September 14, 2017

Sales Onboarding: Turning New Hires Into ‘True Believers’

Properly Onboarding Your New Sales Reps

Before memorizing pitch decks, CPQ training, and updates to CRM – and before account plans or sales stages become a priority, it is important for management to take time to properly onboard new sales reps and create a culture of  “true believers” of your company’s messaging.

On my new hires’ first day, or even before we onboard, I tell them the primary objective for their first 90 days is for them to become true believers in the Gryphon value proposition. I need my new reps to entirely believe, with zero doubt, that our service can help our clients and prospects in significant ways.

Did you know that employees that go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years?

Their sales training will not have context until they have become completely convinced that the right customers will find truly significant value in our offering. Their training regimen does not consist of simply boning up on our products, support, and competition, although that is important down the line.

Did you know Less than 45% of companies have formal sales training or onboarding processes?

If your new sales reps (first) create and (then) communicate a solution message that is deeply held, the conviction will be contagious, and the message will resonate with your clients, and your message will be something they care about too.

 Sales Onboarding – The “Big Why”

To make your new sales reps true believers during the onboarding process, you must not only be yourself but be able to answer what I call the “Big Why” of your product. Specifically, “Why does this prospect need to care about our solution – and why now.” This might take a bit of time to construct, but it’s an essential weapon in your arsenal.

When building these true believers, your message must be simple. It has to be compelling enough to connect on an emotional level. The Big Why’s effectiveness is inversely proportional to the time it takes to explain it. So, keep it as straightforward as possible without losing the impact of the message.

The Three R’s of Properly Onboarding a New Sales Rep

After training the new members of your sales team on the value proposition and the Big Why, give them the opportunity to ask questions about your product. Let them poke holes in your messaging, and play as much devil’s advocate as they want.

As a sales leader, this gives you the opportunity to restate the value, reinforce the proof, and relate the value to specific clients. Be honest with your reps about all the strengths and weaknesses of the solution. Proactively tell them about objections they’ll likely get from customers. This will convey credibility to them in ways a white paper or a datasheet never could.

The Payoff – Onboarding True Believers 

When you are hiring new salespeople, the cause you are enlisting them for is your company’s mission – first and foremost. You have a responsibility to make that mission something exciting and something that focuses on more than features, benefits, and price.

If you successfully create employees who are completely committed and can communicate persuasively, their passion and enthusiasm will overshadow any lack of industry knowledge, product knowledge, a little higher price, or a few missing bells and whistles.

Your true believers will be your company’s evangelists – and the gospel they preach will have the potential to turn your prospects into client converts. Make sure their verses have meaning beyond the dollar and the deal.

Did you know Gryphon can reduce training and onboarding time by 30%?