How can remote sales teams and managers get on the same page with so little face time? Enter Configure Price Quote.
Forrester analysts found B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster growth. They also saw 27% faster profit growth over a three-year period. But what happens when you are working with a remote sales team? Staying on the same page becomes a mountain of a problem.
Mountain Peak: Coaching and Engagement
Remote sales teams were the forerunners of what is today’s mainstream. Telecommuting, or virtual work options, is prevalent. Over 20% of America’s working population is “teleworkers” according to WorldatWork. This concept is old hat to sales professionals have been “working from the road” for decades. For both the burgeoning telework population and remote sales teams alike, coaching and engagement from management can be challenging when away from the home base.
Why it’s such a struggle: Isolation is a real concern for remote teams. While there are a million tech solutions (Gotomeeting, Skype, WebX, Google Hangout), real-life face time between managers and sales teams can be valuable to negate isolationism. This becomes even more difficult when harder conversations have to happen with a remote employee.
How CPQ can throw you a rope: Okay, I might be exaggerating this metaphor now, but CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software can be a window into the productivity of remote teams. Managers are able to see “mountains” of data, enabling them to be better sales coaches and managers. This performance communication can be the difference between open lines of communication with a remote sales team and a disconnected, isolated relationship.
- What’s Being Quoted: CPQ gives managers line-by-line insight into the quotes that their sales teams are creating. This opens the lines of communications not only between the seller and the manager, but also the seller and the product team. Product marketers and/or managers can see what items are paired together, ask questions and get insight into buyer behavior and requests and see trends.
- Upsell/Add-ons: By analyzing quotes, managers can see who in their fold is struggling with upsell or add-ons, and coach to that situation. He/she can also see who is excelling with upsell, and learn that sales person’s tips or tricks for grabbing the bigger deal.
- Before it Gets Serious: CPQ provides sales insight that allows managers to have performance conversations well before the situation becomes serious. CPQ helps in two ways here. First, guided selling reduces the number of errors in sales quotes and proposals. It’s a step-by-step road map for sales teams that creates the best possible fit for the customer’s needs. Second, managers and administrators can build in threshold alerts on a person-by-person basis. Alerts can be set to any specification – deal size, discount amount, region – any combination that makes sense for that individual business. With threshold alerts, managers can stop a quote and review it with the sales person before it “leaves the building.
- Building Brand: There’s a good chance that remote teams haven’t had much experience with the marketing team or know about that team’s branding efforts. With CPQ, branded proposal templates are loaded into CPQ. Gone are the days of sellers struggling to find the right logo, font, color, etc to build a professional document. CPQ gets both marketing and remote sales on the same page in one place.
With an increasingly remote workforce – not just sales, but entire organizations – integrated communication tools are vital to getting better sales and growing the business.CPQ helps both remote and on-site teams work better together to understand what the prospective buyer wants and generate professional proposals in response.
One extra note: An interesting commentary on the topic from Today.com suggested checking out a new hire’s social media account, but I’d suggest staying connected and engaged with remote employees via social media after hiring builds that relationship. Tweet over a great blog post (hint) or share a LinkedIn post. (Also, shout out to our friends at Zapier [@Zapier] who posted on the topic of remote workforces here.)
Read more about connecting with remote teams in our “Un-Silo with Software: Three Success Stories” eBook.