Onboarding new sales personnel is a crucial part of establishing and maintaining an effective and productive team. Unfortunately, many companies fail to establish an efficient ramping process, leaving new hires to sink or swim. This doesn’t just set new sales personnel up for failure; it negatively impacts a company as a whole, resulting in wasted time and squandered talent. If you’re tired of high turnover rates and sales executives who don’t get up to speed for months on end, start putting the following tips to work. By doing so, you can successfully onboard new sales reps in as little as 90 days and cultivate a winning team in no time.
8 Tips for Successfully Onboarding New Sales Executives
Transform raw recruits into competent salespeople in three months or less with these tips:
- Keep the Big Picture in Mind – Don’t make the mistake of thinking that onboarding is strictly about training. Ideally, it includes many other factors, including reinforcement, hiring, compensation, sales methodologies, recruiting practices and more. The resources new hires will need must be included and addressed at some point in the process too. Also, developing the ramping process should include input from a variety of departments, including HR, sales, operations, marketing and management.
- Establish an Automated Learning Environment – The onboarding process involves too many tasks to be handled manually. With that in mind, it pays to invest in an automated ramping process. Ideally, training materials will be delivered in a strategic, logical manner. The best systems are completely customizable, allowing businesses to adapt them to suit their sales methodologies and practices. Additionally, detailed records of performance and task completion should be kept to not only keep new hires on track but to continually optimize the onboarding process.
- Optimize Training and Reinforcement – Dumping huge amounts of information on a new salesperson is a surefire way to overwhelm them. Instead, aim for a process of self-directed, just-in-time sales training. Teach new hires where to go to get the information they need, so they can play a more proactive role in becoming a part of the team. Make sure training materials are easy to find and pertinent to what new hires need to know.
- Establish Small, Attainable Goals – Keep new hires on track by establishing a series of incremental goals. Each goal should be tied to an outcome that can be objectively verified in some way. Also, reps should be aware of how to proceed after each step is completed.
- Arm New Hires with the Information They Need – If your current training process mostly involves bringing new hires up to speed about your products, brand, and the like, it’s time for a major redesign. This falls woefully short of giving new sales personnel what they need to achieve successful onboarding in a timely manner. Instead of strictly focusing on products, make sure your training gets new hires up to speed about sales skills, industry and market insights, and sales methodologies.
- Help New Sales Personnel Develop Support Networks – When a new hire doesn’t know where to turn for information, they’re less likely to thrive. As a part of the onboarding process, new sales personnel should be informed about where they can turn for help and how to reach the right people when they need assistance.
- Ensure a Smooth Transition to the Field – The ramping process should include a clear, smooth system for transitioning new hires into the field. When the onboarding process closely resembles the conditions of the sales job, this transition will be much smoother. Throughout onboarding, take steps to ensure new hires know what to expect when they put their training into effect.
- Get Help from a Professional Recruiter – Finally, increase the odds of successful onboarding by hiring the right people the first time. A professional recruiter can help you identify candidates who possess the skills and talent that will make them valuable additions to your team, setting the stage for ongoing success.
If your sales team has a high turnover rate, new hires don’t hit the ground running or members of your team never quite achieve the level of competence you require, reexamining your onboarding process is in order. When combined with the assistance of a talented recruiter, an effective ramping process can make all of the difference in the world.
Article by – Jay Burchfield