Today millions of people choose sales as their profession and start their career as sales representatives. But according to one estimate, 84% of the sales reps lose their training in 90 days. So, there’s clearly a need for better training and onboarding process for sales employees.
The thing is onboarding sales representatives isn’t easy. There’s so much more to it than introducing them to the organization and their jobs. It involves having them study customer analytics, listen to sales calls, and offer training on how to close deals. Despite the value embedded within it, sales onboarding evokes a dreaded learning curve.
Onboarding can either make or break a new sales hire for the company. It’s important to ensure that the process is appropriately organized and available to the right people in the correct format. This helps them make informed decisions.
According to research, a bad onboarding experience correlates to lower productivity and retention among reps. On the contrary, 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years or more if they have a great onboarding experience.
Undeniably, learning experiences are like journeys and vary across and within industries. No matter the type of your enterprise, everyone needs to learn ways of avoiding the lengthy learning curves while reducing sales disruptions and continually reevaluating sales training – all to deliver ongoing business value.
So, let’s explore a few ways to give your new sales representatives a warm welcome.
Tactics to successfully onboard new sales representatives
The dreaded learning curve doesn’t have to dominate your sales reps’ experiences as they join your organization. According to a report from the Sales Management Association, the average new sales hire spends 10 weeks in training, which can be a substantial investment. Fortunately, there are several ways companies can improve their overall sales onboarding programs. Some of these ways may surprise you with their simplicity.
A few fundamental changes can make a world of difference for new representatives. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Create an agile onboarding experience
Undeniably, sales reps have a lot on their plates – and that too during their first few months. This includes market and product information, sales methodology, key messaging, and the list goes on. Businesses with a casual or unstructured onboarding approach often leave new hires questioning their learning priorities.
That’s exactly why an agile sales onboarding process is more beneficial than traditional ways and means. It breaks down the months-long onboarding process into sprints where reps focus on building competencies in significant sales activities.
For instance, the agile approach outlines a two-week program allowing new sales reps to prepare for their first prospecting call. During those two weeks, the newly hired would undergo training courses and coaching activities demonstrating their readiness.
2. Have a team-focused approach
The objective of a sales team is to build a long-lasting relationship between the client and the company and not the other way around. This starts at the very beginning during the initial onboarding.
Therefore, it’s essential to involve the entire team during the onboarding process and ensure it moves forward smoothly. That’s why one of the best ways is to have your experienced sales team introduce newly hired reps to the established clientele. With a little effort and luck, your clients will welcome your new sales reps with open arms.
Besides this, various digital and online platforms have grown exponentially, offering innovative ways for sales members to conduct efficient meetings. With a team-focused approach, scheduling and conducting training have become effortless, reducing sales onboarding disruption.
3. Create a seamless brand and culture
Don’t you want your every sales representative to be confident and an extension of your business’s culture and brand? This is yet another reason why everyone must be a part of the ongoing process.
Yes, every business has a particular format of operations, from client relationships to protocol for warming up leads and everything in between. This doesn’t mean that each salesperson copies the other. The interactions must be properly coordinated and consistent across the board.
Businesses must create a culture allowing smooth and speedy onboarding while building opportunities where sales reps can wrap their head around your company’s mission, operations, and overall organizational culture.
4. Start the sales enablement process before day one
Once you’ve extended a job offer, the work of teaching new hires should kick into new gear. Yet too many sales managers have a laid-back approach when it comes to dealing with newly hired sales reps.
The sales manager must improve the new hire’s experience; otherwise, talent will flock out from the front door. Moreover, less than 50% of new hires are contacted by their hiring managers during the onboarding process – a missed opportunity if there ever was one.
Part of an effective onboarding process is preparing your new sales reps to hit the ground running on their first day. Hence, provide a welcome package comprising an outline, job description, and resources to give them a head start. All this will help the new members of the sales team to truly feel welcome as a part of the organization.
Therefore, take steps and stay connected during the acceptance of the offer letter and the first day of joining. And those emails from HR involving paperwork don’t even count. Rather, the sales manager must ensure that the new sales rep’s workspace is tidy and provide access to all the required equipment.
5. Establish expectations and provide training
In order for the sales team to be successful, it’s important that they must know exactly what defines success.
Hence, sales leaders must create and communicate expectations with their sales reps early on and enforce them continually. If your sales team wants to meet their targets, they must have the tools and knowledge to succeed. So, having a training program that teaches your new hires is essential. Adopting an on-demand learning approach allows representatives to learn at their own pace.
A quality online sales training program is an excellent solution if you’re looking to train new hires and get them up to speed with the rest of the team.
6. Build a blueprint for sales onboarding
After establishing a clear set of goals, it’s essential to ensure your onboarding program maps to the skills, processes, and content that will help your reps achieve those goals. Indeed, organizing the entire sales onboarding process helps businesses clearly define their competencies, allowing them to succeed.
Your blueprint for the sales onboarding process must focus on the knowledge areas that need utmost attention, such as your clients, addressable market, sales methodology, and products. Eventually, the easiest way to get from one place to another is a map – and the onboarding process must start with a clear picture of the sales ramp-up plan. It should highlight how they’ll get from new hire to a full-quota-bearing representative.
7. Test and measure key competencies at an early stage
When a sales rep isn’t ready to address prospects’ requests, they struggle with their sales and fail to achieve their quotas. That could be a reason why 57% of sales reps missed their quotas in 2021.
As they move through the onboarding process, it becomes challenging to accurately evaluate their comprehension, attitudes, and how soon they can start driving revenue. Hence, tracking onboarding session completion rates and conducting knowledge tests is essential. It helps determine knowledge gaps and provides additional training and support wherever needed.
In the end, it’s a data game where only the information is the concrete way to determine the preparedness level of your new hires.
8. Facilitate the sales onboarding process with nBold
Digital enablement and teamwork collaborative platforms like nBold can surely help by reducing the onboarding friction and providing efficient templates to simplify the entire process. No longer need to spend hours manually managing the onboarding process; rather, automation allows managers to focus on productive duties.
This can be achieved by creating Collaboration Templates in Microsoft Teams for sales onboarding that establish an efficient channel structure, allowing new sales to come on the same page. The nBold technology enables sales reps to access all the necessary documentation, training resources, guidelines, video tutorials, and leverage pre-built sales onboarding tasks.
By switching to nBold custom templates, managers can address knowledge gaps and overcome obstacles, leading to company success. We enable enterprises to provide their sales team with tools, strategies, and data, resulting in enhanced employee engagement, higher productivity, and lower turnover rates.
Taking into the Collaboration Templates by nBold will help you automate and structure the sales onboarding process, thus ready your sales reps faster and fast-track your time to revenue – who doesn’t want that?
Learn more about onboarding with Microsoft Teams.
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The success of new sales reps that you’ll be bringing into your team will largely depend on how well the sales onboarding process is organized and executed. Bringing a new salesperson into an established sales team can be daunting, but thankfully, you don’t have to roll the dice.
As a sales leader, it’s vital to recognize that how you structure your organizational onboarding program enables your sales reps to take control of the situation from day one.
With some well thought-out planning and an in-depth understanding of onboarding best practices, you can rest assured that you know the answers to these questions long before your new salesperson hits the phone. And the collaboration technology brought to you by nBold makes it all easier.