A great sales onboarding process can be one of your most valuable assets. When you take on new sales reps, you want them to be able to hit the ground running and ramp quickly. It’s beneficial for your reps, because they sync with the team and reach their goals faster, and it’s beneficial for your business because it drives sales performance. But having a great sales onboarding process is often easier said than done. It takes the right tools and the right strategy to enact a sales onboarding process that is truly successful and helpful to new reps.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take and resources you can utilize to improve your sales onboarding process. Below, we’ve outlined some steps you can take to bring your sales onboarding process to the next level and continually improve it as your company grows. Read on to find out more.
What Is Sales Onboarding?
First things first, let’s define sales onboarding. What is sales onboarding and why does it matter? Put simply, sales onboarding is the process of taking on new reps, integrating them into your team seamlessly, and making sure they have what they need to start selling your process or service.
Some sales teams just throw their new reps to the flame, expecting them to fend for themselves. Obviously, this is less than optimal. Some companies have sales onboarding processes in place, but they’re ineffective or outdated. Sales onboarding processes need to be continually improved and updated as your team grows and as your company pivots to new sales strategies.
Sales onboarding isn’t something that should just fall by the wayside. It’s extremely important to have a good process in place so your new reps start off right. Without a good onboarding process in place, these reps are going to feel uncomfortable and they won’t be able to sell your product or service as confidently. This leads to fewer sales and a higher rate of turnover.
How to Make the Process Better
Now that we’ve got a clear definition of sales onboarding to work from and we understand why a good process needs to be in place, how do you improve your process or start a new one? Below, we’ve outlined some steps you can take to make a general onboarding process that could work for any sales team. Remember, your onboarding process should be more specific than what we outline here. You should make sure to customize your process to your sales team and the products or services you sell.
With that in mind, you can follow these guidelines to create a sales onboarding process and optimize your current process.
Create a Formal, Documented Program
If you don’t already have a formal, documented onboarding program in place, it’s time to lay one out. Your onboarding process should be clearly defined and well-documented so that every sales rep gets the same treatment and training materials when they join your team.
Your program should include several goals and procedures for new reps to follow. Make sure you include a timeline that shows how they should be progressing and what expectations you have for them. Make sure it also includes checkpoints, training materials, training videos, one-on-one times with management and sales coaches, and other things they’ll need to succeed at your company.
Start the Onboarding Process Right Away
There’s nothing worse than arriving at a new place of work and not knowing where to start or what to do. Make sure you’re not putting your new reps in a situation like this. You should always make sure to hit the ground running with new reps. Start their onboarding process right away so they can become seamlessly integrated into your team sooner. It also helps them feel like you’re prepared for them being there and gives them more confidence in your sales processes.
Provide Data-Driven Sales Training
With modern technology, you can get more insight into your sales training process and improve it through data. Utilizing training tools and intelligence software will help you collect data about your sales process and find the best practices your top reps utilize. With this data in hand, you can hone your sales training process, make data-driven decisions to improve onboarding, and show your new reps what works best when selling your products or services.
Establish Clear KPIs, Goals, and Expectations
Your sales reps, and especially your newest sales reps, need to have clear key performance indicators, goals, and expectations laid out in front of them. When you show your reps what metrics are most important to their success, they’re able to focus on improving in those areas.
Having a clear set of goals and expectations helps your whole team stay aligned and on track, not just your new reps. It’s also important for you to set training goals for your new team members. Show them the skills and metrics you would like them to learn first, and which skills they’ll be learning throughout the training process. When your reps can see this information from the outset, they’ll have a much better chance at success in the future.
Give Your Reps the Right Tools, Right from the Start
Don’t hold back when it comes to providing your reps with sales tools. Give your new reps access to all of their tools and resources right from the start. This allows them to get familiar with these tools and learn how they can best utilize them in the sales process.
When your team has access to these resources, they can also strategize with other reps about ways to improve your sales processes. Also, when they have access to sales enablement tools, they’ll be able to see historical data and insights from the rest of your team. This allows them to better understand how they should approach the sales process and apply the tools to their own sales funnel.
Match Up Rookie Reps with Sales Pro Mentors
Your new sales reps will definitely be relying on your training and onboarding materials when they start the job, but make sure materials aren’t the only thing you’re providing them. Match up your rookie reps with mentors on your sales team, so they have someone they can learn from and turn to when they have questions.
This is incredibly beneficial to your new reps, because they get to see a pro at work and they have a continuous resource throughout their tenure as a sales rep at your company. They also will feel like part of the team sooner. But, this is more than just beneficial for the rookie reps, it’s beneficial for the pros as well. Through teaching and mentorship, your sales pros can learn more about how they approach their sales process and they can improve. While this may be more difficult in remote sales environments, with the right tools you can enable effective peer-to-peer learning for your team.
Provide ROI-Driven Performance Reviews
Your new reps will crave feedback. It’s hard to know if you’re meeting expectations when you start a new position, so make sure you’re continually providing your team with actionable performance reviews. These performance reviews should reflect your expectations of these reps, give them the chance to self-evaluate, and show them what needs improvement and what they’re excelling in.
By providing ongoing feedback, your sales reps will be able to grow and become better reps for your business. They’ll have a concrete understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and understand what they need to do to reach their goals. Feedback is invaluable, so make sure it’s a big part of your onboarding process.
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