6 Ways to Quickly Onboard Your New Sales Hires
You need new sales reps on your team, but the time between their onboarding and when they’re actually productive represents many lost sales opportunities. It’s important to maximize how much pipeline your sales rep can build in their first few months if you want to have a successful recruitment cycle in place. Here are six methods to bring your new reps up to speed quickly.
1. Process Before People
Your starting point isn’t the people that you’re bringing in; it’s the processes that surround everything from how you recruit new reps to the selling procedure that they use once they get hired.
Look for inefficiencies that add time to your onboarding. Do new reps get provisioned with the resources they need automatically or do they spend time waiting for IT to set up their accounts and provide other important access. Are there consistent processes across the board, or does everyone do things their own way? It’s going to take new hires a lot longer to get acclimated if they’re juggling 11 methods of doing the same thing in their heads.
2. Automate Mundane Training
Automating parts of your training keep your reps moving along. They don’t need hands-on attention from a trainer to learn how to use your customer relationship management or sales enablement tools and other basic information. Put together a training package that gets this out of the way quickly, so most of the onboarding time focuses on the things they need to learn to be successful. You also avoid trainer availability problems, as new hires could get held up for days or weeks if a particular coach is out of the office.
Consider making training materials available on-demand, from any device. This flexibility allows new reps to consult training material no matter where they’re at. They also have the opportunity to engage with the content through their preferred device types.
3. Create a Buddy System
All of your current reps walked a mile in the new people’s shoes so they relate to their struggles. Let your experienced team members help by sharing their wisdom. They fill in the gaps that aren’t covered in training, such as the tips and tricks for selling a particular product line or time-saving techniques that they developed over the years.
The buddy system also serves as a way to integrate new members of the team, so they become familiar with their coworkers. When you introduce new reps early on, you expose them to your company culture and help them become more comfortable in the new environment.
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4. Hit the Phones Early
You can put your new reps through endless training cycles until you think they’re ready, or you can have them hit the phones early so you see where they need the most help. Many people learn better when they’re hands-on with the things that they’re taught, as opposed to sitting in endless class sessions looking over theoretical situations.
You’ll find out whether you have new reps that have what it takes to grow into a valued member of the team. When you use this technique alongside the buddy method, it’s easy for new reps to get feedback as they try things out. Few people are going to get everything right when they’re starting out, and it’s valuable to know exactly how they need to make adjustments.
5. Have Their Leads and Accounts Ready
Avoid making your reps wait after their training is complete to get leads and accounts. You don’t want to hinder their productivity right at the beginning of your work relationship. You may end up driving off talented sales reps that don’t want to sit around wasting time, especially when they earn a commission on their sales activities.
When you add to your sales team, look at your forecast and the pipeline to see whether you can actually support new reps. Your recruitment ROI won’t look very good if you’re six months in and their productivity is still low. Make this part of the process a priority.
6. Meet a Customer
Your sales reps spend plenty of time reading about your typical customer and the ideal clients for your company, but nothing compares to actually meeting a client face to face.
Let your new hires get a chance to engage with customers early on in the process so they have a clear picture of whom they’re selling to as they move on to calls, meetings and other sales activities.
Ideally, you have a few customers who don’t mind working with a sales rep that’s new to your company. Pick and choose the people involved in this meeting carefully, so you don’t risk the account if both parties end up clashing.
By the end of the onboarding process, your reps should have a good understanding of how you do things and customer expectations. You eliminate a lot of redundancies throughout your operations, especially when it comes to training.
Don’t waste months of potentially productive time because new reps don’t get a chance to build their pipeline early. Get them up and running as quickly as possible and maximize their chances of success with your organization.
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