Social Business Engine: The enterprise podcast on social media, content marketing, social selling and employee advocacy.

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Bernie Borges hosts the Social Business Engine podcast, featuring business professionals at brands sharing how they use social media across their business to deliver great results. Brands showcased include Dell, Discover Card, Humana, LinkedIn, Oracle, Safeway, SAP, U.S. Marines, Walmart, Whole Foods and others. Find our show notes at: http://www.socialbusinessengine.com/podcasts/.

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With the changes happening in the business world due to the Coronavirus crisis, many marketing leaders are learning that managing a remote team of marketers is not a simple matter. Since the entire Vengreso team is remote- now known as “WFH” (work from home) - I wanted to offer help for those making the transition. I invited Matt Langie, CMO of Xant to help me pull it off. And, he delivered! 

Matt’s background working for tech giant Adobe and other tech firms has enabled him to amass the experience you’d expect from the CMO of an up and coming sales technology company like Xant. During his career, he’s had plenty of experience working with remote marketing teams so his insight into the subject will serve you well. If you’re a team member who’s now working from home or a manager looking for tips on how to manage a remote team, you’ll find Matt’s advice to be golden. Don’t miss it! 

This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at www.SalesCadenceGuide.com

Managing A Remote Team Begins With Setting Clear Expectations

If your marketing team has been moved off-campus due to the “shelter at home” restrictions implemented by local authorities, you're not alone. If you're a team leader, you’ve got to remember that many of your team members have never had to work in that kind of an isolated, distraction-prone environment before. They’re going to need your help to set proper boundaries and approach their work with an attitude that will enable your entire team to thrive.

Start by setting expectations for work hours, meeting attendance and protocols, and the use of tech platforms you’ll use to communicate and share resources. When remote team members understand what's expected of them and the tools they’ll be using to accomplish their work, they’ll feel more confident in their new environment. Your proactive leadership and patience will go a long way in helping them make a healthy transition.

Remote Marketers Need To Set Appropriate Boundaries At Home

Consider the differences between working in an office environment as opposed to a home office. First off, many people on your team who are transitioning to working from their homes don’t have an actual office in their homes. They may have to set up shop on a dining room table, in a corner of the basement, or in a spare bedroom. That sort of isolation in itself is going to be very different for them.

In addition, many of them will have pets, children, or spouses at home who need to be considered and taken into account—and your team still needs to get their work done! Help your team understand the importance of setting appropriate physical and psychological boundaries for themselves and with their family members. When they do, they will help their “home team” (their families) come alongside their efforts to continue working and will make it easier for everyone to understand how this “new normal” needs to work. Matt has great advice about the issues to address and how to address them sensitively and with compassion.

A Remote Team Needs The Tools To Succeed

It’s wise for marketing managers who are transitioning team members to remote work to take a careful look at the tools typically used in their office environment. Does the software and platforms you’ve been using for on-campus work fit the digital/remote context? Do you need to find new ways to communicate, collaborate, and deliver assets? Matt says that most teams will need laptop computers, clear channels of communication, and processes that fit the remote work situation.

Making communication clear and effective is key. Matt says that his remote teams have weekly check-in meetings every Monday morning using a video conferencing platform. Seeing each others’ faces, hearing the tone of voice and seeing the body language of team members goes a long way toward building a sense of being in this together. As well, getting clear on the workflow for the week helps everyone be on the same page and feel connected to what’s going on. In his words, managers need to “over-communicate” to ensure everything is understood clearly, including deliverables and deadlines and that work is progressing according to schedule.

Don’t Forget To Celebrate The Wins Of Your Remote Team

In your office environment, you experience natural opportunities to celebrate with your team. Office drop-ins, high-fives, and other regular celebrations of progress and success are fairly common on a healthy team. When team members go remote, team celebrations become more difficult but no less important. If you are the team leader, it’s your job to ensure that wins are still celebrated and that everyone has the opportunity to join in.

Matt suggests using a portion of your meeting time each week to share wins, large and small. He also suggests the use of workflow platforms to encourage sharing and interaction that builds and supports team spirit. The point is that team members and the contributions they make are no less valuable when accomplished remotely. The manager needs to ensure everyone feels valued and is recognized regularly for their part in the success of the whole.

There’s a whole lot more Matt and I talked about on this episode, so make sure you take the time to listen. You’ll hear how he’s been able to lead remote teams successfully and I’m sure you’ll learn some tips to help you make your team’s transition to remote work successful.

Featured on This Episode

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:32] Xant’s place in the marketplace and Matt’s role there
  • [6:31] How marketing leaders can motivate remote teams who are newly remote
  • [11:39] Why physical and psychological boundaries are important for working at home
  • [13:32] What are the best ways to manage projects and deliverables remotely?
  • [15:27] How can you celebrate wins together when working remotely?
  • [17:10] Strategies to make online meetings productive and powerful
  • [20:58] Managing remote teams toward appropriate working hours

Resources & People Mentioned

This episode is sponsored by XANT, the enterprise leader in sales engagement. Xant has authored the Definitive Guide to Sales Cadence. Get your copy at www.SalesCadenceGuide.com

Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine

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