Hiring Guide

Onboarding New Salespeople: Best Practices

Published , Updated 6 mn
Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel Lavergne

Co founder and chief editor

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of reviewflowz.com, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies

How to enable your new sales people to reach their full potential faster? How to build a favourable sales team & culture in your organisation? The onboarding process of your new salespeople is an important lever for this. In this article, we give you a reading grid & some best practices to create the best possible onboarding.

#1 Hire several vendors at once

When it comes to training new sales representatives, there is strength in numbers. Instead of hiring one new candidate at a time, consider hiring two or three:

  • Healthy competition can be an important motivating factor for new salespeople.
  • Rejection is an important part of the sales process, and it is easier for new salespeople to deal with rejection when they are part of a cohesive team.
  • Hiring multiple salespeople allows you to test new sales strategies with multiple employees, as well as collect more data to evaluate the effectiveness of your training methods.
  • If all your new recruits make it, you will strengthen your sales force considerably. Conversely, if one of them decides to jump ship, you’ll have several options for dealing with their departure.

As a bonus, this makes it much easier to deal with the various administrative formalities with the different organisations to be contacted, the health insurance scheme, the luncheon vouchers, etc. etc.

#2 Streamline your onboarding process

New recruits want two things when they join your organisation:

  • A chance to succeed
  • The feeling of being part of a team that will help them to achieve this

If your new sales reps have a negative or difficult hiring experience, they will be much more likely to leave your company in the first few months.

Far too many companies drag out the onboarding of new salespeople, either by delaying the actual training or by interrupting it once it has begun.

Onboarding should be seen as different from training and should be carried out by each new recruit within the first week of employment.

For a successful onboarding of your sales people, you can follow these steps:

  • 1. Ask new employees to complete payroll, insurance and human resources paperwork on their first day of work, making sure that all their questions are answered.
  • 2. Give each new hire a copy of your company’s policies and procedures manual. Spend some time reviewing your workplace rules, as well as the principles of your company culture.
  • 3. Set clear expectations. Make sure your new employees know the overall mission of your company, as well as their individual responsibilities.
  • 4. Make sure they are aware of your leave tracking policy and can plan ahead. Give them access to leave tracking tools, we like Vacation Tracker for example. The tool helps your teams to manage their own leave requests and get a complete overview of their remaining days.

#3 Link your new recruits with more senior representatives

While manuals and tutorials are important, no training of one is complete without the guidance of an experienced peer. After introducing your new salespeople to your team, have each of them shadow a more experienced salesperson.

Your new salespeople can gain invaluable knowledge by watching and listening to their more experienced colleagues make sales calls and give demonstrations. In addition, it speeds up their learning by asking questions at the right time.

Things to remember
New salespeople should be encouraged to interact with your entire sales team to find mentors. Mentors can not only guide their day-to-day progress, but also provide long-term career guidance.

#4 Don’t overwhelm your new employees with information

You may have a ton of great information to share with your new employees, but they simply won’t remember it if you just put the material on their desk.

Instead, train them on one specific task at a time.

Here is a solid training model for onboarding your new salespeople:

  • 1. Start by introducing them to the most basic products and services.
  • 2. Once they are able to effectively describe the selling points of the products, ask them to start learning thecold calling andemailing processes.
  • 3. Let them accompany the senior salespeople in their demonstrations and presentations.
  • 4. Have them practice using the demo and presentation scripts.
  • 5. Once they have mastered the scripts, they can start to do demonstrations and presentations themselves.
  • 6. Continue this pattern until your new employees have mastered your entire sales process.

You should also consider using sales training software. There are many quality options for virtually every budget and team size, and salespeople who successfully use top-notch sales training platforms close 10% more business than those who don’t.

Things to remember
The priority for your new employees should be to get to grips with your entire sales process. Not only is it more rewarding, it’s also more important. Wait until they have completed their training before asking them to learn about other products or services.

#5 Check in with them once a week

Once your new recruits have started training with their peers, ask managers to meet with them once a week to assess their progress.

At each weekly meeting, managers should keep these questions in mind to optimise the onboarding of your new salespeople:

  • Is the new sales coach a good fit? Could he or she be partnered with someone else?
  • If the recruit is having difficulties, is it in one area or in all areas?
  • Does the new employee have any particular strengths or ideas that could be useful in selling particular products or services?
  • Will the new employee be a good fit for the company?

Things to remember
By reacting quickly to any problems and making the necessary changes, you can speed up the training process. And if it looks like a new recruit isn’t going to make it, it’s best to know as soon as possible.

#6 Monitor their performance

In addition to weekly checks with your new recruits, it is essential that you establish a (short) list of key indicators to monitor their progress, and that they take ownership of these.

Although these indicators vary from company to company, your company should pay particular attention to the following:

  • Do your new recruits understand your company’s sales objectives and the ins and outs of your sales funnel?
  • Are they becoming proficient in the use of your company’s sales & CRM software?
  • Will your new recruits be able to reach your target?
  • Do your new salespeople understand the problems your potential customers face? Will they be able to successfully present your products or services as a solution?
  • Are they actively listening to their coaches and peers? Do they gain the trust of your whole team?

The answers to these questions can be obtained from meetings with new employees, their managers and peers they observe. You can also assess their progress by listening to their sales calls and attending their sales meetings.

#7 Organise follow-up training

No matter how talented your new salespeople are, onboarding will not be enough to make them master all aspects of your sales process. It is also likely that they will forget much of what they have learned during the training.

You can address the difficulties of your new representatives and counter the “forgetting curve” by adding follow-up training.

Once their initial training is complete, organise six to eight weeks of follow-up training in which your new representatives review what they have learned and ask questions. They should also have the opportunity to practice their new skills, both internally and, more importantly, with real prospects, so that they can see the results of their work.

Not only will this active learning help new representatives to become effective representatives, but it can also help you to refine your sales operations processes.

#8 Integrate your new recruits into your marketing team

Your business will perform better if your sales and marketing teams are aligned.

All new sales reps should take the time to get to know your marketing team, the marketing channels they use (and why), and where your sales team fits into the mix.

Things to remember
Encouraging positive interaction between your sales and marketing teams can increase the effectiveness of both departments.

Salespeople can share valuable information (such as the problems potential customers face, their questions, their likes and dislikes, etc.) that the marketing team can use to create better messages, strategies and campaigns.

These marketing efforts will allow you to generate more leads for your salespeople.

#9 Allow your new salespeople to spend time in the customer relations department

More and more companies are focusing on customer experience, for example throughaccount-based marketing.

It can be easy for sales people to think of customers as just deals or transactions. But anyone in customer relations knows that customers are real people with very human preferences, emotions, problems and desires.

Take advantage of the onboarding of your new sales staff to have them spend time with your customer relations team. This way, they will learn to listen to customers and know exactly what they want and need. This will have a significant impact on your sales, retention and help you better convert your customers into ambassadors who recommend your products and services to others.

About the author

Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of reviewflowz.com, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies