Onboarding new sales reps?

Onboarding new sales reps can be challenging, particularly if you are either in a small organization or have many other priorities to juggle.  In my first sales role I was sent to Dayton, OH for 3 weeks of training.  When I returned I was told to “go sell”…not the greatest way to start.  Here is an outline of areas to focus on with your new sales reps.

In the first 30 days…

It is important to ensure new sales reps have a solid foundation of knowledge before they start contacting customers.  Key topics include:

  • Company history
  • Products/services offered
  • Current customers, what they are buying and why
  • Key partner organizations that may provide leads
  • How the sales process is defined
  • CRM tool review
  • How proposals, quotes are developed
  • Role playing (e.g. – they present to you)
  • Plan initial customer contacts (with guidance if junior level)

Coaching Plan?

Whether the new reps are junior or senior level, providing coaching is an important element as they ramp up.  Give some thought to your approach:

  • Peers – connect them with other experienced reps
  • Other departments – great way to learn, build working relationships
  • Frequency – how often do you want these meetings taking place?

Practice Plan?

New sales reps need practice in order to get comfortable with presentations, handling questions, managing meetings, etc.  Give them opportunities to make mistakes and develop some confidence by practicing internally.  Question to consider…who do they practice with and how often?

When do you let them run?

Part of planning for new sales reps includes when you want to give them more independence.  What do you want to see before you have them operate more independently?  Some ideas…

  • Provide company overview effectively
  • Address common questions about company
  • Handle basic objections

How you want to onboard new sales reps should be outlined before they start.  It will ensure your time is used efficiently and will help you set expectations with the new reps and those helping them get started.

Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help on this or other topics!

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