Today, Inside Sales leaders are increasingly facing the challenge of managing remote teams. Technology is making managing easier, but coaching remains a challenge.
Many first-line managers wonder:
How in the world am I going coach and mentor my team if I’m not sitting next to them, or in the same city or time zone for that matter?
Just the other day I saw this question on the AA-ISP message board:
Well, there’s a simple and often overlooked answer. So simple and so cost effective that no one is going to tell you it’s not in the budget! - Skype.
Recently, I was working with a young, growth mode startup on coaching their sales team. Day 1, I showed up at their hip office space with my y-cord and headset to “double jack” in and listen to calls. But wait; there was not a single phone in sight. The entire company was using Skype to make their outbound calls.
So when it was time for me to call coach the team, I asked, “How are we going to do this?” I was handed a USB headset, I fired up Skype (which I already had installed for video conferencing with a past client) and within 10 seconds I was on a call with a salesperson and their prospect.
- From within Skype, Ted the Sales Rep called my Skype account
- I answered, clicked the mute button and then Ted called the prospect
(It's extremely easy to add people to the call)
- The prospect picked up the phone & bingo I was listening to a live call
I was able to coach Ted in real time and make suggestions using the IM feature. Isn’t that the coolest thing?
Today, from my home office, I was able to sit in on a demo and coach using Skype. When the call was done, I was able to offer instant feedback without hanging up.
Then, we were able to go right to the next call. I asked a few questions to find out Ted’s goals for the call and what tactics he was going to use. He made the call and away we went. Couple that with being able to see how he uses CRM (we use Glance for screen sharing) and you have a very effective and powerful coaching session!
- Install Skype & purchase good USB headsets
- Make sure the Rep is prepared with a variety of calls to make: first time calls, follow up calls, demos, etc.
- Launch Glance or some other screen sharing technology
- Have the Rep call you and describe the objective of the call
- With you still on the line, the Rep dials the prospect and engages
- You can provide instant feedback via IM
- And, at the end of the call debrief in more detail
- Rinse and repeat!
No budget breaking with this one - all quick returns. So let’s get coaching!
I’d love to hear any other ideas & experiences with remote coaching. Please feel free to share!