How to Manage a SaaS Sales Team That’s 100% Remote

Prior to COVID, 17% of US SaaS sales reps worked from home five or more days per week. After COVID that number more than doubled to 44%

While a portion of salespeople are transitioning back into the physical workplace, managing reps remotely has become the new norm for many SaaS companies. In fact, many now have teams that are 100% remote. 

If this is the position you’re in, here’s how to manage reps successfully, improve communication, and maximize productivity

Start By Choosing the Right Mix of SaaS Sales Software

The number one thing people struggle with when working remotely (along with loneliness) is collaboration/communication at 20%.

And this is understandable. At the end of the day, it’s hard to achieve the same level of collaboration and communication when your team never meets physically. Besides sharing project details and passing along general info, there are a lot of subtleties with tone and body language that you miss out on when managing a remote team. 

But that’s okay. Assembling the right mix of SaaS sales software can cover all aspects of communication and ensure your team stays on the same page. Here are some suggestions:

  • A sales management system – This helps keep teams of all sizes organized and allows you to assign leads, automate workflows, track KPIs, and more. I recommend reading this post from Nutshell for advice on choosing a sales management system. 
  • A video conferencing platform – Products like Zoom and Microsoft Teams offer robust features like one-one-one conversations, group meetings, chat, and webinars and have an incredibly high audio visual quality. 
  • A business communication platform – Slack is the gold standard and lets you interact with your team through both private and public channels.
  • A project management software – Apps like Asana, Trello, and Toggl Plan are perfect for breaking large projects down into manageable chunks and ensuring tasks are consistently completed on time. 

Build a Communication Framework

Another vital aspect of fluid communication is nailing the timing. It’s important to establish some ground rules so there’s a basic schedule and structure in place — one that allows you to stay in close contact with your SaaS sales team but without creating distractions. 

“Remote work becomes more efficient and satisfying when managers set expectations for the frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication for their teams,” explains The Harvard Business Review. If, for instance, it’s a daily check-in where you’re exchanging notes and debriefing a rep, you might communicate through Zoom at the end of the day. But if it’s something urgent, you could ping a salesperson through Slack to get in touch with them right away. 

“Also, if you can, let your employees know the best way and time to reach you during the workday (e.g., ‘I tend to be more available late in the day for ad hoc phone or video conversations, but if there’s an emergency earlier in the day, send me a text.” This should help keep everyone on the same page and minimize distractions so your team can focus more intently on selling. 

Have an Activity Documentation System in Place

Whenever you’re dealing with a team that’s spread out across different states and even different countries, it’s easy to lose track of who’s done what and when they did it. As a result, critical deadlines may be missed, or multiple salespeople may accidentally complete the same task twice. In short, things can get messy in a hurry. 

To prevent miscommunications, you need to have a detailed activity documentation system that automatically logs when:

  • New leads enter your sales funnel
  • Contact is made
  • Tasks are completed
  • There are changes or updates
  • And so on

Sales CRM and pipeline management software, Pipedrive, for example, tracks lead progress from the moment they first enter a sales funnel to when they ultimately make a purchase. 

Not only does an activity documentation system like this provide a single point of reference, it spares everyone from a lot of manual data entry, allowing them to focus on more pressing tasks. 

Create an On-Demand Training Hub

The Harvard Business Review also mentions that “newly remote workers are often surprised by the added time and effort needed to locate information from coworkers (and sales leaders). Even getting answers to what seem like simple questions can feel like a large obstacle to a worker based at home.” 

That’s the last issue to address, and something that can often be remedied by having an on-demand training hub. 

Say you need to get new hires up-to-speed, have them fill out documents, and learn your product. Or, maybe you need a place for existing SaaS salespeople to brush up on their skills. An on-demand training hub creates a single digital resource where you can provide your entire team with 24/7 access to training to position them for success and ongoing development. 

Here are some examples of content you could include on your training hub:

  • Information on your sales process
  • Software tutorials
  • Buyer personas
  • Webinars and videos
  • Helpful blog posts
  • Sales demo examples 
  • Answers to FAQs

You could even create a forum where your SaaS sales team can hold active discussions and veteran reps can share advice with those who are just learning the ropes. 

Thriving in a New Era

Whether it’s due to COVID or simply because you want to take advantage of the benefits a digital sales team provides, many SaaS companies are making the shift to 100% remote. And while there’s certainly a learning curve when it comes to managing this type of team, it’s something that can be done with the right approach. 

Mainly it boils down to leveraging helpful software, establishing clear rules for communication, diligently documenting activities, and providing reps with adequate training resources. 

Want to find elite SaaS sales talent in your industry? See how HireDNA can help you build a stronger sales team, while eliminating 96% of hiring mistakes. 

5 Sales Management Systems to Keep Your SaaS Sales Team on the Same Page

Successfully coordinating a SaaS sales team is easier said than done. 

Your salespeople may be working on different projects, using different software and apps, or interacting with leads at different stages of the sales funnel. And with a growing number of salespeople working remotely, it’s become more challenging than ever. 

If left unchecked, this can take a serious toll on your productivity and conversions. In fact, “97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.”

A surefire way to keep your SaaS team on the same page is by using a sales management system. Here are five of the best. 

1. HubSpot CRM

For years HubSpot has been the gold standard for sales and marketing software. They offer a wide range of solutions, and the HubSpot CRM is the go-to platform for many SaaS sales teams.

It gives sales leaders a bird’s eye view of your team’s pipeline in real-time, including:

  • Overall sales activity
  • Team productivity
  • Individual rep performance

That way they know how close your team is, collectively and individually, to meeting quotas and any areas that need to be addressed.

And it helps salespeople stay organized where they can:

  • Quickly add new contacts to your database
  • Keep track of deadlines
  • Automatically track sales calls, emails, and meetings
  • Share notes 

Every single person on your sales team is in the loop at all times with HubSpot CRM, and you can drastically reduce time wasting activities for maximum productivity. 

2. VanillaSoft

Like HubSpot, VanillaSoft offers a robust suite of products. But the one we’re interested in here is their lead management platform.

“VanillaSoft makes lead management simple with a full complement of solutions to boost productivity, including lead prioritization, email nurturing campaigns, logical branch scripting, call-activity dashboard, and flexible data management.”

One of the most notable features is their real-time inside sales insights, which lets sales leaders monitor team performance, analyze call activity, and track ROI. With it, they can also keep watch of all sales activity in real-time through a call-activity dashboard. 

Besides that, VanillaSoft automatically captures data like call history, emails sent, positive contacts, payment history, and more so you see exactly what’s happened from the moment someone becomes a lead until they make a purchase.


3. Pipedrive

Among the numerous features of this sales CRM and pipeline management platform is the ability to track every aspect of communications, including calls, emails, and contact history. This enables your SaaS sales team to stay synced up with another and maintain full visibility of what has transpired in real-time.

Pipedrive also offers a visual history where you can look up a particular contact to see when interactions took place and the last conversations a rep had before following up. That way team members are in a better position to provide timely, relevant offers and have more meaningful interactions with leads. 

There’s a calendar button where you can choose how far back you want to go on the timeline. You can, for example, go back 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months.


And reps can also add a quick note so other team members will know what’s happened for more engaging future interactions. 

4. Freshworks CRM

This is an incredibly adaptive sales management system that places an emphasis on tracking custom sales activities. As Freshworks CRM puts it, “start tracking sales activities and identify the ones that increase conversions with powerful reports. Get all the insights that you need to streamline your process and start closing deals faster than ever.”

For starters, you can add things like sales events and meetings to identify what’s leading to more quality interactions with leads, which in turn, allows you to steadily improve your team’s performance. 

Next, you can conveniently record and track sales activities, including call logs and notes so team members can see them at a glance. Freshworks CRM allows you to set up notification alerts such as email opens, upcoming tasks, and event reminders so quality leads don’t slip through your fingers. On top of that, you can use it to create silky smooth workflows that automatically creates tasks whenever a new lead enters the sales funnel.


Primarily known as a high-level project management tool, also has a CRM solution that works perfectly as a sales management system. One of the main reasons users love it is because of how visual it is. offers a robust interface featuring powerful charts and graphs where sales leaders can monitor sales team activity, see how deals are coming along, and check the progress of individual reps. 

As for salespeople, they can stay on top of all lead interactions, including emails, phone calls, and meetings. They can share relevant documents with other team members from a single, ultra-organized communication dashboard. 

And they can use their mobile devices to track deals whenever and from wherever they happen to be. even offers an offline mode when the internet isn’t available. This gives your SaaS sales team a 360 degree view of your pipeline and should eliminate costly communication gaps. 

Ensuring Seamless Collaboration 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep the communication flowing with your SaaS sales team. From the point someone officially becomes a lead and enters your funnel to the moment they pull the trigger and buy, all of your reps need to be on the same page. 

Otherwise, the lead experience and ultimately your conversions will suffer. In fact, 86% of team members say a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication is the main reason for project failures. 

Using one of the five sales management systems listed here should keep everyone in the loop and the conversions coming. 

Looking to build a stronger, more talented sales team? Learn how HireDNA can help you source top talent using intelligent matching and science-based assessments. 

Average SaaS Salespeople Ask Leads 6 or Less Questions. Top Performers Ask 11-14: Why Discovery Call Questions Are Essential

In a previous post, I mentioned that 88% of today’s leads are only willing to buy when they see the salesperson as a trusted advisor. I also pointed out that hyper-aggressive sales tactics often turn leads off and can be potential deal-breakers. 

One of the best ways to assume the role of trusted advisor is for SaaS salespeople to ask plenty of questions during the discovery call. And this number is higher than you may think. 

Here’s what you need to know to equip your reps for success. 

Top Performers Ask 11-14 Discovery Call Questions

Revenue intelligence software,, has built an amazing reputation for their original research. They’ve conducted a ton of in-depth studies to pinpoint the exact reasons why salespeople succeed or fail. 

One particular study I found fascinating was this one on discovery calls

“We analyzed 519,000 recorded discovery calls with AI to understand what drives successful outcomes,” explains Chris Orlob, director of sales at “These discovery calls were recorded on web conferencing platforms with, transcribed, and analyzed with unsupervised machine learning to identify the discovery call questions and techniques that drive revenue.”

In this study, they examined the number of target questions SaaS salespeople aimed for per discovery call and found:

  • Reps that only asked 1-6 discovery call questions had a 46% success rate (the lowest by far)
  • Reps that asked 7-10 questions had a 66% success rate
  • Reps that asked 15-18 questions had a 67% success rate

But here’s the kicker. Reps that asked 11-14 discovery call questions had a 74% success rate — considerably higher than the other reps that asked fewer or more questions. This graph illustrates this trend perfectly. 

Finding the Sweet Spot

According to this study, the trick is to ask enough questions so SaaS salespeople can figure out a lead’s precise pain points, needs, goals, and so on. This is what allows reps to not only optimize their offerings so they’re perfectly tailored to each lead, but also helps them build trust and rapport along the way. But at the same time, SaaS salespeople don’t want to ask too many questions because that can create friction as well. 

Looking at this data, it’s clear that 11-14 questions is the sweet spot. 

“Less than that and your discovery call may not be robust enough,” writes Orlob. “More than that, and it will likely start to feel like an interrogation, rather than a natural conversation.”

Asking the Right Discovery Call Questions

But there’s something very important I need to point out. Having successful discovery calls isn’t just about asking 11-14 questions. It’s about SaaS salespeople asking the right questions. 

Or as Orlob puts it, “Asking a generic line of questioning is likely to get you kicked in the teeth. Your best bet for discovery call success is asking questions about key business problems or goals the customer is trying to solve.”

Specificity is critical here. And as I mentioned earlier, the questions a rep asks need to focus on a lead’s unique needs, pain points, challenges, and goals. 

Here are some examples of questions one of our reps might ask at HireDNA when attempting to identify the needs of a lead who needs help with their technology sales recruiting:

  • What are some areas you’re currently struggling at with your recruiting?
  • What are some of the core competencies you look at when hiring reps?
  • What percentage of reps currently hit their sales quota? What number would you like to be at?
  • What’s your current salesperson retention rate? How much higher would you like that to be?

Notice how all of these questions are designed to instantly get the ball rolling so we can identify key business problems/goals and gain a solid understanding of the lead. This brings me to my final point. 

Getting Leads Talking

There’s one final piece of the puzzle I need to mention. You want your reps to get leads talking and encourage them to give long responses — not merely yes or no answers. Why?

Getting leads to talk interrupted for a long period correlates to a thorough response. That way SaaS salespeople can really wrap their head around the situation, which ultimately means they can optimize their offerings and increase their chances of closing the deal. 

Orlob mentions some specific ways to phrase questions to encourage a long response:

  • “Can you help me understand…”
  • “Can you walk me through…”
  • “Talk to me about…”

Let’s Recap

These days leads aren’t receptive to pushy, aggressive sales tactics. Rather, they prefer dealing with reps that take the role of a trusted advisor and base their offerings on the lead’s unique needs, pain points, and goals. 

In other words, SaaS salespeople need to be adept at creating meaningful dialogue, which is illustrated by this graph that highlights the question frequency used by top performers versus average ones. 

One of the best ways to do this is by asking the right number of questions during discovery calls — 11-14 to be exact, as this is considered the sweet spot and what yields the highest success rate. 

Besides hitting the right number of questions, reps also need to ask the right questions involving key business problems or goals the lead is trying to solve and using phrases to get leads talking. By following this formula, it helps reps fire on cylinders, allowing them to quickly establish trust, figure out what solutions to offer, and ultimately convert. 

Looking to assemble a team of ultra talented SaaS salespeople? Find out how HireDNA can help you do this by using cutting-edge technology to source top talent using intelligent matching and science-based assessments. HireDNA can cut your hiring time in half and eliminate 96% of hiring mistakes. 

Track the Most Important Aspects of Your SaaS Sales Team’s Performance with These Essential KPIs

Data is power in the SaaS sales world. It’s really that simple. 

“High performing sales teams (the top 24% of more than 2,900 sales professionals surveyed) are 1.5x more likely to base forecasts on data-driven insights,” explains Tiffani Bova of Salesforce. On the other hand, low performing sales teams are 1.7x more likely to base their decisions on intuition. 

To extract your SaaS sales team’s full potential and truly fire on all cylinders, you’ll want to be meticulous about tracking their performance. Here are the most essential KPIs to pay attention to. 

Average Lead Response Time

I think one of the most overlooked, yet vitally important metrics, is average lead response time. 

Here’s why.

78% of customers buy from the first SaaS company that reaches out to them. 

It’s not rocket science. The first vendor that initiates contact is the first company a lead seriously considers. They learn about the brand’s products, offerings, UVP, and so on, giving the company a chance to create valuable trust and rapport with the lead before anyone else does. 

Look at how lead conversion rates increase with the less amount of time that elapses before the first outreach attempt. 

Calling within an hour improves conversions by 36%, which is okay. 

But look what happens when you call within 30 minutes. It jumps to 62%. Call within 3 minutes, it climbs to 98%. Call within 2 minutes, and it’s 160%. 

And here’s the kicker. Call within 1 minute, and it’s a face melting 391%! 

This straight up shows the importance of A) knowing your sales team’s average lead response time and B) doing everything you can to increase it. For advice on how to do this, check out this previous post I wrote on how you can easily beat 55% of your competitors by improving your lead response time. 

Lead to Customer Conversion Rate

The SaaS customer journey can be broken down into two main phases. There’s the visitor to lead phase, which your marketing team is primarily responsible for. And there’s the lead to customer phase, which falls into the hands of your sales team. 

It’s the latter that we’re interested in here. One of the absolute most important metrics is what percentage of leads your SaaS sales team converts into customers. 

This is a reflection of:

  • How good they are at qualifying leads
  • The quality level of core sales activities like follow-up emails and phone calls
  • How well they give demos
  • Their ability to build trust and rapport
  • How good they are at moving leads efficiently through the sales funnel

To calculate lead to customer conversion rate, divide your number of conversions by your total number of leads and multiply that number by 100. If, for example, you had 100 leads and 5 ended up buying, your lead to customer conversion rate would be 5%. 

By the way, if you’re wondering, the typical SaaS conversion rate for most companies ranges from 3-5%, while top performing teams reach around 8%. 

Average Sales Cycle Length

Next, there’s how long it takes your SaaS sales team to close a deal. Needless to say, the quicker they’re able to move someone from being a lead to a paying customer, the better. Not only does this positively impact overall revenue, it means your reps can move onto other leads, and in turn, make ever more sales. 

So, you’ll want to monitor how long it takes, on average, for someone to go from being a lead to buying your product — a KPI known as average sales cycle length. 

Note that the average sales cycle length gets longer with the pricier a SaaS product is. According to SaaS Metrics, benchmarks break down like this:

  • Deals ~$2,000 typically close within 14 days
  • Deals ~$5,000 close within 30 days
  • Deals ~$25,000 close within 90 days

Monthly Recurring Revenue

At first glance, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) may not seem all that relevant to a SaaS sales team’s performance. After all, MRR doesn’t kick in until after customers hang around a while. 

But it’s an extremely vital metric for the simple fact that it shows what your sales team’s long-term progress looks like. If there’s a noticeable increase in your MRR, for example, it shows your reps are nailing it and reaching or exceeding their quotas. Otherwise, if your MRR flatlines or declines, it’s tangible proof that adjustments need to be made. 

In terms of factors that contribute to MRR, some of the biggest are your number of new customers and how adept your reps are at upselling and cross-selling. Along with that, it can provide insight on how strong their relationship-building skills are because the churn rate and number of referrals contribute to MRR as well. 

And this metric is super easy to calculate. Just multiply your total number of active customers by the average amount billed. 

Note that most experts consider 10% month-over-month MRR to be strong. But if you can hit 15-20% for six months or longer, then you can pretty much bet that you’ve got a winning sales process on your hands. 

Taking Your SaaS Sales Team’s Performance to the Next Level

Like I said earlier, top tier SaaS sales teams rely on data-driven insights to continually improve and refine their strategies. Low performing sales teams rely on a hunch. 

With a wealth of data available, it’s possible to track virtually every aspect of your team’s performance. The specific KPIs I suggest focusing on are:

  • Average lead response time
  • Lead to customer conversion rate
  • Average sales cycle length
  • Monthly recurring revenue

This should give you a bird’s eye view of what their current performance is like and help you identify precise areas for improvement so everyone can collectively level up. 

Looking to recruit the best of the best SaaS salespeople in your industry? Learn how HireDNA can help you build a stronger sales team using a verified network of sales recruitment experts, along with science-based assessments and intelligent matching.