Rapidly on-boarding new sales reps and recruiters and getting them productive as quickly as possible is a key factor that separates top performing, high growth staffing firms from the competition. In fact, research from The Sales Management Association indicates that top performing organizations experience 10% greater sales growth rates, and 14% better revenue and profit attainment. But as you probably know, getting a new sales rep "up and running" and selling at the same proficiency as your top performers is no easy task.
In this blog post I'm going to share with you 4 ways sales process accelerates new hire onboarding.
You can improve the effectiveness of your new hire ramp-up program and accelerate new hire time to quota attainment by introducing your new hires to your sales process including your the lifecycle stages, verifiable outcomes and your sales nomenclature. The sooner your new hires understand your sales process including all of the sellers activities and your sales nomenclature, the faster they will be able to contribute.
Here are 4 ways sales process accelerates new hire onboarding
1. Unifying Around a Common Sales Process Drives Consistent, Predictable Results
If you don't follow a consistent sales process that all of your sales reps follow and that is measured and monitored by management, than your sales new hires are going to get all sorts of confusing and mixed messages. The confusing and mixed messages are going to come from each rep telling your new hire(s) how they do things. If you have ten sales reps and no consistent sales process this means your new hire will likely hear ten different ways on "how to sell." Sales new hires who hear these confusing and mixed messages experience delayed development and slow time to quota attainment. This is frustrating for the new hire and the manager.
To avoid this you need to train your sales new hires on the steps of your buyer aligned sales process including your sales nomenclature. Below are a few common examples of where IT staffing firms struggle with their sales process. To accelerate new hire onboarding you will want to be crystal clear on these topics (and others) to ensure your new hire is ready to contribute sooner rather than later.
- Target Market & Building a Call List: Who are you ideal buyers? Where or how does a sales new hire build a list of these ideal buyers?
- Leads and Lead Conversion: How do you define a sales lead? Are there different lead types or statuses? If so what is the name and definition for each? What is the criteria for qualifying and converting a lead?
- Sales Life Cycle Stages: What are the stages of your sales process? What sales activities do your salespeople need to complete in each stage? What activities do your buyers need to complete in each stage?
By gaining consistency in these areas you will get your entire sales team "selling from the same playbook" which will accelerate new hire ramp up. Having a standardized sales process adds structure and accountability to your sales activities, leading to a higher win rate and shorter sales cycles.
2. Following a Sales Process Eliminates Mistakes
When your sales new hires are taught to follow a sales process from day one they make fewer mistakes because they're reminded of the steps they and the customer must complete. This will shorten their sales cycle because they will be able to work through the steps faster by having them all laid out in advance instead of “winging it.”
3. Following Sales Process Life Cycle Stages & Verifiable Outcomes Accelerates Learning, Time to Quota Attainment
Sales process lifecycle stages including verifiable outcomes are designed to help salespeople organize their opportunities based on where the customer and seller reside within the sales process. A verifiable outcome is an observable, verifiable fact that proves that the seller has successfully completed a step in the sales process. By teaching your sales new hires what the verifiable outcomes are for each stage of your buyer aligned sales process, you provide clear expectations for what they should be focused on trying to accomplish. Instead of focusing on simply generating activity, your sales new hires will be focused on generating sales activity to produces specific outcomes.
Think of verifiable outcomes as stage specific exit criteria; they tell the salesperson they have successfully completed a step in the sales process and are now ready to move to the next stage of the sales process.
4. Sales Process Enables Highly Effective, Targeted Coaching
All staffing companies struggle with new hire ramp up time. There isn't a staffing CEO out there who wouldn't like to shorten their new hire time to quota attainment. But it's really not that difficult if you have a sales process.
When you have a clearly defined sales process with lifecycle stages and verifiable outcomes, the manager can quickly and easily identify, analyze and diagnose sales bottlenecks and skill deficiencies and then provide the appropriate coaching specific to each stage of the sales process. Without a common sales process and nomenclature sales coaching becomes difficult cumbersome. With a sales process you provide standards and expectations of when and how the seller should be engaging the the buyer at each stage of the process. The manager's job is simply to coach to this.
If you want to improve sales performance, download the free eBook titled "The Definitive Guide to Building a Buyer Aligned Sales Process."