The recent global mandate of remote working has understandably been a learning curve for many organizations and maybe especially for sales teams who thrive on building relationships face to face.
To some, this new way of working feels isolating, transactional, and not at all conducive to success. But I contend that if we lean into this new world of remote selling by creating a connected virtual culture, we might actually achieve remarkable results.
I’ll admit, the world’s recent circumstances have not impacted our working life too much at monday.com. We have a global sales team, with many remote reps, and have honed our skills for uniting a remote workforce, over the years. Currently, we win 60 percent of our prospecting opportunities, achieving 4X YoY growth — benchmarks that would not be possible if we hadn’t built a culture that includes remote teammates.
If you’re new to this whole remote structure and find yourself needing to navigate the landscape ASAP, here are the first three points to address:
Hire the Right People
Strong leaders can manage their team, drive autonomy and accountability, and also hire like-minded team members to become leaders in their corners of the business. When you hire driven, collaborative people, they tend to have a strong level of responsibility and ownership, which of course makes it much easier to drive adoption of unique business processes.
Build the Right Processes
Building an efficient meeting structure drives accountability across every relationship, from rep to manager and from manager to VP. Be very mindful about the way you structure your daily standups, team meetings, and forecast calls. They must be designed to connect your dispersed team and engage each individual without hindering productivity (by taking up the entire day!).
Use the Right Platforms
Having the right platforms that support and enhance the activities of your team is critical. Your platforms should inspire collaboration without over-complicating things, and also deliver visibility into business activities, so that everyone has access to accurate and real-time data. If the platform takes more work to use with minimal benefit, you need to use a different one!
These three points are must-haves, when you’re running a remote organization. But at monday.com, we do something a little outside the norm — and it’s paid off big time.
monday’s Secret Sauce to Driving Global Sales Growth
You’re going to think we’re crazy, but we have a no sales commission model.
Our sales reps work as a team and no one is financially rewarded for an individual sale. Yes, it sounds nuts and most people think this set up would be a hindrance to growth. After all, so many people work in sales for hefty commissions and the thrill of being at the top of the leaderboard!
monday.com had a different journey.
Our company was originally no touch and we didn’t have a single-serve model. People just signed up for the platform and organically converted into paying customers without speaking to a salesperson. From there, our company grew and leadership eventually decided to bring on a salesforce, but felt that a commission structure was entirely against our particular values.
So, leadership made the bold decision to not offer commission and the effect of this choice had many impacts:
Creating a True Team
Commission structures are very necessary for early-stage startups that need to lower their risk. monday.com was lucky enough to be in a different position, so we decided that sales people would be paid well and given a generous stock option for the company. Therefore, the success of one sale means that everyone is successful. We have seen people help each other relentlessly, which has led to an eagerness to put first what is best for the company over individual gain, and help one another achieve success.
Every sales person has encountered constant friction in classic sales organizations between AEs and SDRs. Success is measured on qualified leads, which sometimes comes with discrepancies in definition, leading to miscommunication over actual goals. There are also fights between territory assignments. Prime example: at a previous job I made a sale to a company located in my same building in Tel Aviv. But when other team members found out, they identified that company as being American, and therefore not in my region. So I didn’t get credit for the sale and, even worse, it caused friction between myself and my colleagues!
Better Decision Making
This point goes hand-in-hand with the last one. When there is a commission structure in place, certain protocols have to be taken and sometimes growth is inhibited in the name of keeping everything “fair.”
Removing commission removes these barriers and allows for better decision-making. For example, if one region has too many leads and one region doesn’t have enough, you can shift those leads accordingly. Those types of logical decisions are good for the business and since the reps aren’t worried about not making enough money, no one will feel slighted.
The year we built our sales team was when we started achieving 4x growth. That first year, we captured $4 million in recurring revenue, in year two it was $16 million, and this year, we’re on track for $60 million. Every company has a different model and different needs to fit that model, but I would encourage you to consider hiring the right people, building the right processes and actively searching for your sales secret sauce, if you haven’t found it yet.
As you build your remote team, I would encourage you to think about how you will contribute to the success and well-being of your individual teammates. When you invest in them, they whole-heartedly invest in the business.