How to onboard remote and on-site sales teams effectively
Onboarding your sales team has a profound impact on your culture and your productivity. Thorough onboarding can help new hires feel engaged and invested in your vision and reach full productivity quickly. It can also impact how long they stay with your business, reducing your turnover and helping you retain your top talent. The most successful onboarding processes are those where employees feel welcome and motivated from their first day on the job.
What should my onboarding process look like?
Every company’s onboarding process is different, and there is no single way to build it, but good onboarding processes have several things in common. Flexibility is essential; while all employees must understand some key foundational elements around products and services, it’s also vital to consider the level of knowledge your new hire already has. Consider their willingness and readiness for change and their preferred sales style. Your onboarding process should teach new hires how to work with your company’s product or service so that they can contribute as soon as possible. This has a significant effect on their morale and engagement, and helps them settle into your team.
Our top tips for successful onboarding
Let them learn from your pros:
Allow new employees to shadow other experienced employees for a day or two. Shadowing allows ample opportunity for brand immersion and tone of voice, so new hires can learn from your most skilled salespeople and get their feet wet before being thrown into the deep end.
Be specific about your industry and your organisation:
Build into your training how to be successful in your particular industry: which organisations would make good sales prospects and how to recognise those that wouldn’t. Many different skillsets go into being successful, and it takes time for somebody new to learn these. Explicitly showing your new hires your best practices, your case studies and how to navigate the quirks of your systems will put them on the right track for success.
Assign a mentor or buddy for the first few weeks:
New employees should have a mentor to guide them through their first few weeks. The mentor should be someone in the same field or who has had the same responsibilities. Put in place a follow-up plan, where new hires check-in with their mentor initially daily, then every week and finally switching to monthly. This keeps lines of communication open and creates an additional support channel for your new team member.
A killer welcome pack:
Create a welcome pack for new hires. Pack it with valuable resources, signposting company information and valuable links that will serve as a quick-access guide. Go beyond templates and tell stories about your history, your clients and your vision for the business.
Don’t neglect systems training:
Ensure your new hires receive training on all systems, not just the sales systems they’ll be using, but any HR or operational systems they need to use. This simple action will save time and keep their mind focused on sales.
Tools for the job:
Empower your new hires with the logins, laptops, and equipment to perform their role efficiently. If you can tie this in with your welcome pack, this will help new hires feel welcome and prepared for their new responsibilities.
Onboarding processes need to focus on both professional and personal development. While you should provide helpful information about how everything works, you also need to show new staff which skills they can develop, and you should walk through their first sales targets so they understand these.
Successful onboarding in a hybrid environment
Remote working is here to stay, so it makes sense to ensure your onboarding processes are inclusive for all new hires, even those who won’t be on-site regularly.
Create authentic digital experiences:
Use collaboration tools to host welcome days, so on-site and remote employees can meet and go through training processes together. Make product information and valuable sales templates available on your company intranet or CMS, so it’s easy to download them.
Create online spaces to ask questions:
In general, remote employees are more likely to be satisfied with their job than those who work at the office – but that satisfaction drops as soon as they start working remotely full-time and have nobody nearby with whom they can share ideas or ask for help. So they must have the same means of connecting with their peers and managers digitally.
Use video to bring your culture to life:
In an agile world, getting on the same page as your colleagues is essential. Video is brilliant for communicating knowledge. It doesn’t have to be high production value; think screen recorded tutorials, short interviews with representatives from different teams, sales leaders, and other business areas, so new hires understand the impact of sales processes and activity on other groups.
Measuring and monitoring success:
For your remote and on-site teams, it’s essential to build key milestones into your onboarding process. Managers and employees need checkpoints to measure how new employees are settling in, navigating their new environment and, of course, their progress with achieving targets. Putting these regular reviews in the diary keeps managers accountable and employees motivated to succeed. It’s also a valuable space to air concerns and to challenge any processes that aren’t working.
We can help
If you’re looking for additional outsourced resources to complement your skills in-house, look no further. We’re experts in developing high-performing sales teams who win millions of dollars of new business every year; get in touch today by calling 1300 396 888 or sending us an email at email@example.com.