Why you need an onboarding and training process for sales personnel
Implementing a sales training program for new employees can be daunting and stressful.
It's critical to define your company's training process for sales personnel and lay out a robust onboarding sales process so that new sales reps can hit the ground running with the skills and knowledge they need for success.
Unfortunately, 65% of sales managers report feeling less than equipped to train their teams effectively, which then causes staff to feel less confident and less competent.
Thankfully, a dedicated new hire sales training program can efficiently transfer best practices from experienced staff members to new sales trainees.
With a powerful sales training curriculum, new sales reps will know exactly what it takes to:
- Succeed in their role
- Assimilate into the company culture
- Achieve revenue goals
- Reach corporate objectives
Sound like something you’re missing at your organization? Then, you’re in the right place.
Think of this article as a “Sales Training Guide” for anyone looking to quickly train and upskill new sales reps. Keep reading to learn about key components to include in your sales training program for new employees.
5 benefits of a strategic new hire sales training program
Before we jump into the “how” of creating and implementing a sales training program, let’s look at the “why” of an onboarding sales process.
An effective new hire sales training program will help your organization in five positive ways.
1. Improves new hire retention and recruiting
One benefit of a strategic new hire sales training program is improved new hire retention rates and talent acquisition.
When you make training engaging and treat it as an investment in your employees, your new hires are more likely to feel positive about their choice. Plus, employees who feel valued and involved are more likely to remain loyal, happy employees – and refer other top talent to your company, leading to better recruitment efforts.
2. Increases sales team productivity
Not only do new hire sales training programs help decrease turnover, but they also improve productivity.
By providing a comprehensive understanding of the job they’ve signed up for and how they can succeed, employees become more productive in their position. They’ll be not only more equipped but also more motivated to achieve (and surpass) their goals!
3. Builds marketplace differentiation
You may have the most incredible product or service in the world. Still, without a highly skilled sales team who knows how to build relationships and communicate value effectively, you're just another company in a sea of competition.
From your sales and marketing teams to your product development team and beyond, your employees can be your "secret sauce" or marketplace differentiator if you train them well. And an engaging, comprehensive sales training manual and program is where it all starts.
4. Generates better outcomes for existing customers
Properly trained new hires are more likely to feel confident when interacting with existing customers. This comfortability will allow them to provide better service.
Trained salespeople know how to skillfully put the customer at the center of the sale through clear knowledge and soft skills like empathy and communication. Your customers (and in turn your company) will benefit tremendously from improved relations and customer retention.
5. Increases revenue
Building a successful training program is an investment, but it's a worthy investment that can ultimately lead to increased revenue.
By leveraging custom training programs and learning technology to create a flexible training process for sales personnel, you can enhance your reps’ skills and output. When employees have the right skills, tools, and knowledge, they can close sales more quickly and successfully. And, increased sales means greater revenue.
Now that you know some of the benefits of a training process for sales personnel, let’s look at some of the most important topics to include in a sales training program.
What to include in a sales training program for new employees
All new hire sales training programs should give employees a comprehensive overview of their day-to-day responsibilities and the key competencies they need to excel. With nearly 42% of sales reps reporting that they feel “unprepared” for most calls, training is critical for success.
Your training program should break down the specific tasks and functions of the job into focused modules that build skills and confidence.
Successful sales organizations go beyond a typical sales training manual and develop a multifaceted training program covering various topics to support sales reps through different sales cycles and their development.
If you’re considering creating or implementing a new sales agent training program, here are some crucial elements to include.
The company vision and mission
Your sales training curriculum should define where the company wants to go and how it will get there. The company mission and vision should be one of the first things new employees learn during the onboarding sales process.
Having a clear understanding of the company's goals and vision gives new employees:
- A high-level overview of their purpose within the organization
- An understanding of the ultimate motivation of the organization
- The ability to align their internal goals with the company’s
Knowing where you’re going helps shape the path you take to get there.
In-house sales systems and procedures
One of the biggest hurdles a new employee faces in any role is learning how everything works. It’s not enough to simply explain what your new hires need to do daily. For them to truly understand their roles, your sales training curriculum should include a discussion of how they should approach their work. Lacking a working knowledge of your company’s operations is one of the most significant hurdles to sales-readiness.
A robust sales training curriculum should include modules on key procedures and sales programs leadership expects new hires to operate. When administered correctly, a training process for sales personnel will help new staff members feel more comfortable in their surroundings and better equipped to handle daily activities, like sales calls and prospect presentations.
Salespeople will also want to understand how they’re tracked and evaluated. Be sure to include training on what "good" performance looks like and how sales incentives are structured.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to gamify this process through interactive quizzes and modules to make it more fun and engaging!
Hard skill and soft-skill building
At the core of a high-performing sales teams are multi-dimensional sales skills.
Your sales training program for new employees should center on development around hard sales skills and soft sales skills.
Hard sales skills are basic job requirements like:
- Understanding key product features and benefits
- Being able to demonstrate the product to prospects
- Evaluating the usefulness and practicality to a specific customer need
- Overcoming objections
- Negotiating within designated parameters
Soft sales skills include non-technical capabilities that are just as impactful (if not more) on a sales team’s success. They’re about EQ (emotional intelligence) rather than IQ (cognitive intelligence). Examples include:
- Creativity and out-of-the-box problem-solving
- Storytelling and communication
- Relationship-building through teamwork and collaboration
- Empathy and value-driven connections
- Building a sense of urgency in the sales process
Sales teams who have both hard skills and soft skills are often more sales-ready than those who don’t.
Level-up your new hire sales training curriculum today
With the right new hire sales training program, your company can become a well-oiled selling machine and:
- Improve new hire retention and recruiting
- Increase sales team productivity
- Build marketplace differentiation
- Generate better outcomes for existing customers
- Increase revenues
If you’re thinking about implementing a new sales training program in your organization, you’ll want to make sure you include these topics:
- The company vision and mission
- Your sales systems and procedures
- Hard skills and soft skills training
However, we know that creating (or even revamping) a new hire sales training can be a daunting task. That’s where we come in.
At Unboxed Training & Technology, we’re all about helping other organizations train and upskill their sales teams. We know how powerful a sales training program for new employees can be, so we provide you with everything you need to make learning engaging, fun, and effective. Here’s how we do it:
- A consultation with our creative team ensures you get a unique training program that’s tailored to your company and brand.
- Custom training content that meets the specific needs of your sales team.
- The opportunity to invest in Spoke®, a powerful learning platform and sales-readiness tool that streamlines the training and selling processes.
When you work with us, we help you quickly and easily create scalable sales training manuals and onboarding sales processes your sales and leadership teams will love.
Ready to start planning your team's new hire sales training program?
Contact our team today to learn more about how our sales training solutions can level up your sales team.
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