Having searched extensively and spent handsomely to find the right candidate for your sales rep position, you want to treat your new hire like the commodity they are. What you don’t want is a revolving door of sales reps, joining the team bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and then bailing a few months later, after either buckling under pressure or feeling underutilized. It hurts your company financially, and it is poison to a healthy sales team culture.
The key, in many regards, to ensuring retention is onboarding. Onboarding lays the foundation for your new hire’s growth within the company and introduces them to key processes, policies, and philosophies that will help them thrive along the way. It should not be skipped.
It also should not be rushed. To that end, here are three onboarding best practices for your sales team to consider.
Provide Pre-Board Resources
There is only some much information a new hire can retain during their first week of employment. Think about it from their perspective. It’s a short period of time, but more than that, it can be an over-stimulating period of time – everything is new, and the sheer stress of wanting to do well can occlude your powers of recall.
It’s better to give new hires “pre-board” resources: reading, viewing, or paperwork they can familiarize themselves with before the job starts. Not only does this save time and money by ensuring they hit the ground running, but it also provides them the chance to familiarize themselves with the team from the comfort, quiet and familiarity of their own home.
Detail Clear, Realistic, Progressive Goals
When laying out goals, ensure they meet the following three criteria: 1) they are clear, 2) they are realistic and 3) they are progressive, proceeding gradually in stages. These goals might be broad, like team annual revenue targets, or focused, like personal monthly sales goals; or they might be action-based goals, like making a certain number of calls this week.
In any case, don’t equivocate what you are asking of them, and make the goals realistic. Give a firm, progressive timelines for the goals, checking back in a week, a month, a quarter, etc., to check their progress.
Familiarize New Hires With Your Sales Software
Reps, especially SDRs who will be qualifying leads, will be using sales software of which they might be unfamiliar. Sales engagement software, which is being used increasingly by teams to automate the sales process and remove the guesswork of choosing the next lead to contact, takes a bit of training, but with a hands-on demo from a designated admin, the new hire should pick it up fine.
You can find out more about the best practices for deploying a sales engagement platform at the link provided, including defining the role of a solution administrator to facilitate staff training and onboarding.
In addition to these best practices, you might consider partnering new hires with experienced team members as well. Just make sure not to “dump” them there – if using shadowing as a form of onboarding, check in with your new hires, and make sure they are being provided useful advice and hands-on experience.