We get it.
You want your sales reps closing deals the nanosecond they start their first day. But you might want to pump the brakes.
Data shows good things happen when you establish a documented process for onboarding sales reps.
So, let’s dive into what should be in your onboarding strategy.
Step 1: Write Better Job Descriptions
Successful onboarding starts earlier than you think.
Who you hire will determine how they onboard (or if they’re worth hiring at all).
So, when you’re writing your job description, you’ll want to be crystal clear about a couple of things to set expectations straight:
- Familiarity with CRMs is mandatory (more on this later)
Why should you include salary and benefits? Because you might be losing out on the best applicants—talent who are more seasoned, experienced and selling machines.
Step 2: Ask Applicants Different Questions
When you sit down to interview (hopefully) better candidates, you’ll probably ask the expected: “Why are you looking to move?” “What’s a time something didn’t go as planned and how did you respond?”
Sales reps can answer those without flinching.
So, ask them deeper probing questions like these:
- “How do you keep up with the news or trends that matter to our target market?”
- “Would you rather close a guaranteed laydown sale or have a shot building value with that tough, on the fence client?”
- “How do you motivate yourself?”
You’ll have a better idea of who you’re talking to and whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your company.
DAYS 1-30 of Onboarding Sales Reps
Step 3: Ease Them In
Whoever you hire will want a chance to prove themselves, especially when commissions are part of their salary.
But sales reps should spend those first 30 days learning about your business and its values. Learning about your customers.
And yes, learning about your products.
Taking it slowly makes a positive first impression that can pay off in the long run.
Not to mention…
Step 4: Cast a Bigger Shadow
They won’t ever admit it, but even the most seasoned sales rep could benefit from shadowing.
Sure, they may have sold everything from paperclips to Porsches but let’s face it, the extended warranty industry is fairly niche—so don’t let their pride get in the way. Have them shadow someone from every department:
- Other sales reps
- Customer service staff
- Even the owner
They’ll hear questions and comments they’ll experience one day plus multiple perspectives on how to address them in an industry they probably haven’t worked in before.
DAYS 30-60 of Onboarding Sales Reps
Step 5: Challenge Them
What goals do you have established for your new hires?
Do you want them to focus on making a certain number of calls per day? Sell ten VSCs and five home warranties per week?
Whatever they are, maybe you should make them harder to attain. Yes, you want the goals to be more challenging if you want to make the top performers.
One study that reviewed 10 years’ worth of goal setting and performance outcomes show that challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy or “do your best” goals 90% of the time!
Step 6: Train Them How to Use Your CRM
Yes, we’re a little biased, but CRM training needs to be part of the process you have for onboarding sales reps.
Don’t believe us?
That’s why we said familiarity with CRMs should be mandatory as part of your hiring process!
And with Inline CRM, your reps’ tasks are loaded in their dashboard when they log in so they know where to focus. Ideally, those tasks align with the challenging—but attainable—goals you’ve set for them.
More importantly, you’ll want to document your sales process digitally or physically.
Don’t worry, though. Inline CRM clients receive ongoing training whenever they need it, for as long as they need it.
Step 7: Surprise Them
Ever wonder if your sales reps literally stick to the script? Try a little role play.
Cast yourself (or another team member) as a lead… without your rep knowing. Have them go through the introduction, information gathering and all the other steps your company has created using Inline CRM’s script building tool.
Pepper them with questions and objections to see how they respond.
If it turns out they are using the script, you can coach specifics.
And if they were winging it? Well, they probably won’t anymore (for one reason or another).
DAYS 60-90 of Onboarding Sales Reps
Step 8: Help Them Improve
Once your new hire gets more comfortable with your process, you’ll want to give them more nuanced suggestions to help them sell more extended warranties.
Some of your suggestions will take a little practicing, like “Say X when your lead says Y”
But some of the things you ask your reps to do can be automated—and they’ll love this functionality:
- Buy now email templates (they can literally sell in their sleep)
- Email templates after they leave a voicemail
- Our Follow-Up Management (FUM) tools to prioritize warmer leads
- Monitoring their commissions for each sale in real time
- Managing and selling all products, from extended home warranties to commercial truck policies, from the same record to book more deals easily
And if you hired a real go-getter, you can show them how to create their own custom sales reports that can reveal all kinds of data to help them sell more:
Those are just a few of the almost infinite types of reports they can use to sell more. And it might just be the most useful part of your sales onboarding process.
Want to Train Up Your Sales Reps Faster?
Book a walkthrough or get access to a demo of Inline CRM, for free with no obligation!