So Far, So Good
Even physical distance can't stop your employees from going above and beyond.
"Virtual teaming is how I've built this business. My team members love it, my clients are happy and my business keeps growing," says Karen Settle, founder and CEO of Las Vegas-based Keystone Marketing Specialists Inc. Settle manages 300 team members scattered across the country who rarely get together in the same physical place. But Keystone, which provides field representatives and holds in-store product demonstrations on behalf of Fujitsu, Kodak, and other high-tech companies, now boasts more than $5 million in annual sales. "I see only positives about virtual teams," Settle says.
Just what is a virtual team? The key feature is that, unlike a traditional sales team or staff, the virtual team doesn't share physical space, and members rarely get together in the same place for meetings. This decidedly '90s way of doing business is spreading like wildfire. "In many instances, a virtual team is simply the best way to get a job done," says Jeffrey Stamps, co-author of Virtual Teams (John Wiley & Sons) and co-founder of The Networking Institute, a West Newton, Massachusetts-based consulting firm that assists businesses in setting up effective virtual teams.