The first day at a new job presents challenges for even the most experienced sales person. With new products, services, environments and colleagues to become familiar with, there’s a lot to take in for a new starter who will be wanting to impress from day one. But it’s not just your new sales starter who needs to put their best foot forward – your business does too.
More than a fifth of new starters have left a job during or at the end of their probationary period, according to CIPD, suggesting that a team member’s first few months on the job are absolutely critical to the rest of their tenure. Day one for a new starter should set the bar for the rest of the onboarding process, ensuring they are integrated within your organisation and motivated to stay on. Here’s how to ensure their first day on the job is successful:
Reduce paperwork where possible
Day one shouldn’t be wasted on administrative tasks – instead, ensure the focus is on relationship building and engagement. UK workers spend 441,827,088 days a year on ‘time wasting’ office tasks, with excessive administration being ranked as the second-most restrictive factor preventing team members from doing their jobs. Sales managers and others involved in the recruitment and onboarding process should look to cut down on unnecessary paperwork across the board, but particularly on a new starter’s first day when it’s important to make a good first impression. Send as much essential documentation as possible to new sales people to be completed ahead of their first day, leaving more time for introductions, training and getting to grips with the new role.
Set up systems and technologies
Best-in-class companies are 35% more likely to begin onboarding processes before a new starter’s first day, according to Aberdeen research. Follow suit by ensuring your new sales person’s mobile, laptop, desktop and other devices are set up on your network and have all necessary programmes installed and ready to go. Even the most experienced sales managers are guilty of neglecting this step, so take the time to note down login details and passwords, ensure phones are hooked up and work stations are prepared for the first day of work.
Line up a buddy
Workplace buddies can make a significant impact on how quickly new starters settle into not only their role, but also teams and the wider organisation, according to Manchester Metropolitan University. A buddy is not designed to take on supervisory tasks – instead, this person can help to introduce new sales people to the team, show them around the office and answer questions the new starter may not be comfortable approaching you for. The provision of training and performance evaluations still falls upon you as the manager, however a buddy can add an additional layer of support and ensure your new sales starter adapts to your workplace culture. A good buddy system will need buy-in from other team members and management, so make sure this is implemented and expectations are discussed well in advance of the first day.
Organise a team meeting
Sales people’s relationships with their colleagues are integral to their overall happiness in the workplace – and their health. A 2016 study revealed that higher social identification in the workplace is linked to better health and wellbeing. Teams that work well together and have rapport are more likely to feel psychologically and physically healthy in the workplace, which has enormous benefits for the wider organisation.
With that in mind, set new starters off on the right track from day one by integrating them into the sales team as much as possible. Organise a welcome lunch, off-site coffee or after work drinks to allow your new sales person to get to know the team in a less formal context. Induction and training sessions should allow new starters to interact with many team members more professionally, but the first day is a good opportunity to bring the whole team together and make your new starter feel welcome.
Present your strategic overview
Sales people are typically highly driven, self-motivated people who need to feel bought into a business and its vision in order to sell its products and services. In fact, 80% of workers feel more engaged when their work is aligned with their company’s core values and mission.
Start off on the right foot by presenting your vision and strategic overview to your new starter on day one. Your new sales starter should feel excited, inspired and ultimately keen to get selling, so brush up on your presentation skills and focus on the areas most relevant to your new starter.
Give them a plan of attack
A good induction and onboarding process should extend beyond a sales person’s first week on the job. While just 37% of organisations carry out onboarding processes beyond the first month, new hires who experience longer onboarding programmes report being more proficient in their roles four months sooner than those who have shorting onboarding periods. Show your commitment to your new starter’s progression by planning beyond the first day, setting out meetings, events, performance reviews and expectations for the coming weeks and months. Schedule these into their calendars and provide them with a hard copy version to keep track of. For maximum efficiency, send this to them in advance of their first day so they can hit the ground running.
Ask for help
The onboarding process will be more efficient and effective when you have the input and assistance of others in your company. Ask your HR department, sales team and fellow managers to help make your new sales starter feel welcome, and seek help from external providers to ensure your recruitment, training and retention practices are as strong as they can be.