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As a profession, the sales industry is known for its high turnover rate. Consequently, preplanning for every step of the hiring and training process is an integral component to ensuring you’re investing in top performing sellers. Not only do organizations need to assimilate new hires into their team culture, but they also need to plan a process of integration that enables employees to develop a thorough understanding of how to effectively market and sell their products and services.
Consider breaking up your sales coaching and training schedule with a 30, 60 and 90 day planning approach, which provides a vantage point of how new hires engage with your team and as well as grow with the feedback and training you provide.
Once a new salesperson joins the team, it is essential to set them on a track towards quick learning. The best way to accomplish this is by having an ongoing knowledge base where questions can be asked and answers recorded. This prevents redundancy and centralizes common questions. An internal online resource system can be easily set up for this purpose, where your sales team can collaborate and ask questions. In this space, newcomers can be added to see what past questions have been asked as well as search for topics of interest. They will also get a feel for the company culture and challenges. Ensuring your new hire is integrated into the sales team culture will aid in building internal relationships, thus making it easier for them to feel comfortable and confident.
Additionally, it is important to provide thorough training on your CRM system, as well as how to manage leads and deals. How you capture information and follow up with customers’ must be thoroughly explained, so they can build off the selling techniques that work for your particular goods and services.
Ultimately, the first 30 days is a key opportunity for new hires to learn the systems you have in place. Planning for the first month allows employees to get familiar with how to access key resources as well how to integrate into the pre-existing sales team culture.
After the first 30 days, new hires will ideally have an increased level of comfort and confidence in handling your organizations systems, as well as a heightened understanding of how to work with customers and close deals. The next 30 days is a great time to push the training boundaries further.
Use this time to encourage and monitor calls and emails with prospects and clients. Hold individual and team training sessions where you highlight what members of your team are doing well, as well as how they can improve. Holding team training sessions allows for new hires to feel as though they are part of a unified team and will enable them to learn from the mistakes and triumphs of their co-workers.
To help build confidence, look at the sales pipeline and provide several opportunities for engagement by assigning tasks for follow up. Additionally, your new salesperson can work on upselling opportunities with current clients by spending time following up on their satisfaction with current services. As well, this creates an opportunity for new hires to seek referrals from existing clients, which acts as a leverage for additional training as well as increasing revenue opportunities.
Now that your new employee has been given the tools, resources and selling opportunities they require, you can challenge them towards initiative. They should prospect and find their own accounts after 90 days. You can monitor their activities and see how they approach relationship building, whether that is through cold calling or inbound prospect inquiries. Work closely with your employee on creative ways to build trust and gain attention from prospects.
The 90 day mark is also a good time to start applying sales goals and quotas. Starting your new hires at a lower quota than veteran salespeople, will not only add momentum and build confidence, but will act as a great base for setting goals. You can use the following months to gradually increase sales quotas.
Lastly, the 90 day mark opens up new opportunities for you to grow as a sales manager and learn how your training techniques have impacted their ability to grow within the team. Ensure you get an understanding of what they have learned as a newcomer, so you can not only get a fresh perspective on your industry, but have a better grasp on how your sales management techniques impact the overall effectiveness of your team.
About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
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