How to Successfully Manage Your Inside Sales Team Remotely


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A few years ago I was faced with a tough decision. I was moving 20 miles north of Boston, which posed a problem because my job was 22 miles south of it. Driving through Boston during rush hour twice in one day quickly became overwhelming and was just too much. The last thing I wanted to do was leave the job I loved, and when my boss kept pushing me to work from home more, I was hesitant. I kept saying no because I thought it was crucial to be on site when managing an inside sales team. I had a lot of guilt on days that I couldn’t make it in. Slowly I started working from home more and more and I learned how to manage remotely. With all the technology available today along with some changes in my management style, I am now able to work from home most days and still manage reps – probably better now than ever.

The idea of working virtually goes both ways. While I work from home most days, more and more sales reps have the ability to do the same, and it’s something I know our company is thinking more and more about.  As long as you hire the right, disciplined people, there is no reason why the opportunity for everyone to work remotely can’t work. That’s another topic for a different day, but In the meantime, below are some tips on how you can manage your sales team when you are remote.

Don’t panic!

If you are anything like how I used to be, you feel guilty when you aren’t physically in front of your team at every moment.  I have come to realize – and I hate to break it to you – that your team can survive without you there. There is no reason for you to feel anxious about it, especially when you know you have hired a perfectly capable team. There’s a ton of great technology out there that allows you to have real time access to everything they are doing, from CRM systems to phone systems.


This is a given, but with a million different instant messaging technologies out there, you can talk to your team all day every day. You are also just a phone call away at anytime – just make sure your team knows they can contact you whenever they need to and that they have access to your calendar so they know when it would be best to reach you. Set up a standing weekly or bi-weekly meeting with everyone on the team as well and stick to it. Lastly – use tools like Google Drive to share documents. This allows you to constantly collaborate on any living documents you have with your team, from scripts to reporting.


I don’t know about you, but lately I have been changing my management style to empower my reps more. I used to be much more anxious and checked in on my team all the time – trying not to nag of course. Managing virtually has really allowed me to step back and empower reps to make decisions on their own and offer support on executing on their ideas versus coming up with ideas for them. Doing this paired with working remotely on your own allows you to create a business plan and strategize on the bigger picture instead of getting stuck in the weeds when your reps have it completely handled on their own. Don’t get me wrong: Managing is still key, but empowering them will make you be a better leader and less of a micromanager.

There are probably some strong opinions out there as to what works best for managing a team. If you are able to be in the office that’s great, but if you can’t be every day, I don’t think there is any reason to sweat it. Outside sales teams work remotely all the time, so why does it have to be any different when it comes to inside sales? What do you think?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Laney Pilpel
Laney Pilpel, Director of Client Operations at AG Salesworks, began her professional career with the company in 2006 as a Business Development Representative and was promoted to her current role in July 2011. A graduate from Bryant University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, Laney is a lifelong New Englander, growing up in Connecticut and currently living in Salem, Mass. Laney's daily responsibilities include inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, ongoing contact list development and refinement, and managing the overall success of daily client engagements.


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