New sales reps: how to onboard them and reveal their potential?

With the current talent shortage, you’re struggling to engage and retain your new sales reps ?

The first few weeks of onboarding are decisive in this regard. Your new talents will decide in their minds if they want to invest in your project.

To make that spark happen, companies with the best retention do one thing: they give them a real chance to grow and shine.

Following their steps, here's how you can optimize your onboarding process and make your new sales recruits flourish.

#1 Plan a smooth integration week

The first few days in a company are usually the most memorable. Both stressful and exciting, they make a long-lasting impression on your recruits. So the least you can do is give them time to get used to this new environment.

Some companies like to put their salespeople in the heat of the moment - but there's no need to rush. The less pressure your sales reps feel, the more trust they’ll put in your organization. After all, no one likes to be rushed!

You might thus plan a welcoming and informative first week of integration :

  • Presentation sessions of the company and introduction to various coworkers and teams.
  • Presentation and demonstration of the product/service.
  • Time to meet and play with the team.
  • Discussion and shadow listening with team members.

Anything that can introduce them smoothly into your business will be most appreciated!

#2 Discuss your mutual expectations

While your recruits are getting an idea of their new challenges, you can start discussing your shared goals with them. And the emphasis here is on "shared".

Moving forward together helps you build a mutual relationship of trust with your new employee. This means discussing not only your performance goals but also your talent’s professional development goals. You can focus the conversation on :

  • Revenue generation targets set by the board.
  • Your collective and individual goals.
  • Your expectations of them in the coming 30,60,90 days. Generally, your new reps will need 3 months to start chasing accounts autonomously.
  • Your employees’ skills development perspective.
  • Their first impressions, doubts, and fears. Be on the lookout for any signs of emotions!

In all, you might show yourself as an ally of your reps’ development, and show that you are there for them!

#3 Provide access to continuous learning

Blended learning trends have highlighted the value of continuous learning. Sure, your reps won't remember everything they learned in their first few days. So you might reinforce that knowlege via repetitive training and coaching sessions.

That means giving your recruit access to:

  • All sales enablement documents (presentation template, playbook, pitch deck, battle card, one pager...).
  • Training sessions on sales tools (CRM, prospecting...).
  • Regular product presentation and demonstration sessions.
  • Training or sales simulations.

The more resources you put in their hand, the more room they have to grow!

#4 Make your recruit part of the team

One of the strongest retention factors for salespeople is being part of a team. Your salespeople want to feel part of a group with whom they can share their difficulties and successes. 

To capitalize on this effect, you can for example:

  • Recruit several reps at a time to make integration easier.
  • Pair your recruit with a senior salesperson to mentor them.
  • Create moments of socializing and team reunion. For example, a communication channel where everyone can share their latest deal closing.
  • Get your collaborator together with customer success and marketing teams (useful to better prospect concerns and align with content).

#5 Provide regular 1-on-1 coaching

As a sales manager, you are in the best position to monitor and support your talents. Weekly 1-to-1 meetings allow you to discuss the week's issues and priority accounts.

They are also opportunities to analyze performance and coach on good practices. During these meeting, you can with your reps:

  • Discuss strengths/weaknesses and develop an action plan.
  • Shadow listen and analyze their calls.
  • Provide recommendations and pass on best practices.

It's up to you to guide them to the path of high performance!

#6 Collect feedback and iterate

Your news talents have spent their first few months at your side. Now it's time to take stock.

Have they achieved the goals you set? Are they satisfied with these first months? Do you trust each other?

All of these questions help you assess the quality of your collaboration, the potential to be beneficial for everyone, or its failure to satisfy either of you. Then it’s up to you to make your choices based on this conversation.

Whether a success or failure, you can then ask your recruit about various aspects of the onboarding experience:

  • What is your overall feeling about your integration?
  • What did you like about the process, and what did you dislike more?
  • What would you suggest to improve our reception?
  • What do you think of the company and its work environment?

The science of onboarding is complex. Getting it right the first time isn't always easy, and neither finding the right fit.

The important thing is to each time improve a little bit more the onboarding experience and to give each sales rep a chance to stand out.

Noota: data-based sales coaching and training

Rather than being confined to data scientists, the power of data is now in the hands of sales managers. Thanks to conversational intelligence tools, you can now analyze your reps’ approach and their interaction with your prospects.

At Noota, we’ve designed a tool that allows you to measure and coach your salespeople in real time on their practices:

  • A meeting assistant that reminds them of good practices during calls (questions, objection handling)
  • A performance analysis dashboard with sentiment, topic, and engagement indicators.
  • An automatic note-taker and meeting-minute generator to speed up customer data collection.

Want to turn your new recruits into your best performers? Try Noota.

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