From office to remote: How to transition from in-house to a remote team

From office to remote: How to transition from in-house to a remote team

With the crazy year that was 2020, you and your sales team were likely forced to move from an office setting to online basically overnight — unless you’re a psychic and predicted the world would come to a grinding halt.

It was likely a bumpy road, and if you’re still trying to figure out the best systems to continue your success – don’t panic, you’re not the only one.

Remote work creates complete autonomy for your sales reps, so it’s crucial to ensure that they bring the same type of energy each and every day that they would in-office.

Now in 2021, this remote style of work doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. In fact, a survey conducted by FlexJobs showed that 65% of respondents want to remain remote after the pandemic, with 96% wanting at least some remote aspects to become mainstream.

With the correct execution, having your team work remotely can be made advantageous.

In this article, we’re going to share three pro tips to help you master the art of leading a remote sales team.

1. Accountability is key

The success of your team is obviously important, but success is often determined by your ability as the sales manager to keep your team accountable.

The simple idea of not working in the same physical space will require a lot of accountability from your team — you need to be able to trust that they're doing their best work.

To do this:

Enable your team to be successful by offering as many resources as possible.

Examples include things like a sales plan, training guides, and a great CRM.

Set realistic and visible targets and make sure to hold your reps to those targets.

Examples look like this:

  • Send XX emails to prospects in Q2
  • Create XX opportunities in Q3

Setting unrealistic targets may actually have a negative impact on confidence, so make sure you think appropriately about what kind of goals you’re setting.

Be available to support when needed.

Offer feedback often to show acknowledgement of work and to improve the process.

The more your reps see that you care, the harder they will work to continue to impress.

Setting clear targets and regularly measuring progress is the best way to keep you and your team accountable. Without creating concrete goals, your reps may spend too much time focusing on tasks that may not be on the top of the priority list.

It's important to also note that the challenges of leading a remote sales team are similar to the challenges that your reps are dealing with.

Be considerate of this, but ensure that time isn’t being wasted.

2. Keep your team motivated

The best sales reps are naturally competitive, so use this to fuel the fire.

There are many ways to do this, so it’s important to dig deep through experimentation to find what will work best for your team. These include techniques to keep them fueled in the short and long term. Some examples of approaches to motivate your team include:

Use sales leaderboards to create competition.

Many companies avoid using a sales leaderboard in fear that it may drive employees away from collaboration amongst themselves. However, it shouldn’t be avoided.

With proper facilitation, a sales leaderboard can create more sales transparency, increase employee engagement, give you real time feedback and improve your coaching model.

Set stretch goals for the entire team with some kind of reward attached.

Examples of these goals include:

  • Make XX sales calls in the first six months of 2021
  • Close $XX, XXX in deals in Q1
  • Close XX% of SQLs in 2021

A good idea for rewards to keep in mind are prizes that will make your team’s remote life easier; a comfortable office chair, a ring light for video calls, or the best sales headset.

Create a work structure that is horizontal in nature rather than vertical - ie. eliminate the gap between boss and employee.

The feeling of everyone being on the same level can motivate sales reps to work harder. This can be achieved by getting to know your sales reps personally rather than just professionally.

Host consistent team meetings to give your reps a break and to have some fun with virtual games.

  • Use Kahoot! to hold trivia competitions.
  • Have fun with JeopardyLabs - who doesn’t love Jeopardy?
  • Wordraw (Pictionary) - find out who may have a hidden talent.

These ideas, and more, will relieve some stress and will also bring your team closer together. From there, the push to reach sales goals becomes much easier.

3. Use a CRM built for remote teams

Finding a CRM that works in an office environment is one thing, but finding one that works well for remote work requires some extra features.

Without being able to collaborate in-person with your reps, accountability and motivation is a bit more challenging.

With the shift to people working from home, many sales reps have had to incorporate programs like Zoom, Slack, Google Suite, Trello, etc. into their everyday routine.

As a sales leader, the best way to help your reps out with this is to find a CRM that seamlessly integrates all of these programs.

Doing so will also make your life as the sales manager easier.

Close CRM was built for remote teams, by a remote team.

The CRM offers many features that will keep your team accountable and motivated from wherever they’re working from.

With the Zoom integration feature, for example, you can create more personal relationships with your reps. It can also be used for rep training and motivation purposes.

Close also has a feature that allows you to create a customizable sales leaderboard to measure and support your reps, and to track their performance.

Close CRM creates transparency across the team, saves everyone time and increases overall productivity by automating parts of workflows and offering a toolkit that will maximize output from your sales reps.


The move from office to remote hasn’t been easy for everyone, but you’re doing great if you’re still actively looking for ways to improve the transition.

In early 2020, the world changed basically overnight. It takes trial and error to fine tune the best processes to keep your sales reps doing their best work.

It's important to keep adapting as needs change so that you continue to maximize efficiency and output.

Following the three tips covered in this article is a great starting point if you’re struggling to find out what works best for your sales team.

Here is a brief overview of the three tips we’ve covered:

  1. Keep yourself and your team accountable with responsibilities.
  2. Get your team excited about work with consistent motivators that are uniquely based on your team’s individual needs.
  3. Use the Close CRM that was built for remote teams, by a remote team.
    Looking for more resources to help your teams move from office to remote? Get the remote sales playbook that was designed to help your sales reps (wherever they may be) meet and exceed sales goals.

Looking for more resources to help your teams move from office to remote? Get the remote sales playbook that was designed to help your sales reps (wherever they may be) meet and exceed sales goals.