I talk to dozens of sales leaders weekly, and many are struggling with the decision of whether to bring their sales teams back to the office or keep them remote, either temporarily or permanently.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single right or wrong answer for the sales industry as a whole; there are many factors to consider as you navigate your upcoming goals and the next stage of your organization’s growth. Here are a few factors I’ve discussed with our clients:
The type of company or service you provide
Solution- and services-oriented businesses have many moving parts, from sales and implementation to engineering and administration. These companies are bringing their teams back onsite faster than others. Product- or platform-oriented businesses, including SaaS companies, don’t have the same implementation concerns, and many are not planning to require their sales teams to come back to the office anytime soon, if at all.
Your sales process
Companies selling complex solutions that require a team-oriented sales strategy are typically feeling that an office environment increases their teams’ productivity. Companies that have relatively simple (less complex) solutions do not feel that same urgency, and their sales teams have been relatively productive (depending on the industry) throughout the pandemic lockdowns.
Your sales team dynamics
Some companies with a largely junior sales team are feeling the need to bring their teams back onsite for training purposes. SDR teams, for example, will likely be required to work onsite so they can learn the sales fundamentals that will ultimately make them successful. However, many companies are opting for a hybrid plan. This is where junior reps are required to come in two or three days per week, and more tenured reps have the option to work remotely (as long as they hit their numbers).
Your company’s resources
Companies who don’t have dedicated sales training are choosing to bring their reps back onsite faster than others. This is because reps learn faster in a team environment. Other companies have increased their focus on sales training in order to maintain remote sales productivity.
Sales tools are another factor in your company’s decision to bring your sales team back to the office. Companies that have made investments in the latest sales tools and haven’t encountered any performance issues are more likely to maintain a remote sales force.
This is the single biggest issue facing companies who want to bring reps back onsite. Many reps have decided they enjoy working remotely and have found that they can be just as successful as when they were in the office (and some even more so). Companies who are requiring reps to come back onsite (excluding SDRs) are facing a shortage of good talent. Those reps are being snapped up by SaaS and product-based businesses who have decided remote sales is their future.
As you consider whether to bring your sales team back to the office, or whether to make remote work a permanent option for the foreseeable future, consider all of these factors. The decision you make could help or hinder your team’s success.
Should you choose to keep your team remote, don’t miss these great tips for Leading a Remote Sales Workforce!