How xactly is managing sales teams *right now*

Brian Trautshold, COO and co-founder of Ambition along with Drew Lawrence, Director of sales at Xactly corp joined me on a quick zoom call so that I could ask some questions about rushing to deploy a complete WFH sales force on our customers’ behalf. Empathy, connection, automation and authenticity seemed to be recurring themes in how to do it successfully so far. Here are the top takeaways and the recording from my call: 


How to keep remote teams engaged


  1. Daily standups each morning and each afternoon
    In the morning, hop on a group call to set intentions and plan for the day(cameras on!) End the day with a “sync and drink” which is a 15 minute EOD debrief that is a mix of socialization and a download on the day of any blockers or things teammates can assist with 

  2. Phone calls and texts
    People may be going through a tough time emotionally. There is a lack of child care, families are nervous about economic well-being, and making time for human interaction helps keep teams feeling connected to leadership and the business.

  3. Slack conversations (and celebrations!)
    Slack is really valuable for team chat, group chat and helps replicate a centralized office feel. With Ambition alerts, you can automate visibility into milestone metrics like booking meetings. 


How to create accountability in a WFH scenario


  1. Proactive alerts
    Alerts to managers over email when teams are behind on any activities or objectives for the day. 

  2. Run sales TV URLs in browsers
    You can still see the celebratory alerts and the updated metrics, leaderboards and reports.  Really leaning on new technologies helps keep a feeling of normalcy in times of uncertainty. 

  3. Scorecards and leaderboards
    Reps and managers can see where remote teammates stand to fuel a healthy competitive spirit and keep reps grinding from home.

Maintaining Positive culture


  1. Proactive alerts
    Again alerts are mentioned! In slack it is essential to celebrate all positive events, even the small wins in a time like this

  2. Lead with empathy
    Having empathy with personal situations makes us human. In a businiss setting, it is important sales leaders collaborate with other team leads to adjust goals and forecasts, understanding the business and reps (and their compensation) will be impacted by this event. 

  3. Use your tech stack
    Tools like Xactly can leverage AI for new territory planning without travel to figure out how to reallocate travel budget and adjust forecasting and benchmarking to create top down alignment and a cohesive company culture. Turn your cameras on in Zoom. Automate alerts with Ambition. Have celebratory moments in Slack. Really embrace technology.


How coaching and 1:1s are changing


  1. More meetings-- same amount of time
    Temperature checks and developmental coaching can broken apart from pipeline reviews. Sales is psychological. Instead of doing 1 weekly hour long meeting, consider two- 30 minute meetings-- reserving one just for the temperature check.

  2. Prepare ahead of time
    Rely on on coaching check-ins that are filled out before the 1:1 so you can understand what wins and losses the rep is coming to the meeting with. You can be more empathetic and you can establish a human connection in the check-in. 

  3. Scale bandwidth
    Peer coaching as a scalable way to onboard and ramp reps. New reps can join in video calls that senior reps are on so they can learn and get to know their teammates better


Three metrics sales leaders can’t live without in remote sales culture



  1. Quarter Pipeline commit 

  2. Quarter pipeline best case

  3. Overall pipeline beyond Q1


  1. Number of connects and conversations that are happening  

  2. How many meetings are being set (find out if we are saying the right things in this time right now) 

  3. Gut check on pipeline

And because we’re all still figuring this out together, I had to know the funniest WFH mishap that even seasoned sales leaders themselves face. You’ll have to watch the video to find out what they say  :)













For more info about leading a remote sales force, head over to

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