The interviews and the planning have paid off: you’ve clinched a role in sales. But with a new job comes a lot of things to learn. Whether you’re an experienced veteran or a fresh-faced graduate looking to get your foot on the ladder, starting life at a completely new company comes with its own set of challenges, from getting to know your co-workers to getting a feel for the way your new employer does business.
Of course, you’ll have your company’s onboarding process to help you get to grips with everything from product training to meeting teams, but putting in the extra effort to find out everything you can about the role and your team-mates should be a must for new sales people. Given that it takes an average of 5 months for an employee to fully settle into their new position, the faster you acclimatise to your new sales role, the faster you’ll be able to start making a contribution to your team’s sales targets.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your new sales role:
Really get to know your team
Having close work friendships can boost employee satisfaction rates by 50%, and yet when you work in field sales you don’t always get the chance to get to know your team too well. The first days are your chance to remedy this: call everyone and introduce yourself. Your teammates are, after all, the people you can turn to for advice throughout your time at the company, so make the effort to find out more about their role in the business, and about them personally: who knows, you might find a friend as well as a team-mate.
Meet people from other teams
Though you work in sales, you’ll be interacting with people from all over the business as part of your day-to-day job, so it’s worth making a real effort to get to know people from multiple departments, whether it’s marketing, customer service, technical support, or IT. Though this is likely to be part of a formal induction plan, taking the time to establish relationships and knowing who you can call on if you have a question or a problem will definitely make your life easier as you settle into your new sales role.
Read and learn about your market
Salespeople need to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the product that they’ll be selling, and this includes the market they’re working in. Do your research: whether it’s industry publications, blogger websites, or taking the time to attend thought-provoking seminars and events, it’s never too early to start finding out where the good sources of information on your market are. The more you know, the more likely you are to target the right people, in the right way.
Start learning about customers
Salespeople spend on average a fifth of their time prospecting and researching leads, and for good reason: profiling and contacting the right customers is hugely important if you want to clinch those sales deals. Though your formal induction will contain customer meetings, and give you the chance to shadow others in your team, this might not happen straight away depending on the market that you work within. Take control of your role: find out about the customers in your territory, any new opportunities up for grabs, and take advantage of your team’s experience by talking to them about common customer challenges.
Understand your products and services
More than half of potential sales prospects want to see how any given product works on their first call. Customers value consultant expertise when it comes to discussing sales- after all, you’re convincing them to make a deal and invest money in your product- so the more you know, the better you’ll be at selling it. Though formal training will be provided, you need to know your product inside out, so if you don’t understand anything make sure you take the time to do your research: it’ll pay off.
Embrace the company culture
What fun is work if you don’t let your hair down every once in a while? One of the key drivers of employee satisfaction in the workplace is knowing that your company’s values are aligned with your own, whilst 24% of workers say that enjoying their role is vital for them. Starting a new job gives you the chance to really get to know the business you’re working for and embrace the company culture. Find out who people are, and get stuck into social events. After all, there’s no point working for a company if you don’t make the most of the opportunities you’re offered whilst there.
Start prioritising and planning
What will your sales plan be? Though you shouldn’t run before you can walk, it’s something you should be keeping in the back of your mind whilst you learn about the territory, your customers, and what targets you’ll be aiming to hit in the future. Ask questions, take notes and start thinking about a basic plan you can implement to hit the ground running.
Work closely with your new boss
Field sales can be a solitary line of work, and when you’re always on the move it’s easy to focus more on your customers. However, getting to know your new boss is vital if you want to establish a good working relationship and communicate clearly and effectively. Ask your team about them: what are their expectations? How do they like to work, and what behaviours do they like and dislike? Given that 36% of employees have experienced bad communication between themselves and their team leader, the faster you get to know your new boss, the better you’ll be able to communicate clearly, solve problems and establish workplace expectations.
Show your personality
As the new starter, it can be all too easy to fall into the role of quiet employee who’s learning on the job. Though that’s great to a point, being a salesperson is all about showing confidence and using charm to clinch those deals: show your co-workers why you were hired and make a point of asking questions, building relationships and showing that you’re determined to make a good start.
Don’t be negative about your last role
Nobody likes a miserable co-worker, and this applies to new starters too. You might have hated your last boss, or disliked the company culture- don’t complain about it, as it will give the people that you’re meeting for the first time a bad impression of your character and work ethic. Talk positively, don’t say anything derogatory, and give your colleagues a good impression of what kind of employee you are.