Setting Up New Solution Sellers to Succeed
The first 90 days of any new employee’s tenure with an organization has a great impact on their effectiveness and speed to productivity; for a solution selling new-hire, it matters even more. The first 90-day plan sets the pace and expectations for their behavior and their ongoing results. In addition to customized solution selling training programs for their unique situation, you certainly want to do the sales onboarding for your salespeople right.
Your sales onboarding plan should reflect your overall sales strategy and sales culture. It should highlight for your new solution selling team members what you consider sales best practices in your specific market and with your specific offerings. It should be clear and simply stated and specific with measurable goals. You want them to start off on the right foot.
Here is how we break apart the overall strategy for sales onboarding into smaller plans that provide structure for the onboarding process. Spell out what you expect your salespeople to do for:
- Finding New Customers
Some sales teams rely upon experts to feed them leads; others consider prospecting part of every sales team member’s job. If you are in the second group, be clear about the process you have found works best in prospecting for new clients and how much time you expect your sales team to spend on this part of the sales cycle.
- Qualifying Sales Opportunities
Provide new salespeople with the criteria that fits your overall strategy for qualifying customer opportunities. And give them the rating system you use to sort top tier customers from those with little likelihood of buying from you.
- Providing Value
Give your “new guys” the sales tools and support they need to stay in contact with prospects and ways to follow up with touch points that provide real value. It will be the salesperson’s choice of which tools to use to maintain contact with their prospect but there should be a variety of whitepapers, email templates, customer success stories, and relevant articles from which to choose.
- Handling Sales Objections
Here’s where you can give them a real leg up. Share your experience with how you have successfully overcome the most common sales objections. They usually fall into just a few categories: too expensive, not currently needed, other priorities, etc. Use customized solution selling training programs to help your new sales folks understand and practice the best solution selling techniques like painting a picture of what could happen without using your service, etc.
- Managing Their Time
Be clear about how much time you expect sales reps to spend in direct customer contact, how often in team meetings, what reports they are responsible for, and so on. In short, what activities have spelled success for your highest performing team members and how should they prioritize those activities and their time?
In essence, the 90-day sales onboarding experience can set the stage for a salesperson’s future success. See that it reflects the way you want them to behave throughout their sales days, weeks and months ahead. With a clear road map, they will be well launched toward achieving the goals your company needs for sales success.