A good onboarding process is what makes a good sales rep a GREAT sales rep. Imagine this scenario:
You’ve hired yourself a dream team.
Your gunslingers who you clicked with right from the beginning of the call and you know in your gut they are perfect to skyrocket your sales.
But all your dreams can be shattered before you know it, if your sales reps aren’t trained well.
Here are four ways you can streamline your onboarding process and set a winning tone for your sales reps right from the get go.
30-60-90 : The Holy Grail of All Onboarding Plans
For that you need a smooth & effective onboarding process that strategically trains all the raw talent and at the same time separating the wheat from the chaff by data-oriented elimination of the unfit.
You can dabble with random strategies to create an effective onboarding process, risk wasting a lot of time & resources, or you can adapt the proven 30-60-90 plan tailoring it to your specific needs.
This strategy lays out a clear-cut, concrete action plan for every sales rep from day one that spews well-groomed salesmen at the end of day 90. What’s more, you can tailor it flexibly to your company’s unique needs.
So how does it work?
The sales rep onboarding process is divided into three parts of 30 days each, where they learn all about the company, the product, the works, practice demos & presentations, and then hit the ground running.
0-30: Building a Solid Onboarding Foundation
The first thirty days revolve solely around the rep absorbing as much as they can about the company, the product, the processes & the target markets. And set the tone for a great time at the company.
- Introduce the reps to everything they need to know about the company: The history, the goals, the values, the mission. An effective way to do this is through presentations in a storytelling format and one-on-one meets with important members of the company.
- Acquaint them with the product. Sales Reps need to understand clearly what they’re selling to sell effectively. Product Demos, independent testing, and some sessions with the sales & the product team are some places where you can start.
- Familiarise the new sales reps with the target markets. Once they get the hang of what they are selling, they need to learn whom they are selling to. Case studies & experience stories, customer & status calls, one-on-one conversations with sales leaders are few ways to go about this step.
- Once sales reps are familiar with the product & the market – they need to learn the ropes. The sales cycle, the processes, the customer journey, the tech – everything.
- Along with understanding the work, the reps need to fit in as well. An onboarding kit is a great way to welcome new reps in the family and give a vibe check at the same time of the company culture and the environment.
31-60: Executing all the learnings
Once the reps are done with everything theoretical, it’s time to put the theory into practice. Here’s where your demos, presentations & shadowing come in.
Once they are finally done with the theoretical aspects of sales, they can jump head-on to the sales trenches. They can start slow – from practicing demos and presentations to meeting clients and prospects. This initial push gives them the confidence to ask questions and engage with clients in meetings.
New sales hires should shadow experienced salespeople as much as they can. This let them understand the minute, indirect aspects of sales that can’t be taught and can be learned only by observation. They can shadow veteran sales reps on calls or in-person meetings or presentations.
61-90: Hit the ground running
By this point, your new sales hires are comfortable enough to hit the ground running. As a sales leader, this stage is especially important as you have to guide the sales reps to apply what they have learnt in the past two months. Observe and suggest improvements to the sales hires on their sales calls, check-in frequently to asses performance and provide support and encouragement. At this stage, your work would be mostly observation, guidance and not so much hands-on support. Once the sales reps inch their way out of this phase, they would be skilled enough to handle clients on their own!
- Work begins at Day Zero
The sales enablement process starts even before day one — day zero. You want your sales rep to be setting the round running of the first day of work.
This is when you can send them all the basic documents content and the welcome kit along with few resources for a head start.
This will give them some initiative on the first day and they won’t be going about aimlessly trying to set in. Moreover, giving them something to prepare, like a set of questions regarding the company, is another great way to give them a head start.
- Crystal-Clear Expectations
The new hires should have set clear expectations in front of them to make sure you are setting an effective tone for them to begin.
You can begin with familiarising them with the company mission and overall goals. This is important to align their efforts in accordance with the company goals. Insales numbers and milestones are really important. Both individual and collective. Make sure the tangibles are set from the get go so the sales reps have a clear goal in mind and some motivation to get going.
- Use Engaging Content formats
New sales reps need simple, succinct video courses, bite-sized content and blogs that solve their exact painpoints as they learn. Although sales books and hours long seminars have been used for training hires from the old days of sales – this format has become a bit archaic as of now. They are extremely effective as they engage the sales reps by attacking the heart of the problem while not consuming their valuable time.
They can directly jump on applying what they have learned. Although higher-ups have a hard time abandoning the seminars and courses, with new sales trends entering the market, they are at a natural disadvantage as by the time a technique gets published in a book, it’s already outdated!
Successful sales rep onboarding differentiates your business long-term.
With each high-quality sales rep, your business not only enjoys increasing profits, but you also establish a winning sales culture that sets off a positive loop across the various departments of your business.
On a parting note —
By constantly updating your onboarding process as your company grows, you’ll develop an army of excellent sales reps that further establish you as a market leader in your industry!
Psst: You can use Kytes for free till you’re all scaled up and process perfected.