5 Steps to Build an Effective Remote Sales Team

You want to expand your remote sales team, but you’re not sure where to start. What is the best way to hire salespeople to develop your virtual sales team?

Eliminate your fears to move ahead with a virtual sales team

First, let’s get over this hurdle. You may be hesitant to hire sales reps because of remoteness. Perhaps you’re concerned about how to manage them. This is why I always recommend hiring virtual sales assistants first. This will help you learn how to manage a remote employee and give you confidence to hire salespeople remotely.

The second fear that many business owners have when hiring virtual salespeople for the first time is knowing that the salespeople that they hire will hit the targets set for them. In other words, if they will be competent to do the job. You tackle this quite simply – by building in the tests and checks into your virtual hiring process.

5 Steps to hire salespeople in the virtual world

For the sake of this article, I’m assuming that you have the sales systems in place to operate with a virtual sales team. These systems include your sales CRM, email, lead databases, meeting and follow-up tools, and real-time communication tools. (You can read more about the tools you need in my article titled ‘The best sales acceleration tools every service business must have’.)

With your virtual sales system in place, here are the five steps to hiring salespeople successfully.

Step #1: Define what your salespeople will be doing

The foundation of any successful hire is to fully understand what you expect your hire to do in the role. You’ll need to identify the skills and experience they need to generate conversions from prospects, and the admin tasks that are important in their job.

This will enable you to write a detailed job description to use when advertising. This should include:

  • The job title (e.g., remote commission-only salespeople)

  • The responsibilities (e.g., to reach out to leads provided and book appointments)

  • The systems experience needed (e.g., experienced with CopperCRM, LinkedIn, etc.)

  • Must-have skills (e.g., software such as Microsoft Office, communication skills, etc.)

  • Sales experience (e.g., B2B or B2C)

  • Approximate hours expected

Step #2: Advertise and approach

Once you are happy with your job description, you can advertise online; for example, on freelance sites like Upwork.com and, of course, LinkedIn.

You are likely to receive a lot of replies. Here’s a pro tip to help you filter these quickly as they come in:

Toward the end of your job description, place an instruction for the applicant to include a nonsensical phrase in the first line of their application. For example, “I don’t recommend you eat yellow snow.” 

Any applications that you receive without this phrase can be immediately discarded. The applicant hasn’t read your job description properly, and you don’t want to hire a virtual salesperson who doesn’t pay attention to detail.

You should also be more proactive and make approaches to salespeople who meet your requirements and have a LinkedIn profile. Often, these will be the best candidates.

Finally, ask people you know who manage virtual sales teams to make referrals to you. If you’re stuck with this last option, get in touch with me. I’ve been running a virtual sales team for several years, and have some great contacts I’d be happy to share.

Step #3: Hire more commission-only salespeople than you need

I always recommend recruiting commission-only salespeople. You only pay for results, and you’ll attract candidates who really buy into you and your business. They are always the best to promote you.

Another tactic is to hire more sales reps than you need. Provide them similar tasks with similar timescales, and measure their results. Provide feedback to their work, and take note of which implement your instructions the best. Note how well they use your sales systems and interact with others in your team.

Step #4: Retain the best commission-based sales rep

By this step, you should have a good idea of how well each sales rep is performing. Your investment has been time monitoring, measuring, and managing. Now you must decide which salesperson (or salespeople) you retain. You get to choose the best.

Step #5: Manage your team

Manage your team proactively. Make sure you stay in touch, provide constructive feedback, and help each of your virtual sales team to improve their sales skills.

Remember, just because your salespeople don’t work in the same office, live in the same town, or even the same country as you, it doesn’t abdicate you of your leadership responsibility. These tips will help you manage a remote team of commission-only salespeople effectively to maximize the benefits of a remote sales team:

  • Set clear expectations for each member and the team

  • Make sure that you train people on your sales systems (I keep a video resource that is available to all my team)

  • Stay in touch and build trust

  • Hold team meetings – open and honest communication to develop team spirit

Are you ready to take the next step to rapid sales growth? Take this assessment to find out if you are eligible for the program that will help you skyrocket your sales.


Publish Date:4/30/2021 12:00:00 AM
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5 Steps to Build an Effective Remote Sales Team
You want to expand your remote sales team, but you’re not sure where to start. What is the best way to hire salespeople to develop your virtual sales team?
Eliminate your fears to move ahead with a virtual sales team
First, let’s get over this hurdle. You may be hesitant to hire sales reps because of remoteness. Perhaps you’re concerned about how to manage them. This is why I always recommend hiring virtual sales assistants fir…

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