How Do Your New Sales Reps Spend Their First Week on the Job?

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Con­grat­u­la­tions! Your top sales can­di­date accept­ed your offer. Before long, you hope, he’ll be bring­ing you big con­tracts to approve. To help your new hire suc­ceed, you must focus on the right kind of train­ing dur­ing the very first week. Jesse Davis, writ­ing for Sales­Force, tells you how to make sure your new sales­per­son is ready to hit the ground run­ning.

Davis cites indus­try expert David Skok about the steep costs orga­ni­za­tions incur when they train a new rep. On aver­age, it takes near­ly 2 years, 23 months, to begin recov­er­ing the cost of their invest­ment. To be sure your new sales­per­son is effec­tive right from the start, your train­ing mate­ri­als must help him under­stand who he’s sell­ing to. Every busi­ness has a spe­cif­ic cus­tomer base. Some busi­ness­es cre­ate cus­tomer per­sonas (Davis’s com­pa­ny RingDNA devel­ops tem­plates for these per­sonas) aligned to the type of peo­ple reps are like­ly to encounter when sell­ing your prod­ucts.

Your new rep should con­cen­trate on job titles for the peo­ple he’ll sell to. He should also learn the com­mon con­cerns and ques­tions these folks have. They might want to know the life expectan­cy of the prod­uct or how much enhanced sup­port will cost them. They may ask what they’re sup­posed to do when a piece of equip­ment breaks down. If your new rep can quick­ly tell the prospect who to con­tact for tech­ni­cal sup­port and explain how pur­chas­ing a spe­cif­ic device will save him 20% in annu­al oper­at­ing costs, he’s one step clos­er to mak­ing a sale. Prospects are impressed when a sales rep, espe­cial­ly a new hire, can field these types of ques­tions. This kind of knowl­edge speaks vol­umes about the com­mit­ment of your orga­ni­za­tion to its employ­ees and cus­tomers.

Beyond that, Davis explains, help your sales rep under­stand trig­gers for change at prospect sites. Is a prospect sud­den­ly more inter­est­ed because he knows a com­peti­tor has just moved to cloud com­put­ing and he fears he’ll be more expen­sive when bid­ding jobs? Or maybe a prospect is hes­i­tat­ing because he wor­ries the invest­ment he’s about to make won’t buy the com­pet­i­tive advan­tage he’s look­ing for. Coach­ing your new rep to be aware of these trig­gers and train­ing him to learn the answers will result in more sales for him and your com­pa­ny.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-owner of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.