to your meetings. If you want to make the best use of everyone's time, turn your agenda from a list of bullet points into a series of questions—and give people time to respond. Reframe your problems as goals with solutions: “How can we reduce our spending by X amount at the end of this year?” Or, replace vague items like "strategic planning" with something more specific: "What's the key market threat that we need to be anticipating right now?" This is a lot more participatory and is bound to result in some productive dialogues that may never have taken place if not given the chance to develop during meeting hours.