Why Sales Teams Should WFH, Permanently
Author: collin stewart
Gabriel Moncayo, a recent guest on the Predictable Revenue podcast, has worked in sales for 15 years, including the last 5 years as CEO & co-Founder at AlwaysHired Sales Bootcamp. And, current circumstances aside, he has always been a fan of remote work. In fact, since the beginning of 2020, as his training model has shifted away from in-person methods towards online sessions, he hasn’t required any of his employees to come into the office. So when Covid-19 dictated that his entire workforce would be working remotely, he decided to lean into it.
I know what you’re thinking. Stay remote? Working from sunup to sundown and balancing my kids, pets, and housework on top of that? Not seeing anybody but my family each day and never getting a chance to have a laugh with my colleagues around the water cooler?
But this is remote working in response to a global pandemic. This isn’t true remote work – yet. Don’t fret. When this is all over, you can have the idyllic, balanced, remote work life. Here’s why Gabriel suggests we do it.
Remote work boasts a greater work/life balance. The two hours you used to spend commuting to and from the office can be spent cooking with your children or taking a hot yoga class. You can have your lunch at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try that was too far from the office. And you’ll see those colleagues that you miss so much at team barbecues and beach days or employees’ birthdays celebrated at a local bar. Once we’re out of crisis management mode, we’ll start to experience the perks.
What’s the biggest difficulty you face when trying to get promoted in a company? It’s the corporate politics, the nepotism, the ass-kissing and water-cooler BS (Gabriel’s words, not ours). When we’re all working remotely, our managers can look at performance when considering who is truly best for a role. Whether or not you are considered for that new role will come down to metrics, attendance and contribution – a business case – and your boss won’t be able to play favorites.
NOT A SLACKER
We’ve all wasted time pretending to work when the boss walks by. Of course, we’re not really slacking. We’re on track to meet our goals, but we just want to make sure we always look busy. That’s no longer a concern. You’ll have that time back and you can spend it as you see fit. So you can focus more on driving great results, and less on the amount of man-hours it looks like you’re putting into the role.
Okay. Now you’re convinced. So how do you get remote work right at your organization? According to Gabriel, it comes down to 3 things.
- Goal setting
- Relationship Building
This is a particularly important piece for sales teams. Typically, in sales there is a “what have you done for me lately” attitude, as Gabriel puts it. You could be a top performing rep and blow your quota out of the water, but when that month, quarter, or year rolls over, you’re back to square one. As a manager of a team of people who don’t get a lot of credit for previous successes, you need to think about building culture around what the most important goal is for that team. For sales, the goal is to hit targets. So you need to build a culture of trust, and urgency to help the team get there. But how can you build trust and urgency when you don’t see your sales reps face to face? With…
Incentivize your reps hitting their goals. A recent study offered sales reps different types of SPIFs (sales performance incentive funds). 100 sales reps were offered a $100 bonus if they hit their targets, and another 100 were offered a pizza party for their families, paid for by their employers. In the end people were more motivated to take care of their families than to get some extra cash. This got Gabriel to thinking of how he could incentivize his reps non-monetarily. In the past few months, MOOCs (massive open online courses) attendance and registration numbers have shot up as people are taking advantage of the extra time at home to work on personal development. So, to bridge that gap, Gabriel offers his team SPIFs that help them level up, like a coupon code to a course or online seminar.
Gabriel decides when to introduce a SPIF based on bottlenecks he sees in the teams’ metrics, and determines the length of the competition accordingly. If dials are down, he offers a 1 day SPIF. If demo rates are down, he creates a corresponding 1 week SPIF. Competitions are created around KPIs, and incentives are aligned with his teams’ personal level-up goals.
As mentioned in the “culture” section above, sales people can already feel like a number at the best of times. There can be division between the sales team and the rest of the organization because the sales team is valued solely for the targets they hit, and division within the team itself as a result of the high turnover. Couple this with a lack of personal interaction, and the feeling can be exacerbated. Your way around that, as a manager, is to find a way to intentionally work relationship-building into your schedule. Gabriel explains that, as a manager, you need to structure communication in such a way that your reps know you’re trying to build a relationship. And “unless they can tell you’re trying that hard, you’re probably not trying hard enough.” One of the ways Gabriel tackles this is by starting every 1 on 1 zoom call with a scheduled 5 minute catch up on life, and in his experience, giving his employees a safe space to express what is going on for them personally always has a positive impact on the business.
As a sales leader, how can you drive the focuses listed above when managing your team remotely? Gabriel does it by hosting morning zoom “pow-wows” where his reps can practice their pitches and warm up for the day. He also hosts live call sessions throughout the week where reps can sit in the background, take notes, and learn from the mistakes and successes of the rep doing the calling. This way, reps are hearing uncensored calls made by their colleagues as they would on a sales floor, and they get to hear their managers’ feedback as well.
Remote work is a big adjustment, and for most of us, it doesn’t seem to be the effortless, balanced, work-hard-play-hard lifestyle we were all promised. But according to Gabriel Moncayo’s guidance, it can be all that and more. As sales reps making the switch to remote work you can enjoy a better work/life balance, get promoted based on performance not politics, and forget about your manager watching over your shoulder. And to keep up the good work as a manager, the only things you need to focus on to set your team up for success are culture, goal setting and relationship building. Maybe easier said than done, but thank goodness we’ve got experts in remote work like Gabriel guiding the way.
Interested in listening to Gabriel’s other episode with us? Listen here:
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