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Onboarding an employee is a process of training that employee and getting them acquainted with the organization. Onboarding sales representatives usually includes the normal best practice of having them review your organization’s handbook and attend orientation meetings. However, there is a need to train them and let them know what their responsibilities are. Onboarding sales reps the proper way ensures the retention of such staff and more importantly, boosts productivity. The Society for Human Resources Management states three main objectives a proper onboarding process should achieve: acclimate, engage, and retain. What are the tips to onboard and coach new sales reps effectively?
One of the problems most companies have is failing to apply the same standard across all boards. As a manager, you need to understand that onboarding new sales could last almost a year. So with this in mind, you will need to define your onboarding process and standardize it for subsequent onboarding processes. After all, you are not going to hire all the staff you will ever need in one day. Your standard can follow these phases:
This process lays more importance on getting the sales rep to have a deep understanding of the company’s services. This is better than pushing them to the market almost immediately.
When your onboarding process takes almost a year, it will be impossible to expect your sales reps to retain all you would teach them during that period. Going over it means like another year of training and there is still no guarantee that your sales rep will learn everything by heart. So to ensure everything told to the employee can be revised from time to time, you have to put the lectures down in writing in the form of a handout. The company can also work to build a frequently asked set of questions and answers document about the company and about the role. The handout and FAQs document can help the new sales rep recount any forgotten aspect of his or her job.
In order for new hires to be effective, you need to let them know what is expected of them and this is what the onboarding process is all about. Nowadays, some companies hire their sales representatives remotely. For example, if you hired some of your staff remotely. During the onboarding process, you can let them know that they are expected to work from coworking spaces and so all other things they will need from an office would be provided for them there. You can do this as a form of encouragement instead of forceful. For another example, you may need to increase sales by a certain percentage. You have to communicate this with your new sales reps so they know how to grind out more sales. Once there is a clear understanding of what the employee needs from the sales rep, everyone will be on the same page and office duties will be carried out in confidence.
An onboarding process is usually to pattern your new sales reps after some of your veteran staff members that have been long in the business. To effectively achieve this, you can pair them up for close understudying. Seeing how things are being done is definitely more effective than just being taught from a whiteboard or over a discussion. This process has to be handled with care though as your top seller may not have the opportunity or patience to add some other duty to his or her already busy schedule.
Onboarding your sales reps properly is a process that needs optimization over time. The chances that you will assume the best onboarding approach for your organization right from the first episode are slim. Well, it is okay if you do not get it right the first time but if you are willing to keep analyzing your onboarding efforts and optimize them for greater success in the future. Make sure to also ask your new hires how the onboarding process is going and encourage them to talk about areas that are uncomfortable for them. This will help you with the onboarding optimization process.
When you hire new sales reps, you want to turn them into high-class employees delivering excellence in productivity. Proper onboarding is very instrumental to that objective. These tips here will go a long way in helping you as a manager to make your onboarding process a very fruitful one. The success of any organization is in the hands of the staff members. This should ring in your head as a manager continually during your next staff onboarding project.
About the author
Mila Edwin is an adviser for Marketing. She works with many businesses to help them branch in many countries, such as in France, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK. She has experience working in a range of industries and providing technical support in topics such as business growth, market expansion, and product development. She is passionate about languages, traveling, and writing.