So the new hire is on board – now what?
From here it is critical to have a proper process to introduce the salesperson to your business and your sales strategy.
As a starting block for putting a 90-day plan in place, Dave Kurlan from the Objective Management Group suggests that as a minimum you should be answering these questions for your new hire.
The importance of on-boarding
Even someone who is an A-player sales rep can’t be expected to know all the intricacies that go along with your unique business. You owe it to them, and your own organisation, to ensure they have a thorough understanding of all of these things, even if some of them seem a little ‘basic’.
You might find that the first time you implement a proper plan for on-boarding a new sales rep you actually identify areas of weakness in your current sales strategy – and while this would be concerning initially, at least it has been uncovered and you can now put the right things in place to deal with it. For example:
- Your sales process, from prospect to customer.
- Pipeline management.
- Your business’s value proposition.
- Category vs. product selling.
- The difference between milestones and a sales process.
If you don’t have all of the above factors accurately documented, then how would you expect a new person to come on board and find success in the more efficient way possible? It wouldn’t be very fair would it? (And it is likely that your current sales reps aren’t doing as well as they could be if you had a better structure around your entire sales strategy.)
The Figure It Out Factor
One exception to the rule is those with a high FIOF (Figure It Out Factor), which is something that can be determined using a specific sales assessment. The ‘right recipe’ for someone with a high FIOF includes:
- 5+ years in sales
- 5+ years in the industry
- Strong Desire
- Strong Commitment
- No Excuse Making
- Self Starter
- Works well independently
- Works without supervision
- Will Prospect
- Prospects Consistently
- No Need for Approval
- Recovers from Rejection
- Greater than 75% Compatibility
- Effective Time Management
Of course finding an individual that can tick all of these boxes would be incredibly rare, but it is still important to understand where this fits into the length of time it may take someone to ramp-up. You could hire a fantastic salesperson, but they only have a FIOF score of 50 – which means they just need more help to achieve great things, and surely that’s worth waiting for, particularly when a majority of the time we have plenty of businesses stuck with non-performing people in their sales team.
A solid on-boarding process makes for stronger sales
There are a few other factors that are critical for an effective on-boarding process – and this involves sales management being heavily involved in coaching and one-on-one training on a very regular basis, the fact that selling has changed but not many organisations have changed their approach to reflect this, and an individualised approach to setting up expectations around performance (depending on the level of experience of the salesperson and areas of weakness that need to be worked on).
Don’t be complacent when it comes to the orientation of your new salespeople, as you will only burn your business in the long run – take it seriously, make it a priority to have a structure in place, and set up everyone to succeed.