Many organizations have embraced a hybrid work model. Employees get face time in the office a couple days a week and then work remotely the rest of the time. Most sales reps like this arrangement. An Accenture report found that workers prefer a hybrid model 83 percent of the time. Among the most high-growth companies, 63 percent use a hybrid work model.

Splitting time in the office with remote work has its advantages, but it also brings some challenges —especially when it comes to coaching sales reps. When you’re working from home and your reps are in the office (or vice versa), you miss out on the impromptu discussions between meetings or calls.

However, a hybrid setup with your team doesn’t mean sales coaching has to fall by the wayside. It simply means you need to take a more strategic approach. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’re sharing tips from Bill Bartlett, a renowned sales coach and facilitator, on how to coach salespeople effectively when they’re not in the office every day.

Make it feel like you’re face-to-face. Bartlett recommends setting the stage by recreating an in-person environment. This means choosing what will and won’t appear in the frame once you begin your video call. Show up for the occasion just as though it were a traditional meeting. This means dressing professionally and making sure your body language conveys attentiveness.

Work from an agenda. Make sure all participants have a say in the agenda, which will become the focus of the coaching session. Bartlett says the three critical elements to understand during each coaching session are the what (the shared purpose of the coaching session), the reason (why it is necessary) and the importance (the impact the accomplishment will have on the sales rep).

Time it right. When coaching sales reps in a hybrid environment, do your best to schedule sessions earlier in the day. This can help guard against Zoom fatigue, Bartlett says. Plus, late-day coaching sessions may not be as effective as sessions that take place earlier in the workday.

Schedule only 10-20 minutes. This may seem like a short coaching session, but Bartlett says that’s all you need when working with reps remotely. In-person coaching sessions can last much longer, he says, but remote meetings should be brief. This is because attention spans tend to be shorter and there may be more distractions at home.

Put in the prep work. Remote coaching calls require the same amount of preparation as in-person meetings. Make sure you arrive to the call prepared to make the most of your time with your team members.

Change things up. Bartlett recommends scheduling both in-person and virtual training sessions with each salesperson. If that’s not possible, he suggests scheduling remote sessions more often. This could mean every week rather than every other week, for example.

When you’re thinking about how to best coach your sales reps, strive to create a culture where coaching is valued regardless of where it takes place. When coaching becomes an appreciated step on the path to success, most sales reps will happily engage.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Bill Bartlett is the president of Corporate Strategies & Solutions Inc., an authorized Sandler Training center. He is also a coach and facilitator who excels at identifying core challenges and implementing growth strategies.