As the threat from COVID-19 carries on for what could turn into weeks and months, departments and teams who normally work from a central location will have to navigate a universal work-from-home policy. This can be especially challenging for sales teams of any size who need to meet aggressive milestones. Managers want to ensure their teams stay focused while employees may be worried about earning commissions and incentives on which they rely.
Only 50% of employees surveyed in a recent study by Glassdoor, one that specifically asked participants about working during the COVID-19 outbreak, said they were confident they could maintain productivity. Everything from child care to daytime TV could be a distraction. So how do you make sure your team stays motivated and effective when you can’t be in the same building, let alone the same office, as all of them?
We’ve pulled together a few tips and tools that you can use to keep your sales reps and agents motivated by communicating better, sharing clear goals, and incentivizing performance with sales commission structures you can trust.
1. Keep the lines of communication open.
Over the last decade or so, a number of remote conferencing applications and messaging tools have been introduced to keep teams connected.
Here at Core Commissions, we use a combination of GoToMeeting and Slack to stay informed. But other companies have reported success using tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams.
When working remotely, it’s a good idea to get regularly scheduled meetings on your teams’ calendars to check-in. It differs with each unique group but if increasing the frequency of meetings helps coworkers and departments maintain focus without negatively impacting productivity, then do it.
Casual coworker interactions are also important. For some isolated workers or those who thrive on collaboration, informal interactions are vital. This can be achieved by setting up a #watercooler channel on Slack or whichever work messaging platform your company uses. Even setting up a GoToMeeting call or other video conferencing meeting that remains open all afternoon will allow employees a chance to share ideas and chat informally.
Additionally, don’t forget about your own mobile phone. Leave time open on your calendar each day for your team to contact you with any questions, concerns, or just to say hi. Be sure to communicate those open hours to them. Sometimes just an old-fashioned phone call can be quick, convenient, and efficient in communicating expectations and providing motivation.
2. Set clear and measurable goals and provide feedback.
Even when you’re in the office, it’s important to set clear and measurable goals. However, it’s easy to lose sight of the objective when you put distance between yourself and your workspace. There are tools that can help keep those goals front and center for your team.
Project management tools, like Trello, BaseCamp, and Asana map out not only those goals but the progress made toward each end. Notes and updates can be added to each task or project to provide additional feedback. Using tools that both you and your team can access will not only allow them to organize and prioritize next steps, but it may also spark ideas as they look at how their coworkers have achieved success.
Of course, project management tools are only effective when you can get buy-in from your entire team and company. A good way to do that is to provide an incentive to participate. That doesn’t mean you need to pay people to use the program but they do need to have a reason to log in at least daily.
Trello documented a fun project they underwent with their entire team: a cook-off. Using a Trello board, the team challenged remote coworkers in all locations to whip something up. Each month, a random ingredient was chosen and the participants had to find a dish to cook with it. The project appealed to all the aspiring chefs at the company and resulted in some remote team bonding as well.
Once the team is fully on board with your project management tool of choice, you can set out goals, tasks, and feedback for each employee that they can review even between meetings.
3. Incentivize reaching those goals with a commission plan to reward hard work.
Finally, nothing keeps employees more motivated than being paid for their hard work. For sales teams and many other incentive-based roles, that means having a reliable, efficient, and accurate method for calculating sales commissions, incentives, and bonuses.
Whether you need experts to handle commission calculations for you or you want to directly manage that process yourself, Core Commissions has an option that will work for you. Our flexible Building Block Method gives the commission administrator the ability to easily construct and automate plans at any level of complexity, while Core’s Managed Services solution is ideal for companies who want to outsource this often painful task or just supplement their existing department.
With both options, robust reports and analytics can be generated through Core Commissions’ dashboards to give your team a clear idea of how they’ve performed and what that means for their compensation. A simple click of one button distributes those automated reports to each member of your team.
If you’re going to be out of the office anyhow, why not let us ensure that your commission reports and calculations get done fast, cost-effectively and accurately? Gives you one last thing to worry about while managing your remote team.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Core Commissions can help you while you navigate working remotely with your entire team, click the button below.