HARDISON’S TIPS – SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 – Onboarding for Sales Success– 1
“All ABOARD!” Hearing those words instantly conjures up visions of train conductors checking their pocket watches while late arrivals to the station jump on the train. In a perfect world, each new journey would be so simple – we’re asked to come aboard, our destination is known, and few obstacles can derail our arrival. But for a salesperson joining a new company, too often the invitation to come aboard is where the certainty ends; the path to the destination (sales success) is murky and detours can be many. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Even small to medium-sized companies can help their new salesperson travel a clear path to success – if they have laid the necessary tracks during a process called onboarding.
What IS onboarding? How can it benefit the organization and the salesperson? And how is a successful onboarding program implemented? Let’s take a closer look:
Onboarding is a Process
Some smaller businesses do little, if any onboarding. Others treat onboarding as if it is an event or a short-term orientation. At its core, however, onboarding is the process through which a new employee – in this case a new salesperson – gets “up to speed” by gaining necessary information and insights and becoming proficient with the tools and methods necessary for success in the organization.
Onboarding is not – or at least shouldn’t be – a haphazard series of missteps and lessons learned “the hard way”. In any successful organization there will emerge over time (and through the efforts of knowledgeable and talented leaders), traits and practices that have proven successful. Onboarding is taking these proven elements and systematically making them available to new staff members.
How Can Onboarding Benefit the Company and the Salesperson?
Why is onboarding so critical? After all, won’t truly talented salespeople learn by observing and doing, eventually putting their own spin on what it takes to succeed? Perhaps, but not without a lot of unnecessary detours and backtracking.
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.