#NESTeamBuilding | Integrating new sales professionals into your organization in a productive and efficient way that encourages success from day one should be among your top priorities in the hiring process. Making sure that the onboarding process goes smoothly for new sales executives is a delicate balance, so that’s why you should have a clearly defined program. Even the most seasoned sales executives - no matter their proven track record or monumental potential - will quickly fizzle out if not properly acclimated to a new organization.
Read on to learn five keys for sales executive onboarding success!
1. Let them hit the ground running - sort of...
The onboarding process is kind of like teaching a kid to ride a bike. You have some people that will keep the training wheels on until the kid is in high school, and others that hold the back of the seat and run behind the bike and eventually let go. The child often doesn’t know that the parent has let go and he’s zipping around like a pro in no time. If you keep the training wheels on too long you are really just creating a crutch for your new sales executives, and making it impossible for them to start doing their job at some point.Instead, opt for the method of giving them a little push from the very beginning. Show your newest recruits that you have full confidence in them, and that you hired them to do a job that they have it in them to do. During the onboarding process, don’t just do role-plays and simulations. Allow the new people to jump in and get their hands dirty - by actually doing their new jobs!
2. Provide real-life experiences and job shadowing
A survey by Forbes showed that new sales executives were happiest with the onboarding process when it included real-life experiences and job shadowing. Being able to look at how the dice roll on a daily basis aids in a deeper understanding and learning of what the job entails. These experiences are worth more than any computer simulation or online learning program, because they provide moments that cannot be planned for. For example, watching how a co-worker solves a problem on the job, rather than reading about it on a computer provides a richer learning experience and will pay dividends in future sales.
Everybody can use a buddy sometimes, right? A structured mentoring program can help mentees and mentors grow by leaps and bounds. It not only provides a dedicated individual to walk each new sales exec through the onboarding process, but also gives them a person they can learn and grow from. No matter their place on the career ladder, sales execs can always benefit from the wisdom of company veterans.
4. Make it meaningful
It’s one thing to spend thousands of dollars on an onboarding program just to say you’ve got one, it’s another to actually buy into it. Everyone in the organization needs to have input into the structure of the onboarding process (even if you’ve hired a training company) to actually make it meaningful. Allow experienced employees to review the onboarding process and procedures so that they can weigh in on what is helpful and what is a waste of time as a new employee.
5. Start onboarding before day one
Pre-employment onboarding is a key way to engage with new sales execs before they ever set foot in the office. The space between the job offer and day one can often breed uncertainty, it’s uncomfortable for the new hire and risky for the company (especially if your new sales exec is highly coveted and the vultures are circling). Finding ways to engage during that window of time will keep the new sales exec motivated and prepare her to start off on the right foot when day one does roll around.
The success of your onboarding process and procedures can define the entire path each new sales exec will take, so it is essential to focus on getting it right.
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