Get actional tips to accelerate new hire ramp-up and maximize ROI.
Many sales organizations have a typical ramp-up time of six months or more for a new sales rep. Reducing the amount of time needed to get new hires up to speed and closing their first sale is key to maximizing an organization’s investment. But how do sales organizations accelerate their new hire ramp up and still ensure their sales reps will be successful? Research shows that a well-defined and comprehensive onboarding program can speed up ramp time and improve performance by 11.5 percent.
1. Define Your Sales Strategy
Objective: Successful new hire ramp-up begins prior to hiring by having a clearly defined sales strategy, processes and tools in place within your sales organization.
Procedure: Identify and set a clear sales strategy for your sales organization. Establish sales goals and metrics. Develop a compensation plan that benefits both your sales rep and your organization. Document the sales process and procedures for generating new leads. Implement effective sales tools.
2. Hire the Right Candidates
Objective: Effective hiring begins by having an ideal sales candidate profile for which to measure applicants against.
Procedure: Identify your sales candidate profile including education, sales experience, sales performance, sales competencies and behaviors. During your interview process, ask behavioral questions to help assess whether or not the candidate has the skills, attitude and competencies needed for the sales role. Behavioral questions are designed to evaluate a candidate’s suitability based on how they behaved in similar situations in previous positions.
3. Deliver Comprehensive Sales Training
Objective: Comprehensive sales training sets new hire expectations and enables them to be successful.
Procedure: Develop a comprehensive training program that includes both instructor-led and online courses. Training should cover a broad range of topics including products and services, tools and systems, and soft-skills they will need while interacting with customers. Sales training should be an ongoing and structured process. Let your new hires know upfront that your organization is committed to their success.
4. Provide Coaching and Mentoring
Objective: Ongoing coaching and mentoring are vital to motivating and empowering sales reps once their new hire training is complete.
Procedure: Coaching and mentoring provides benefits to both the trainer and the new sales rep. The coach or mentor is given an opportunity to display their knowledge and skill within the company. This creates a sense of empowerment and increases retention for top sales reps. The new sales rep benefits by learning the intricacies of the sales process, inside organizational knowledge and the best way to interact with target customers from an experienced sales rep. Mentoring and coaching take place in a real sales environment with new hires learning the best sales practices. This results in a shortened learning curve and a faster ramp-up.
5. Create Personal Development Plans
Objective: Provide new sales reps with ongoing feedback on performance goals and metrics to enable them to track their progress, issues and wins.
Procedure: Creating a personal development plan (PDP) provides a roadmap for new sales employees. The plan includes measurable goals and a timeline for achieving those goals. Review the PDP with new hires at specific intervals (30, 60, 90 days) to track how they are performing against sales goals. Sales managers should recognize early wins to reinforce the sales reps’ performance and address any issues to keep them from becoming discouraged.
These five tips can help your organization accelerate ramp-up times, create motivated sales reps and increase retention. Interested in a thorough evaluation of your talent acquisition and new hire ramp-up process? Revecent can complete an analysis of your company’s hiring and onboarding strategies to identify areas of improvement. Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.