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Managing part-time/remote sales team - advice?

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by RebeccaE, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. RebeccaE

    RebeccaE UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2 Likes: 0
    I'd greatly appreciate advice on managing part-time and remote sales teams. We have had issues with some of our sales people showing up late to weekly sales calls and/or not showing up at all. They've called in last minute saying they won't be able to attend, sometimes not evening calling in at all to let us know, etc. Their excuses vary, but almost always they say they were with a potential sale. I understand wanting to close a sale and spending time with a potential client to do so, but when they're late to the weekly sales call or just go completely MIA I can't do my job to help support them in their sales, and it also feels disrespectful of my time as well as the other staffs' time. I wonder if the sales people were full-time and/or in an office if it would help improve communication? If anyone else has had issues in this area, I'd greatly appreciate the insight and advice!
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: RebeccaE Member since: Jan 4, 2017
  2. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,556 Likes: 305
    Inform them that attendance is mandatory not optional.
    Inform them that failure to attend is disrespectful to the people who do make time to attend and prevents the company properly supporting them.
    Inform them that failing to manage their time properly by scheduling meetings prior to this meeting is unacceptable.

    If someone fails to attend without a very good reason take disciplinary action in accordance with your company's disciplinary policy.
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  3. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 3,958 Likes: 1,665
    Are these sales calls really so important that life cannot go on without them?

    Assuming that the sales teams are all on commission, shouldn't they be out there, selling, rather than listening to you?
    Posted: Jan 4, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  4. RebeccaE

    RebeccaE UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2 Likes: 0
    To obscure, it's difficult to enforce any kind of disciplinary policy on them since they're both contractors, not employees.

    To The Byre, yes without sales for the business there's no business. They're on base + commission, both haven't sold in this area before so it's important that they listen to us to understand what they're selling and the business can support them in every way possible. I would think that a weekly 30 minute meeting to update the business on their sales activities has minimal impact on their selling time.
    Posted: Jan 5, 2017 By: RebeccaE Member since: Jan 4, 2017
  5. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,556 Likes: 305
    I assume your contract states that they must take direction from the staff/directors? If so Direct them that these sales calls are not optional for the reasons you stated above. If they refuse to comply with your instructions they are in breach of contract and should be dealt with accordingly.

    Having said that I wouldn't suggest just hitting them over the head with a big stick. They may in fact feel that these calls are unnecessary so explain why you feel they are necessary (as you stated above). Also point out that even if they are fully capable you don't know that yet and the calls also help you/your team to get a better idea of their capabilities. Offer to revisit the issue in a few months once they have shown that everything is good.
    Posted: Jan 6, 2017 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  6. The Accountancy Lab

    The Accountancy Lab UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 892 Likes: 211
    1. You workers do not have the security of employment.

    2. Their income is driven by commission.

    3. The time taken to attend the sales call could be the difference between them making a sale that or not, i.e. making some money that day or not.

    If you want the ability to dictate how they spend their working day you need to employ them.

    If the updates are so important, send them a detailed email that they can read at their own leisure.
    Posted: Jan 6, 2017 By: The Accountancy Lab Member since: Aug 7, 2016