The average time for a new sales person to go from fresh meat and a little green to deal closing machine in a new company is between six to nine months. Regardless of how successful your business and sales team is, that's a long time for somebody to ride passenger. That's why as part of the business development strategy, the on-boarding process is critical to setting up any new sales hires for success.
Sales training courses can be expensive and it's hard to find the right one that works for your team. Our sales training guide won't replace 1-on-1 mentoring and training but it will provide any fresh hires with the tools they need to hit the ground running.
Having a clear sales training document with all the key information for new starters or a guide for long-term staff to refresh themselves is key to making those first few months productive and clearly outlining expectations for other staff. The result, a sales team who understand your business, your customers, and your sales strategy.
If you've got a fresh team member starting this week, read our guide below, download our free guide at the bottom of this article and you'll maximise their first 100 days and have them bringing home the bacon in no time. This isn't a guide for how to apply for leave, their salary or hours of work, this should be a document to help them start closing deals and understanding how you approach sales.
What does a sales training guide need?
Get amped! Write a message saying how excited you are to have them onboard and let them know that while this document will be detailed it is not a contract and is not the complete list of expectations you have of them. It is simply the best sales training guide they'll ever read and an essential tool to help their first few months run as seamless and successful as possible.
Outline what training they can expect to receive, who runs it, what they will learn at each session and any required presentations, pitches or projects. This sets the expectations from day one for both you and the new starter on what they should learn from the beginning.
3. Tech Set-up
This is a simple outline of what technology they will receive as part of their role. New laptop? Hell yeah! Work phone? Epic! Here give them all the information they need and the logins for their brand-spanking new technology.
4. Software & Operating Systems
Here you will explain what software and tools your business uses, give them instructions how to setup their accounts if necessary, any login details. For example, your CRM, project management program or deal tracking software.
5. Internal Communications
Explain how you communicate internally, whether it be using Slack, Jabber or another internal instant messaging app. Make it clear which channels they should join on their first day or if there are any calendars to be aware of. Get them involved right off the bat and give them a shoutout in the chat once they join to welcome them.
HR should cover most of this but if there is any exclusive sales only deals or benefits to work at the company, reiterate them so they can start making the most of them from early on.
7. People to Meet
Make a list of the key people within the business they could benefit from meeting. Name people who make their lives easier, are the experts, the sales leaders or the person that brings treats into the office and is worth befriending. For the big hitters in the business, give them a couple talking points or insights so they can make a connection right off the bat.
8. 100 Day High Level Goals
Outline what you expect the new hire to be able to achieve after their first 100 days. You're probably not expecting them to close multi-million dollar deals (unless that's how your business rolls) but by setting goals and expectations they can refer back to them and strategise how they will reach it.
9. Month 1
Give them a small goal to target here and set expectations of what knowledge they should have after their first month. Depending on experience after the first month you're expecting them to start understanding your business, the product and pricing structure. An example goal could be to score 40/50 on a product knowledge exam or to present what they've learnt to the wider team in the monthly meeting.
10. Month 2
The second month will be focused on implementing the first months learnings. Expectations and goals will be slightly larger and this should be a chance for them to expand their knowledge through conversations with customers and internal stakeholders.
11. Month 3
Now it's time to start kicking things into gear. Expectations should be set and the new hire should be starting to fit right into the team and starting to hit their goals. By now they should be armed for success with the tools and resources they require to nail their goals.
12. Feedback & Reviews
Outline the guide for feedback and reviews whether it be weekly catch ups, fortnightly etc. Explain what they are required to provide at each check-in such as how they are travelling against their goals, any challenges or what they are loving about the new role.
13. Sales Strategy and Methodology
Here you will outline the sales methodology and strategy. Link them directly to your company's sales plan and any other documents or resources that could help them understand how your business sells. If you don't currently have a sales plan, create your own here using this template.
14. Required/Suggested Reading
Again, most of this will be covered by HR but if there is anything in particular they should read in the first few weeks such as company culture, org chart or information on expenses and work travel. If there is company guidelines or FAQ for new starters, write it all out here and give them as much detail as possible to save them needing to ask later on.
15. Resources For Your Success
Finally round out any extra resources they should be aware of such as escalation processes, how to conduct a demo or if there's a group that head down for after work drinks every Friday. You know? The essential info.
By using this guide and our template for the best sales training guide you can ensure any new sales hire hits the ground running and your business can start seeing ROI as soon as possible. If you arm your sales team up to the teeth in resources, information and the support they require, you are setting them up for success in the long run, allowing them to do what they've been hired to do rather than blindly trying to feel their way.