Onboarding new sales reps effectively is one of the most important tasks for your organization—but it’s also incredibly challenging.
New hires want to have an outstanding onboarding experience and start meeting their quotas as soon as possible. Failing to onboard efficiently can slow down your scaling process and cost your organization time and money.
But the most productive people in your organization are busy, and they need to spend their time making sales, so training resources can be hard to come by. Meanwhile, your products and processes change constantly, so trying to create evergreen training resources is practically impossible.
So if onboarding new reps is critically important—but it’s also challenging—what are some ways to make the process less painful and more effective?
Here are some best practices for ramping new reps as quickly and effectively as possible.
Rely on Self-Directed Learning
Instead of spending your time creating new training content that will get outdated rapidly, use a project-based approach to teaching your new hires.
Onboarding theme weeks could include:
- Important features of your product
- Sales personas
- The key steps and milestones of your sales cycle
- How to generate opportunities
- Pricing options
At the end of the process, the rep can also “graduate” from onboarding by presenting a document that illustrates how they are going to approach meeting their numbers in their first quarter.
For the first few months of a rep’s onboarding process, organize each week around a particular theme and ask the rep to direct their own learning around that theme. At the end of the week, the rep will be responsible for sharing a slide deck or an organized Google Document with their manager to share what they’ve learned.
Maintain a Continuous Wiki
Keep an easily-updatable wiki with lots of relevant links that your team members can continuously contribute to. Wikis are easy to produce and maintain for your team—easier than pre-recorded training modules or static articles—and they are also more digestible for your new hires.
Include Listening to Calls as Part of Your Onboarding Process
Listening to other reps’ sales calls should be a standard part of your onboarding process for all new sales team members. Shadowing successful sales reps will help new hires understand what customers care about, discover unexpected uses of your product, and absorb best practices of your sales process.
Make Your Existing Team Available to Help Train New Sellers
Your highest-performing sales reps are some of your best resources for new hires as they’re ramping up. With self-directed learning, your new reps will be able to ask other reps targeted questions as they’re completing assignments, making it a lower lift for existing sellers to provide information and be helpful.
Your products, sales content, and processes evolve constantly, so expect change and plan for it when you’re creating training materials and designing a more effective onboarding process.
Your team can eventually create e-learning materials or live courses around the topics new reps are exploring during their self-directed training processes, but make sure the materials are easy to update and maintain by your team.
Encourage Your Onboarding Sellers to Collaborate
New reps can work together on their self-directed learning projects. Just make sure they aren’t copying each other’s work—if that happens, the reps aren’t learning and won’t be set up for success.
Make Day One Special for Your New Rep
First impressions matter! Set up your onboarding process so your new rep has a great experience on their first day. Create an immediate sense of belonging by arranging for them to meet existing members of your sales team, as well as other onboarding reps.
Communicate the onboarding process and your self-directed learning system on the first day, to set expectations and let new reps know they will be responsible for finding answers on their own rather than just reading a series of articles or watching training videos.
Understand Your New Rep’s Motivation
Your new seller wants to be successful in their onboarding process, so they can transition into doing their own selling and meeting or exceeding their quota. That motivation is driving every rep, so your onboarding process should be oriented toward helping them reach that goal. Eliminate everything else that feels unnecessary or burdensome that doesn’t help them ramp up as quickly and successfully as possible and move into closing deals.
Accelerate Your Onboarding Process with Atrium
A data-driven sales management approach can help you ramp up sales reps quickly and get them up to full productivity.
With Atrium’s detailed sales analytics, you get a full picture at a glance of how many sales activities like phone calls, emails, and social media touchpoints your new reps are completing during their ramping process. Your sales managers will be able to monitor, manage, and improve rep performance during their critical onboarding period.
With Atrium’s fast implementation process, you get everything you need for data-driven onboarding in under 2 minutes.
Sign up for Atrium for free today to improve your onboarding process for managers and bring more reps up to full productivity faster.
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