It’s never easy to onboard new hires into your sales team, but the difficulties increase when the onboarding process takes place remotely.
It takes a substantial amount of careful planning to make sure the first 90 days of your new hires’ experience is one of value and growth.
That’s why we’ve outlined the key milestones you’ll need to hit to make sure your new hire feels confident to go out there and start representing and selling for your company.
Why it’s important to set milestones to chart your onboarding success
“Failure to plan is planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
That’s the cliché yet accurate saying we’ve all heard a million times. And it’s true. No matter how many years of experience your new hires have, they are still entering a brand-new environment that will have a different culture, style, client list, and technology to wrap their heads around.
And the better planned the experience at the beginning of their employment, the more good habits they’ll learn that define your business and help you continue bringing in revenue.
But the onboarding process isn’t just for the benefit of your bottom line. The first impressions a company gives its new hires can make or break a person’s decision to stay with a company.
And if you give a poor first impression by not providing adequate support, you may end up seeing talented sales representatives slip through your fingers and move somewhere else that does know how to appreciate what they bring to the table.
So let’s help you make a plan, shall we?
Milestones for onboarding your new remote working sales reps
1.Set the stage during the hiring process
The onboarding process starts from the moment you post your job advert.
The information both your advert and work website provide are the first impression prospective hires have of the company. So it’s vital to make sure your website provides clear, information-rich pages that hires can explore and get a feel for the company.
You should also make sure to stay in contact throughout the application process, being open to answering any queries hires may have and checking back to make sure they are ok.
While most interviews now take place via video meetings, if you do invite them for an in-person interview, make sure to introduce them to people in the office and let them ask questions.
You never know who will get the job, and you want every person that approaches you for an interview to feel comfortable and see themself as a potential part of the team.
2.Organize the first day in advance
So, you’ve chosen your hire (or hires). Congratulations! You’ve reached the first milestone. Now the work really begins.
The first day at a new job is the first opportunity employees have to really understand the culture and team atmosphere of the company – whether it’s online or in person.
And if you’ve ever started at a new job only to be told to just sit at your desk, and made to feel forgotten, you’ll know this is a major faux pas.
So make sure to plan the first day with an introduction to the team, an introduction to the job, and a few easy tasks to get them settled in. This could be setting up their digital workspace (emails, slack/teams/discord, sales platform, etc.), or giving them a basic introduction to the digital apps used by the team.
It’s often nerve-wracking going into your first day, so let your new hires know in advance what they can expect on their first day so they feel more comfortable when they arrive.
And encourage the rest of the team to send them a message or email welcoming them to the team!
3.Instill the brand and culture of the company
Between your website, job advert, and interviews, you should have already given your new hires an impression of the brand and culture of the company.
However, the first week of employment is the perfect opportunity to set up a meeting with some key players on your team to discuss the brand and culture to get them up to speed and feeling involved.
Doing this as a discussion instead of a lesson or training module allows your new employees to ask questions and feel less intimidated.
4.Take advantage of tech-based learning
In an ideal world, you would arrange for someone to teach every element of the job to your new hires and be there at all times to answer questions.
Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done.
So while you should endeavor to do this as much as possible, you should also take advantage of training videos and FAQs that can be stored on your company’s cloud network and accessed easily.
This will also empower your new hires to take charge of their learning and find their autonomy in their new position.
You should still be available to ask questions, though!
5.Product familiarity period
Ok, so a quick recap: you’ve got your new hires acquainted with their teammates, company culture, and technology. Now it’s time to show them what they will be selling.
The best salesperson knows their product inside out. And there’s only one way to do that – by testing the product for yourself.
So give your employees free reign to explore the products they will be selling over the first couple of weeks of onboarding so they can start to develop their sales pitch.
And make a list of specific product information available at the same time so they can create that all-important feature/benefit sales point.
6.Shadow current sales reps
Selling online and over the phone can be intimidating, especially if you have never done it before.
Ask some of your more experienced sales reps to let your new hires listen in on calls to grasp the sales techniques that work for your products, as well as pick up tips and tricks that could help them in their own sales pitches.
7.Sliding scale of expectations
This milestone starts from about week two and lasts the entire duration of the onboarding process.
In the sales industry, there is an innate pressure for new sales reps to perform and match the sales of their contemporaries.
However, this is not possible and will only leave new hires disillusioned, burnt out, and break their confidence.
Instead, create a sliding scale of realistic sales goals as they learn the ropes, and review them regularly to ensure new hires are on target. If they aren’t, it means more training is needed. The sooner you pinpoint this, the better.
8.Introduce new salespeople to clients
One of the salesperson’s greatest assets is their client list. And if your company has a list of loyal clients that do regular business with you, you should get your new employees involved in these conversations and introduce them to the clients.
Not only will this make them feel more confident, but it will also help your clients work well with them in the future.
9.Listen to and review sales calls from new hires
Feedback is an essential part of the learning process. So schedule a few sales calls to listen in on every 1-2 weeks and provide constructive feedback for new hires so they know what they are doing well and where they can improve.
This will also help new hires feel supported as opposed to “trying to just figure it out as I go.”
Make sure that all feedback is constructive – it’s important to build up confidence, not knock it down.
10.Create a mentorship program
Having a senior member of staff showing new hires the ropes in their first month of employment is a great safety blanket, but it isn’t feasible in the long term.
That’s why a mentorship program will benefit your new hires as they come to the end of their 90-day onboarding period.
Get “veteran” sales reps to volunteer and match them up with new hires.
You can also create chat channels where your employees can post questions and help each other out in real-time.
Provide continuous training opportunities
We’ve come to the end of the onboarding process. The new hires should be up to speed and feel confident in their role, knowing who they can ask and where to go when they need help.
But just because they have “graduated” from the onboarding process, it doesn’t mean learning should be finished.
The sales industry is a constantly moving entity, and as such it’s imperative to provide all employees with additional training opportunities that allow them to move up in the company.
At TeamJeenyus, we help sales companies and managers onboard new staff to build confident team members that bring a positive impact to your business.