Daily Best Practices to Keep Remote Revenue Teams Running Smoothly

March 24, 2020

Sara Howshar

From the field to inside sales, from enablement to management, sales has seen its share of change, and savvy pros are always ready to roll with it.

Even so, the current climate feels very different — because it is different.

For teams that have had to “go remote” essentially overnight, this is a disorienting time. Even revenue organizations that have always worked remotely have anxiety about all of this sudden, dramatic change that has upended business as usual.

Setting aside the big-picture concerns, which are worrying enough, those who are managing remote revenue teams in this environment have some burning questions, such as:

  • How do I maintain a cohesive team?
  • How do I keep my team from losing sight of the goal?
  • Are we going to miss the small details that could ultimately lose a deal?

If you’re among these managers, take heart that you are far from alone. A recent study found that only 15% of remote managers have received training on how to optimize a remote workforce.

The good news is that you can ramp up your remote team faster than you might think, because tech stacks were born to drive and accommodate change.

Here’s a look at six best practices that you and your remote revenue team can adopt and adapt to quickly, so that you can keep on selling and closing together as smoothly as possible during what is the new normal — at least for now:

1. Keep Those Cameras On #

Using video is obviously an important tool for making a meaningful connection with customers. We’ve found that video is used in closed-won deals almost 20% more often than in closed-lost deals.

When you use video, the amount of engaging moments increase, the follow-ups and next steps are clearer, and the facial expressions and tone of meeting participants are easier to read.

As businessman Chris Voss said, “only 7% of a message is based on the words, while 38% comes from the tone of voice and 55% from the speaker’s body language and face.”

With a fully remote team, you’re bound to lose some of that 55%. But tools in your tech stack that work well together, like Zoom and Chorus.ai, can help you create some semblance of your in-office conversation dynamics.

So, if you’re asking yourself, “What’s one simple way to keep my team in sync while we’re all working remotely?” — video is it.

Turn your cameras on for face-to-face interactions with your remote team. Make sure to review the call transcripts, notes, and clips that are sent your way. And review the analysis provided so that you can pull key insights from your teams’ calls to the forefront.

Pro Tip: Get your team green screens! It’s a small investment into something that really elevates the professionalism of the call. We like the retractable kind because they’re easier to move around.

2. Set Meeting Hygiene Standards #

Meeting hygiene is always important, but in a fully remote situation, it’s imperative. So, set a good example for your remote team.

  • Opt for Regular, Short Meetings. Only schedule long meetings when necessary. Don’t assume that because everyone is working remotely, they have loads of time to spare.

  • Set a Clear Agenda to ensure that your meeting will run efficiently. Send the agenda to attendees in advance so they can come prepared to discuss the topics at hand.

  • Keep the attendee list streamlined. For instance, consider inviting no more than five people, or asking just one stakeholder per team to attend.
    Parties not invited that still need to be in the know should be sent the recording of the call or sent snippets with the most relevant information to them.

  • Make the Most Out of Your Screen Time. Remind attendees to mute their line when they’re not presenting or speaking to minimize distractions. And, again, ask your team members to have their cameras turned on to encourage engagement.

  • End with Action Items. Leave a few minutes at the end to review action items, address questions, and allow for some team banter. The latter is important for keeping up morale, feeling connected and reminding everyone that you’re in this situation together.

3. Consider Scheduling Daily Standups #

In lieu of long meetings that you might typically have at the office, consider holding daily standups.

Many remote teams find these meetings to be an important touchpoint during the day.

We have deployed daily standups for each team at Chorus. Since adapting to a remote culture, we find them to be an invigorating, collaborative experience.

Here are some quick tips for success, based on our experience:

  • Set the meeting for first thing in the morning, or at a time that is most convenient for your distributed team, if you work across time zones or have differently scheduled workweeks.
  • Catch up and make small talk for the first few minutes.
  • Talk about work priorities for that day.
  • Share any schedule issues or communication preferences for that day.
  • Wrap up the meeting after about 20-30 minutes.

These brief huddles can make your team feel like you’re working together, even when you’re very much apart.

If daily standups sound like overkill, keep in mind that these meetings are a way to keep those in-office interactions flowing. A daily video call with our team - for even 15 minutes - helps us regain some of those short deskside chats that we are missing out on.

“When my team is remote and they’re on mute, they can be more hesitant to ask questions. So I open up each meeting with a prompt. Even something as simple as: What did you learn yesterday? What you want to learn today? Just to get them talking. Then I end the session with another prompt: What was one thing that stood out to you? What do you want to dive deeper on?”

4. Get Used to Asking a Lot of Questions #

When you’re sitting side by side in an office, there are more opportunities to have clarifying conversations simply by bumping into each other on your way to the coffee station. When you’re remote, you have to mark time your calendars and make the most out of that time.

Video can help you gauge how someone is feeling because you have plenty of body language cues to take in with your own eyes. But if you’re on the phone, which you will often be while working remotely, it’s wise to confirm that you and the other party are in alignment on expectations before you end the call.

When you’re managing a team, clarifying expectations is essential.

Becc Holland recommends encouraging a culture of question asking:

“When my team is remote and they’re on mute, they can be more hesitant to ask questions. So I open up each meeting with a prompt. Even something as simple as: What did you learn yesterday? What you want to learn today? Just to get them talking. Then I end the session with another prompt: What was one thing that stood out to you? What do you want to dive deeper on?”

So, whether you’re talking to a colleague, your team, or a customer, take the time to ask clarifying questions to ensure you’re all on the same page.

This extra bit of effort can save you a lot of time down the road by helping you avoid disconnects that create confusion, frustration, or disappointment.

5. Set Clear Expectations About Workforce Hours #

Working remotely can sometimes feel like you’re in a casino: It’s easy to lose track of time and get distracted. You can help your team manage their remote workday effectively by setting clear expectations about workforce hours.

Most companies with remote teams apply one of the following approaches:

  • They follow a traditional workday schedule (e.g., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
  • They ask their team to work fixed hours (e.g., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and during that time, everyone is available online.
  • They let team members set their own hours, provided they attend key meetings, are easy to get in touch with when needed, and, of course, they get their work done on time.

No matter what you decide, just be consistent. That consistency will allow your remote team to shape their day constructively — and maintain a good work-life balance.

6. Cultivate Your Culture (Digitally) #

Fostering a cohesive and positive corporate culture is important when your team is working in the same place. With a remote workforce, it can be more challenging and even more important.

Here’s where great communication, and your tech stack, can help support you.

Following are a few ideas for using Chorus.ai, specifically, to help cultivate your digital culture:

  • Share wins: This will help your entire revenue organization realize that nothing can stop them — even when working remotely. Sharing wins helps connect the whole team to the broader mission. We’re proud of our celebratory culture. Every time someone closes a deal, that person will thank several people from across the organization who helped them get that deal across the finish line. It’s a team effort from start to finish!
  • Drive accountability: Here’s another quick tip for using Chorus.ai to keep your remote team focused on achieving goals. Make it a requirement for reps to attach a short clip from one of their daily sales conversations to share with the team. They could highlight a win, share a best practice, or ask for feedback. Whatever they choose, this exercise is a simple but powerful way to drive accountability.

Bonus tip: Create Space in Your Schedule #

The best practices outlined above are by no means a comprehensive list, but we hope they can help anyone facing the challenge of keeping a remote revenue team running smoothly.

We do suggest that you add “fun” to the list, though. We hear from our customers every day about the ways they are creatively keeping their team in sync, and fun is definitely something they try to inject into their remote workplace — from holding contests, to sharing Netflix binge watch recommendations, to hosting virtual happy hours and coffee chats.

We thank everyone for sharing their tips and stories with us. And we ask that you continue to do so as we all work to adapt to the current climate, and look for constructive strategies for scheduling our days, staying productive and connected, and keeping all the wheels turning.

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