So You Just Hired a Salesperson-Now What?
If you really hired a stud or studette then you may not have much more to do. Sales professionals understand what it takes to be successful so they know what they have to do as they enter a new company. But, not all salespeople hired will have this innate knowledge so it pays to put some training together.
Regardless of whether you’ve hired Zig Ziglar or Betty Jean the newbie the next thing you do is take the new rep and the rep’s spouse out for dinner. I don’t know how many managers do this but if they don’t they should. When you hire a salesperson you hire his or her spouse. Understanding the spouse and what makes him or her tick is as important as understanding what motivates the salesperson. There were only two managers that my wife ever cared for and both of them took the time to get to know her.
If you don’t have an organized training program that is documented then start making one. Here’s the way I look at this. You’re the sales manager for Widget International. You have all the training regimens, times, people etc. in your brain. What you did not know was A. You thought that you were going to be with Widget for your entire business career but you just got a mouth watering offer from another company that you cannot pass up or B. You were traveling to work and got hit by a bus and it’s tough to implement training programs from the cemetery. So what happens to the new rep without a training program? OJT to the tenth power!
In my opinion a new salesperson does not walk out the door until they are thoroughly familiar with:
- The product
- The marketplace
- Why people buy the product
- Marketing plans
- How the product is made to include some time on the assembly line
- R & D activity assuming there is a department
- The CRM system
- Their Customer Service representative
- Current customers if they are taking over a territory that has been worked before
- HR policies
- Expense policies
- Organization chart
- Creating a sales territory plan
- The sales language used by the sales department
Are there any rules of thumb for how long it takes a rep to be productive once they’re in the field? Mine has always been six months but that will differ by company and individual. The bottom line? Have a documented training regimen.
The Final Thought: “I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.” Elvis Presley