Thanks to near-zero connectivity costs and continual innovations in cloud-based collaboration software, sales reps can now hire qualified candidates to assist them without the limits of geographic boundaries. More and more salespeople have seen success through utilizing the low cost, high quality skills of workers in remote parts of the world. Below are some best practices to keep in mind when hiring and working with an assistant over a long distance:

1. Be organized and set guidelines

Create a system or process for hiring, discussing and submission of work outputs. Make sure that the assistant is well trained on your system and processes and reinforce this system with applicable guidelines so that they understand how complete your projects. Being organized and firm with your guidelines shows the assistant that you value the project and expect them to do the same.

2. Be clear about your expectations

The salesperson should always paint a clear picture of what he expects from the assistant – the quality of work, the details involved and other requirements that he would want from the project output. Being vague risks resentment on both sides – it wastes the time and effort of the assistant and brings frustration to the sales rep. When discussing a project, give the most detailed job description that you can. Better yet, supplement this with examples of the type of work you expect.

3. Establish a reliable mode of communication

Decide and work out a way that is convenient for both parties to communicate easily and constantly. Be available and easy to reach if there are any questions or clarifications needed by the assistant. Being ready to respond to important queries shows that the project is a top priority for you and you are as excited as the assistant is to work on the project. Also, determine an effective way of communicating quality issues with the work submitted to you. Requesting minor modifications is okay, as long as it is fair on the part of the assistant as well.

4. Do test projects before hiring

Regardless of a assistant’s resume and portfolio, trust is still a huge hurdle to overcome, especially when hiring an assistant for the very first time. Consider a trial run for a task to be done before making a hiring decision. You can interview a number of assistants and set up brief trial projects for them. This makes it easier to judge the quality of their work and if they possess the skills that are essential to your projects.

5. Remember that you get what you pay for

It’s normal for companies to want to save as much money as possible and look to assistants with the most affordable rates; however, remember that first and foremost, you are hiring a person that must be equipped with a set of skills that will meet your needs. Focus too much on saving money and you may end up with substandard outputs and waste more money than you intended to save in the first place.

For sales reps looking to improve their productivity, hiring the right assistant and having the right standards and collaboration systems may be key to closing more deals.

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