3 Technologies to Help You Effectively Manage Remote Sales Teams

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Many sales departments have been forced to remotely scale their operations. This shift has given rise to the need for remote sales management efforts to more heavily target virtual selling channels. But figuring out what the best technologies are and how to implement them isn’t always a simple process.

These days, the best tools to manage sales teams should also equip employees to accelerate customer adoption on virtual selling channels. Data shows that e-commerce sales are expected to reach $6.54 trillion globally by next year. If ever there were a time to create an online sales presence, it would be now.

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Organizations deserve to know how best to advertise their e-commerce presence and attract a wider audience to their online stores. To that end, let’s take a quick look at three of the most important technologies that can make remote sales management more effective and explore the benefits they can provide businesses in growing their e-commerce presence.

 

Personalize the customer experience with AI

At the most basic level, all businesses share the same overarching goal when it comes to successful e-commerce: selling more products and services online with as little work as possible. And customers are more likely to buy things when their experience is tailored to their needs. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play. 

To best manage sales teams on a remote scale, it’s important to have the right tools in place to automate processes that may otherwise require face-to-face supervision. Artificial intelligence can automate the often onerous task of curating a personalized customer experience, but it’s more than just product and service recommendations that it can fine-tune. 

AI and machine learning (ML) can help businesses take the data they already have on existing and potential customers and turn it into actionable business intelligence to help plan ahead. ML also offers powerful capabilities such as augmented analytics that improve each aspect of the sales cycle, automated lead generation and improved conversion, and post-sales support. 

With the power of AI, especially sales team management software with automated processes for lead generation, organizations can update their sales playbook to be more specific about what is expected of sales professionals in their new virtual roles.

 

Organize remote collaboration with PM tools

It’s safe to say that collaborating with team members via Zoom calls and Teams meetings isn’t quite the same as doing it in person. It’s also safe to assume that certain individuals may feel more disorganized as they shift to a virtual workroom. 

Collaboration is vital to facilitate consistent progress on projects spanning multiple departments. With this in mind, cloud-based collaboration and project management software that comes with critical features such as project status dashboards, file storage locations with custom access, and even mobile support for employees on the go is the key to organizing remote work and ensuring employee energy is spent efficiently. 

It’s also a must-have for teams that want to track and organize a sales roadmap anytime, anywhere. With collaboration software, the most important thing is to provide a clear visual representation of everything going on with relevant projects. This will help all parties understand where you are, where you’re going, and how you plan to get there. 

The pandemic has forced companies to upgrade their infrastructure in a way that increases bandwidth, flexibility, and capability to deliver superior customer experiences through virtual channels. AT&T, for example, reported a 400% increase in the use of online collaboration tools from home and business users and a sharp rise in video traffic over mobile networks. This shows the growing importance of digital collaboration in remote selling, and it’s likely to continue post-pandemic now that the precedent has been set.  

 

Secure communication with VPNs

There’s no way to manage sales teams effectively in a remote setting without ensuring everyone can access content and software securely. A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the most privacy-focused tools available to keep online activity anonymous from prying eyes. 

VPNs can conceal the destination of data packets that employees send from their devices and prevent third parties from tracking activity. The strongest virtual private networks rely on 256-bit encryption, which is the same encryption level used by several of the largest financial institutions.

With a VPN, rather than seeing the standard IP addresses of users, which can reveal where they are physically located, anyone attempting to spy on online activity only sees the VPN server IP address. Data passing between sales teams and the internet is encrypted and will resemble gibberish to would-be hackers hoping to make use of it for an illicit purpose. 

According to Sydney-based cybersecurity expert William Ellis of Privacy Australia, over a quarter of all internet users are currently relying on VPNs for these reasons. 

“Today, more than a quarter of all internet users already depend on VPNs, according to the Global Web Index,” says Ellis. “VPNs can be used on multiple devices, from your laptop to your tablet. You can reduce your chances of identity theft, getting your credit card information swiped, or being tracked by surveillance agencies – all while on-the-go.”

It’s also worth bearing in mind that many companies are putting more of their processes in the cloud. Cloud-based tools require their own layers of protection and often make it difficult for organizations still scaling digitally to protect them with on-premises security solutions. VPNs can keep sales team management software secure even in the cloud and can integrate with other security and collaboration tools. 

Organizations should encourage their sales workers to use a VPN on their mobile phone, laptop, or tablet – essentially any device that is regularly used to conduct sales efforts.

 

Conclusion

Remote sales management can seem tricky, but it’s much easier to tackle when you invest in the right tools. Organizations that need to scale their sales operations remotely need to automate processes like lead tracking and conversions with the capabilities of AI and ML. 

Project management software that stores the results of this lead tracking is also key to keeping operations seamless even amidst a virtual transition. Finally, VPNs are mandatory components of a broader, more effective remote sales management strategy to minimize interruptions and ensure long-lasting security. Consider adopting these solutions today to help you manage your virtual sales teams.