A good sales onboarding program is one of the best things you can do for your company long term. Not only will it benefit your team, but it will benefit your customers, your reps, and most importantly you. It may take a while to perfect but with all these benefits, it’s a no brainer.
What we’re going to cover:
- Quick decisions.
- Reduce turnover
- Higher revenue
- Higher profit
- Shorter ramp up
- Happier customers
- Recruiting tool
- Longer Tenure
- Reduce Silos
Recognize hiring mistake
“In a perfect world we implement a hiring process, an sales onboarding process, we go out we find the right candidate, we hire them, we onboard them, and they become this wildly successful sales rep for our company. But, we live in an imperfect world. And ultimately, it’s about reducing risk. When we go through the sales hiring process we’re reducing the risk that we make a mistake and hire the wrong person, that’s why we do it. However, we all make mistakes. So, what a really strong sales onboarding process helps you do is recognize that hiring mistake early on in the process.”
“First 30 days you’ll know. How will you know? Scoring them out. You have a schedule for them, an agenda, are they meeting the objectives, you’re testing and bench-marking as they go along, are they matching that? Are they passing the tests, are they getting over the hurdles, are you getting good positive feedback from the other departments?
So, in this program the way this is laid out, you can make a decision in 30 days you can make a decision in 60 days, you can make a decision in 90 days, depending on the progression. And that’s a lot better than what happened in the past. If it’s not working, it’s not working. You move on and you pivot to something else, whatever that is.”
Educated reps sell more
“So with a good sales onboarding program first of all an educated rep sells more, they’re well prepared for the job, they know exactly what they’re supposed to do. They start the job getting educated on how to be a good sales rep in your company, in the future, and they walk out of that 90 days with a development plan and ready to take on the world. So by that very nature they’re going to sell more.”
“They’re well prepared and when they hit the field the internal communication and the internal relationships are better, and they feel more comfortable externally with clients and customers. So, they’re much happier in their role, it’s that simple. People who are happy in their role and excited about their job and feel well prepared, they’ll stick around. Why would they want to leave that?”
People get tired
“If you’re just hiring people and throwing them against a wall and hoping they stick, no real onboarding, go get em tiger, you’re going to have turnover. People are going to get tired and they’re going to leave and you’re not going to really know if it’s you or if it’s them because you didn’t give them the tools they needed to succeed.”
Ready to sell
“Higher revenue is a direct result of a good sales onboarding program. Look, they come out of this 90 days, they come out ready to sell, because your sales onboarding process shortens the time frame on the things that they need to know to be successful. They’re going to come out confident and prepared to sell. Confident people, prepared people, generate higher revenue business, it’s that simple.”
“Why? Well they’re more educated. They’re ready to go. They have a tremendous amount of confidence in their ability to get the job done because you’ve given them that. You’ve given all the tools they need to succeed from the sales skill set, to the company knowledge, to the product knowledge, to the sales knowledge, to go out there and confidently talk to prospects.”
“You’re there to support them and they know they have the development, they know you have their back when you build a sales onboarding program because you put them out there, ready to go, they know if they run into a wall they can get help. That’s fantastic. That confidence yields higher profit.”
Shorter ramp up
9 months too long
“Most sales onboarding programs, or most sales reps, take about 9 months too long to be successful. But they’re fully baked when they come out of your program, a good sales onboarding program, just think about it. You’ve implemented a sales hiring process, you’ve taken this huge wide funnel of potential candidates, narrowed it down to a few primary, the cream of the crop. You interview the cream of the crop, selected the best of the best, bring them into your company, and you spent a lot of time and effort to get them ready to move into the field. So instead of taking 9-18 months, you’re only taking 3-4 months. They’re moving towards revenue and profitability faster than they would have at another job.”
Product & Process.
“Stands to reason that if you put somebody in the field that understands their own company, the product, the process, the customers are going to be happier. The prospects are going to be happier. You sent me somebody who was professional instead of somebody who didn’t know what they were doing and had to keep going back to the office and asking questions because they weren’t getting the support and development they need. That yields more business for you.”
“So as a recruiting tool, words spreads. You get positive feedback from the reps, they’re going to tell their friends, ‘It’s amazing, my company is the greatest ever, this is what they did for me, this is what’s happening, I’m learning so much. I get support, I get development, I’m here 30 days and my schedules laid out for me. I’m learning about the products we sell, the company, the sales process, I feel so much better about this job and this company. I feel so confident that I’m going to be successful.’”
“You can tell a potential recruit, somebody you’re looking to bring into the company, hey talk to this rep ask him about what we do for a sales onboarding program, ask him about what we do in the sales hiring process, and they’re going to give you great feedback.”
“Well, we’re talking about aligning sales and marketing, right? Marketing participates in the sales onboarding process.”
“This is our marketing department, they’re going to train you on how to message, and what they’re trying to accomplish, how to manage the inbound leads that come in, here’s the process for it, it’s part of the sales enablement process, these are the tools, here’s the content and the best use of that content, how to use the content, when to use the content, that’s the value of a good onboarding process, you get alignment right up front.”
“It stands to reason that people will stay longer with your company if they’re making money, they’re happy with their job and they enjoy it. They’re getting early success, you’ve created a career path for them. It’s usually if you sell a lot we’ll talk about it, I understand that’s part of the program that I need to sell but it’s nice to have an idea of where I’m going and to have those ongoing conversations so when we’re ready to do something, we’ll do it.”
“Now I’m not saying people are going to stay with your company for 25 years like they used to in the 50’s and 60’s, but maybe you’ll get past that average tenure of a 1.5-2 years. Or maybe in your business it’s 6 months, in the industry I came out of it was 6 months. Our average tenure was 7.5 years.
But having a development plan and a career path helped keep people in the fold 7.5 years on average. And we had failures to, so we hired people and had to fire them in 3 months that’s factored into the number, that tells you how strong a program it was. What kind of development path was available. You will get longer tenure from a good hiring process and a good sales onboarding process. Onboarding is the real key here, because it shows them the way.”
“Now you’re encouraging teamwork, you build a project to build the sales onboarding program, it’s constantly being updated because the company changes like any other company. You’re creating a sales culture that says ‘hey we’re in this together, we’re in this to drive revenue because it might not affect you personally selling in the field but it will affect your career the more we sell. There’s better opportunity at a strong financially healthy company than the other way around. So, we all have a stake in this game.’”
“It builds a really good culture it builds teamwork, everyone participates. Bring a rep in, train them on the administrative side, the administrative people are participating in that training, sales reps do a better job processing paperwork. It’s an imperfect world, salespeople are imperfect they’re not going to do it correctly every time but it’s a far cry from where they were.
Everybody takes responsibility for it, the silos begin to break down. The manager from one of those departments can pick up the phone and call the manager of the sales department not get in an argument or say ‘nothing’s going to be done’ they actually work through the issues, they communicate.”
“All of these things benefit your company. And for what? It takes you a few months to set up a sales onboarding program and a little while to tweak it. Who cares? Look at all the benefits you get from it, it’s a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned.”
Keep Filling The Funnel
We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover. You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.