5 Ways to Speed Your New Sales Rep to Full Productivity
If you have finally found and hired the top sales talent you need to fill that empty slot on your sales team, you are likely anxious to get that “A” player productive as soon as possible. What is the best strategy to get them prepped and ready to sell? Do you go for speed or steady? Who is ultimately going to win the race?
We think it takes a smart blend of focusing on the most important success factors quickly and then going for a steady approach that supports development of those critical few skills for your unique sales strategy and sales culture. Here are the 5 steps we recommend that will get your new sales rep to the onboarding finish line…fully equipped to succeed in the next challenge—closing deals with target customers.
- Narrow the focus to the most important and make it simple.
The firehose approach to feeding new hires information will only overwhelm them. Filter through your solution tool kit to teach them the very most essential things—the skills and knowledge that have been proven successful. They are as eager as you to be productive quickly. Don’t waste their time (and yours) by filling them in on ancillary offerings and seldom needed skills.Then help them with a concise and compelling way of describing what you do. How can they succinctly tell others about your business and the value of what you offer? Help them understand what customer problems you can solve and how.
Click here to learn more about sales training assessment techniques to identify your “money making skills”
- Define their targets clearly.
Give them as much guidance as possible on where you want them to concentrate their efforts. Define your “sweet spot” target clients so your new sales reps learn what characteristics to look for as they refine their prospect list. Work together to analyze what specific strengths and contacts they bring to the table…and then capitalize on them. Prioritize a list of potential customers and give them as many “warm” introductions into their territory as possible. Then stay available to answer questions as they begin to drill down on the list.
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- Give them the sales tools they need.
What have you found that works most effectively in marketing and selling your brand? An introductory email? Testimonials? Referrals? Maybe all three? Make sure your new sales rep has access to the sales and marketing tools that will be useful in those early customer calls. Arm them with relevant customer case studies, effective email intros, referrals from your own customer base, and templates that allow efficiencies in proposal writing and solution descriptions. The more refined and targeted the sales tool kit, the speedier their route to and success with potential target buyers.
- Provide a selling “partner” who can show them the ropes, model the way your organization sells most successfully and coach them through early customer interactions.
Don’t make them learn all on their own. They will learn much more quickly on-the-job as they accompany sales team members on their calls. As soon as possible, give them a chance to spread their wings and participate in the customer meetings. For example, we like to have new sales reps call on Tier 3 accounts within the first 30 days to practice our value proposition, get feedback and refine their approach before calling on Tier 1 and Tier 2 target accounts.
- Keep solution selling training throughout the full ramp period.
Their orientation should be ongoing, not just for the first month or two. Think how long it took you to feel confident in your ability to select and serve your clients effectively. Bringing a new sales rep aboard is a long-term commitment…for long-term value, you need to stay available and encourage their efforts. Most sales leaders create a 6-12 month sales onboarding program to ensure that their new sales reps can effectively sell their solutions to their target customers.