You all know the experience; a top-notch sales rep is hired and goes to an amazing instructor led on boarding program. They leave pumped, they rated the training the best they’ve ever had, and there is zero doubt in their minds that they ready to blow their quota away.
But in days, weeks and months that follow, the walls start closing in, the sales person will feel isolated and quite likely begin to wonder if they made the right decision to join your company.
Let me give you some coaching
Many people confuse coaching with giving feedback, but in reality, they are two very different things. So let’s use the International Coaching Federation definition of coaching;
“An interactive process to help individuals and organizations develop more rapidly and produce more satisfying results; improving other’s ability to set goals, take action, make better decisions and make full use of their natural strengths.”
Coaching a new sales rep is a critical step in on-boarding them, and when provided in a structured manner, it can accelerate the on-boarding ramp.
Got to love those Peers and Players
- Create Peer mentor/coaches during the on boarding experience. Reps can and should learn from other reps. The Association for Talent Development found 91% of sales people say that learning from peers is helping them succeed. And if your peer mentoring program has thought things through, the mentor will be from another segment of sales, other countries, etc. Why? The peer coach is highly likely to be uncovering similar objections, challenges with systems and tools, or had a sales conversation modeled for them by another member of their sales organization. Meanwhile you are helping the reps build global awareness of your brand while accelerate their success.
- The TAS group says “73% managers spend less than 5% of their time coaching their sales teams” so where should the coaching of new hires come from? Turn your top performers into “A player as the coach “. They clearly understand how your sales methodology aligns with the customer buying journey and can model the sales conversations. There is an added benefit of your A players coaching the new hires. It increases sale rep retention for both the new hire and A player. Remember that comment about the sales person will feel isolated after the on boarding event? Not only do your new hires have on going opportunity to develop their sales skills but your top reps feel more involved and become invested in the new hires success!
Remember, it’s not about telling new sales people what to do, but about helping them look at different ways to do things to achieve better results after they have left the classroom.
What are your sales new hire coaching practices?