For many companies, the process of onboarding, training, and ramping-up a new salesperson to the point that they’re able to meet a full quota can take up to six months (or more). That’s a considerable amount of time, energy, and resources for any management team to spend on a single new employee. The good news is that there are some easily-implementable strategies that your training team can adopt to shorten the length of time that’s required to get any new salesperson operating at high gear. It may take a short adjustment period for your managers and new employees to find their balance with the new communication and training strategies. However, it will absolutely be worth it if you’re able to more quickly give your new recruits the autonomy that they’ll need to succeed.
“Failing to adequately train a new salesperson will often result in a slower ramp up, less employee engagement and increased manager frustration. Save your company time, money and resources in the long term by investing up front in your newly hired employees.” Says Stephanie Staiano, Sales Director, CSS ProSearch
With these ideas in mind, here are three simple tips which can decrease the length of time required to train any new salesperson:
Make sure the reps know the company Value Proposition Statement
Companies make a commitment to deliver value and quality at a fair price. Testimonials, case studies, white papers and press releases traditionally reinforce this statement. Many sales reps also call this a 15 second elevator speech! Get your excitement and energy going before you passionately deliver this to a prospect!
Make sure they understand your CRM forwards and backwards
Thoroughly training any new salesperson in the company’s CRM (customer relationship management) platform should be a top priority. This is the digital environment where a new employee will operate in most frequently and regularly – entering and updating contacts, recording sales, etc. – so it’s crucial to provide a comprehensive education right from the get-go.
Familiarize them with your target customer(s)
If left to their own devices, it can take a great deal of time for new salespeople to form an understanding of the behaviors, expectations, and personalities behind the companies or consumers they are trying to sell to. As managers, we can spare them (and ourselves) some time and frustration by mapping out detailed profiles of our target customers and briefing our new salespeople on what they should expect to encounter on a sales call.
Hold seminars focused on practicing negotiation
The negotiation phase can often either make or break a sale. If a new salesperson does not clearly understand how to approach and facilitate a negotiation with a customer, the chances of that sale being lost are drastically increased. It can also reflect poorly on the company as a whole. Therefore, it’s important that managers quickly take action with new salespeople to provide them with the skills, background, and understanding that they’ll need to masterfully navigate a negotiation. What is the proper etiquette to adopt when negotiating with a customer? How flexible should a salesperson be with any given sale? What are the customer benefits, deals, and discounts that each member of a sales team needs to be aware of? These are all questions that will need to be addressed in training seminars or sessions.
Role Play Role Play Role Play
Practice makes perfect! Be sure to have an experienced rep role play real situations that the rep will be finding themselves in. They will need to know a predefined list of objections, along with features and benefits that really differentiate the product or services they are offering.
“There is an art and science to selling. Don’t assume that experienced sales people know your specific companies way and preferences. Best Practice is to take all reps through all training!” says Abby Prince, Managing Director, CSS ProSearch.
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