Tips for Building a Successful Process for Onboarding New Salespeople

To build and sustain a high-performing sales team you must begin with successfully onboarding new salespeople. Getting it right from the start will help you ramp them up faster and retain them over the long-term.

The Most Difficult Position to Hire For in Business

Business owners and CEO’s of companies generating $3 to $50 million in annual revenue were recently asked to identify the most frustrating position to hire for within their company.

Their answer? Salespeople

Most managers have paid their dues and worked their tails off, clawing their way up the corporate ladder.

Yet, most managers were not brought on to their company with a solid, structured, onboarding program.

This is why most managers don’t know how to build a successful onboarding program to make a newly hired salesperson’s journey easier.

Ten Tips to Successfully Onboard New Salespeople:

  1. Break learning into small chunks

    Make it easy for your new salespeople to learn by teaching them in small chunks rather than with a fire hose.

  2. Teach your products and services

    Ensure that your new salespeople get adequate instruction on product knowledge during onboarding training.

  3. Foster structured conversations as new hires learn on the job

    Supply a list of questions to assist new salespeople with structuring conversations, when they are getting to know people and different departments.

  4. Test their learning

    Keep in mind that the goal is that your new salespeople have a working knowledge they can draw on with faced with different scenarios.

  5. Understand your new salesperson’s strengths

    Under pressure, we revert to our most natural ways of being. If you know your salesperson’s strengths, you can utilize them to teach new skills.

  6. Reward behaviors and actions

    It is too late to reward the results? Reward the behaviors that lead to the results, and you will get more results faster and more consistently.

  7. First, teach the ‘must have’s’

    Keep it simple. Your new salesperson is eager to prove themselves to you and their coworkers, and to themselves. They want to validate that it was a good move for you to hire them; and that it was a good move for them to take the job.

  8. Set realistic expectations

    Give them a tangible and realistic goal “By the end of your first month you should be able to accurately input a customer request, demonstrate mastery executing each step, and clearly articulate your value proposition.” ”You should also have a list of 500 potential prospects in your territory.”

  9. Identify a ‘company culture mentor’

    When onboarding new salespeople, assign someone to teach them the culture of your company.

  10. Ask for their feedback

    If you are not constantly improving your sales onboarding program based on what you are learning, you are missing the boat.

Professional Onboarding Strategy

Though the focus of this article is onboarding salespeople, the reality is that in today’s competitive landscape, companies need a professional onboarding strategy for every role in the organization.

Creating a structured onboarding program that orients a new sales hire so they can ramp up quickly and achieve success in the first 90-days gives you a solid HR solution that you will use forever.

It is always easier to edit an onboarding strategy than to start one from scratch. Once you know how to orient a new hire, and it is well documented, then you have more freedom to constantly be on the hunt for top-performing salespeople.

When word gets out that you have a well-structured orientation and onboarding program, the top-performers will be on the hunt for you.

We teach you exactly how to hire better salespeople faster in our FREE e-book: The Sales Manager’s Ultimate Interview Guide

About the author

Merit Gest

Merit Gest has more than 20 years of experience working with companies to grow…

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