5 Crucial Tips to Sales Onboarding
No matter which way you slice the pie, hiring, sales onboarding and retaining top sales talent is one of the most important and toughest things to do. However, without a solid plan to drive quick time to value and long-term success, the investment that you make into the sales professional can quickly become a red investment.
Here are some of our tips and tricks to help onboard and drive success as you grow your sales team.
If your sales reps are not product experts, why would your customers or prospects to engage them for a point of view?
The first goal to sales onboarding should focus on product knowledge and knowing how to position your value proposition to your target buyers.
Salespeople should fully understand when to position features and functionality (typically to the User Personas of your product) versus how your product addresses specific business challenges and desired outcomes (typically to the Buyer Personas)
Next should be your sales process.
A sales process is a set of repeatable steps that a salesperson takes to take a prospective buyer from the early stage of awareness to a closed sale. According to research by the Sales Management Association, 90% of all companies that use a formal, guided sales process were ranked as the highest performing.
It is critical to outline what those steps are, when to use specific resources and why these steps will help them win deals. Keep in mind that a sales process should reflect your buyer’s journey, so you deliver excellent customer experience between your sellers and the customer.
Two good places to start defining your sales process is with Product Marketing and other seasoned salespeople. Product Marketers will provide insight into the buyer’s journey during their early research stage of your go-to-market development. If your product has been in the market for some time, seasoned salespeople are quick to tell you what’s working and what areas need to be improved.
How can a sales rep differentiate from the competition if they don’t know the specific value that your buyers are looking for? Imagine you are going car shopping and you are having a conversation with a sales rep.
“I’m looking for a car. One with wheels, doors, an engine, a sunroof, a trunk and air conditioning…”
Now tell me, did I describe a Mercedes Benz or a Kia? Get your reps to know the strategic differentiators by letting them know what your buyers care about and help them differentiate from the competitors in the market.
If you are finding it challenging to gather competitive insights, consider how a Win / Loss analysis program can help in this area.
This one fits into competitive intel as well.
If your reps don’t know what your buyers care about, how do you expect them to deliver your value prop with confidence and excellence?
It is important your salespeople understand the buyer personas to sell to, what they care about, business trends and everything else that is important in their world.
If your sales reps are talking to a CIO with value points that an IT Manager cares about, their messaging is going to fall on deaf ears. No matter how good the messaging, if it’s to the wrong buyer, it is a waste of time.
Sales Enablement Platforms
Lastly is the technology stack.
Many efficiencies can be lost if your reps don’t know how to use their sales enablement tools properly. Dedicate the right amount of time to making sure your reps are efficient with their sales tools and know how to navigate the internal systems as this is an easy way to lose significant productivity.
Just buying Sales Enablement tools doesn’t mean sales reps will use them effectively. You must show them how to apply them to their Account Planning, Territory Planning and other sales administrative tasks.
When you hire a sales rep, you want them on the phone, in the field selling, not navigating a complex internal world where they are spending their time trying to figure out how to log a call rather than calling customers and progressing opportunities.
The most important advice we can offer is when you hire a new sales rep, treat them like your onboarding a new customer and give them the right tools to be successful.
How We Can Help
Buyer Persona Development – First, we like to begin with developing your Buyer Personas.
Why? Well, it all starts with the buying journey your customers go through before they reach out to your sales team. Once you have those insights mapped out, your salespeople will have a better understanding of what matters to each persona when selling and engaging in a conversation.
Digital Sales Playbooks – Second, we package up your buyer persona insights, any competitive intel, your value proposition and sales tools (collateral, videos, case studies, etc.) to create an online sales playbook.
Our sales playbooks give salespeople access to customer insights, consistent messaging for each target buyer and your sales process to follow.
Put in the effort up front to get them up to speed and you will thank yourself when they are hitting quota faster and contributing to the growth of your organization.