Designing An Induction For New Sales People

By | April 22, 2010

Recruiting effective new salespeople is a difficult, expensive, time consuming process. Many sales managers are so pleased they filled a post they don’t realise the real work still hasn’t been completed.

Even before the salary meter starts ticking, your new salesperson will have cost you money, they have to start earning quickly.

The onboarding process is critical to get right. A minimum of a 12 week programme should be designed with the single objective of accelerating as fast as possible the salesperson to the minimum level of required contribution.

Below we list the key components of a 12 week induction plan:

  1. Cultural orientation. Critical to set the right expectations, the cultural norms that are excepted to be upheld and perhaps the ones that should be challenged.
  2. Logistical support. Where everything is, how the organisation works, how to find things out.
  3. Market context. How the market works, including the major customers and competitors. What are the major change drivers? Trends etc?
  4. Your value proposition. This should be much more than features and benefits. What are your competitive differentiators? The relationship between value and cost? Your service bundle?
  5. our market position? Pricing strategy? Negotiable variables?
    Customer knowledge – you can never know, or have, enough background. History, motivations, stakeholders, pain points, financials, contracts etc.
  6. Customer CRM, don’t scrimp on the time to really get them to understand how to use your system.
  7. The transition from desk learning, to observation visiting, to joint visits, to going solo. This process needs to be fully integrated with the knowledge and awareness building of the previous 6 points.
  8. Speed to competence needs to be validated. Your new salesperson’s new knowledge needs testing, role–plays observed, and potential scenarios explored.
  9. Create a detailed timetable with weekly milestones.
  10. The icing on the cake is when you discover the person you recruited is motivated enough to read around the subject and wants to lever in and test their own experience/ expertise.

If you’re lucky and you design a great onboarding process, your next sales person will break your existing speed to competence record and quickly become a major revenue generator.

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