Hubstaff has helped me find talented content writers that I can work with on my own terms. As I need more remote freelancers it will be the first place I look.
One of the biggest advantages of a world where communication isn’t limited to location, is that businesses are able to find new markets and customers in places far beyond the towns or cities they are located in. Being able to instantly communicate with people hundreds of miles away, by email, Skype, or long distance conference call, means that the benefits of being in one physical location are slowly being eroded. This has led to a revolution in business practice that has meant that companies and organizations are able to grow and find demand far more easily, and in many more places, than ever before.
A major component in the success of international business expansion has been the use of remote marketing and sales employees based in and around target countries, whose local knowledge and expertise is unrivalled. Hiring remote sales staff who live in an area your business has targeted for expansion, provides benefits far beyond an increase in staffing numbers. Being able to hire locals who have decades of local knowledge, a wealth of local contacts, and an in-depth understanding of local culture and customs, gives your business a significant advantage over competitors.
Beyond that, hiring remote sales and marketing employees means that your business does not have to undergo the costly expense of relocating offices, as remote employees are able to operate out of their own homes or office spaces. This, coupled with the absence of a requirement to contribute to employee health insurance plans, 401ks, or provide in-office benefits (like coffee and internet), means that hiring remote employees can be a significant cost saver, while at the same time delivering significant commercial benefit.
If your business is not looking to expand into international markets, remote employees still offer many benefits for your business. Being able to hire from anywhere in the world means that you can consider candidates who are the best in their field, rather than just the best in your location. That means that your business can hire the best lead generators, the best social media advertisers, and the best direct marketers, all of whom will help your organization to grow and succeed.
What’s more, hiring remote employees in different timezones also means that you are able to extend your service coverage so that you can cater to your customers, clients, and users 24/7, and that you are able to grow your business with the input and insight of people from different cultures and backgrounds - something which can be a significant advantage when it comes to designing new products, creating new services, or discovering new markets.
Gauging your remote sales employee’s performance is important both in terms of helping you to manage, and in helping you to successfully gain new business. Despite your employee being situated hundreds of miles away from you, there are several ways you can measure employee performance.
At the outset, establish clear goals and targets that must be reached, tie employee compensation to performance so that your employee is incentivized to perform at their best (and so that your financial risk is mitigated against poor performance). Beyond this, keep clear channels of communication open between you and your employee, so that they can contact you to ask for help and advice with the sales process.
To effectively manage remote sales and marketing employees, establish clear, measurable goals and performance indicators that can be closely monitored by both sides. Create spreadsheets that employees can use to collate their sales and marketing data, so that they can keep track of their activity, and that you can monitor their performance. Beyond that, be sure to establish clear processes for your employee to follow as they complete tasks - whether it’s conducting sales calls, targeting ad audiences, or generating leads, all aspects of a sales and marketing employee’s workload can be dictated by processes.
Remain contactable at all times, so that your remote employees can come to you with questions or suggestions - this will help to remove any potential friction and eliminate potential misunderstandings.
Alongside this, use remote time tracking tools, like Hubstaff, to monitor exactly what your remote employees are working on at any given moment. A key part of being an effective sales or marketing employee is efficiency, and remote time tracking tools allow you to keep track of productivity with screen capture features.
To read an in-depth guide on how to manage remote teams and employees, click here
Before hiring your remote sales and marketing employee, establish the areas you would like them to work in. Decide beforehand whether you would like them to focus on lead generation, driving sales from new customers, ensuring repeat orders, or pitching for new contracts. Once you have established which area you would like your employee to focus on, set key performance indicators that relate to the specific tasks your employee will be doing, and outline the ways in which you can measure these.
For example; if your employee is tasked with generating leads, look to measure their performance not by the number of interactions they have had with potential customers each week, but by measuring the strength of the response they have generated. If your employee has had a total of 100 interactions, and 40 of those resulted in the prospect expressing genuine interest in your business, your employee will have performed far better than if they had had 300 less interested interactions.
For further reading, here are 5 key metrics that you can use to analyze the performance of your sales staff
During the interview process, focus heavily on both your candidate’s past experience, and their individual character traits. Sales and marketing roles require resilience and perseverance, so your candidates must be able to demonstrate these traits in their previous work, and in their responses to questions.
Beyond this, try to discover whether your candidate has the tenacity to put up with many rejections, and to seek out new business opportunities (whether they be in sales or in marketing) themselves. Hiring remote employees who are capable of working autonomously, and have the temerity to seek out new business leads at every turn, will lead to significant sales and marketing success.
Here are 10 key questions that you should ask during the interview process