In an industry – and workplace – where hitting your targets is critical, it’s essential to start coaching and encouraging your new recruit as soon as they walk through the door, so they can start delivering results as quickly as possible.
However, there’s a reason why 71% of companies take six months or longer to onboard new sales reps: though hitting targets is the end goal, a successful onboarding process will truly integrate them into the team and encourage them to stay, which is important in an industry where 51% of salespeople start looking for a move after only two years.
With this in mind, here are some things you absolutely need to provide for your new recruits in order to embed them into the team and encourage them to start delivering results.
Provide structure and goals
In order to help your new starter start performing, you need to rigorously structure their first three months. Everybody feels more confident if they know what’s expected of them, so set out a detailed development plan for them to follow which will help them grow into the role. Set out your plan using SMART objectives, and set KPIs for your new sales person to work towards; and as salespeople are naturally competitive, this will drive them towards hitting targets.
It’s also a good idea to involve your new recruit in this process: sit down with them and discuss which goals to set with them. What do they want to achieve? Not only will this give you a good idea of what motivates them but by setting targets they have had an active role in choosing they will be more motivated to succeed.
Get them practicing what they’ve learnt
A good way to build up your recruit’s confidence quickly is to get them practicing what they’ve learnt in real sales situations. Engage in some sales roleplay exercises, where you can see how well they can think on their feet. Put the new salesperson to work with one of your best team members so they can learn good habits, such as how to handle common objections or deal with difficult customers. This is a great opportunity to cover all areas of the sales process, and even for your current sales team to brush up on their skills, too.
With training in mind, this may also be a good time to think about pushing your new recruit that extra mile by investing in some internal or external sales training courses.
Be a strong coach
In a marketplace where millennials receiving mentorship are twice as likely to stay at their company for more than five years than those who are not, be a mentor and coach your new recruit. Whilst generating revenue is always important for a sales team, improving their performance isn’t just a case of telling them to do something better: to be a good coach you need to be able to identify which of their skills need improvement, and help your new salesperson to work on them, so they don’t make the same mistakes twice in their sales processes. For instance, they could be fantastic at getting appointments, but struggle to close a deal: conduct coaching sessions during and after sales calls and meetings, so they know where they’re going wrong, and how to improve.
It’s vital to make extra time in your schedule for coaching, especially when it comes to giving advice and feedback. This is part of the integration process, helping to build your new recruit’s confidence, and showing them where to improve so they can hit their numbers and maximize their performance.
The best way to build relationships between new starters and the rest of the team is to make the effort to involve them in social events, especially as creating this sense of community will boost team morale and go a long way to creating a winning sales culture. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate the strong company culture that you have: invite them to social occasions, team lunches, and most importantly, team meetings. Make sure they feel like their voice is heard; you can even use this ‘honeymoon period’ to your advantage by getting them to write a review about your company on Glassdoor!
Integrate them into the company
The key to transforming your new recruit into a passionate salesperson who delivers results quickly is integration. If you set attainable goals, involve them in making decisions about their development, and let them learn from the top salespeople in your team, you’ll soon have them hitting- and exceeding- their sales targets.
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