Many sales leaders feel that they are not doing a good enough job with their sales onboarding process.

And it’s true. 

A quarter of the time, sales leaders are worried about ramping new reps. Even though two-thirds will not fully develop all skills and behaviors for seven months or more, one in five won’t do so even after a year.

This can be a problem when efficient sales onboarding programs are proven to increase employee performance by 11.5% and drive revenue up massively.

Tech-enabled sales teams are getting more sophisticated about how they provide coaching and enablement. The first step is often a well-structured sales onboarding process.

But what will the future of new hires in SaaS onboarding phases look like?


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Sales Onboarding Today

New technologies will change the way we coach our teams. Here are three ways of how it might happen and what to do about each.

It will be more efficient, yet ongoing. 

The days of shadowing Sally are over. I’ve found that the best way to get a good feel for what my reps do is simply ask them.

Sales leaders can cut the time to ramp in half by investing in sales onboarding that includes access to their top recorded calls.

I recommend including these playlists in your onboarding process.

  • Prospects should be given the opportunity to talk about their buyer persona during an interview.
  • Calls from the top closed deals and highest performer reps.
  • Best-in-class discovery calls
  • One of the most important skills a salesperson can have is how to handle objections. It’s very common for them to mention competitors.
  • Customer Success calls, including a welcome call and training.

They should make sure their SDRs are trained to keep up with the fast pace that often comes with this job.

It will be structured and transparent. 

Onboarding in the future will be much different. There are many ways that employees can benefit from it, such as being structured and transparent to each person’s role.

We want all of our employees to have a clear understanding of what is expected from them so they can be the best at their job.

Here’s an example of a scorecard The following is taken from the article “Sharing Economy” published in The Economist: Uber and Airbnb are not just ridesharing or accommodation rental sites. They represent something much broader”a shift to peer-to-peer services that could change how we work, travel and consume.

sales onboarding

It will run on self-awareness 

The best companies will use a cohort model to hire diverse sellers, who have complementary skills and experiences. Leaders in these environments will focus on openness, candor, and self-awareness so their reps can better coach themselves early on.

By listening to each others recordings, reps will get the opportunity to hear themselves talk and see areas of improvement.

Features like commenting, up-voting and celebrating key call moments will allow the team to be more friendly towards one another.

In the past, managers would focus on who completed more calls or closed more sales. But now and in the future, we can have a conversation about customer interactions that are of higher quality.

Consider these film-review contests:

  • The first three minutes of your call is crucial for setting the tone. To get a sense of how people are doing, I try to run an internal contest where we each take turns calling prospects and seeing who can make the best impression in just 3 minutes.
  • If you’re having trouble qualifying prospects, listen to this playlist of top sales calls. You can learn from the best sellers how they do it.
  • Here are three top reps explaining how they talk to customers about pricing.
  • Check out the objections reps have to kick-off and implementation in this interview.
  • If a competitor is mentioned, it’s important to know how to react.

Reps have to submit relevant calls or snippets, rate them for quality and provide at least two comments on each clip (one positive, one constructive).

To make sure I’m fair to the films, I give them a rubric. This way they know what my expectations are.

sales onboarding

 

Reps need to be coached on giving productive feedback.

I recommend thinking about these best practices when hiring new employees:

  • When we first begin a conversation, it’s best to start by speaking about something that they’re interested in or doing well. This will help them feel more comfortable and willing to talk.
  • It’s not about liking or disliking people, it’s about the behavior. Instead of saying you don’t like their style and firing them on the spot, say “next time try slowing down your pace” to see if they can improve.
  • Give the salesperson a chance to review their performance before other people critique it.

Giving feedback can be done in a few different ways.

  • Instead of just saying “Don’t do X,” try suggesting another idea.
  • Instead of “don’t do X,” try telling them what you liked about their work.
  • Instead of saying “never” say, “next time try this”

Sales Onboarding Becomes Ongoing

Now that you know what to do for onboarding, let’s talk about the most important change: It will become a continuous process.

In the past, new employees were often left to figure things out on their own. They rarely received coaching from supervisors and they only got training during offsites.

That’s not enough. 

In order to be a top performer, the study found that they listened to 24 hours of calls during onboarding and at least 8 per month.

Future-Proof Your Sales Onboarding

Once you’ve finished onboarding your new salespeople, continue to coach them and help them motivate themselves.

Use your 1-to-1s to review calls with reps and clips from their most recent sales call. Focus less on the deal specifics, but more on developing skills for them.

Without the right level of coaching or feedback, many salespeople are just not ready for success after a few days on the job.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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