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How to Foster Healthy Competition When Managing Remote Teams

6 min read
Updated Aug. 25, 2021
Published Apr. 6, 2020

Going Remote Without Going Dark

Many companies are scrambling to adapt to a new normal right now. As one CEO recently shared, “I just spoke with a CIO who is deploying 5,000 laptops to employees who have never needed one before.” Yikes!

Transitioning a traditional workforce from an office to working from home is no walk in the park. 

But think about your sellers. It’s tough for them to focus surrounded by roommates, bored children, family, or a needy cat trying to sit on the keyboard. It’s also easy to get lonely and grow frustrated with the seeming lack of boundaries between work and home life.

But this doesn’t mean that remote work can’t be productive. A recent survey by Airtasker found that, “On average, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than those who worked in an office.” If companies help employees do well at home, we could actually see an unprecedented uptick in productivity in the next few months.

So, what can you do to ease a seller’s transition to remote work and keep the energy on the virtual sales floor pumping?

We’re so glad you asked!

Host Remote Power Hours

You’re probably familiar with the concept of a Power Hour—a focused hour of calling in which everyone on the sales floor calls only your best prospects with a common theme or talk track.

Traditionally, SDRs use power hours to focus on setting meetings. But power hours can apply to nearly any function, both inside and outside the revenue organization.

Here are some ideas on what to measure during power hours:
Sales Success Metrics for Gamification
SDRs: Who made the most calls? Who booked the most meetings? Who got to a specific section of the talk track the most times?

Closers: Who had the most conversations? Who progressed the most deals? Who said a key phrase most often?

Customer Success: Who had the most conversations? Who showed the most customers a feature they didn’t already know about? Who identified a secondary POC or champion?

Salesloft customers Marketsource and Reveneer have seen success with remote power hours. We have too. How are we doing it? With Live Call Studio from Salesloft.

Listen in Using Live Call Studio and Analyze With Conversation Intelligence

Live Call Studio
Join the party and run your own remote power hour with Salesloft!

  1. Schedule your power hour
  2. Make it a competition and identify your goals
  3. Run the power hour and listen in using Live Call Studio
  4. Select winners, give them recognition and a prize
  5. Rinse and repeat

If you have a small team, take the power hour to the next level with video conferencing. Have the team join a Zoom or GoToMeeting call to be even more connected—just ensure everyone mutes themselves!

If a virtual meeting feels like too much, set up a Slack channel where sellers can tout their success, share insights, and collaborate in real-time. We recommend creating an automation rule that sends a “virtual gong” via Slack when a meeting is booked, an opp is won, etc.

For deeper insights, review your best long-form calls with Conversation Intelligence

Conversation Intelligence captures and transcribes all digital meetings and dialer calls longer than 2 minutes, adding a layer of analysis for fast review. Team members can help by sharing links of their best calls, narrowing the field for you.

Gamify Salesloft With Content Contests

Challenge team members to draft new email templates. Try a cold email, an “always be helping” email, a pre-demo email, a demo cancel email, or handling a common objection (or a new one from COVID-19) to see what performs best over a set period of time.

Track success by reviewing engagement analytics and deal progression. You may not be able to identify a clear winner, but that’s ok, it’s the ideas and collaboration you want.

Contests aren’t limited to templates. You can use the same approach for Cadences, Snippets, or talk tracks. Cultivate playlists of the best calls from your team every week and have the team vote on their favorite and dissect why the call was good.

Trust us, we’ve been sending “best” lists to our team every day—best email, best cold call or objection handling—and can say with confidence that it’s keeping morale high. 

Celebrate Success—Even More Than Usual

Since your team is feeling isolated, they need encouragement now more than ever. 

If you’re going to run successful competitions, recognition is key. Here are a few ideas for rewards that people don’t have to be present to win: 

  • Gift cards to a favorite store, food delivery service, or a charity that means something to the team or the winner 
  • Give a shout out in the next sales meeting
  • Highlight winners on social media
  • Supply winners a platform to share their winning strategy

In other words, get creative!

Matt Amundson, Salesloft advocate and customer from Everstring, runs template contests without any physical reward. Instead, if you beat his template in A/B tests, you become “king of the hill” and your template replaces his email as the one to beat. And you know what? It works! 

Whatever template you choose, be sure to share lessons with the larger team.

When reps feel in the know and can see what’s working, it inspires new techniques and strategies, leveling up the entire sales team. 

Make Your Check-ins Meaningful

Competitions and power hours are great to inject energy into your sales team and process, but the most valuable management tool in your arsenal is the one-to-one check-in. Remote workers often feel isolated from the larger organization. So, quality check-ins can help sellers retain those feelings of collaboration and intensity they remember from the sales floor.

Not all check-ins are created equal and there are right and wrong ways to run remote coaching sessions. What are some ways you can elevate yourself to a check-in master?

Provide the agenda in advance. No one likes going to a meeting without knowing what you’ll discuss. 

Lead with trust. Yes, your team is working from home, but trust that they are working, trying, and need your help to be successful.

Wrap up each meeting with a call to action. Meetings should have a purpose, so end every check-in with a clear understanding of next steps.

Set a consistent schedule. How many blogs have you read touting the importance of having a personal schedule when working from home? Consistency is just one way to build trust and help your sellers feel secure in an uncertain world. 

Want more information on how to coach remote teams and run meaningful check-ins? We have another blog for that!