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Onboarding Salespeople – Are you doing it right?

Regardless of how long we have been in sales, we can all remember what it felt like to be the new kid on the block. As experienced sales leaders, we play an important role in assisting the new person in learning how to be the best salesperson possible. Onboarding salespeople the right way can make a significant difference in a company’s sales performance, something that can benefit everyone.

As sales in general becomes increasingly competitive, most companies no longer have the luxury of being able to offer extended sales rep training for month’s on end. Many new salespeople today must hit the ground running and be productive in a shorter amount of time. This new trend has placed an increased demand on managers and the learning team to ensure that salespeople are able to perform faster than ever. While this is certainly a tall order, the secret lies in a team approach.

The old adage that it takes a village to raise a child offers a hint of wisdom to sales rep training. In this case, it takes everyone in the company, including the sales manager, the training team and colleagues, to provide new sales reps with the knowledge necessary to succeed.

As a sales manager, it is important to ensure that you extend a healthy balance of coaching and mentoring when working with new sales reps. While the responsibility of sales performance and meeting quotas can make things a bit hectic, adhering to the following tips can help to ensure you bring your new sales reps on board in the best and fastest manner possible.

Begin by establishing a structured approach to training. Many times, hiring is conducted quickly, but that does not mean that the importance of training new hires properly should be overlooked. As part of the onboarding process, consider proper product training, CRM training, and sales methodology training such as Critical Selling or Critical TeleSelling Skills. Take the time to gather comprehensive company and industry information that your new sales reps will need to make a smooth transition and be well informed.

One of the most common mistakes that many organizations make is relying on current sales reps too much to train new team members. Shadowing certainly has its place as part of the onboarding process, but it should never comprise the entirety of proper sales rep training.

Keep in mind that even the most skilled new team members may not be able to meet sales quotas after just one month. Today’s sales climate may be competitive, but make sure that you maintain realistic expectations.

Colleagues can also play an important role in onboarding new sales reps properly. Everyone has something to share and should be willing to help new team members become acclimated. While it is certainly natural to feel somewhat competitive regarding new hires, ultimately, everyone contributes toward the success of the company. Working with new hires today and assisting them in becoming successful can only help everyone. Being willing to extend a warm welcome and answer questions can go a long way.

Although the landscape of sales may have become increasingly competitive, when everyone pitches in to ensure new team members are onboarded properly, the entire team benefits.