You finally did it.
After weeks or months of interviewing scores of candidates, you finally have a new salesperson coming onboard to join your team.
The next few weeks can make or break your diligent efforts of hiring a new salesperson.
Below are 5 tips on how to successfully onboard your new employee –
1). Have a clear agenda – Provide him with a written agenda of everything you hope to accomplish during the next two weeks. In fact, I would recommend emailing him your agenda before he starts to work for you. You can even provide him with a schedule. For example, during the first day introduce him to all the employees, take him out to lunch, ensure that his computer and phone are properly working, etc. Then on the second day train him on how to use your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and other software on your computer, etc. Then on the third day start your sales and product training.
The goal is to give him enough structure so that he can ease into his new job without too much anxiety or stress.
2). Training – Train him well not only how to use the computer and phone system, and other office equipment, but also on your products and services. Provide him with written material or an online site he can read. You don’t want to overwhelm him. Take it in baby steps. Encourage him to ask questions. Maybe have him sit in on sales calls and webinars or online demos. Give him some homework (or better yet, give him material to read before he officially starts his new job). However, no matter how much training you do, it may take weeks or months before he completely understands your product line and sales practices. That’s OK. Take it one step at a time.
3). Find a mentor – as I mentioned in one of my previous blog (In Sales, should you use a Mentor?), a new salesperson should have a mentor. Since sales managers are usually busy with other tasks, having a mentor to lean on is a win-win situation for everyone.
4). Leads and Prospects – there should be as much transparency as possible when it comes to distributing leads and prospects. (Please see my blog post on Three ways to distribute leads to your Sales Teams ). You don’t want to spook a new salesperson if you come across as being secretive or underhanded. If you pursue that unhealthy path, the salesperson may not trust you and seek new employment.
5). Eliminate backstabbers – frankly, you shouldn’t have any backstabbers on your sales team, but anytime a new salesperson comes on board, the anxiety level among salespeople – especially senior ones – begins to rise. This is actually a normal reaction. For most salespeople, the first question is this – “Will the new salesperson acquire any of my accounts or territories?” How you respond to that question and lead/account distribution, in general, will go a long way of determining whether your new salesperson has a long long future with you or not. The key is to try to be as fair and transparent as possible. While no account or lead distribution process is ever perfect, hopefully once the new salesperson is settled in and everyone is still hitting or exceeding their quotas, fear among the sales team will begin to dissipate.
For more tips on onboarding new salespeople, please read –
“Top Ten Tips to Successful Onboard New Salespeople” by Merit Gest
“How to Onboard New Sales Hires” by Steli Efti
Hiring a new salesperson is just the beginning. Onboarding one takes time and patience. Hopefully, your investment will pay off.