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5 Foolproof Tips on Successfully Managing Your Remote Teams

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5 Foolproof Tips on Successfully Managing Your Remote Teams

It’s a total nightmare to run a remote team if your workflows aren’t organized or streamlined.

You’ll spend countless hours answering the same questions over and over because your team members don’t have access to your project wikis.

You’ll miss deadlines because your team doesn’t have a clear sense of your projects’ progress.

Or worse, you’ll lose clients because of how poorly your team is performing.

TL;DR: You need a clear game plan and great execution when running a remote team.

To help increase your chances of running a remote team successfully, we share six tried and tested tips below.

1. Provide technology options for communication

Sending emails is an excellent way to communicate with your team, but it isn’t the only channel that can facilitate effective online communication.  

Provide richer technology such as using video conferencing software.  

For instance, going on video conference meetings allows you to see visual cues vital for effective communication. It also reduces the sense of isolation your remote team members might be feeling.

Video meetings are also useful when having sensitive and complex conversations since they feel more personal than audio or written messages.

Plus, message delivery and response are faster in video calls, making your communication process more efficient.

Video communications software Zoom, for instance, offers high-quality audio and video, real-time content sharing functionalities, and other web meeting features that make it easy to connect with your team and customers.

The platform lets you schedule meetings with ease, share your screen, create private groups for chat and instant messaging, create breakout rooms, and more.

Offering mobile-enabled instant messaging options also allows your team to have less formal conversations and share time-sensitive information with ease.

Another benefit of using the right software, especially for remote teams, is when you run large-scale online events, such as a virtual summit.

When interviewing applicants remotely, leverage reliable video interviewing platforms with robust features such as time control options and written and recorded  questions to streamline the process.  

2. Use the right team collaboration tools

Effective team collaboration is crucial to meeting deadlines, accomplishing tasks efficiently, producing results faster, and more.

Use powerful project management software such as Teamwork to help your team prioritize and manage your tasks, gain visibility through work progress tracking, and visualize your ongoing and completed projects.

The software lets you create task lists and subtasks that you can break down into action items for your team members.

Add due dates to each task, tag jobs with custom statuses and descriptions (i.e., priority, productivity, collaboration), include supporting documents, and more.

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The tool also offers a team calendar feature to let you set schedules, meetings, and events, helping your team track important deadlines.  

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With the right tool, you’ll collaborate with your remote team seamlessly, improving your accountability and visibility.

This allows everyone to handle each task efficiently, such as buying an Instagram account as on Social Tradia part of your social media marketing strategy.

It also helps you manage your entire project’s lifecycle from beginning to end more efficiently. Remember, not having the right tools is among the common collaboration mistakes when working online. It ruins your productivity, cost-efficiency, and revenue-generating efforts. By contrast, collaboration tools reduce the endless back and forth process among your team members and bolster their performance..

3. Manage expectations

Manage both yours and your remote team’s expectations by establishing the scope, deliverables, and deadlines for each of your tasks to ensure smooth work processes.

Establish the potential costs related to the scope of, let’s say, your omnichannel marketing strategy, its limitations, and proper communication protocols to manage your operational budget and expectations. This allows you to set realistic project timelines and delegate tasks.

You can find and analyze the best digital marketing channels for your website and customer touchpoints for your omnichannel marketing strategy, including optimizing your site for mobile-first indexing.  

Additionally, set a communication procedure that helps ensure a timely and proper response from team members, including using video conferencing for your daily meetings and check-ins and using instant messaging for urgent matters.

Doing so ensures that your team members promptly share the right information to keep your workflows and processes moving forward.    

4. Conduct performance and team health reviews

Running project or campaign performance reviews, such as assessing the impact of purchasing articles online, is crucial to help you know if and where your efforts are succeeding.

Checking on your remote team’s performance and health can be just as important.

Conduct quarterly or bi-annual team performance and health reviews to learn your employees’ challenges, uncover potential issues with your processes and tools, and even know how they’re feeling about the current work setup.

This allows you to regularly gain insights into your team’s opinions and ideas on their remote work experience and identify problematic areas for improvement.

Here are some essential tips when running your performance and health team review.

  • Communicate the why, when, how, and who of your review process to your team ahead of schedule.
  • Focus your review questions on soft skills, learnings, and output instead of just figures and action points to meet your goals.
  • Consider using a flexible system that acknowledges your team’s challenges with remote work instead of the standard rating process.

Adopt a more narrative assessment that gives your employees helpful and specific details about what they’ve done well and where they can improve.

Additionally, use tools such as the Atlassian Team Playbook, which offers a set of health checks and “plays” that your team can follow to assess your work together and address deficiencies.

The tool’s plays are free workshop resources to help you address common team challenges and start important conversations.

You can adapt these team health monitor plays for your remote team using a template from Trello, a project and task management software.

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Use the template to assess your team against eight attributes commonly found in healthy teams, and at the end of the session, you’ll discover strengths to exploit and challenge areas to refine and grow.  

5. Establish trust with your employees

Setting expectations and tracking your remote team’s work progress is crucial to stay on top of your workflows and tasks.

However, you don’t need to micromanage every single task. Instead, suspend your disbelief, put your utmost confidence in your team, and trust that they will do their work excellently.  

Focus on providing a supportive structure and equip your employees to help them work together more efficiently without the need for constant supervision.

Avoid fixating on perceived performance problems and save your in-depth analyses of improvement areas during your regular assessment and review sessions.    

Additionally, besides your collaboration tool, leverage other apps that streamline your remote teams’ workflows and tasks, without constant policing from managers. This includes marketing planning software, task automation apps, and other tools.

6. Create an app to enhance internal collaboration.

Companies often vary in their collaboration demands due to differences in their dynamics, among other factors. If the collaboration tools available on the market don’t align with the functionalities you seek, consider creating your own app.

This way, you can tailor the features to fit what your organization requires and how your team works. You can also include some much-needed capabilities that other tools lack.

When developing your app, keep user experience in mind and create a simple interface. Put lots of negative space around essential elements, and use an organized layout and navigation system. Make it easy and quick for your team to perform actions and move to different destinations.

Security is another critical thing to ensure. Left unprotected, your app’s code and data can permanently disappear due to accidental deletion, system failure, and cybercriminal activity. If you build your app on Microsoft’s Azure DevOps, back them up regularly with robust tools such as Backrightup.

Backrightup is an automated backup tool specifically designed for Azure DevOps. It runs daily automatic backups of repositories, work items, wiki items, etc., and gives updates on your dashboard. It also lets you perform manual backups if you wish so, among other functions.

With your own secure collaboration app, you can meet your remote employees’ teamwork needs and help them reach their productivity goals.

Final thoughts

Finding the best methods, workflows, processes, and tools to ensure your remote team works effectively and efficiently takes time and effort.

Start by following the tips in this guide, and you’ll be on your way to developing a remote team management process that works best for you and your employees.


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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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