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Onboarding must-haves for every new sales hire

01 November 2020

By Rianne Neale

Onboarding must-haves for every new sales hire
Give them what they need to shine.

Onboarding might be the recruitment buzzword of the moment, but what does it mean and why does your success depend on it?

Research shows that high staff turnover is a waste of resources, and excellent retention makes sound business sense. Your role as a manager is vital, so you need to be up to speed.

These are our top tips:
Between sealing the deal and their first day:
  • Do what you can to make the candidate feel like they’re already part of the firm. Go for a social setting to help them feel relaxed: take them out for a coffee or invite them to a team lunch. Explain how the company works, ask them if there’s anything they need and answer their questions, but it’s also an opportunity for them to bond, which will minimise the chances of them not joining. If they’re not in the locality or abroad, think about using Skype or other video conferencing tools to help them feel like part of the team.

  • Ensure they get to grips with your company’s culture before they even walk through the door. Are they clear about the firm’s USPs, goals and strategies? If they can turn up for their first day already living and breathing your company’s vision, then you’re off to a great start. A word of warning: keep confidential information under wraps until they’ve signed the relevant non–disclosure or confidentiality agreements.

  • Reach out. At least once a week, keep them up to speed on sales wins and company news, anything you think is relevant and helps them feel valued and involved.

  • The day before they join, allay any nerves by giving them a phone call. Let them know you’re there to help, so they can start confident and ready to go.

The vital first month:

Niggles and hitches are inevitable, but minimise them, and they’ll be straight off the blocks. Think about what they’ll need to succeed:

  • Think workspace: whether hotdesking, dedicated space, or working remotely – what do they need to feel confident and part of the team from day one? Maximise new tech efficiency by making sure their email and passwords are set up before they start.

  • An induction pack is a must-have, so they’ll have an instant reference to what’s expected from them and what they can expect from the company. Include policy documents and info on their roles and responsibilities. Talk them through.

  • Set the benchmark for success, using your top sales performers’ stats and strategies. They’ll be clear on what excellence and achievement look like.

  • Invest in a mentor and share success. Offer them a financial reward for defined outcomes through shared best-practice, practical tips, knowledge and experience. It sets down invaluable relationships for the future too.

  • Make absorbing the recruit a team goal. Include everyone, regardless of their role.

  • Keep next steps in mind – spend time with the new person to define their goals and to ensure they know how the company ticks.

  • Training is key, even if they’ve come from a similar sector. Draw on your existing team to find out what they found helpful and consider webinars, podcasts and videos if time is tight.

  • Virtual links are important too. Social media is a great way to build relationships and benefit from thought–leadership – your team will know the best groups to join on platforms such as LinkedIn.

  • Ride the momentum and set an early goal. This doesn’t have to be the first sale if time is an issue, define a number of qualified leads entered into the CRM if you like.

Moving forward:

From the first month to the first year, make sure your team newcomer develops into a strong asset.

  • Believe and be patient – don’t expect overnight miracles. Make sure they have the knowledge and confidence they need to excel.

  • What does winning look like? Model the best behaviours and encourage the rest of the team to do the same. If there’s someone particularly good at their job, shadowing is the best method to transfer skills in a relevant, indelible way.

  • Talk to your team. Ask a trusted member to feedback on how the new person is settling in, how they add to the dynamic, and whether they need guidance or training to stay on track. Be innovative and intuitive, ready to tweak their methods if necessary.

Start right:

Remember your recruit is a valuable investment – get them out into the field too early, and you risk that investment. High staff turnover is costly, so the groundwork you put in is crucial to success – for them, for you, your team and your company.

You’re not in this alone. At Zetter, we’re on hand with insider tips and invaluable tools to help you get it right. Onboarding works: trust us, we’re the experts.

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