HARDISON’S TIPS – AUGUST 20, 2021 – Help Salespeople Get and Stay on Track (PT.2)
Here are just a few of the essential benefits a well-crafted onboarding process can deliver:
- Clear expectations. In other words, everyone – the salesperson, the Sales Manager, company leaders and customers – knows what is expected in terms of methodology and results. Onboarding can help eliminate misunderstandings, mistakes and embarrassing missteps.
- Greater confidence. The new salesperson who comes on board to a supportive sales team will quickly gain confidence that he or she made the right decision in joining the company. Bolstered by a wealth of shared knowledge and effective processes, that confidence will enhance chances for quicker sales success.
- Optimized performance. Clearly defined and understood sales methods are good insurance to help sales personnel operate effectively and efficiently. And by providing the proper tools, removing obstacles to success and clearly showing the way to reach that destination, the new salesperson can be expected to perform and excel.
- Less vulnerability. Because the company has shown that it can move forward with another salesperson if the need arises, the organization is less at risk. Any talented salesperson would surely be missed, but if that salesperson moved on, the loss would be less disruptive or catastrophic for the company if a good onboarding plan is in place.
- Time saved. Yes, the organization will be dedicating time upfront to orienting the new employee, but allocating that time to the onboarding process will almost certainly save the company much more time – and money – down the road.
How Can Onboarding be Developed and Implemented Successfully?
Onboarding doesn’t have to be difficult, but it should be systematic and developed before it is needed. Recognizing that any plan should be flexible based on the needs of the incoming salesperson, an effective onboarding plan should typically include:
- An agenda (sent in advance to the new hire) describing what the first day, week and month will look like
- Clearly articulated expectations for the sales role
- Essential company information and background
- Essential target market, customer and prospect information, including sales cycle and pipeline info
- Essential company sales messaging, as well as access to key company sales and marketing collateral
- An explanation of company roles and the organizational hierarchy so that the new employee knows where to turn for answers and other support
- An explanation of company systems, resources and tools, as well as what training is available
Implementing an onboarding plan should include upfront dedicated time and information followed by real-world applications of that knowledge, reinforcement and adjustments as needed.
Effectively onboarding a new salesperson is one of the most essential precursors of success for any sales organization. But few small to medium-sized companies understand the importance of this process or take the steps necessary to make it work.