What’s it like to collaborate with a global team spread across seven different time zones with customers in every reach of the world? We dived into the subject with our Head of Sales, Rasmus Nanhed and his teammates Frank Pedersen, Summer Candelaria and Tuukka Oksala. According to Rasmus, and agreed by his team, when you have these four factors in play, you’re good to go:
- Strong team bond
- Regular virtual meetings
Communication is the key
In order to function independently, the team has to know what is expected of them. Being clear about the targets and sales strategy is crucial. Things tend to go smoothly as long as there is clear communication and a defined team structure in place with every colleague knowing their role.
“The distance is not a problem for me. We have a well-structured team, needed tools and clear goals – they build the framework for my job. At the same time, I do miss my colleagues and look forward to meeting them again,” explains Area Sales Manager of Norway & Iceland, Frank Pedersen.
“We have a well- structured team, needed tools and clear goals – they build the framework for my job.”
Being proactive and planning things ahead is necessary: “No one will fill your calendar with meetings, calls and events on behalf of you. Having clear goals and key performance indicators will help keep track on your progress and tell you what to do next. Without goals it is easy to get carried away and eventually start losing your productivity,” says our APAC Sales Director, Tuukka Oksala.
Building a strong team bond
Being spread all around the world requires more effort to make sure everyone feels like part of the company – as if they were physically involved every day. “When I meet my whole team face-to-face about twice a year, I set the tone, the agenda and the spirit. In between real life meetings, the energy is kept alive in our virtual meetings and even in Slack by short positive comments. I try to act the same in video meetings as I would do in a physical meeting by spreading positive energy and giving my team a boost of confidence,” Rasmus explains.
Our Junior Sales Manager in New York, Summer Candelaria’s favorite thing to do for boosting the team spirit is cheering her colleagues through the company’s internal chat: “Whenever a big order comes through, we all comment and message each other to congratulate on the big win!”
Frank agrees that valuing his teammates’ success is a great way to feel good. He also uses social media to communicate with his team and see how their day-to-day life is outside work.
Keeping it real – virtually
Due to COVID-19, the global Sales team doesn’t chat face-to-face for now. Regular virtual meetings are where they get to see each other and take time to socialize. So how often does the team meet and what is it about? Well, it depends. The Sales team has employees all over the world, so the time and assembly vary. “I have biweekly meetings with the Nordic salespeople to catch up with work and weekly meetings on Fridays with no agenda – just to talk,” Frank says.
“We make video calls a daily routine. Not only is coming together virtually every week necessary for team management and organization, it is also important and vital for keeping the team spirit soaring,” says Rasmus. Tuukka agrees: “Making long calls through Whatsapp, Google Hangouts or Slack helps a lot with keeping the spirit up. It’s always nice to speak out a little, hear what others have been working on and get a second opinion on big decisions.”
“Not only is coming together virtually every week necessary for team management and organization, it is also important and vital for keeping the team spirit soaring.”
Slack is an excellent communication tool to keep up with the latest and have a little fun. Framery has dozens of different Slack channels which seem quite active at all hours, day and night. The Sales team has its own official Slack channel for communication and all employees can join more casual channels as well – “Framery-dogs” and “Random” are particularly entertaining and guarantee a good laugh.
Full trust from day one
When a new member joins the team, they are given full trust from day one. Summer believes trust affects people in a positive way: “Trust makes me work even harder. When I first started at Framery, I wasn’t used to being trusted to do my job without being micromanaged. Having that freedom and trust made me more productive, honest and happy working for Framery.”
Trust indeed brings more freedom to working. It also means responsibility. “The feeling of responsibility over your own results will push you to work hard, but you also need to have mercy on yourself – knowing when you’ve done and achieved enough is a must,” Tuukka explains.
How does it feel to be given so much trust? “The team really trusts me to do the right thing. It motivates me to do more. Hypothetically, one could just lean back and do nothing, but this strategy is not in line with the values of our team. Everyone is hired on the basis of their values and beliefs, which in turn makes this the best Sales team around,” Frank concludes.
All-in-all it seems that, despite this exceptional situation we are living in, it is possible to make the best of it. With virtual meetings, a good amount of trust from your teammates, clear strategy and communication combined with an encouraging team spirit, any team can thrive!