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

BY Kathy Crosett
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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.