6 Steps to Onboarding and Ramping up your Sales Reps

Posted by:
the Attention team

One of the most important factors in your sales organization’s success is your ability to effectively recruit and train a stellar team of sales reps. However, this process is often mishandled and becomes a massive time drain. As time is your most important and scarce resource in a sales organization, it is essential that you learn how to ramp up new reps quickly and effectively, without compromising on training quality. 

In 2021, the average ramp-up rate for junior reps is somewhere around 10 months, during which the new hires are not yet contributing to their full potential and managers are spending valuable hours a day getting them up to speed. Attention allows you to cut down this period by more than half. With the help of the latest, most cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, our training software provides real-time feedback for junior reps on a variety of metrics so you don’t have to, and tracks their progress and training goals. The result is radically accelerated onboarding processes, with new reps ramped up in weeks rather than months, and a greatly reduced time burden for managers. Give us a try here!

1. Selection

One of the most important steps in the onboarding process takes place before it actually begins. You need a great process in place for identifying and selecting the reps with the most potential, as this can make all the other steps on this list so much easier. There is an art and a science to recruiting standout reps, but it starts with identifying and recognizing the key traits that make a great salesperson. 

One vital trait to look out for is ambition. Self-motivated, ambitious reps can usually make up for any lack of experience or skill quickly. Another essential characteristic is coachability. This refers to an individual’s ability to take feedback and respond quickly to training and go above and beyond their coaching goals. If you find a rep that has ambition, a natural skillset, and strong coachability, hold on to them! These are the kinds of people you want in your team. You also want to avoid building a team that is dependent on the performance of a few outstanding stars. You want every member to contribute and be valuable.

2. Common Onboarding Mistakes

There are many recurring mistakes that companies make during onboarding that can affect their long-term results drastically. Quite often, sales leaders don’t take onboarding seriously and expect reps to learn on the job and figure it out by themselves. While this might save a bit of time in the short term, it wastes it in the long term and sets your reps up for failure. There are many aspects of the sales process that are impossible to improvise or figure out on the fly, and have to be formally taught. The other risk associated with this mistake is that reps learn and pass on the wrong sales practices. When your reps have learned and practiced the wrong way of doing things, it is difficult to fix the damage. 

Another common mistake is giving uniform, one-size-fits-all sales training. Sales is ultimately a very personal practice, and each rep has their own stumbling blocks to work around and should develop their own style. Training every rep the same way is usually just a cop-out for busy managers. We get it, you’re busy and under huge time constraints. But effective sales training is always as personalized as possible and requires a lot of feedback and frequent adjustments. 

Want to know how to achieve this without sacrificing valuable managerial time? You guessed it, Attention can help you do just that.

3. Get Started Right Away

We all know time is precious in the fast-moving world of sales, but a surprising amount of managers waste valuable days by not onboarding their reps immediately. Over time, this can translate to wasted weeks or months every year. Getting your new hires to hit the ground running and start the training and onboarding process immediately can make a major difference in your long-term results. To do this effectively, you should have systems and processes in place to make sure they get up to speed within a day or two. Steps you can take include sending emails out before the onboarding formally begins with basic guides, training videos, and FAQs to ensure your reps are ready to start ramping up as soon as they hit the office. 

4. Familiarize them with your Mission

Everything about your sales organization should be oriented towards a central vision and grounded in your mission. As soon as onboarding starts, you should begin to familiarize your reps with the company’s mission; this provides clarity and focus for all their training and activities, as they understand what they are working towards.

5. Use Gamification

Gamification has been widely proven to boost and improve training results and motivation. People love games, and incentives such as public acknowledgment and impromptu rewards can be extremely powerful ways to drive your team to do better.

6. Train Communication Skills

One of the most high-ROI onboarding practices you can make use of is coaching your reps’ communication abilities. Without the basics of engaging communication, all the sales strategies and pipeline skills in the world won’t be of any help. Key areas to focus on include body language training, how to ask good questions, and how to deliver exciting and interesting presentations consistently. A surprising number of salespeople still deliver flat, uninspiring, and overlong presentations, and many businesspeople report feeling bored on sales calls. 

Asking great questions is another key area to work on for your reps. Salespeople tend to be chatty and extraverted, which is an asset but can also be a hindrance. The insights and information you depend on as a salesperson are often the result of asking the right questions and listening carefully. 

Attention makes it easier than ever to train and develop communication skills in your junior reps. Our software tracks factors like body language, percentage of time spent speaking, active listening cues, etc. 

A good onboarding process for new reps can be the difference between retention and churn. Ramping up new reps can be challenging, but with the right strategy, you’ll have them hitting the ground running. One of these strategies is to identify their strengths and weaknesses during the selection process. Another way is for managers to start training as soon as possible after hiring someone new; this will ensure they're able to get on board faster and stay motivated longer. The article also mentions gamification and training listening skills. These 6 steps should help your team onboard like pros! 

If you need help making this crucial process faster and more efficient, Attention can help you do just that. Click here to use the latest technology in sales training to ramp up your reps faster than ever!

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