5 Tips for Onboarding New Sales Reps
As a small business owner, hiring your first sales rep can seem extremely daunting. Not only do you need someone who you can trust with the time and money you’ll invest in them, but also someone who will be as passionate about your business as possible. It can feel like a formidable task. However, if you take advantage of the motivated and excited energy that a new sales rep brings to the table and adopt these tips to cultivate their success – and your own – you ensure a greater chance of rewards.
The onboarding process, when structured correctly, allows your new hire to see how your business works, helps enforce retention, gives a good training foundation, and builds a consistent working relationship. The key is inefficiency. In this post, we look at the top 5 tips and best practices for onboarding new sales reps which will ensure training runs as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.
Let’s get started!
Onboarding Tip #1: Have the Right Tools in Place
The first and most important step is ensuring you are ready for the onboarding process before your new sales rep is brought onboard. Having good systems in place beforehand can go a long way toward ensuring onboarding organization and establishing a good routine from the get-go. The best way to ensure this is to have your CRM systems in place where tasks, sales projections, admins, and emails are all managed from one place.
Some top CRM tools include Monday, Hubspot, Pipedrive, and Prosperworks. Additionally, a top CRM tool will allow you to develop new hire tutorials such as Hubspot’s CRM & Sales Starter Kit Overview which allows you to do the following.
Onboarding Tip #2: Keep Communication Open
First-time reps will try hard to impress, and therefore may refrain from asking questions due to nervousness or the desire to not want to be seen as incompetent. This is why during the onboarding of new sales reps, it’s important to encourage them to ask as many questions as possible and keep the lines of communication open. Train them to take initiative when learning by being open to any and all questions. At the same time, as a manager, you should be checking in with them weekly and keep the dialog open for comments or questions.
A good way to open communication at the early stages is to survey your new sales rep, asking them what training they found most beneficial or how comfortable they were with different exercises. This not only allows them to freely give input but will help improve your onboarding process in the future.
Onboarding Tip #3: Don’t Throw Them in the Deep End
New sales reps need time to get comfortable with your business and your brand. Instead of throwing them to the wolves with all the big-money sales, start them with the small, easy sells. Give them the time, space and knowledge to get their feet wet and build their confidence up for those big or complicated sales. If you only have one product, as with many small businesses, create a hypothetical one and then do a role play scenario with mock clients.
Alternatively, boost their confidence by making them more involved during the onboarding process, where they shadow your sales calls and/or client meetings. A good roleplay situation should prepare news sales reps to:
- Pinpoint your business value and messaging of key product features
- Be able to identify possible customers
- Be able to handle recurring customer objections that may come up, such as pricing
- Be able to position your product appropriately against your competitors
Onboarding Tip #4: Put the Core Value of Your Product in the Frontline
You can be an amazing salesperson, but if you don’t know the core value of what you’re selling, you can fail miserably at it. When designing your onboarding process, remember to take the time to fully enforce the value of your product so that your sales reps have a deep understanding of what pain points it is addressing. This, in turn, lets them see your product through the eyes of the customer.
Some ways to do this are by setting tasks where they can use the product themselves, role-play that they are the customer, or where they need to create a marketing ad, highlighting the best values or features of the product.
Onboarding Tip #5: Their Success is Your Success
Finally, it’s important to remember that the success of your new sales rep is your responsibility. The effort put into the training, the structure of your onboarding systems, and the open communication, are all your responsibility. Their success is your success and therefore you should be invested in their growth 100 percent.
Ultimately, a good onboarding approach means being prepared by having your CRM systems in place and your training material ready. It also means being open to the feedback of your new sale rep and providing a safe place where comments and questions are encouraged.