by David Wuensch.
You spent the past 30 to 90 days hiring your new salesperson (your new revenue investment). Now what?
You have probably seen the statistics, or worse yet, lived it. Reports show that replacing salespeople is a six-figure problem. Hiring the right salesperson for the right sales role was the first step in minimizing that risk. Successful onboarding is the second step!
Successful onboarding increases retention and improves productivity, but it takes time and effort to develop and implement a standardized sales onboarding program. Time is a precious resource for most small B2B Businesses. It is not easy, but we need to invest time now to save time later.
Here are eight steps to guide you as put your onboarding process in place.
1. Make them feel welcome, and start before Day One.
Once the hire is official and necessary documents are in place, start sharing pertinent information and help them feel like they are part of the team. Send them a Day One Schedule in advance so they know what to expect. Coordinate office set-up and HR in-processing in advance. Make that Day One a positive experience. Show them you care.
2. Build the foundation. Acclimate them to where the company is going.
Share the company “Why” with them to help them know what it means to be part of the team. Spend time helping them understand your company Mission, Vision and Values. Reinforce the company culture as you share the Company History and Sales Strategy and introduce them to the members of the team. Address open questions on where the company is going and how you are getting there. This is a good time to lay out your onboarding plan. Provide them with an individual goal-setting exercise and template for their individual sales plan.
3. Paint a picture of the processes. Introduce them to how you plan to get there.
During the first few days, you want to show them the big picture. This starts with the Company sales story which focuses on who you help, how you help them, and what makes you different. Help them understand your Ideal Client Profile to aid them in building targeted lists and introduce them to your Company Overview so they can picture your product focus. After reviewing your sales process at a high level, you will be ready to dig into more details.
4. Guide them through the sales process, step-by-step.
Guide them through each of these steps of your sales process:
- Build targeted lists
- Know the Company sales story
- Create new opportunity process
- Focus on proactive phone calls
- Discovery and qualification
- Focus on steps in the sales call
- Learn presentation material
- Build proposals
5. Include a parallel discussion of policies, tools and technologies.
While working your new salesperson through your sales process step-by-step, help them also learn these items:
- Relevant policies
- Access to content
- Sales stages
- CRM training
- Other tools training
6. Evaluate them along the way.
Get to know their “why” through their Individual Goal Setting Exercise. From week one, set aside time each week to check their progress on the assimilation of the information that you are sharing. Review their Individual Sales Plan with them and be prepared to conduct retraining as needed.
7. Partner them with the right veterans.
Schedule time for them with selected sales veterans in action. Let them see how others on the team perform and develop rapport to help get questions answered along the way.
8. Provide ongoing reinforcement for continued improvement.
Successful sales onboarding takes more than a couple of days or a couple of weeks. While the first few weeks help set the tone, the process continues for the first few months. When done properly, the sales onboarding program will move into a successful sales coaching program by the sales manager to provide ongoing reinforcement for continued improvement.
Are you ready to protect your new revenue investment? Maximize that investment by successfully onboarding your new sales hire.