Sales Onboarding
March 4, 2023

7 Ways to Improve Your Sales Onboarding Program

Learn seven proven strategies to enhance your sales onboarding program and equip your reps with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Read now

7 Ways to Improve Your Sales Onboarding Program

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What new social media mobile apps are available in 2022?

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Use new social media apps as marketing funnels

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The sales onboarding process is an essential component of your organization's growth. The right approach to getting new reps up to speed and ready to hit the ground running can mean the difference between a successful hire and one that flounders in their first few months on the job.

A good sales onboarding program will help new hires learn about your company culture, product line, customer base, existing customer relationships, and other critical factors that influence success within your organization. In this post, we'll explore why it's essential for salespeople to have effective onboarding experiences and what steps you can take to ensure yours are successful!

What is sales onboarding?

Sales onboarding is the method of introducing a new sales hire to their role and the company. It involves teaching them the skills they need to be successful, as well as introducing them to their colleagues, customers, and other key stakeholders. 

Onboarding programs can include training on product knowledge, sales processes, customer service protocols, and more. It's a typical process in sales, but also customer success, customer support, and other non-sales-related teams.

Why is onboarding important?

Sales onboarding is an essential part of any sales team’s success.  It helps to ensure that new reps get up to speed quickly, understand the company’s products and services, and are well-prepared for their role. It also helps to keep existing reps motivated and engaged with the company’s mission. 

By providing an onboarding program with clear expectations, training materials, and support from experienced team members, companies can ensure that new reps are well-equipped to hit their targets and contribute to the team’s and company’s success.

7 Tips to Improve Your Sales Onboarding Program

An effective onboarding process helps sales teams sell faster and generate further revenue growth.

There are many ways you can enhance your onboarding program. Here are seven tips you can follow to improve the onboarding experiences at your company.

#1 Start a plan before you hire 

Before you hire a new salesperson or team, it's essential to create a plan for the onboarding process. This ensures that you have all the resources and support systems in place before they start their job.

Start by defining your onboarding framework and goals first. Identify what you want to accomplish during this time. How long should it take? What are your goals for each stage of the process, and what metrics will measure success?

Afterward, identify the training resources necessary. For instance, what kind of training is needed (e-learning courses, guides, 1:1 sessions)? Who's responsible for providing this training (internal or external resources)? When will it be provided, and how often?

Finally, identify tools for tracking progress and improvement. Do you need a communication channel? Checklist? Project management solution? List all tools to help you measure and track progress.

#2 Define expectations for each role

With a plan in hand, the next thing you can do to improve your onboarding experience is personalizing the training curriculum to each possible hiring role. Remember, different positions require different learnings, so make sure to create a checklist with all the contents new hires need to learn during onboarding. This will help track expectations and guarantee that everyone who joins your organization receives training on everything they need to be successful. 

#3 Provide in-depth customer training

In-depth customer knowledge is a vital KPI for sales success. Sales reps who are knowledgeable about their buyer audience are better at tackling objections, addressing pain points, and building rapport and trust with prospects. 

Equip your team with the tools they need to understand the challenges, goals, and pain points of your target customer base. Share key data about your buyer personas, ideal customer profiles, and customer journey to help new hires lead more efficient sales conversations that yield positive results.

#4 Ensure product understanding

As you walk your new hires through their onboarding process, it's essential to check in with them and make sure they're up to speed on your product or service. If you don't, there's a good chance that they'll be lost when it comes time for them to interact with customers.

This can happen even when the information is available—but not always readily accessible. For example, suppose someone joins your team as a customer service representative (CSR) but doesn't understand how your products work and don't know how they benefit customers. In that case, they may struggle when someone calls in with questions or issues related to those solutions.

To avoid this type of situation in your organization, ensure that all new hires have access to all relevant information about what you sell before they begin working directly with clients or customers.

#5 Conduct internal process training

Although it might be intuitive for existing reps, new hires benefit tremendously from internal process training. Helping them adapt to your tools, how you conduct processes, and their role in the sales cycle will accelerate the initial learning curve and reduce guesswork time. 

Start by making sure they understand the sales cycle. When someone new comes on board, it's critical for you as a manager to make sure that they know how their role fits into the bigger picture of your company's sales process—and how it affects other departments in your company, as well as customers and prospects. This will help them build rapport with clients better because they'll understand which points along their journey are most important for interacting with customers or prospects at any given time during the sales cycle. 

Next, guide them on how to conduct processes. What's the current framework for cold contacting? What plays should they use on calls? Share all the necessary information to reduce guesswork. 

Lastly, show them how to use your CRM software. There are many solutions out there, and your new hires might not be 100% familiarized with your toolset. Offer a quick training session to improve adoption.

#6 Provide interactive coaching and mentoring

Although your new hires have been practicing their sales scripts and resource materials, they still need a safe environment to practice the skills they've learned before going into the wild. 

Help your reps ace their first customer interactions with 1:1 workshops with you and other team members. Include sessions with different buyer personas and recurrent sales objections they may encounter when communicating with prospects. Provide feedback on how they are doing, so they can get ready for real-world interactions as well as understand what it takes to succeed in sales.

Once they are ready to start interacting with prospects, equip them with script assistance tools like Thumb to guide them throughout the call and guarantee all talk points are addressed. This will facilitate playbook adoption and accelerate the overall onboarding period.  

#7: Ensure repeated success with the right tools

Once your reps are ready to perform their tasks effectively, guarantee continued development and success with the right tools. From skill-building webinars to analytic or coaching tools that help improve sales approach. Make sure to set adequate resources in place to track, measure, and improve your reps' performance over time.  

Take your sales onboarding program to the next level with Thumb

When you create a sales onboarding program, you set the stage for long-term success. A structured, consistent approach to training and development will help your new reps learn faster and perform better. It will also save time and money by reducing turnover rates and improving productivity.

Thumb is the #1 conversational analytics tool in the market that lets you streamline sales onboarding seamlessly.

Track, measure, and improve your onboarding program experience with:

✨Live Script Guidance: Accelerate onboarding with live playbook assistance. Add your playbooks to Thumb and ensure best practice adoption with live talk track view. Reduce script overwhelming with bookmark progress.

✨Detailed Call Logs: Improve performance tracking. Check if reps follow scripts and how they handle objections with audio, transcription, or summary review.

✨CRM Data Sync: Increase time selling with automated CRM field entry and MEDDIC/BANT qualification.

✨Strategic Insights: Review objection handling over time. Select the best approaches to improve strategy and rep performance.

Start improving your sales onboarding process today. Try Thumb's full suite for free, or get a quick demo from our team here.

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