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How to Improve the Sales Onboarding Process

April 28, 2022

The time required for a sales representative to be productive is quite long, with high turnover rates. Additionally, the cost of replacing a sales representative creates a significant financial burden. So the structure of employee onboarding in sales directly affects the future of the sales organisation, as well as the potential performance of sales representatives.

Speeding up the sales onboarding process shortens the time it takes for new employees to achieve productivity and helps to dramatically reduce turnover rates. 

In this article, we’ve compiled tips on how you can reduce sales rep onboarding time and create a much more productive sales team while keeping employees engaged.

6 Tips to Swiftly Get Your Sales Team In the Game 

The prerequisite for a team to succeed in harmony is reaching the same mindset as a whole. The key to this is hidden in effective onboarding programs (or programmes depending on where reside). The faster this process takes place, the faster success will come. Let’s move on to helpful tips that will reduce ramp-up time.

1- Create a Flexible Yet Robust Onboarding Plan 

In sales representative onboarding, not sticking to a pre-prepared plan is a factor that slows down the process. Improvising the next step can get you into a never-ending cycle of questions and answers. At the same time, it is a very difficult task to find the resources that employees need in each onboarding process.

In order to ensure a smooth process from the beginning, it is important to create a solid onboarding strategy with milestones at regular intervals that can be altered to align with the development level of each employee.

In this way, your employees can know what is expected of them and when and can arrange their time and effort correctly. Thus, dozens of question marks in their minds can be eliminated at the very beginning of the process. Since each step is predetermined, you can adjust your resources accordingly and avoid the dangers of surprises. 

A successful onboarding strategy also sets the tone and culture for making learning a continuous habit. Thus, you can ensure that not only newcomers to the company but the whole team stay active in the learning process.

You can strengthen this plan with sales enablement strategies and make sure that each new sales representative benefits from the right resources.

2- Create a Knowledge Base 

Employees need many resources during the onboarding process. It is important to facilitate access to these resources because the time elapsed between the search for resources and delivery to the employee is quite long. 

If you create a systematically categorised knowledge base, you can access the resources your new employees need in seconds. At the same time, you enable them to reach any information they are curious about without an intermediary person.

3- Customise Onboarding for Roles 

Sales management is a highly complex and company-specific field. For this reason, in line with the structure of the company, many sub-roles are usually created in the sales department. There may be differences in the skill and knowledge set required to fit these roles. 

For this reason, set up your onboarding structure in a way that you can offer content customised to the role in which you will position the salesperson. In this way, you can make sure that your employee does not need time to get used to the role in addition to the onboarding process.

4- Turn Your Team Members Into Mentors 

It is very important for employees to get suggestions and advice from their colleagues for their adaptation to the role. Part of the onboarding process is adapting to the work culture and procedural practices. 

There is no resource more unique for training than your employees who have been in your company’s working structure for a long time. When your new employees regularly exchange ideas with their teammates, they can go far beyond theoretical knowledge.

5- Get Your New Sales Hire Ready for Onboarding 

Your new salesperson will learn countless details about their brand-new environment after the recruitment process. The confusion caused by this can seriously distract your employees and considerably slow down the learning process.

By creating onboarding preparation content for your employees that provides concise information about company history, competitors, goals, consumer personas, and so on, you can create a foundation on which to build everything they learn. 

Of course, this preparation package will be optional as you cannot force your employees to start the onboarding process before they even start working. However, encouraging them to review this content will speed up the onboarding process for everyone

6- Test Results of the Learning Process 

If you don’t ensure that your sales onboarding program is progressing correctly at every step, learning levels can drop drastically in later stages. This is why you should test your new employees at certain points in the onboarding process

Since sales is a sector where interaction with people makes a difference, it will not be enough to test theoretical knowledge. For this reason, in addition to techniques such as quizzes and puzzles where you can determine theoretical levels, you should also turn to interactive tests where you can measure the application of what has been learned in the relationship with the customer.

For this, sales managers can create role-playing sessions where they test the employee by playing the customer role. Or you can test the employee’s compliance by creating a more comprehensive sales simulation involving real people.

Support the Onboarding Process With a Sales Training Program

Sales education is a field with its own unique dynamics. Most of the time, the training that companies provide is not enough to give the employee the right frameworks, techniques, and tools to thrive.

If employees start working without gaining essential sales skills, they will not become productive for a long time. In the long term, this process results in the employee’s decision to leave the job due to the stress that is on them.

Instead of wasting time and money constantly replacing sales reps,  choose to invest in a professional training program. In this way, you will both enhance your bottom line and have a partner who takes charge of steps for you to speed up the onboarding process.

With LSOS’s unique sales training programs designed by salespeople for salespeople, you can shorten your team’s onboarding process, make it much more efficient, and radically reduce your turnover rate.

If you would like information on what you need to unlock your team’s potential, arrange a meeting with an LSOS team member.