We recently spoke with Doug Gibbs, Senior Inside Sales Manager at Waste Management, about how he’s managing his remote reps.
More specifically: what tips, tricks and tools is he using to keep his reps motivated and accountable? Read a few takeaways from Doug — or scroll down for the full interview below!
1. Remote visibility is possible
Doug said his inside sales team essentially transitioned to remote work in a single day. That’s pretty remarkable — and while there was still a learning curve for both managers and reps, Doug attributes their relatively seamless transition to an emphasis on visibility.
It’s not just about managers seeing and knowing how reps are doing: it’s about every employee being able to see their individual and team performance at any given moment. That level of transparency keeps everyone accountable to their manager, their peers and themselves, even when they’re not all together on the sales floor.
Sales TVs have been invaluable: sure, the big screens are currently hanging out in an empty office (for now), but with Ambition, Doug can share the TV and leaderboard screens with his entire team on their desktops. That means they can see every stat, every metric, and every outcome they’ve produced — without having to dig into Salesforce or spreadsheets.
2. Coach like you’ve never coached before
Before the pandemic, Doug thought his team had a pretty robust coaching program in place. But with the switch to remote, and leveraging tools like Ambition, Doug said management quickly realized they had room for improvement.
Now more than ever, reps need a consistent, effective sales coaching structure in place. Sales managers can no longer float from desk to desk to check in on their reps between sessions, there’s no more water cooler talk; it’s incredibly important that managers are being intentional about setting aside time to coach — and of course, “coaching” needs to be more than a temperature check or pipeline review.
Not only is it a great time for more and better coaching, but consider taking the opportunity to connect with fellow sales managers and leaders to hone your coaching skills together. In addition to upping the frequency of sessions, Doug said management meets daily to talk through how they’re using Ambition Coaching and other tools and tactics to improve rep performance.
3. Use sales contests wisely
Sales contests are a go-to for remote sales teams: they’re an easy way to motivate employees and keep them on track without resorting to micromanaging (which isn’t fun for anyone).
Doug said Waste Management has sales contests running constantly — from quick contests that help reps get fired up for the day or week, to longer-running competition series.
While they’re seeing more engagement than ever in their sales contests, Doug advised not losing sight of best practices. It can be tempting to see a drop in calls or a slow-down in meetings set and try to use a contest to get reps back on track. But generally speaking, avoid using contests as a last resort: put a solid gamification strategy in place, make sure each competition has clear metrics and goals — and tie everything closely to your coaching program.