As we head through the final quarter of the year, sales leaders have one eye on the sales results of the year and the other eye on planning for next year.
The start of the new year also often involves new sales hires and onboarding them. There are many reasons why the start of a new year is a popular time for hiring. These reasons include sales people not wanting to move until they get their commission at their previous job, new funding becoming available for new hires, recent grads returning from their post graduate traveling, and other reasons.
For a sales leader, one of their most important tasks is onboarding their new hires. Onboarding is important for many reasons such as getting your sales people productive and driving sales to reducing turnover. Onboarding can be already challenging when you have one new sales person, but when you have an entire cohort of new sales people, that challenge can grow exponentially.
Here are a few tips that can help ensure successful onboarding for your new sales team members.
1. Be prepared
Being prepared sounds like a no-brainer, but can be one of the biggest reasons for onboarding failure.
Being prepared relates to making sure that the organization is ready for the new hires. This means that their work areas are ready, systems are set-up, and a schedule is in place. Having your sales people sitting around as they start their new job means that there will be a delay in driving new revenue. It is also not a great experience for your new sales people.
2. Make time for the new hires
If you have a large cohort starting, it is easy for the individuals to get lost in team events and sessions. It is very important to talk with the new hires independently to gauge how they are doing. You may have a large number of hires that are doing the same job, but remember that they will have different personalities, needs, and experiences.
3. Include team members in the onboarding process
Onboarding and training can be better when different team members are included. Even if you have a small organization, you can still use marketing employees and other salespeople. This will give the new sales hires a broader understanding of the organization. For the sales leader, this also means being able to still spend time working on the other aspects of your job as well as working with your new existing sales reps.
4. Use active learning
Having the new sales hires sit in a classroom and listen to presentations is not the best way to learn.
Active learning means letting the sales reps work on actual parts of the sales cycle and with examples of sales situations. In sales, there are multiple opportunities for role-playing and this is a great way for the new sales team to get experience with your solution, value-prop, competitors, and other components of your solution.
5. Celebrate the victories
Sales is hard and working at a new company can be a shock to the system. Celebrate little victories as you onboard your new sales reps. This could include having a prize for the best practice cold call, recognizing a great product demo, or an email within the cohort for the first close. Sales people also have a streak of competitiveness that can be leveraged during the onboarding process.
6. Implement continuous training
One of the biggest issue facing organizations today is that traditional training often fails.
As we discussed earlier, active learning is a great way to learn, but organizations often stop after the initial onboarding sessions. It has been proven that the best way to have a successful team is to have continuous training. This can include making sure there are training activities as part of ongoing sales leadership activities. For best results look for a sales enablement solution that can provide information to the sales team at the points that they need it as part of the sale process.
The Lurniture solution can help your team with its continuous training. We would be happy give you a demo of Lurniture as you and your team prepare for your next sales hires and onboarding.