Common Sales Rep Hiring and Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid

Hiring the right people at the right time can enable faster business ROI. Its been proven through various studies that hiring mistakes can cost companies a fortune. For businesses to succeed, it is important for teams and senior leaders to plan out what kind of talent they’d need at what point of the business journey.

A start-up for instance, will need a very different kind of ambience and skill set than an established, legacy brand: for a lot of roles.

Specifically, when it comes to hiring and onboarding customer facing teams, especially sales reps, what should companies avoid to shorten overall training times?

Not Hiring and Training as Per Current Work Formats and Stage of the Business

Some seasoned sales reps will be attuned to strong internal processes and integrated CRMs / sales tech systems. Younger industry entrants might fit a startup culture or early stage business model well. While there are exceptions to this too, the key lies in understanding the current work formats your new sales rep hires or intended sales hires are used to.

This is where its crucial to hire as per the stage of the business or near-term goals. A company wanting to expand services and sales in a particular region, for example: APAC will need a very different type of sales hire pipeline and plan that an early-stage startup wanting to boost sales by say 30% more than the previous quarter.

Dovetailing onboarding sessions to include what else new reps may need to know based on how they’ve worked until then will help them start off at a more familiar level when trying to build into their work. Aligning later stage onboarding sessions to help them get aligned to what can help achieve the goals they’ve been hired will then be a faster process.

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Not having a Custom Training Session in Place

To cut down on induction time, sales leaders might choose to have a generalized playbook that takes care of sales rep onboarding. But including a session or two in the overall onboarding module that is custom-fit to each new sales hire can help build a more result-oriented process. In a generalized onboarding playbook, the new sales hire may learn about the product, typical sales messaging and processes followed, sales stages customers typically go through and more. A few custom sessions that address new hire queries and doubts and include sessions built to help them portray their strongest selling skills can enable quicker results and allow new hires to feel more comfortable when talking about or pitching the brand and product.

Not Knowing what Kind of Skills you’re Looking For

Building a culture is important in B2B. Before setting out to look for candidates for any function, especially the customer-facing ones, it helps to first identify your core brand value and position and what type of selling culture you want to build, this is what will help identify the skills needed to get this going.

Young startups with fun products might need peppy, funny sales people who can sell effectively to hundreds of individuals, a B2B team with a CRM meant for enterprise teams may benefit from a more seasoned sales rep who understands the nuances of the industry already.

Hiring smart and training quick is a practice that can come handy for teams hoping to scale growth and ROI driven activities. Building formats and processes that can allow new hires to better understand what they are expected to do while learning how to do it and how to deliver on goals in time is what business leaders need to focus on to build better teams.

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