How to run a successful inside sales onboarding effort (step by step)

by Steli Efti
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In today’s post, I'm going to give you step-by-step details on how to onboard sales talent with success. In fact: these are strategies that we’ve used and seen others use to turn people with no sales background into some of the best in the industry.

If your hiring strategy involves bringing in fresh talent, you can’t expect these new inside sales professionals to be confident and successful, without a strong onboarding effort.

Let’s jump right in...

What’s inside sales onboarding, you ask?

Inside sales onboarding is the process of equipping new inside sales hires with the skills, tools, strategies and understanding they need to be confident during every stage of the selling process.

This type of onboarding is an essential step in the hiring process. If you have poor training, there will be a lack of confidence between the sales leader and new hire. 

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A study from the Sales Management Association found that 62% of businesses see themselves as ineffective at onboarding new sales hires, despite it being a focus area for sales leaders.

If you have a proper inside sales onboarding effort, you’re likely to retain employees and avoid any issues. A strong inside sales onboarding program is one of the best things you can do. Not only will it benefit your team, but it also benefits your prospects, customers and you.

Follow the step-by-step process below, to give your new inside sales hire every opportunity to become successful in their work.

Layout core competencies

Before you begin your search for an inside sales professional, meet with your team who understands the position the best. This might include the sales leaders or people in a similar role.

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Agree on what the candidate looks like, including the core competencies they should have. There is not a definite list you should have, as it will be specific to your goals.

Whatever you decide, you want to make sure they involve everybody on your team. These people will know what skills are needed to make new inside sales members successful and confident.

Show them on how to use your CRM

CRM training can make or break any organization.

Too often, brands use training materials as the focus for training new reps on their CRM system. Although that does teach them how it works, most people retain only some of what is learned.

Teach your new reps on how to use your CRM. Include hands-on training, such as how to enter new contacts and set reminders. Show them how your CRM works and explain to them what it can do to close more deals. 

Have your new hires also take some further training. Luckily, there are numerous training courses, workshops, videos and other resources available to help you become more comfortable with a CRM.

Give them a sales process overview

Having a sales process, that helps your inside sales team, prospects, customers and product or services, allows you to be more successful and ensure your team is giving buyers a good experience. 

When a new hire comes on board, I always train them. The standard SaaS sales process takes four weeks. If they begin their first-week calling prospects trying to schedule product demos, their second week may consist of doing those demos and creating sales opportunities. Tell them what they need to know as they move the deal forward.

This will show your new reps what kind of expectations are required from them.

Train them on how to prospect

Prospect training your new inside sales reps doesn’t have to be hard.

Typically, training can define prospecting, describe why it is crucial to your company, show how lead-generation can work, how to evaluate sales leads and how to conduct outreach.

Back-To-the-Future-Movie-SceneProspect training prepares inside sales reps to develop an approach to their outreach. For example, a sales rep should create a script for sending emails. This script should communicate the benefits of a product or service and how reach out to learn more.

With this, it will leave the new rep feeling confident in their prospecting. 

Have senior reps offer demo training

Have your senior reps provide examples of product demos. Show the new rep how to explain your product or service. Show them what not to do when giving a demo. When doing this, you'll want to ensure your explanation is specific and gives an overview of what you're trying to deliver.

New hires will learn how to deliver presentations and demos that keep prospects and buyers engaged. As well, they'll learn how to tell stories that show how you're going to make others successful at their job.

Offer negotiating coaching

Sales negotiation can be dreadful for salespeople. It’s especially painful when new hires come on board, and they don’t have the confidence to do it. 

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Negotiation coaching is the process where an experienced coach works with a new hire to improve their communication and persuasion skills.  

Teaching the techniques needed to become both a persuasive speaker and an active listener, helps the new sales rep become more comfortable communicating with prospects and buyers.

The ability to negotiate can be your edge to your success. You want to know how to do it right, and a coach helps do that.

Wrapping Up

The steps above are only a guideline and you can always modify them to suit your company’s needs.

When you onboard, not only do you help your inside sales reps, but you also can learn lessons on how you can consistently evolve and improve. 

Investing time and effort into an inside sales program will save you, and your team, time and money in the long run. With this, there will be less risk of turnover because your team will have the skills and confidence to understand the tactics your sales team uses.

Onboarding is a time-intensive process. By having a plan that approaches onboarding from different perspectives and is tailored to your team’s needs, you can have inside sales reps that are more productive and committed.




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