Sales onboarding provides new reps with the necessary information, instils business principles, and demonstrates how to use the company's resources efficiently. Learn best practices of sales onboarding to prepare reps.
Research has shown that effective onboarding of sales reps can increase quota attainment by 16.2%. However, while organizations make effort to have the most outstanding sales onboarding programs, 62% of them feel that their sales onboarding programs are ineffective.
Are you amidst this 62% of the organizations desperately feeling the need to make changes to your sales onboarding programs so that your sales reps are better prepared for success?
Well, this article will be a cornerstone in helping you create the most effective sales onboarding programs with the sales onboarding best practices to prepare reps for sales.
In this article, we will discuss what is sales onboarding, why is it important, sales onboarding best practices, and sales onboarding 30-60-90 days plans, all of which is going to help you come up with the most effective sales onboarding training plan for the success of your new sales reps.
What does sales onboarding mean?
Sales onboarding is a training program for the new sales representatives hired in the company. The new sales reps are given the knowledge about their roles and responsibilities in the company as well as specific training to carry out their tasks and successfully complete their sales quota.
An effective sales onboarding program will include the following in its training plan
Acquainting the new reps about the company, its vision, and mission.
Imparting industry knowledge.
Sales training and strategy building.
Other compliance and general conduct in the company.
With all the aforementioned knowledge and training imparted efficiently to the sales reps, they can work productively for their individual as well as company success.
Why sales onboarding is important?
As already mentioned before, an effective sales onboarding program increases the chances of the reps achieving their sales quota by 16.2%. So, one can clearly understand the difference that a sales onboarding program would bring to an organization.
Here in below are some reasons in detail that will explain why sales onboarding is important for every organization.
Helps set expectations
It’s common to set high expectations from your sales reps. However, unless you’ve given them the necessary training and knowledge, you can’t expect them to meet their sales targets.
It’s one thing to give a sales target to your reps and another thing to lead their way in successfully attaining those targets.
Once you’ve given the reps their lessons, they’d know what needs to be done and thus it becomes easier for you to set expectations, targets, and deadlines.
Helps build employee engagement
Sales onboarding is a process where the reps can communicate with their seniors and the other representatives starting in the organization with them. The entire training program is designed to acquaint the reps with the company, its mission, vision, policies, etc.
So, sales onboarding makes the employees feel more connected with the company and helps them see that the company is interested in helping them achieve their personal goals. This in turn helps build employee engagement from the start and the employees become more personally connected with the company.
Boosts rep confidence
Sales is not an easy job and the reps have to learn a lot before they can finally come on the floor. Even on the floor, they need to know how to tackle different kinds of clients and customers. It’s essential that the sales reps are proactive and ready with their answers so that they can impress the clients and customers.
A sales onboarding process helps them get all this learning they need. During the employee training sessions, they are explained how to tackle clients and they are even given practice calls. All of this essentially builds the reps’ confidence as they are able to understand the company, products, and services better throughout their onboarding.
Improves company reputation
When you train your sales reps effectively through a good sales onboarding program, they will be in a better position to respond to their sales calls and their performance will be more productive and efficient. They will portray themselves as knowledgeable in front of the clients and customers and impress them thereby putting your company in a good light and improving the company’s reputation.
Reinforces the importance of mentorship
Sales onboarding and training will require your sales reps to be under the guidance of their trainer and mentor and thus they will understand the importance of mentorship as they learn new things about the company, products, and services.
This effective mentorship will also make the reps more responsive to the training and they will come up with new ideas and strategies that you can include in your training programs.
Shapes future leaders
With a good sales onboarding program, you instill learning and confidence in your sales reps and they become more comfortable handling their calls. The more successful they are in handing their clients, the more confident they become and this confidence shapes them for success in the future thereby building a path for them to become future leaders.
7 best practices for effective sales onboarding
Most companies feel that their sales onboarding process is ineffective and an ineffective sales onboarding will surely not reap good results. So, it’s essential to bring the best to your sales onboarding training plan and that is possible when you follow the best sales onboarding practices.
On that note, here are seven best practices for effective sales onboarding that you can follow to ensure the success of your reps as well as organization.
1. Provide a company overview
The first and foremost thing in making your sales pitches effective is knowing the company and its product well. Unless your reps know the company and the product, they will not be able to find success in their sales efforts. So, it’s essential to acquaint the reps with the company.
Provide a company overview as the first part of your sales onboarding program. Now, this may seem simple at first, but it’s lot more than just telling the reps about the company’s mission, vision, core values, or even USP.
In addition to giving the reps an overview of the company, you need to make them understand its application in their sales effort. You need to give them the overview of how they can use their knowledge about the company and its products in their sales pitches and become successful.
2. Provide an understanding of the target market and ICP
Sales requires an understanding of the target market and the ideal customer profile. Your new sales reps cannot get all this understanding by themselves. They need to be given data about the target market and the ideal customer profile and explained the same as well.
When you do that, your reps will be able to sort between the customer profiles that are likely to convert and the ones that will not convert. This way they can focus their efforts in the right direction.
3. Help reps pick the right customers
It’s essential that the reps spend their time on the customers who are more likely to convert. If it takes too many follow ups and there are still no results, it’s not worth it, also because the reps are generally less likely to take follow ups.
Statistics reveal that 48% of the sales reps do not even make a follow up attempt. Hereinbelow is a look at some more general follow up statistics.
In such a scenario, helping the reps pick the right customers by providing them ideal customer profiles and encouraging them to follow up for such profiles will help the reps make more successful sales.
4. Provide customer testimonials and case studies
Customer testimonials and case studies are real world examples in front of the sales reps and such examples help them understand the target markets and ideal customer profiles better. So, provide the customer testimonials and case studies relevant to your target market and ideal customer profile so that the reps can understand where they need to set their priorities.
5. Streamline the process
The platforms, channels, and process used for sales onboarding also matters in deciding its effectiveness or otherwise. The reps must easily be able to access the onboarding channels, documents, and other support materials. Additionally, they must be able to communicate with one another freely.
So, it’s essential to streamline the entire process for sales onboarding and keep the channels transparent so that the reps have a clear understanding of what’s happening within the organization.
6. Measure sales readiness
It’s essential to know when your sales reps are ready to get in touch with the customers and start making real sales. You need to measure their sales readiness. You can do that by putting the reps up to sales practice calls and assessing the quality of those calls.
Such an attempt to measure sales readiness will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your reps, and you can work with them on areas of improvement to create their path to higher success.
7. Provide peer-to-peer coachings
Not every sales rep will perform the same. However, every rep can be put up to perform at their best possible capabilities. This is also possible through peer-to-peer coaching. You can provide the reps with video recordings of the calls of star performers in your organization or even arrange coaching for other reps with such performers to provide them with more practical knowledge and experience in handling calls.
How to set up 30-60-90 days sales onboarding plan for reps?
A 30-60-90 days sales onboarding plan provides the reps with a perspective for work in their starting months. It’s a plan that defines what the reps must be working on during their first three months in the company. The activities are outlines for 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.
Hereinbelow is more detail about how you can set up these plans for reps.
The first 30 days must have to be easy on the reps. You cannot have high expectations from the reps in this phase and you have to let them off easy during these starting months as they are just in their learning phase.
The first month is a time where the reps must get acquainted with the company, its culture, people, products, services, and other general rules, compliances, and regulations. At this stage, you need to be training the reps and doing something to break the ice with easy interaction and team building activities.
Generally, during this period, the reps must learn the following things -
About the company, its mission, vision, values, etc.
You can plan the following activities for the reps to perform well during their initial month in the company
Mock sales drills
This is the time when you can start building some expectations from the reps. At this stage the reps are more confident and can start handling calls. They can participate more skillfully and actively in the sales meetings and come up with better ideas and sales strategies.
This is the time to lift the representative up from their baby stages and giving them opportunities to do something more concrete.
During this period, the reps must learn the following things -
Application of the knowledge earned in the initial months
Understand sales cycle and pricing
You can plan the following activities for the reps to perform within this 60 days plan -
Creating sales strategies and pitches
Participating actively in sales meetings
Trying to convert prospects to clients.
After 2 months of working, the sales reps are already clear on what they need to do and they only need a little guidance. They might even have their clients and there’s nothing much left to learn but only activities to do such as making more clients and nurturing the existing ones.
At the 90 days plan, you can leave the reps free to apply their strategies and bring clients and customers to the company by showcasing their sales skills.
Are you ready to bring the best out of your sales reps?
So, this was all about sales onboarding best practices to prepare reps for sales. It requires time and efforts to nurture your reps and make them ready to face the market. However, once they are ready, they can bring great success to your organization.
We hope this article was helpful in creating an understanding of how you can create an effective sales onboarding training plan and that you have everything you need to lead your sales reps to success.
Shweta is a growth marketing specialist who is working with 2xSaS. She creates content that converts website visitors into paying customers for SaaS companies. In her free time, she likes driving around the city & hanging out with her friends.