Growing your sales team is an excellent way to reach new markets, develop greater reach in current markets and ultimately generate more profit for your business.
Sales onboarding is the process of bringing new talent onto the sales team. This may include bringing an external candidate through the door or headhunting individuals from across the organization who you believe would make a great sales representative for your business.
Get sales onboarding right and you will fast track your sales professionals towards success. In this guide, we look at some of the best practices that competent sales teams adopt to increase sales onboarding success.
Use Feedback and Metrics to Develop Processes
Sales and marketing professionals love information. Using feedback and metrics is a great way to channel resources into the right areas of the sales process. So, it stands to reason that using feedback and metrics is equally a good way to improve the sales onboarding process.
Whether you are making your first sales hire, or your one hundredth, start collecting information on what works when bringing a new sales professional into the team. Make note of how many deals your new hires make and find out what works for them. Is there something that helps new hires become long-term, top performers in sales calls? Perhaps product training helps your new sales organization hires reach a high level of conversions.
Sales managers can then use that data to implement better sales coaching. Plus, when you have enough data, you can use it to design a standardized onboarding process that enables your new hires to learn quickly.
By their very nature, sales professionals can be highly motivated by incentives such as bonuses, commissions and other financial rewards. Pairing individual incentives with overarching sales team incentives can facilitate the crucial collaboration needed to get a new sales professional benefiting from the experience of others on the team.
Care must be taken to ensure that team incentives are seen as a reason to help and lift each other up, rather than driving resentment towards those seen as poorer performers.
Write Clear, Easy to Follow Guidelines
Keep your new sales professionals full of energy and ready to act by only delivering the absolutely essential information on their first few days of work. Rather than going for info overload, aim to keep their starter training packs as concise and to the point as possible.
Consider using the most digestible forms of media possible. One way to do this may be to use brief and lively videos to highlight the functionality of key software or to develop and understand the company culture.
Keeping information compact is a great way to ensure understanding of the most important aspects of your business. It is crucial to pair this with a clear line of contact, so new employees can gain a deeper understanding of the areas they feel they need a better and more complete understanding.
For example, where a video may be used to explain the fundamentals of your sales software, a ‘software champion’ should be put in place to help them answer any additional queries they may have.
Use Quick, High-Impact Messages
It is important to help your new sales professional hit the ground running as quickly as possible. This is beneficial both to you as a business, but also to help keep them motivated by allowing them to add value as quickly as they can.
One way you can do this is by providing a series of tried and tested messages which can be used to develop sales interest. These can then be leveraged whilst the sales professional still has relatively little knowledge of your business or the industry.
You can use a tool like TextExpander to store your best phrases and email outlines for everyone to use. You can even have personalized fill-in-the-blank style fields, so each salesperson can add their own flair.
Set Clear Benchmarks
Setting clear benchmarks is a great way to provide new sales employees with a clear direction and in turn, motivate them. It can be tempting to wait before setting benchmarks or targets for new employees, but this need not be intimidating or unrealistic.
Initial benchmarks do not necessarily need to be financially driven, but could instead help a new sales hire understand their position in a journey towards understanding the product, service, business or customer.
Many sales pros will react well towards benchmarks, which will help them show their efforts in getting started in their new role.
Develop Self-Driven Learning
As a business, you will almost certainly provide your new sales professionals with dedicated learning to help them understand the business and what you offer into the market. Competent and high-performing sales teams will pair this with self-development to help individuals progress in their career right from the get-go.
When a new hire enters your business, spend some time finding out what their career aspirations are and help them to create a personal development plan to work towards them.
This is very beneficial for your business for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means that your employees are constantly trying to improve themselves. It also means that they feel cared for and that they are motivated to work towards a better future for both themselves and your company.
We have already covered how incentivizing teamwork can be a good way to get more from onboarded sales professionals. Another, similar way to do this is to provide them with a dedicated mentor within their team or in the wider business.
Even experienced sales professionals can benefit from a mentor, as they can be used to get a better grip on the business itself and what you offer, providing a go-to point of contact for all inquiries.
A mentor can also be a knowledgeable individual who can support company-allocated and self-driven learning. This is why it is always better for a mentor to be further advanced in their career than the individual being mentored.
Sales Onboarding Success
Employing new sales professionals can be an exciting time for any business. The potential for positive growth that a well-onboarded sales professional can bring to a business is unlimited. Follow the tips and best practices we have highlighted in this article to ensure sales onboarding success for your business.